A group of 11 technical advisors has been appointed by the Pike River Recovery Agency to provide independent advice addressing the safety and feasibility of a manned re-entry to the Pike River Mine.

Technical advisors appointed

A group of 11 technical advisors has been appointed by the Pike River Recovery Agency to provide independent advice addressing the safety and feasibility of a manned re-entry to the Pike River Mine.

Late last year the Government Electronic Tender Service procurement site (GETS) called for technical experts in one or more of the following subject areas:

  • Geotechnical engineering
  • Mining ventilation
  • Underground coal fires
  • Mine sealing and/or remote sealing
  • Mining health and safety
  • Facilitation services

 “We were looking for suppliers with the capability, experience and skills to provide expert input and review services for the Agency’s development of the Pike River mine drift recovery plan.  The process attracted international interest, but we also note the majority of expertise is sourced either on the West Coast or elsewhere in New Zealand,” Pike River Recovery Agency Chief Executive Dave Gawn says.

The preferred suppliers who will be part of the Agency’s Technical Experts Alliance, are as follows:

Geotechnical engineers:

  • McMillen Jacobs Associates - Auckland
  • Open Earth Consulting NZ Limited - Greymouth
  • Terra Firma Mining Ltd - Ngaruawahia

Mining ventilation experts:

  • Dallas Mining Services - Australia
  • Robin Hughes - Greymouth
  • Minserv International Ltd - Blenheim
  • Terra Firma Mining Ltd - Ngaruawahia

Underground Coal Fire Experts:

  • Dallas Mining Services - Australia
  • Robin Hughes - Greymouth
  • Serinus Pty Ltd - Australia
  • Terra Firma Mining Ltd - Ngaruawahia

Mine Sealing and Remote Sealing:

  • Dallas Mining Services – Australia
  • Minserv International Ltd - Blenheim
  • MRS Training and Rescue – United Kingdom
  • Robin Hughes - Greymouth
  • Terra Firma Mining Ltd - Ngaruawahia

Mining Health and Safety:

  • Jim Knowles Group – Australia
  • Minserv International Ltd - Blenheim

Facilitation Services:

  • Kenyon International Emergency Services Ltd – United Kingdom
  • McNulty Engineering Management Ltd - Hokitika

Mr Gawn said the Technical Experts Alliance would also include Families Reference Group technical expert(s), the Agency’s Chief Operating Officer Dinghy Pattinson and other specialists.

“This is an important step in ensuring our plans looking at the possibility of re-entering the drift are robust in every way.  We believe we have the right mix of skillsets and experience to reassure the Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry, Hon Andrew Little, and the extended Pike River families, that any decisions to proceed to the safe manned re-entry and recovery of the mine drift will have been scrutinised to the ‘nth degree,” he says.

The newly appointed technical advisors will meet soon for a background briefing.