UPDATE 1-Australian state lets South32 resume limited digging at Appin coal mine


* New South Wales clears mine for partial restart

* Workers had been evacuated in June as precautionary step

* Operations at mine have been disrupted on numerous occasions (Adds further comment from state government, details)

MELBOURNE, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Government regulators in an Australian state on Tuesday cleared South32 to partially restart its Appin coal mine after workers were evacuated in June following a gas-leak scare.

"We've worked closely with the mine operator and we're now comfortable that the mine has put systems and controls in place to deal with the immediate safety issues and has a robust plan to address longer-term issues," New South Wales state chief compliance officer Anthony Keon said in a statement.

Mining will be restricted until further work is completed linked to gas drainage, ventilation and other operations, the government said.

Challenging ground conditions and high gas levels have disrupted operations at the mine on numerous occasions since mid-2016.

The Appin mine in fiscal 2017 accounted for almost half South32's overall production of 7.06 million tonnes of coal used in steelmaking.

The company plans to provide updated production guidance for the year ahead when it reports earnings for fiscal 2017 on Aug. 24.

In the latest incident, workers were evacuated from the colliery on June 28 as a precautionary measure. South32 later said there was no breach of gas limits at the mine.

(Reporting by Sonali Paul and James Regan; Editing by Richard Pullin and Joseph Radford)