Dozer destroyed in Saraji blast

A CATERPILLAR D11 dozer was flattened in an incident at the BHP Billiton Mitsubishi Alliance Saraji mine in Queensland’s Bowen Basin when blasted overburden landed on top of it.
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BMA's Saraji open cut mine in Queensland.

Lou Caruana

While no one was hurt in the incident it comes as unions and Queensland mine owners disagree about a campaign for the reform of safety regulations in the state.

The mine voluntarily suspended blasting operations but a directive from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines was later issued by the investigating mines inspector suspending blasting operations until mine management reviewed its safety procedures.

At approximately 2pm on August 27, a bulldozer parked in the equipment zone was destroyed by flying overburden during blasting operations, a departmental spokesman told ILN.

“Prior to the blast, all personnel had been moved to the personnel exclusion zone which is always set a minimum 1km from the blast zone,” he said.

“No personnel were near the vehicle or injured during the incident.”

Mine management complied with the directive so blasting operations could resume at Saraji.

“Blasting operations can resume at the Saraji open cut coal mine in the Bowen Basin,” the spokesperson said.

It is believed the owner of the dozer is Brisbane contractor HSE Mining, which was recently awarded a five-year pre-stripping contract by BMA at Saraji.

The pre-stripping operation involves the annual excavation of 42 million bank cubic metres of overburden.

HSE and BMA did not answer ILN’ request for comment in time for publication.

“HSE has mobilised a number of new excavator and truck fleets to the site and is focused on providing safe and efficient work environment on the site,” it said on its website.

“HSE currently has 360 employees on the site.”

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