Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Pike River tunnel re-entry project begins with NZDF help

21 October 2013

Pike River tunnel re-entry project begins with New Zealand Defence Force assistance

The project to re-enter and explore the main tunnel of the former Pike River Mine has begun, with personnel and an NH90 helicopter from the New Zealand Defence Force on site lifting material from around the top of the mine ventilation shaft.

In early September the Government approved conditional funding of a staged plan to re-enter and explore the tunnel up to a rock fall approximately 2.3 km in from the mine portal. The project, managed by Solid Energy, is subject to on-going safety and technical assessment as each stage is undertaken. An explanation of the project is at http://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/all/files/Pike_River_exploration_diagram.pdf

Royal New Zealand Air Force and NZ Army personnel are removing structures such as fan ducting and generator sets to clear the ventilation shaft area for stage one of the project – filling the remaining 50-60 metres of the shaft to ensure full control of the mine atmosphere.

Air Component Commander (ACC) Mike Yardley says the NZ Defence Force has the capability to respond at short notice for these types of operations and this is the first time an NH90 has been tasked to support another Government agency. “The NH90 has twice the lifting capacity of civilian helicopters available to Solid Energy and therefore we are pleased to be able to provide assistance for this important task,” Air Commodore Yardley said.

Solid Energy Chairman, Mark Ford, says the start of operation is significant for the Pike River family members who have been waiting for a long time. “We are pleased to have reached this start point and to have the support of the New Zealand Defence Force in clearing the site,” Mr Ford says. “While Solid Energy is managing the project, it is very much a collaborative effort, with funding from the Government and the expertise of many individuals and organisations who have come together to plan it and carry it out safely.”

Safety is a prime concern in all aspects of the project. The overall approach was approved by the Solid Energy Board prior to it receiving Government funding. Progressive approvals by the Solid Energy Board and on-going monitoring will be required for all stages of the project. The conceptual project plans for the tunnel re-entry were developed by a group of mining experts, including Solid Energy staff, independent mining consultants and the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service, with oversight from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s High Hazards Unit. An independent panel of experts (mining engineers, ventilation experts and risk management experts) formally assessed the risks of the plans.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

Auckland Port Study: Port To Ship Out – No Departure Date

Interest groups in Auckland and its waterfront chose a group of representatives to determine the future of the port. Their consensus is that the Port is going to have to move but not before a credible location is confirmed... More>>

ALSO:

Tax: GST Threshold For Online Purchases Won't Lower Before 2018

The government wants to lower the threshold on online purchases which qualify for GST from mid-2018, but says more work is needed and there will be no change without public consultation. More>>

ALSO:

North Canterbury: Government Extends Drought Classification

The government has extended a drought classification for the eastern South Island until the end of the year, meaning the area will have officially been in drought for almost two years, the longest period for such a category. More>>

ALSO:

Negotiations Fail: Christchurch Convention Centre Build To Proceed Without PCNZ

After protracted negotiations, the government has ditched the construction consortium it picked to build Christchurch's replacement convention centre, which it now anticipates delivering at least two years behind the original schedule. More>>

ALSO:

Other Centres' Convention Centres:

Ruataniwha: Greenpeace Launches Legal Challenge Against $1b Dam Plan

Greenpeace NZ is launching a legal challenge against a controversial plan to build a dam that’s set to cost close to $1 billion and will pollute a region’s rivers. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news