Solid Energy has completed the first stage of the sealing of the Pike River Mine. The type ‘c’ seal is the primary means of holding methane inside the mine and excluding air from the mine.
The focus has now moved to the next stage of the seal construction which is the construction of a thicker stronger seal that provides a more robust barrier against any pressure surge in the mine (e.g. by way of explosion or water).
Solid Energy sees no way that the site can be left incompletely sealed when risk assessments have identified potential occurrences that may arise in the future which the seal design will address. The seal is to all intents and purposes permanent, however by agreement with the families, is technically reversible.
The company is disappointed that Allied Concrete has decided not to supply products to an important safety-related, and technically challenging project.
The company is continuing with the sealing process which has been underway for nearly two years and is scheduled to be completed in early 2017.
Full details that the company relied upon to reach its decision in November 2014 that it was not safe to re-enter the Pike River Mine drift are publicly available on the Solid Energy website solidenergy.co.nz .