US geological company to assist with #LilyMine rescue mission

The mission to rescue the trapped miners has been suspended after another collapse on Saturday.

Vantage goldfield CEO Michael McChesney and Amcu president Joseph Mathunjwa briefing the media on rescue operations at the Lily Mine in Barberton Mpumalanga on 12 February, 2016. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says they've roped in an international geological company to assist with the rescue mission of three workers at the Lily Mine near Barberton, with a team flying in this morning.

Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi have been stuck underground for nine days now.

The mission to rescue them has been suspended after another collapse yesterday.

A large concrete structure at the entrance of the mine tunnel and soil from a hill next to the sinkhole, broke off and fell into the same hole where the container is stuck.

Mathunjwa says the US company coming in today, will geologically assess whether it's safe to go back underground.

"They will be flying to Barberton this morning. They will do the assessment because some of these pillars have cracked."

He says yesterday was a grim day after having to suspend the mission.

"It was quite a devastating to pronounce that the operation has been temporarily suspended."

Meanwhile, President Jacob Zuma has assigned three ministers to provide support to the families of the trapped miners.