The rescue operation to free the 33 copper miners trapped in a mine in northern Chile is advancing well while costs of rescue efforts soar, according to Chilean Mining Minister Laurence Golborne.

Experts are considering three options for reaching the miners in the shortest time as the miners complete one month underground, according to a report by AFP.

The Plan A tunnel has already hit 100m of the total 702m it has to drill to reach the miners, while the Plan C tunnel, scheduled to begin on 18 September, could reduce the rescue time to two months by having to drill only 597m.

The cost of rescue operations could be reportedly around $10m.

The massive rescue effort has employed hundreds of technicians, engineers, doctors and psychologists and the trapped miners are expected to be rescued in mid-November.