The New Zealand Police and Pike River Coal Limited (In Receivership) (the Company) announced today that the Company has resumed control of mine stabilisation operations at Pike River Mine.
One of the receivers of the Company, Mr John Fisk, said today that the Company intends to implement the Mine Stabilisation Plan prepared by Company management in conjunction with expert mining advisers. A separate fund has been set aside for this purpose.
In implementing the Mine Stabilisation Plan the Receivers will engage a panel of experts, including experts previously advising Police, so that there is continuity of risk assessment advice. It is hoped that the Mine Stabilisation Plan will eventually result in a sustainable inert atmosphere within the Mine that is also free from any underground heat sources.
"Stabilisation is a necessary first step to allow the investigation of options for the Mine. However, there can be no assurance that the Stabilisation Plan will be successful or, even if it is, whether other options such as an eventual re-entry to all or part of the Mine will be feasible" said Mr Fisk.
"Should re-entry be feasible, the Company will make sure the families are informed and will call in Police so that all necessary safeguards relating to any recovery efforts and preservation of evidence are put in place."
Mr Fisk said “the Mine is the principal asset of the Company, and the prospects for the Company are inextricably linked to the prospects for the Mine. If the Mine Stabilisation Plan is successful we will look at the best options to maximise value. However, at the present time, no timetable can be set for the next steps.”
The Receivers of the Company have worked closely with the Police since their appointment and will continue to keep the Police and families of the 29 men informed as the Mine Stabilisation Plan is implemented.
The Commissioner of Police, Howard Broad reiterated Police's thanks to the families for their patience and co-operation during the period that Police has led the search and rescue and recovery operations and has worked with the Company on stabilisation operations at the mine. "We will continue to support the families and to keep them informed of Police developments" said Mr Broad.
Police family liaison, the website and the SMS message service, together with Police welfare support, will continue.
For further details please contact:
Phone: 09 355 8077
Phone: 021 717 688
Police National Headquarters Public Affairs
Ph 04 474 9482 or
After hours pager 026 101082