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Explosion Closes Australia's Grosvenor Coking Coal Mine



By Jo Clarke

May 6, 2020 - UK-South African mining firm Anglo American has closed its 5mn t/yr Grosvenor coking coal mine in the Bowen basin region of Australia's Queensland, after an uncontrolled explosion injured five workers at the site.

The explosion occurred this afternoon and the firm is evacuating the site ahead of an investigation into the cause of the incident. It is unclear how long the mine will be closed for.

The closure comes as Anglo-American works to restart its nearby 5mn t/yr Moranbah North coking coal mine in early June, after a roof collapse in late January.

The firm completed a longwall move at Grosvenor during January-March, which saw production at the mine fall to 541,000t for January-March from 1.01mn t during October-December and 1.33mn t in January-March 2019.

Anglo-American last month maintained its full-year coking coal 2020 production at 19mn-21mn t, after it reduced the target from 21mn-23mn t in February. It sold 2.87mn t of hard coking coal and 983,000t of semi-soft and pulverised coal injection (PCI) grade coking coal in the latest quarter, down from 5.1mn t and 1mn t for October-December and 3.29mn t and 631,000t during January-March 2019.

Argus yesterday assessed the premium hard low-volatile coking coal price at $107/t fob Australia, down from $163.70/t two months ago. It assessed the semi-soft mid-volatile coking coal price at $70/t fob Australia and PCI low-volatile price at $66.95/t, down from $104.60/t and $99.80/t respectively over the same periods.