Four years on, not enough funds to retrieve bodies of Lily Mine workers

SABC News Lilymine1 @MiningReview - Four years on, not enough funds to retrieve bodies of Lily Mine workers

Vantage Goldfields says it is currently raising funds to retrieve a container in which three miners were trapped at the Lily mine near Barberton in Mpumalanga four years ago.

Pretty Nkambule, Yvonne Mnisi and Solomon Nyirenda were working underground inside the container when the mine caved in four years ago.

Commemorations for the tragedy took place at the mine site on Wednesday.

Vantage Goldfields CEO Mike McChesney says the firm is still planning to recover the container once they have raised enough funds for the necessary resources.

McChesney says, “The situation is that when we conducted the rescue and recovery operation back in 2016 –  mining experts and the union deemed it too unsafe to continue. So, on a collective decision, it was decided to call that off. We didn’t stop there. We immediately commissioned a new design for a shaft to be sunk where the bodies are located. That remains the plan to recover the container and the bodies.”

“The issue around this is it costs R130 million to sink that new shaft and as a result we have put the company into business rescue so that we could raise those funds,” added McChesney.

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