19°C / 5°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 3°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 20°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 5°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 8°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 10°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 11°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Wed
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 15°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 16°C
  • Sun
  • 23°C
  • 14°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 19°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 15°C
  • Thu
  • 17°C
  • 13°C
  • Fri
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Sun
  • 18°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Wed
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 18°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 19°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 22°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 23°C
  • 7°C
  • Thu
  • 24°C
  • 8°C
  • Fri
  • 23°C
  • 8°C
  • Sun
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Mon
  • 22°C
  • 12°C
  • Tue
  • 24°C
  • 12°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 10°C
  • Thu
  • 17°C
  • 11°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 9°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 15°C
  • Mon
  • 26°C
  • 16°C
  • Tue
  • 26°C
  • 20°C
  • Wed
  • 25°C
  • 16°C
  • Thu
  • 17°C
  • 14°C
  • Fri
  • 17°C
  • 13°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Mon
  • 21°C
  • 7°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Wed
  • 20°C
  • 6°C
  • Thu
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Fri
  • 21°C
  • 6°C
  • Sun
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Mon
  • 20°C
  • 13°C
  • Tue
  • 22°C
  • 14°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 13°C
  • Thu
  • 16°C
  • 12°C
  • Fri
  • 15°C
  • 11°C
  • Sun
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Mon
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Tue
  • 20°C
  • 4°C
  • Wed
  • 19°C
  • 4°C
  • Thu
  • 19°C
  • 5°C
  • Fri
  • 20°C
  • 5°C

Rescue operations at #LilyMine could take longer

The mine’s owners say operations will continue when a second escape route is drilled.

The dirt road leading to the area where the collapse happened at the Lily mine near Barberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.
AMCU,Lily Mine,Lily Mine collapse,Sink hole at Lily Mine
Local

JOHANNESBURG - Owners of the Lily Mine in Barberton, where three workers remain trapped nearly two weeks on, say the rescue mission cannot continue until a second escape route is drilled which could take up to two weeks.

This update came last night as Yvonne Mnisi, Solomon Nyerende and Pretty Nkambule spent their thirteenth night trapped in a container underground.

Yesterday, Lily Mine management met with the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) and the mineral resources minister, where they accepted experts' opinion that no one could enter the mine again until it was safe to do so, and had an escape route.

Mine spokesperson Coetzee Zietsman says a rescue unit drill has been secured and will hopefully begin drilling by tomorrow.

“It’s a similar drill to the one that was used in Chile's mine disaster. The drill will open up a hole that is roughly 800 centimetres wide. In other words, just big enough for someone to crawl up and down.”

Zietzman says families of the affected miners have been informed of the latest developments.

“The families will stay on the mine property and they will be following the process with the support of the ministry and the mine.

“I think the implications are clear. The minister was with the families and this was explained to them. So the families are aware that there is little hope to find anybody.”

WATCH: Inside the Lily Mine



Meanwhile, international geologists remain on site to assess the stability of the ground.

There have been warnings that the container in which the three workers remain trapped is likely to keep descending further underground.

Wits University mining geology Professor Kim Ncube-Hein says the operation is extremely risky.

“It cannot be done from the top. The exact position means the entire area is becoming unstable as the whole lot is going effectively down the plug hole which is quite a considerable distance that probably would be subsiding further with every failure.”

An in-depth view of the Lily Mine collapse

A graphic representation of the Lily Mine where 3 workers remain trapped in a lamp room container after a portion of the mine collapsed. Vantage Goldfields


(Edited by Shimoney Regter)

Comments

EWN welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

- Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
- Sexism
- Homophobia
- Religious intolerance
- Cyber bullying
- Hate speech
- Derogatory language
- Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the EWN community a safe and welcoming space for all.

EWN reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

EWN reserves the right to close comments on selected content pages.

EWN is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.