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Mosebenzi Zwane briefs Parly on Lily Mine disaster

Zwane has confirmed drilling of the second shaft has resumed after a mechanical fault stalled operations.

Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane. Picture: AFP/RODGER BOSCH

CAPE TOWN - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane has briefed Members of Parliament (MP) on the Lily Mine disaster in Mpumalanga and efforts to rescue three trapped mine workers.

Solomon Nyerende, Yvonne Mnisi and Pretty Nkambule were inside a container, used as a lamp-room, when it sunk underground during a cave-in at the mine on 5 February.

Rescue efforts have been halted until a second escape route is secured, as there have been three collapses since the accident occurred 20 days ago.

Minister Zwane confirmed drilling of the second shaft has resumed after a mechanical fault stalled operations just days ago.

"I have a report that drilling has started. I want to go and see for myself how people are committed and if we can put more hours [in]."

Zwane says it's insensitive to speculate about whether the mission has turned into a recovery operation.

"We are not experts; we know that there is no ventilation and no water and we understand those issues, but I think our task, as leaders, is to ensure that the container is recovered."

Drilling of the second outlet could take up to three weeks.

WATCH: Lily Mine rescue plan hinges on new escape route