Newcrest has made “significant progress” in its efforts to rescue a miner trapped underground for close to a week.
The worker, Pak Mursalim Sahman, was trapped after a ‘geotechnical event’ at Newcrest’s Gosowong Kencana underground mine.
“The event caused damage to a number of mining levels,” Newcrest said in a company statement.
“The Kencana mine was evacuated immediately after the event and all personnel have been accounted for, except for one employee who is believed to be trapped approximately 300 metres underground.”
Since that time Newcrest has carried out concerted efforts to rescue the miner.
It has now made a breakthrough.
“Earlier this morning we broke through into the chamber where Pak Mursalim is located after completing the boring of a 70 centimetre diameter hole approximately 38 metres deep,” Newcrest said in a company statement.
“This is a significant milestone in developing our primary rescue option. Before we attempt final extraction we will need to line the bore hole so that we can safely bring Pak Mursalim up.
“It is expected that lining the hole will take several days.”
In the meantime Newcrest is also creating a second extraction option, a new lateral development drive from the main decline to Pak Mursalim’s location.
To date the trapped miner remains in good health, with Newcrest installing a telephone line to the worker.
However Newcrest is yet to outline when he will be rescue.
“I am not able to give a definitive timeframe at this stage,” Newcrest CEO Sandeep Biswas said, “but rescue work is taking place around the clock.”