A recording of the last contact with workers in the Pike River mine has been aired publicly for the first time.

The recording, in which a rumbling sound can be heard, followed by an operator asking if anyone was there, comes on the third anniversary of the tragedy in which 29 men were killed.

The tape, aired by Radio New Zealand today, was recorded at 3.44pm on November 19, 2010.

The mine had an intercom system which was linked to the control room.


Mine worker Dan Duggan was in the control room and used the intercom to speak with a worker, RNZ reported.

He started by saying "Hello ABM or Roadheader", attempting to speak with workers who used those machines.

Malcom Campbell answered with, "Hello Dan, who are you after?"

As Mr Duggan starts to reply, a low rumbling can be heard after which Mr Duggan continually asks for somebody to reply.

"Hello sparkies ... hello underground any sparkies."

An alarm in the background sounds as Mr Duggan continues asking for a response from miners underground.

A transcript of the recording was read to the Royal Commission into the tragedy, which was the first time some of the families knew it existed, RNZ reported.

Remembering the Pike River tragedy, in photos: