Waihi miners back at work

Work at Newmont Waihi Gold's Trio underground mine started up again last night after 60 hours of disruption caused by a truck fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Miners spent last night inspecting for any damage to underground services like power, water, and communication, and went through regular maintenance of underground vehicles.

The mining crew that were on shift during the time of the fire were back at work today for the first time since the fire.

Production from the mine will also start again today.

High hazard unit inspectors and Newmont staff were also able to get very close to the burnt out truck with thermal imaging equipment, which showed that while the fire was completely out the truck was still in the process of cooling down from the fire.

The truck will be cordoned off where it is to await forensic investigation.

"Some early lessons from the fire were already starting to filter through", said General Manager of Operations Glen Grindlay.

"One of the things that we discovered quite early on is that some of the guys underground had put down their own mobile phone numbers as being the best way of contacting their families, and that meant that we weren't able to get hold of people as quickly as we would've liked to.

We'll be working to ensure that everyone working in the mine provides us with current contact details for their families so that we don't have this situation again."

Investigations into the cause of the fire and the extraction of the miners from the underground is expected to take a week or more.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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