Experts discuss recovery plan at Pike mine

10:00 pm on 26 February 2013

The spokesperson for some of the families of the men who died in the Pike River mine disaster has accepted that developing a recovery plan will be more difficult and take longer than he thought.

Twenty-nine men were killed following a series of explosions that began at the West Coast mine on 19 November 2010. The mine has been sealed due to risk of further blasts.

On Tuesday, three international mining experts employed by some of the families talked with the Government's experts from the High Hazards Unit, mine owner Solid Energy and the Mines Rescue Trust for several hours via video conference in Christchurch.

Bernie Monk, a spokesperson for some families, is frustrated that a final recovery plan for bodies is still months away, but says the meeting was constructive.

The parties have agreed to continue working on two possible methods for exploring the main entry tunnel, although neither would reveal what these are.

In 2012, Prime Minister John Key promised the families the Government would fund the recovery if a technically feasible and financially credible plan could be developed.