UPDATED 12.15PM: All 28 miners trapped underground after a fire at a Waihi gold mine today have been brought to the surface.
Miners entered the refuge chambers when fire alarms sounded at 5am. They reported by phone to the surface, and all were accounted for.
By 10.30am 13 miners from two of the chambers were brought to the surface by the Mines Rescue Team.
The Favona mine, Union Hill.
A truck engine caught fire at about 5am today filling the Trio mine with smoke, that was later seen coming from the vent shaft on Union Hill.
By mid-morning the Mines Rescue Team was working on evacuating the remaining 15 miners from the third refuge chamber.
“We have been notifying families and the local community since early this morning,” says the report.
Three Newmont Waihi Gold Mines Rescue Teams are on site to assist with the evacuation.
One of those teams is underground, and two more are ready to assist. Newmont has also been offered assistance from NZ Mines Rescue and Solid Energy.
The refuge chambers are of varying sizes have air, water and first aid supplies, where the miners wait until given the all-clear.
The Trio mine is a hardrock gold mine and there is no risk of a mine explosion.
All operations at the mine have been halted.
The Trio mine is under Union Hill and comprises the Union, Trio and Amaranth veins. Construction of two development drives, 590 metres and 790 metres in length, began in 2010.
Access to the Trio Mine is through the Favona portal. The Trio project will produce around 1 million tonnes of ore for approximately 200,000 oz of gold at 6-7 grams per tonne average grade. Trio is due for completion in 2014.
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