Premier Coal inspects all trucks for oil leaks before returning to work

Premier Coal will park-up all 22 Unit Rig MT4400 electric drive trucks and undertake inspections.
Date: Friday, 30 October 2015

The Department of Mines and Petroleum (DMP) received a report today relating to another small fire incident at Premier Coal's mine site early this morning.

DMP Mines Safety Director Andrew Chaplyn said this morning’s incident was a small fire, in the rear wheel hub of an MT4400 electric drive truck, which was which was put out with a fire extinguisher.

“As a result, Premier Coal decided to park-up all 22 Unit Rig MT4400 electric drive trucks and undertake full re-commissioning inspections of each truck,” Mr Chaplyn said.

“While undertaking investigations onsite today DMP issued an improvement notice requiring repairs to oil leaks on several of the MT4400 trucks to be made within a specified period.

“The company’s decision to park up the trucks was made in an effort to regain confidence in the trucks, and any faults found will be repaired before the trucks are returned to work,” he said.

Mr Chaplyn said Premier Coal had fulfilled all of its obligations and reported each incident and complied with all directions and the improvement notice was standard practice to ensure certain work was completed within an agreed timeframe.

He said disruptions to operations could last for up to two weeks.

Yesterday DMP confirmed it had received five reports of incidents at the Premier Coal Mine this month, only one of which was significant.

The first was a minor incident on October 6 when a failed clamp on the turbo on haul truck 22 allowed oil to leak onto the exhaust side of the turbo which ignited and was put out with a fire extinguisher.

Two days later another small fire, on the same truck was caused by oil from the previous leak soaking onto the engine exhaust lagging and was put out with a fire extinguisher.

The department was advised of a significant fire incident on 19 October in which a haul truck driver was alerted to a fire by a nearby grader operator. The operator activated the fire suppression equipment and exited the truck.

A company investigation is underway, and three external company investigators were on site yesterday. When completed, the company investigation report will be forwarded to DMP.

Last week two other incidents included a hydraulic hose on an excavator rupturing, causing a small fire and a mechanical failure of a truck gearbox which overheated the main bearing causing a small fire. Both fires were put out with a fire extinguisher.

Premier Coal is reinforcing maintenance procedures with site fitters, and a specialist trainer has been engaged. A fire prevention program for maintenance personnel and operators is also being planned.

DMP Inspectors were on site on 20 October, 28 October and today to investigate the fire related incidents. Investigations are continuing and DMP will continue to monitor the situation closely.