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Central Qld coal mine pauses work, stands down staff without pay

Baralaba North Coal Mine
Baralaba North Coal Mine

A mining services company temporarily shut down at least one operation in Queensland’s Central Highlands region.

A subsidiary of NRW Holdings recently stopped work due to floods and severe weather conditions at Wonbindi Coal’s Baralaba North Coal Mine in Barnard, 197km west of Gladstone.

Golding Contractors blamed submerged access roads for temporarily suspending overburden, coal seam, site, backfill and rehabilitation activities. Mining fleet, Coal Handling Plant and Baralaba Accommodation Camp maintenance has also been paused.

The closure affects at least 270 employees who have been stood down without pay since December 2 according to News Limited.

“The decision to temporarily cease operations has been taken to prioritise the safety and wellbeing of our people – without full and safe site access to emergency response services, operations could not continue,” a Golding representative said according to the news outlet.

“We understand that this has unfortunately impacted our workforce but their safety is our priority. We look forward to being able to gain safe access to the site as soon as possible to recommence operations.”

Flood warnings have been issued for multiple Dawson Valley towns. Taroom, Theodore, Baralaba and Jambin have already been impacted according to the Bureau of Meteorology website.

The federal executive agency recorded the Dawson River at Theodore reached 11.76 metres high and experienced moderate flooding at the time of publication. Water levels are expected to decrease towards the end of the week.

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