A weekly operational update for families, 4 October 2021

Hi all - 4 October 2021 Operational update for families

Despite the spraying of the 30m seal being delayed by one day due to loss of power, the spraying went to plan, completing the 500mm lifts with photos taken at the end of each day, and then sent to the engineer based in Australia for sign off prior to the next day’s spraying. The majority of the spraying will be carried out in the upcoming week and finished by Thursday 7 October.

We are currently tracking on schedule to have the mine sealed by early to mid-November.

Rehabilitation work programme

The grizzly deck decommissioning is going well, however the whole deck cannot be dismantled until the drill holes have been sealed, as the deck is required to hold the drill rigs while the holes are being sealed.

A risk assessment was also completed last week on decommissioning the nitrogen plant post the 30m seal construction. Once the Ventilation Officer has completed some further testing on the integrity of the type-D seal, planning will be underway to decommission the nitrogen plant for collection by the supplier by mid-November at the latest, and to remove the nitrogen lines off the hill prior to Christmas.

NZ Police drilling programme

No Police drilling work was undertaken last week, week ending 30 September as the priority was the 30m seal completion as the spaying is completed in layers and requires sufficient time to cure for integrity purposes.  Drilling work will recommence this week with breakthrough, followed by camera and scanning work, which will be completed in parallel for efficiency.

Due to the impact of COVID -19 lockdown the timelines for the drilling programme are being reviewed further this week in collaboration with NZ Police (Dave Greig and team) with some slight modifications expected. A revised timeline will be made available to you all in the coming weeks.

WorkSafe visit

A scheduled WorkSafe visit occurred at the mine site earlier in the week, focused on the onsite audit of the sealing at the 30m, viewing the shotcreting from the portal, with no issues reported.

Impact of the power outage on operations

The West Coast and outlying areas suffered a power outage from around 9.30am onwards on Thursday 30 September.

As the main fan was off for more than 30 minutes and men were withdrawn from the mine, the Site Senior Executive notified WorkSafe (a requirement under the regulations). The power was out for 57 minutes. Once back on, underground operations recommenced, and spraying of the 30m seal continued to ensure the required 500mm daily cover was completed.

Work for the coming week for the reporting period Friday 1 October to Thursday 7 October will be centred on the following:

  1. Completion of the 30m type D seal
  2. Police drilling programme (break through, camera and scanning work)
  3. Form work for the concrete plinths, and
  4. Rehabilitation work at the mine site.

Non-operations update

The Agency’s annual audit was carried out by Audit New Zealand, with no non-compliance issues.

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

Have a good week.

Kind regards

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