Glencore has officially ended the search for a miner who went missing at its Mt Isa mine on Wednesday.
The miner, now formally identified as 34 year old Brett Kelly, had been missing since midday Wednesday, although he was not reported as such until 3:30pm that day.
Upon notification Glencore immediately halted all operations as it searched for the missing man at its Mt Isa copper mine.
However the search was hampered by the nature of the underground mine itself, which one former worker told Australian Mining was a 'labyrinth’.
Glencore has now officially ceased search operations “and are working with the Queensland Police Service on the next stage”.
According to Mount Isa police inspector Trevor Kidd the search has become a recovery mission.
Kidd pointed to harsh environment of the mine and the length of time he was missing as the reason for the change.
“From a search and rescue perspective, the police have ceased their operation but there’s a massive operation still ahead to determine what happened and to locate Brett,” Kidd said.
“I’ve personally spoken to all the family members, advising them of what is happening and what the processes are.”
“I am deeply saddened and disappointed that we have been unable to locate Brett,” North Queensland Copper Operations COO Mike Westerman added.
“We are now continuing to work with Queensland police, the Department of Natural Resources and Mines, and other relevant authorities as part of the ongoing investigation in to this matter.
“We are also keeping Brett’s family fully informed and providing them with all the support we can.”
More than 200 miners have assisted police and Mine Search and Rescue Teams in their search for Kelly since he went missing.