Lily mine rescue operations to resume in six months

Lily mine rescue operations to resume in six months

Picture: Nigel Sibanda

The company said it was still looking for funding to complete the operation.

The search for the remains of three Lily Gold Mine workers, who were trapped underground in Barberton in Mpumalanga in February when a lamproom container they were working in fell into a sinkhole, would resume in the next six to eight months, the company said on Tuesday.

Lily mine’s business rescue practitioner, Rob Devereux, told the African News Agency (ANA) that the company was still looking for funding to complete the operation. He insisted, however, that Lily Mine’s efforts to secure funding would bear fruit before the end of this year.

“We need R200 million and we are hoping to get something imminently,” said Devereux.

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“Lily mine is still closed. We will resume rescue operations when the mine is declared safe. That will happen in the next six to eight months.”

The mine has still not paid other workers their outstanding wages for April and May, added Devereux.

Lily mine workers Yvonne Mnisi, Pretty Nkambule and Solomon Nyerende were trapped underground when a lamproom container they were working in fell into a sinkhole created by a collapsed crown pillar.

Rescue operations were launched in an attempt to rescue the three workers, but later aborted as the mine was declared unsafe. Subsequent recovery operations have also stalled.

Lily mine, which is owned by Vantage Goldfields, subsequently applied to be placed under business rescue administration.

Lily mine’s director of operations, Mike Begg, told ANA in August that a Canadian gold mine company, Afro Can Resources, had pledged to provide funding, adding it later failed to meet its commitments.

A number of Lily mine workers have since taken voluntary severance packages and left the company.

– African News Agency

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