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Another week, another ignition at Oaky North

XSTRATA Coal’s Oaky North mine in Queensland had a small frictional ignition incident on Monday night, which followed a bigger frictional incident on the previous Monday that halted production from the longwall.

Blair Price
Another week, another ignition at Oaky North

“A very minor frictional event occurred underground at the Oaky North mine in the development section,” an Xstrata spokesperson told ILN.

“It was immediately addressed without incident and reported in accordance with our procedures. The mine has returned to normal operation.”

The spokesperson previously told ILN that a small pocket of methane was ignited at the longwall in the July 11 incident.

Oaky North was Australia’s longwall production leader for 2010 and for the 2009-10 financial year, when it clocked up an impressive 9.69 million tonnes run of mine.

Xstrata’s Blakefield South longwall operation in New South Wales, designed to replace the legendary Beltana mine, remains suspended following an underground fire early this year.

Blakefield South used extensive real-time gas monitoring, like other Xstrata longwall mines, and some experts believe that the fire was unlikely to have been triggered by a spontaneous combustion incident.

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