South32 has warned production at its Illawarra Metallurgical Coal operations will be hit by challenging mining conditions in two areas of the Appin longwall mine.
Production has been temporarily suspended at Appin Area 9 after it became apparent that a recent outage had only exacerbated challenging ground conditions. Production has now stopped again to allow the mine to complete remedial world.
The work at Area 9 is expected to last four weeks. In addition, production at Area 7 will be reduced after elevated gas concentrations were reported. Operations at Longwalls 7 and 9 were suspended subsequently suspended to allow an investigation into the cause of the higher gas levels.
This investigation discovered a failed ventilation fan at the mine, which has since been rectified, the company said. Run rates will be lower in Area 7 until tests confirm the mine is able to maintain methane concentrations at a safe level.
The company said it expected production to be reduced by 0.5 million t, which will impact directly on sales as the mine has low inventory levels.
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