Torrential rain hampers work at Pike River

Torrential rain hampers work at Pike River

National News

Torrential rain and high winds on the West Coast are hampering work at Pike River coal mine today.

The GAG machine was shut down for scheduled maintenance at 8am today and shotcreteing work was planned around the portal during the shutdown. Due to the weather the shotcreteing was unable to be completed and the GAG was turned back on just before 10am.

Operation Commander, Superintendent Gary Knowles said the weather was also preventing gas sampling from the mine.

He said Police were managing the situation while awaiting a mine re-entry plan from the Pike River company receivers which is due tomorrow.

Superintendent Knowles said a site inspection by Canterbury University professor David Bell yesterday confirmed that efforts to inertise the mine could take a very long time and that if that proved unachievable with current methods sealing the mine remained an option.

"We've been looking at every possible option and sealing the mine has always been among those options," Superintendent Knowles said.

"Any decision along those lines would be based on expert evidence and be made at a higher level."

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