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UPDATE 1-Anglo American flags restarts of Australian metallurgical coal mines

(Adds detail on coal mines, production)

MELBOURNE, June 3 (Reuters) - Anglo American said on Thursday that it has restarted underground mining at its Moranbah North coal mine in northern Queensland state after it withdrew its workforce from the mine following a reading of elevated gases on Feb. 20.

Mining development activities at its Grosvenor mine, in central Queensland’s Bowen Basin, have also resumed this week, as part of the mine’s staged restart of underground mining operations following an explosion in May 2020 that critically injured five workers, it said in a statement.

“I would like to thank our workforces at Moranbah North and Grosvenor mines for their patience and dedication in actioning a range of measures to ensure a safe return to mining activities,” Chief Executive of Anglo American’s Metallurgical Coal business, Tyler Mitchelson, said.

He said that Anglo would continue with its plans to improve safety via automation and instituting remote working operations.

The two mines accounted for almost half of Anglo American’s met coal, or steel-making coal, production in 2019. Grosvenor produced 4.7 million tonnes in 2019. Moranbah North produced 4.43 million tonnes of met coal in 2020, down from 6.15 million tonnes in 2019. (Reporting by Melanie Burton; Editing by Tom Hogue and Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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