Cargill reopens Cayuga mine in Lansing, US

1 March 2016 (Last Updated March 1st, 2016 18:30)

Cargill has reopened its Cayuga mine in Lansing, New York, US, nearly two months after halting operations due to malfunctioning of the main elevator at the mine that trapped 17 workers underground.

Cargill has reopened its Cayuga mine in Lansing, New York, US, nearly two months after halting operations due to malfunctioning of the main elevator at the mine that trapped 17 workers underground.

The company said that for the next few days, the miners will perform equipment inspections and other preparation work prior to restarting operations at the mine.

Earlier in January 2016, the incident took place when the workers were descending down into the salt mine below Cayuga Lake to begin their shift, and a steel beam connected to the two-level elevator caused the mechanical failure.

The elevator shaft descended 2,300ft, and the miners remained 900ft underground for ten hours.

"The elevator shaft descended 2,300ft, and the miners remained 900ft underground for ten hours."

Cargill rescued all of them safely but ceased operations since then.

At that time, the company said it will work with the federal Mine Health and Safety Administration (MSHA) regarding safety plans and would conduct an inspection of the elevator and replace it if necessary.

Ithacajournal reported Cargill spokesman Mark Klein as saying that the elevator was stuck when a bracket that held one of the two guide rails broke.

The Cayuga mine employs 200 people on three shifts and has been operational since 1922.

Approximately two million tonnes of road salt processed at the mine is shipped to more than 1,500 locations throughout the north-east US.