Vantage Goldfields again suspends rescue operation at Lily mine in South Africa

6 March 2016 (Last Updated March 6th, 2016 18:30)

Australia’s Vantage Goldfields has suspended rescue operation to bring the three miners who were trapped underground at Lily mine near Barberton, South Africa, over safety concerns of the rescuers.

Lily Mine

Australia's Vantage Goldfields has suspended rescue operation to bring the three miners who were trapped underground at Lily mine near Barberton, South Africa, over safety concerns of the rescuers.

The miners have been trapped underground since 5 February 2016 in a lamproom in a container when a portion of the mine collapsed.

They fell into an 80m deep sink hole and efforts to rescue them were hampered by rock falls.

Last week, a second outlet was completed and was believed to be too dangerous to let people go underground.

"The company is currently considering alternative ways to reach the container and planning to call another rock specialist to make a determination."

News24 quoted Lily mine spokesperson Coetzee Zietsman saying: "They advised that rock fall was still happening and the ground was still shifting on an hourly basis where the rescue workers would want to start digging.

"It will have to remain suspended until we can make another plan."

The company is currently considering alternative ways to reach the container and planning to call another rock specialist to make a determination.

Vantage Goldfields safely rescued 87 underground workers trapped after the collapse of ground at the mine and is continuing efforts to rescue three other trapped mine workers.


Image: The miners have been trapped underground since 5 February 2016 in a lamproom. Photo: courtesy of AMCU.