Lily Mine has mobilised a Rescue Drill Unit from Mines Rescue to commence drilling a second outlet within the next few days.
A second collapse at the mine on Saturday resulted in a decision by a team of rock engineering experts to suspend rescue operations in the interests of safety because the mine’s second outlet was compromised.
The team’s geotechnical report recommended that a second outlet be drilled because the existing ventilation shaft is unstable. Sinking this shaft in a secure area of the mine would increase the safety of rescue workers and continue to allow the mine to operate within the law.
Parts of the drill rig began arriving yesterday, with the remainder due today. The drill rig is capable of drilling a 660mm diameter hole 80 metres deep, which will allow access to Level 5. The rig is expected to commence drilling on Saturday.
The magnitude and complexity of this collapse should be emphasised and, despite the urgency with which this action has been taken, it is estimated that it will take approximately three weeks before rescue operations are able to recommence.