Planning for a re-entry into the damaged Pike River coal mine to try and recover remains of the 29 men who perished there has taken a step forward.
Radio New Zealand reported yesterday that the Minister Responsible for Pike River re-entry, Andrew Little, has signed off on several options for moving deep into the mine.
Pike River Recovery Agency chief executive Dave Gawn said the department had received expert advice showing a safe manned re-entry of the mine drift was possible.
“Recovery of the mine drift is technically feasible and the risks of harm can be managed and minimised,” he reportedly claimed.
Further development of three re-entry options was underway.
Radio NZ said the options include building a new 2 metres by 2m tunnel, about 200m long, to the pit bottom in stone area; drilling a large diameter borehole; and re-entering the main drift as it is with no second exit.
A procurement process is being carried out to find contractors for the project.
“We've started to develop a detailed plan, with full risk assessments, hazard management plans and costings, and aim to get that back to the Minister for further consideration by the end of October,” he said.
In November, 2010, 29 men were killed after a major methane explosions in the mine.
Sources: radionz.co.nz; nzresources.com