18th April 2019

Wollongong Coal has informed the Resources Regulator that they have ceased production activity at Wongawilli Mine, and are placing the operation into care and maintenance.

On the 15 March, the NSW Resources Regulator’s Chief Inspector issued a stop work order

in accordance with section 51 of the Work Health and Safety (Mines and Petroleum Sites) Act 2013.

The decision to issue the stop work order followed the Regulator issuing four separate prohibition notices on the mine’s operator last month, in relation to significant safety issues identified at the site.

The mine did not comply with the direction’s in the stop work order based on their decision to cease production. However, Wollongong Coal executives provided a commitment to the Regulator that it will continue to rectify the safety issues at the mine while it is on care and maintenance.

On the expiry of the current stop work order, two new prohibition notices were issued, relating preventing the operation of conveyor belts at the underground coal mine and access to underground roadways that are not deemed safe for entry.

Potential breaches of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 are currently the subject of an investigation by the Resources Regulator’s Major Investigation Unit and, as such, further comment will not be provided.

Separate investigations by the Major Investigation Unit into potential non-compliance with the Mining Act 1992 will also continue.