A plan to re-enter the Pike River mine has reportedly been
approved by Solid Energy's board.
The re-entry plan was approved by the board on Monday and had
now been taken to Labour Minister Simon Bridges for final
approval, Radio Live reported.
Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn told TV3's Firstline
programme this morning the latest development was "really
The re-entry operation would take searchers down a 2.3km
shaft as far as a rockfall. It was not known whether there
were any bodies in that section of the mine or whether they
were all past the rockfall.
"It means that we now can get access down that 2.3km solid
rock drive and find out if there is or isn't any bodies there
... That is a major step."
It would bring the families closer to gaining closure, he
The re-entry plan also needs to be deemed safe by the
Government's High Hazards Unit.
Mr Bridges has previously said he would not stall on pushing
the plan though.
"I won't muck around, I will move on that with real haste and
will get that to Cabinet," he said earlier this month.
Prime Minister John Key has pledged $10 million for the
re-entry if the plan goes ahead.
Families of the men have been fighting to get their bodies
out since the November 2010 disaster.
It is not known whether any of the bodies will be