Pike River wind down about to start

The withdrawal from the Pike River Mine is expected to begin next week, at the end of the Government’s $61million re-entry commitment.

The Pike River Recovery Agency informed the families of the 29 victims of the 2010 disaster of the move late last week.

Chief executive Dave Gawn said agency staff were working with police on examining the final part of the underground work, checking the roadways at the area known as "pit bottom in stone", near the end of the drift, which led into the mine workings where the 29 were caught at the time of the explosions.

The project was never about recovering the bodies, which are trapped behind a massive rockfall, but was intended to search the drift for possible evidence of what caused the explosions.

The preliminary plan for final sealing and retreat had been completed, and Work Safe NZ notified of the intention to seal the mine, beginning with the reinstallation of the 170m temporary seal in early June.

However, work will continue to drill new holes into the mine, past the rockfall, to allow further police examination.

— Greymouth Star


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