The bad summer slowed the $7 million re-entry at the Pike
River mine, with Solid Energy saying it expects to release an
updated timetable shortly.
Helicopters have made 1300 trips and the the main ventilation
shaft, pictured belching flames after the 2010 disaster, is
Three drill holes have been done, two into the main drift and
one into pit bottom.
Although they have helped inform workers, cameras lowered
down have not found any surprises.
A pump will be installed to take out water, and stop it
building up behind the new seal that will go in front of the
The next stages are to plug with foam, pump in nitrogen,
re-ventilate the tunnel, then allow Mines Rescue staff to
walk up to the seal. Permanent seals will also be installed,
Solid Energy spokesman Bryn Somerville said.
The company hopes to update its timetable soon.
However, Mr Somerville reiterated it was important the work
was done safely.
Although the summer weather was poor, Westport has just
experienced its driest March on record.
- By Laura Mills of the Greymouth Star