Two zinc miners who were trapped underground for almost 24 hours at the Perilya mine in Broken Hill were freed yesterday afternoon.
The two men were trapped after a severe dust storm on Monday night led to a loss of power to the entire region.
They were trapped in a cage around 900 metres underground for a total of 22 hours.
Broken Hill Operations’ Mine Rescue Team mounted a two and a half hour rescue operation after it became clear that the mine’s power would not be restored.
The men were freed around 4:30pm yesterday afternoon.
According to Construction Forestry Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) spokesman Greg Braes, the men were in no immediate danger while being trapped.
“They were stuck in the shaft which can be a bit cool and a bit uncomfortable,” he told MINING DAILY.
“They had communication, as well as a line through to them so they were supplied with food, water and blankets and whatever they could.
“The worst thing about it is the time that they had to sit in this bloody cage and wait.”
Perilya said that the power disruption is still in effect at the mine, with full power not expected to be restored for a further six days.
According to Perilya managing director Paul Arndt, the company expects the power outage to have little effect on its metal production and expects to remain within a few per cent of its stated market guidance of 30,000 tonnes.