The Austar operation has announced that it will commence standing down employees and, where possible, redeploy the majority to other Yancoal-owned underground operations.

This step is being taken as Yancoal awaits the outcome of legal proceedings where it is currently seeking an external merits review in the Industrial Relations Commission of two prohibition notices issued by the Regulator in relation to the Austar underground mine.

The two prohibitions relate to two separate coal bursts in March and May respective, sustaining significant damage to the longwall.

“We have worked to redeploy the majority of the Austar workforce to the Ashton, Abel and Moolarben underground mines in the interests of providing continued employment for our people,” said Reinhold Schmidt, Yancoal Australia Chief Executive Officer.

“Until all legal avenues have been exhausted and we can re-enter the mine to move the longwall, we are unable to continue proposed longwall activity.”

Austar will retain skeleton crews to maintain the operation in accordance with compliance requirements.

Due to being subject to legal proceedings, Yancoal was unable to provide an estimated date for a return to production.