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Continued monitoring of the mine atmosphere this week shows whilst there has been a decrease in carbon monoxide levels, it is still not safe to attempt the planned stabilisation work at the portal of the mine. The situation will continue to be monitored so work on the portal can commence as soon as possible.
PwC Partner, John Fisk, one of the Receivers of Pike River Coal Limited (In receivership) says, “the situation is being assessed daily by Pike River mine management in consultation with the New Zealand Mines Rescue Service, gas experts and the Expert Panel established by the Receivers. Safety is our first priority and in this regard we will not allow the work in the portal to commence until we have sign off from Mines Rescue and the other experts.”
During the past week, those working on the Mine Stabilisation plan have carried out sealing work around the vent shaft. It is believed this has contributed to a decrease in gas levels and it is hoped this trend will continue. However, changes in the atmospheric conditions in the area are also expected to impact on gas levels in the mine.
Alongside the sealing work around the vent shaft, work has also been carried out setting up what is needed for the portal configuration, including electrical lines and compressors.
“We will continue to provide weekly reports on the status of the mine to the families of the 29 men and will continue to provide updates on any further developments,” adds Mr Fisk.