New technology not to blame for recent Lily Mine cave-ins

2016-02-16 13:31
Anxious family members wait outside Lily Mine in Mpumalanga (News24 Correspondent)

Anxious family members wait outside Lily Mine in Mpumalanga (News24 Correspondent)

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WATCH: Go inside Lily mine's search and rescue operation

2016-02-15 10:07

News24 has obtained video footage of the search and rescue operations (currently on hold) at the Lily mine collapse in WATCH

Mbombela - The new technology and vibration techniques used to crush large rocks at Lily Mine in Mpumalanga are not to blame for the recent cave-ins.

This is according to Mine Rescue Services chief executive, Christo de Klerk.

"The technology used before had nothing to do with the cave-in, but instability of the soil was the reason. The cave-ins occurred on the outside," said De Klerk.

All search and rescue operations have been suspended after a second and a third cave-in occurred on Saturday morning and Sunday afternoon at the mine in Louisville near Barberton.

International specialists brought to Lily Mine confirmed that the pit area was unstable as on-going ground movement was detected.

Vantage Goldfields chief executive Mike McChesney told the media on Monday that it was not possible to say when the geotechnical assessment would be finalised.

"Some of the world’s best-qualified specialists in this field have been called in following the recent collapse of ground to lead the geotechnical assessment, which needs to be comprehensive and thorough to ensure that we don't experience any further tragedy at Lily Mine by exposing the rescue teams to even greater risk in a highly unstable underground environment.

"We share the frustration and disappointment of the families of our missing colleagues, and the broader community, that the search and rescue mission has experienced this major setback. We were, however, left with no alternative as the situation is currently too unstable to safely continue with the underground mission," McChesney said.

An official announcement on the way forward is expected to be made later on Tuesday or on Wednesday.

Read more on:    mbombela  |  mining  |  lily mine collapse

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