North Goonyella clears EA hurdle

PEABODY Energy has avoided a lengthy industrial relations dispute at its North Goonyella longwall mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin with the approval of an enterprise agreement last week.

Blair Price

It also aims to use longwall top coal caving technology for the mine in 2014.

Peabody said the conclusion of the EA followed “several months” of constructive discussions with the workforce.

“The new three-year agreement builds on the base of improvements gained at the mine over recent years and will enable progress to continue in areas where further potential exists,” Peabody said.

The American coal giant signalled its intention to install LTCC technology at North Goonyella “to further expand capacity beginning in 2014”

Peabody Energy Australia president Eric Ford was pleased with the swift outcome for the mine’s EA.

“We believe the new agreement will provide benefits for both Peabody and our employees as together we build a sustainable future for North Goonyella,” he said.

"The approval by more than an 80 per cent vote is a clear show of support."

Using conventional longwall mining, the North Goonyella mine extracts 4.2m of its target seam.

LTCC is designed for seams of more than 4.5m.

The technology was pioneered in China and used at Yancoal’s Austar mine in the Hunter Valley.