Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities

A COMPANY and three individuals face prosecution after a fatal injury at Anglo American’s Grasstree longwall mine in Queensland in December 2014, a spokesman for the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines has confirmed to ICN.
Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities Prosecutions begin over Grasstree fatalities

Anglo Coal chief executive Seamus French

Lou Caruana

The matter has been set down for mention on 2 March but that may well change depending on the court calendar, he said.

“The department can confirm that prosecutions have commenced against three individuals and one company in relation to the incident on 11 December 2014 in which an employee of a company contracted to perform work at the Anglo Coal Grasstree coal mine was fatally injured,” he said.

“The matters will be heard in the Industrial Magistrates Court at Mackay.

"This prosecution is in addition to the prosecution of one company and one individual in relation to the fatal incident at the mine in May 2014. That prosecution is also before the Industrial Magistrates Court at Mackay.”

A spokeswoman for Anglo American told ICN: “Anglo American won’t make comment on any matters before the courts.”

Anglo American reopened Grasstree last January following the fatal workplace incident which killed Valley Longwall International contractor Ian Downes on December 11.

The Queensland Department of Natural Resources said Downes was fatally injured when part of an underground roadway wall struck him while he was pressure grouting it.

A DNRM spokesman told ICN the investigation report being prepared by its inspectors would go straight to the Queensland Coroner who will determine cause of death and factors contributing to the fatality.

“These reports are not published prior to the coroner delivering his findings at a coronal inquest,” he said.

The Grasstree mine was also rocked by an earlier fatality in May when a worker was believed to have been asphyxiated by noxious gas.

In December 2014 Anglo coal chief Seamus French said all aspects of the accident that killed Downes would be reviewed.

“Over the coming weeks we will review of all aspects of this tragic incident as well as our operating processes to ensure the mine is ready for a safe restart and continued safe operation,” French said on December 16.

topics

loader