Sealing of Pike River imminent: report

EFFORTS to seal a section of the Pike River mine could begin again as early as this month in an attempt to reclaim the main tunnel by February.
Sealing of Pike River imminent: report Sealing of Pike River imminent: report Sealing of Pike River imminent: report Sealing of Pike River imminent: report Sealing of Pike River imminent: report

The Pike River mine a few weeks before the tragic explosions.

Lauren Barrett

According to the NZHerald workers will pump grout down a borehole and create a seal 2.3km inside the mine.

The sealing of the mine, which first began in June 2011, would be part of the recovery effort for the bodies of 29 men who lost their lives following a series of blasts which rocked the mine in November 2010.

The news service quoted Pike River mine statutory manager Stephen Ellis as saying a rock seal, known as Rocksil, had arrived at New Zealand in order to commence the sealing of the mine.

Once sealing has taken place a section of the main tunnel will be re-ventilated, enabling Mines Rescue to re-enter the mine.

Ellis reportedly said a new fan had been placed on the mine’s surface to help re-ventilate the mine.

The news comes soon after Pike River Coal receiver PricewaterhouseCoopers confirmed work to seal and ventilate the mine was continuing.

PRC receiver John Fisk said drilling of the borehole had started and hoped the reclaiming of the tunnel would be completed in February.

In June last year New Zealand Mines Rescue staff entered the mine, installing a monitoring point and building a temporary seal.

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