Newcrest managing director and chief executive officer Sandeep Biswas said a second drill hole had been established following initial contact with trapped worker Pak Mursalim Sahman on Wednesday.
“A second drill hole is now serving as a dedicated communication link with Pak Mursalim Sahman, the employee trapped underground at the Kencana underground mine,” he said.
“All efforts remain focused on the rescue operation. We now have two viable extraction options. The first of which is to bore a large diameter hole down into the chamber where Pak Mursalim is located.
“The pilot hole broke through at approximately midnight local time and we are now progressively expanding the size of the hole. The second option is being progressed in parallel with the first.
“However it is a complex undertaking and rigorous geotechnical and risk assessments are being incorporated into all of our activities to ensure the safety of the rescue team and Pak Mursalim leading up to and during the actual extraction process.”
Mr Biswas said Pak Mursalim remained in high spirits and had been able to communicate with his family. He was providing information to assist with his rescue.
Food and water was being provided through the first small diameter drill hole established on 10 February and onsite health professionals were continuously monitoring his physical and mental health.
A mine worker at Newcrest Mining’s Gosowong gold mine in Indonesia has been trapped about 300m underground after a “geotechnical event” caused damage to a number of mining levels.
The cause of the event, which occurred at 8:30pm (local time) on 8 February 2016 at the Kencana underground mine at Gosowong, remains unknown.
Newcrest stated that Kencana was evacuated immediately after the event with all other personnel accounted for. No other injuries were reported.
“At this time, our priority is to contact and rescue the trapped employee and provide all support necessary to the employee’s family and the Gosowong workforce,” Newcrest stated.
“All efforts and specialist resources are being applied to the rescue.
“We have notified the family of the trapped employee and relevant Indonesian authorities.”
All Gosowong mining and processing operations have been suspended.