A former central Queensland mine worker will face court later this month for allegedly smoking in an underground mine.

In April last year, a contract worker at the North Goonyella Mine near Moranbah, south-west of Mackay, was sacked for allegedly lighting a cigarette while working underground.

The Department of Natural Resources and Mines spent several months investigating the matter and have now charged the 24-year-old New Zealand National with two breaches of the Coal Mining Safety and Health Act.

A spokesman says that charge carries a maximum penalty of a $50,000 fine or up to six months in jail.

The man is due to face the Rockhampton Magistrates Court later this month.

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