A weekly update for families emailed on 27 September 2021.

Hi all,

On Wednesday 22 September 2021 a large tree went down by pond seven and took out the power line and Hendrix line at 10pm at night. As a result, the main fan was off, WorkSafe was notified and Electronet visited the site on Thursday 23 September to fix the problem. Underground operations were paused resulting in the spraying of the 30m seal scheduled for Friday 24 September being delayed until today (Monday 27 September 2021).

The Agency is currently tracking on schedule to have the mine sealed by early November, however the drilling programme could still impact on underground operations and further delay this timeline; as has last week’s tree down/power lost event.

The Agency (Dinghy Pattinson) is investigating if other mining operations in New Zealand might be interested in purchasing equipment that is no longer required for Agency operations, and not required by Department of Conservation for their memorial visitor centre located at the mine site.  This equipment includes gas detectors, real time and tube bundle gas monitoring systems, along with other sundry items currently being identified and checked against the schedule of items being handed over to Department of Conservation.  It does not include underground diesel equipment (which were leased for the operation). Department of Conservation were updated on this matter at the recent monthly liaison meeting.

Minserv International completed an independent audit on the drilling operations against the principal hazard management plan and risk assessment. The report was very thorough, and no non-compliance issues were observed, nor any recommendations suggested, which is a very positive result. The report has been published on the Agency’s website. 

Due to the delays caused by the recent COVID-19 lockdown, and the planned review by the NZ Police’s experts of the camera footage, timelines are currently being reviewed jointly by the NZ Police and the Agency.  The likely outcome is a short extension to the NZ Police borehole drilling programme timeline and the then flow on effect on the Agency’s rehabilitation plan, the handover of the site to Department of Conservation and then the disestablishment of the Agency.

Work for the upcoming reporting period Friday 24 September to Thursday 30 September:

  • K2 environmental onsite for health monitoring checks
  • Spraying 30m type D seal
  • Continuing with the Police drilling programme
  • Rehabilitation works - dismantling platforms and the Ventshaft deck upgrade
  • Ventilation, Health & Safety committee and project planning meetings.

Should you want to discuss the Agency’s operations or department activities, please feel free to email or call me – the Agency continues to have an open door policy with appropriate COVID-19 controls in place, and we remain committed to being open and transparent in our work.

Our website has been updated with new documents as the Agency’s work progresses. Please see the documents tab.

Take care everyone. 

Michelle Wessing (she/her)
Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa | Pike River Recovery Agency