Lily Mine: Govt to try new way of bringing container to the surface

Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende & Yvonne Mnisi were in the container when the ground caved in.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane says government is going to try a new way of bringing to the surface the container in which three mineworkers from Lily Mine have been trapped underground.

Pretty Nkambule, Solomon Nyerende and Yvonne Mnisi were in a lamp room container when the ground at the mine near Barberton collapsed, early in February.

Zwane says teams will now try another route to retrieve the container.

"We've since agreed on another new approach, an approach which is called a decline where you're removing soil until you get to the container. That's what we're doing and we've been informed that it will not take less than six months."

Earlier this month, Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (Amcu) leader Joseph Mathunjwa said despite several attempts to retrieve the container from Lily Mine, government has still not taken any action.

He said there were promises to get the container out within six months.

Last month, Amcu said the department should investigate the cause of the collapse.