Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little has signed off the Pike River Recovery Agency’s Concept Plan outlining three re-entry options.

The Pike River Recovery Agency, Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau mā Iwa, is focused on developing a safe plan to re-enter the mine drift, to promote accountability for this tragedy, to give the Pike River families closure and to help prevent future mining tragedies.

“The expert advice we’ve received shows a safe manned re-entry and recovery of the mine drift is technically feasible and the risks of harm can be managed and minimised,” Agency Chief Executive Dave Gawn says.

The Agency has produced three options for consideration which will now be developed further, including:  Building a new two metre by two metre tunnel, around 200 metres long, to the Pit Bottom in Stone area; drilling a large diameter borehole; and re-entering the main drift as it is with no second means of egress (exit).

“We’ve started to develop a detailed plan, with full risk assessments, hazard management plans and costings, and aim to get that back to the Minister for further consideration by the end of October,” he says.

A procurement process is well underway to find contractors who will be involved in detailed planning and risk analysis, as well as mine sealing and rehabilitation works at the completion of the project.