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#LilyMine: More resources brought in

Attempts to rescue Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi & Solomon Nyerende have been hampered by challenges.

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

BARBERTON - The mineworkers rescue operation at the Lily Mine outside Barberton is approaching three weeks with more resources being brought into the fold.

Attempts to rescue Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyerende have been hampered by a range of challenges, but management at the mine say they will persevere to reach the metal container.

Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) President Joseph Mathunjwa says the trials faced in mining are very different to those encountered in others industries.

"I think as long as the families have hope, I have hope. It's not a decision I can make unilaterally, I think that's the decision that we all have to come to at some stage when we think the factors are right. But at this stage in the game the amount of faith that I see with the families is enough to keep me hope that these people are alive."

Lily Mine manager Mike Begg says he's still hopeful they'll rescue the three workers.

"I think everyone should appreciate that this is not a factory shop of whatsoever, this is a mining, it got its own dynamics."

Family members and friends of the mineworkers continue to hold daily prayer services for the trapped trio, hoping they'll be reunited with them soon.

Drilling of a second escape route at the mine began yesterday as part of continued efforts to rescue the three mineworkers.

Authorities are still calling the operation a rescue mission in the hopes of finding life underground.

WATCH: Inside Lily Mine

INQUIRY

There have been calls for an independent inquiry to be conducted into the cause of the collapse.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane said the collapse placed health and safety at South Africa's mines back in focus, while Parliament's Mineral Resources and Labour Committees, said they are satisfied with the manner in which the mine handled the search for the workers.

The committees were among a number of officials who have visited the mine since the collapsed occurred.