Miners rescued after fire at Newmont’s New Zealand gold mine

16 July 2012 (Last Updated July 16th, 2012 18:30)

A fire at a Newmont Mining-owned gold mine in New Zealand has led to the evacuation of 28 miners trapped in the underground refuge chambers.

A fire at a Newmont Mining-owned gold mine in New Zealand has led to the evacuation of 28 miners trapped in the underground refuge chambers.

The company told reporters in the area that all miners were "accounted for and well" and that the fire has been contained.

A truck engine is thought to have started the fire at Newmont's Waihi Trio gold mine, which is located about 120km southeast of Auckland on North Island.

Three rescue teams, each with six members, evacuated the miners who were 150m underground when the fire broke out on Tuesday.

Thirteen of the trapped men, who took refuge in two safety chambers, got out from the mine five hours after the fire broke out, while the rest were evacuated after seven hours of rescue efforts.

Mine spokeswoman Linda Willoughby said there was no risk of a mine explosion as the mine is a hardrock gold mine, reports the BBC.

The company has halted all operations at the Wahi gold mine and it expects that they will be resumed in two days.