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#LilyMine: "Dead or alive, we will find them"

The rescue mission for the trapped miners has been suspended until an assessment has been completed.

Sink hole at the Lily Mine in Barberton. Picture: Vantage Goldfiel

JOHANNESBURG - Mpumalanga Premier David Mabuza says the situation at the Lily Mine near Barberton has become too risky to continue with a rescue operation, but has promised the families of three trapped workers that they will be found dead or alive.

Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi were trapped last Friday after a collapse on the surface.

This morning another collapse took place and a concrete piece of the entrance to the mine fell into the same hole.

No-one was injured in the latest collapse and an assessment of the ground is currently underway.

A deep hole inside of the rock where the initial entrance to the mine was is now visible.

The rock and concrete structure have dropped into the same hole where the container is buried.

The rescue mission has since been suspended.

Mabuza says better equipment and expertise is needed, but the search won't be called off.

"Another part of the ground has fallen. It's now becoming too risky. We need to hurry up and find a way of getting good equipment that can help us to proceed with the mission. Dead or alive, we will find them because their families are here. It will be very difficult for them to leave this place knowing that their families are underground."

Earlier today, journalists were allowed onto the mine property for the first time since the collapse happened.