Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search

 

Pike River Mine re-entry: How it will happen

Today the government announced it will proceed with the re-entry of the Pike River Mine which will begin in February next year.

A schematic of the single-entry option from the Pike River Recovery Agency Report

The Minister responsible for Pike River re-entry, Andrew Little, made the announcement at Parliament in front of a number of the families of the Pike 29.

In 2010, 29 men died following a series of explosions at the West Coast mine.

Three options were put on the table including building a new 2m by 2m tunnel, about 200m long, to the pit bottom in stone area; drilling a large diameter borehole; and re-entering the main drift as it is with no second exit.

A group of experts then considered the options and presented Andrew Little with a plan for safe entry to the mine.

Mr Little said he decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, was by far the safest option.

He said he required an additional $14 million from Cabinet for the plan to be enacted - the total cost of the project is $36m.

The plan will be split into seven phases and is expected to be complete by June 2020.

Before the first phase begins in February next year, preparatory work is being carried out by the PRRA.

That work includes the design and manufacturing of new emergency portal doors, the restoration of a high voltage power supply and the acquisition of a nitrogen plant that has been transported to Pike River and will be brought into service.

Over the next three months several additional small holes will be bored into the mine shaft to assist pumping and ventilation.

Once that's all complete, the first phase can begin.

The breakdown of each process.

Phase one, February 2019: Breach the 30 metre seal and re-establish the 170m barrier.

Phase two, February-April 2019: Conduct forensic search 30m - 170m then remove 30m seal and deconstruct the water management infrastructure.

Phase three, April 2019: Remove the 170m barrier and progressively search and recover the drift.

Phase four June 2019: Establish seal and conduct detailed forensic examination.

Phase five, August 2019: Recovery and examination.

Phase six, December 2019: Reseal the mine, re-establish water management infrastructure and seal at portal, refurbish site for handover to DOC.

Phase seven, June 2020: Handover to DOC and disestablish the PRRA.

Key moments in the mine tragedy

31 January 2018 - The Pike River Recovery Agency - Te Kahui Whakamana Rua Tekau ma Iwa, opens

20 November 2017 - Labour government establishes stand-alone agency to start planning for manned re-entry of Pike River

20 November 2017 - Labour government establishes stand-alone agency to start planning for manned re-entry of Pike River

5 May 2017 Thirteen hours of Pike River footage released by police

21 November 2016 - Pike River families furious at mine's closure

17 November 2016 - Pike River re-entry 'lunacy' - PM

12 May 2016 - Pike River mine Great Walk route finalised

10 September 2014 - Two families of mine victims apply for a judicial review of the decision to drop charges

4 February 2014 - Second phase of work to re-enter mine tunnel begins

24 December 2013 - Payments begin from a special compensation fund set up after Mr Whittall's charges were dropped

12 December 2013 - Charges against former Pike River Coal CEO Peter Whittall are dropped

15 November 2013 - Legislation implementing health and safety recommendations passes its third reading in Parliament

23 October 2013 - The Defence Force completes the first phase of the mine tunnel re-entry plan

5 November 2012 - The Royal Commission into the Pike River Mine Tragedy makes its report and recommendations public

July 2012 - The sale of Pike River Coal to Solid Energy is confirmed

10 November 2011 - The Labour Department lays 25 charges against Pike River Coal, Valley Longwall International Drilling and former Pike River Coal CEO Peter Whittall under the Health and Safety in Employment Act

December 2010 - Pike River Coal is placed into receivership

29 November 2010 - Cabinet agrees to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry

24 November 2010 - The second explosion hits at 2.37pm. Police move from rescue to recovery operations

2010 - The first methane gas explosion hits at about 3.45pm, leaving 29 men trapped


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Top Scoops Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Media Collusion With National’s Attack Lines

For most of the past week, any consumer of this country’s management of Covid-19 would think New Zealand was actually Brazil, or Texas. The media language has been full of claims of “botches” at the border, and laxness and inexcusable errors ... More>>

Gregor Thompson: Don’t Be Too Pessimistic About New Zealand’s Future.

With the first hurdle hopped our Government will be turning its attention to trying to soften the economic damage this pandemic has on our little archipelago. More>>

Eric Zuesse: U.S. Empire: Biden And Kerry Gave Orders To Ukraine’s President

Eric Zuesse, originally posted at Strategic Culture On May 19th, an implicit international political warning was issued, but it wasn’t issued between countries; it was issued between allied versus opposed factions within each of two countries: U.S. and Ukraine. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Budget Cockups In The Time Of Coronavirus: Reporting Errors And Australia’s JobKeeper Scheme

Hell has, in its raging fires, ringside seats for those who like their spreadsheets. The seating, already peopled by those from human resources, white collar criminals and accountants, becomes toastier for those who make errors with those spreadsheets. ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Altars Of Hypocrisy: George Floyd, Protest And Black Face

Be wary what you protest about. The modern moral constabulary are out, and they are assisted by their Silicon Valley friends in the Social Media club. Should you dare take a stand on anything, especially in a dramatic way, you will be found out ... More>>

Binoy Kampmark: Welcome Deaths: Coronavirus And The Open Plan Office

For anybody familiar with that gruesome manifestation of the modern work place, namely the open plan office, the advent of coronavirus might be something of a relief. The prospects for infection in such spaces is simply too great. You are at risk from ... More>>


Binoy Kampmark: Why Thinking Makes It So: Donald Trump’s Obamagate Fixation

The “gate” suffix has been wearing thin since the break-in scandal that gave it its birth. Since Watergate, virtually anything dubious and suggestive, and much more besides, is suffixed. Which brings us to the issue of President Donald Trump’s ... More>>



Binoy Kampmark: Brutal Choices: Anders Tegnell And Sweden’s Herd Immunity Goal

If the title of epidemiological czar were to be created, its first occupant would have to be Sweden’s Anders Tegnell. He has held sway in the face of sceptics and concern that his “herd immunity” approach to COVID-19 is a dangerous, and breathtakingly ... More>>