Domenica, 14 Febbraio 2016 08:17 | Experts to determine if Lily Mine rescue efforts to continue

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Johannesburg – Rescue efforts for the three missing minersat Lily Mine near Barberton may continue at midday, Amcu leader JosephMathunjwa told News24 on Monday.

Mathunjwa said they would meet with geological expertsbefore

11:00 in the hope of continuing rescue efforts by midday. “I can’t saymuch for now. We are waiting to hear from experts if we can continue today.Hopefully rescue efforts will be continue at noon,” he said.

All search and rescue operations were suspended on Saturdayafter another collapse.

In a statement, CEO of Vantage Goldfields, Mike McChesney,said they had evacuated all underground teams because of resultant unstable andhighly dangerous conditions. He said the mission could only resume once a fullgeotechnical assessment of the stability of the open pit area and undergroundoperations are complete.

“At approximately 5am on February 13, Lily Mine experienceda second major collapse of ground on the southern wall of the open pit area,widening the exposed sinkhole and sending more rocks and other debris into theunderground mining area.

“A decision was made by mine management to immediatelyevacuate all underground search and rescue teams in the interests of theirsafety. Regrettably the search and rescue operation for the three missing LilyMine employees, Pretty Mabuza, Solomon Nyarenda and Yvonne Mnisi , has beensuspended until a full geotechnical assessment has been completed and the risklevels of underground operations has been established,” he said.

The initial accident happened when a central pillar of ore,called a crown pillar, collapsed. The three miners were in a lamp room that washoused in a container near the entrance to the mine. The container wasswallowed up in a sinkhole as big as a rugby field.

Seventy-six miners were rescued after the collapse.

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