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Glencore sees spontaneous combustion issues at Collinsville coal mine

Glencore has reported spontaneous combustion issues at its Collinsville coal mine’s spoil piles, which have caused fume problems.

Speaking to a Glencore spokesperson, they told Australian Mining that during the past week it has uncovered “some minor heatings in some of the mine’s legacy areas” and that it is “addressing it by digging it up and spreading the spoil around to disperse it and minimise the chance of a fire”.

However, he added the major issue is that of gas emissions.

It is understood that these gas emission problems, relating to the spoil, are not related to hazardous gas leaks which occurred at the mine two years ago, and hospitalised 25 workers.

The spokesperson went on to dismiss an earlier article that appeared on the ABC, which stated that several fires had started in the mine’s coal seams and that the fumes have spread across the town.

“These aren’t fires, and the fumes haven’t spread to town, they are a localised issue,” they said.

“Our gas monitoring network shows that the resulting emissions have very low gas concentration levels and pose no threat to human health; however, we acknowledge the inconvenience the odour has caused some of our close neighbours and have been working with them on a case by case basis.

“We are managing and monitoring the odour and have been keeping our direct neighbours, the Queensland Mines Inspectorate and the Department of the Environment aware of progress.”

The mine itself restarted production earlier this year after an operational hiatus of more than four months.

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