Giovedì, 11 Febbraio 2016 13:11

News24.com | Rock-shifting technology brings new hope to Lily Mine rescue efforts

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Barberton - New technology is being used to loosen a hugerock weighing between 20 and 30 tons that is hampering the rescue operation ofthree miners in Mpumalanga.

Today marks a week since

the three - Pretty Nkambule,Solomon Nyarende and Yvonne Mnisi - got trapped during a collapse at the LilyMine in Louisville, outside Barberton.

Vantage Goldfields chief executive Mike McChesney saidrescue workers would use vibration technology to loosen the rock.

"Getting rid of the huge rock is dangerous, but withthe new technology it will be safer to loosen it and bring it down, withoutsending workers in there to do it. The additional air compressors weredelivered to the mine on Wednesday," he said on Friday.

McChesney believed the rescuers were close to finding thecontainer in which Nkambule, Nyarende and Mnisi are still trapped.

Currently, about 550 tons of debris and rock - of anestimated total of 20 000 tons - was being moved each day.

Operations director Mike Begg told media on Thursday thatthere was renewed energy in the rescue operation since a tyre that was attachedto the container was found.

"We are moving rock to particular draw points where weare sure the container is located. At 05:00 [on Thursday] we retrieved the tyrethat was leaning against the container on the surface. It tells us all ourassumptions to date have been right. We are in the right zone," Begg toldmedia.

Meanwhile, various local businesses have donated food andother necessities to family members and rescue workers.

Shoprite's Mobile Soup Kitchen made a special delivery fromHazyview, while Malalane Super Spar also donated a consignment of food andrefreshments.

The owner of the Super Spar, Lex Hollman, described the moodof the missing miners' loved ones as "gloomy and sad, with desperation inthe voices of the people praying".

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