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#LilyMine: Officials confident rescue mission will resume soon

Officials are drilling a new exit route for rescue teams to reach the three trapped workers.

Lily Mine in Baberton, Mpumalanga. Picture: Vantage Goldfields Limited.

JOHANNESBURG - With drilling operations at the Lily Mine in Barbeton starting a day ahead of schedule, officials say they're confident they will be able to resume the rescue of three workers trapped underground in the next fortnight.

Officials are drilling a new exit route for rescue teams, 70 meters underground, in an effort to reach a mobile container where Yvonne Mnisi, Solomon Nyerende And Pretty Nkambule remain trapped.

Yesterday marked two weeks since the trio was buried under thousands of tonnes of rock during a collapse of the mine surface.

There have been two more collapses since the recovery operation started prompting the two week halt.

Mine Spokesperson Coetzee Zietsman said, "Full drilling will commence today. They are very confident because they need to drill about 70 metres and they're quite confident that they'll be able to do that within a two or three week period."

WATCH: Inside the Lily Mine

Meanwhile, the Democtratic Alliance's James Lorimer says an investigation must be tabled before Parliament to give the collapse full attention it deserves.

"Because this is a case that is so prominent, and so unusual in a sense, we need to know what happened. I think people would not be satisfied with an investigation that drags on gets a bit of a background. We need to know."

At the same time, the National Union for Mineworkers of South Africa called for a full independent inquiry into the disaster.

LISTEN: Mathunjwa calls for Lily Mine accident to be declared national disaster.