Anglo American has restarted longwall mining operations at the Moranbah North mine in Queensland, Australia.

The mine was closed on 20 February 2021 after identification of increased gas levels in the goaf, an area behind the longwall area that caves in behind the face post-mining.

At that time, Anglo American said that the increased gas levels indicate an issue with coal heating and an overpressure event, which is a change in ventilation on the face.

The firm plans to increase production at the mine over the coming weeks.

A producer of hard coking coal, the Moranbah North underground mine is located in the northern part of the Bowen Basin in central Queensland, 16km north of Moranbah.

Anglo American has also resumed development activities at the Grosvenor underground coal mine in Queensland as part of staged underground mining operations restart.

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The move follows an incident in May 2020 in which five miners were critically injured following an explosion at the mine.

Anglo American metallurgical coal business CEO Tyler Mitchelson said: “I would like to thank our workforces at Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines for their patience and dedication in actioning a range of measures to ensure a safe return to mining activities.

“We will continue our ambitious programme of work in the automation, remote operation and the use of data science areas to deliver on further step changes in safety improvement in underground mining.”

The two mines collectively accounted for nearly half of met coal, or steel-making coal, production for Anglo American in 2019, according to Reuters.