20 Dec 2010

New mine recovery plan being prepared

10:51 am on 20 December 2010

A new plan to recover the bodies of the 29 men in the Pike River coal mine is being prepared.

Receiver John Fisk says the company intends to submit the proposal to Government ministers and officials on Wednesday.

The development of a new plan has been welcomed by Energy and Resources Minister Gerry Brownlee, who has publicly expressed impatience with the pace of operations so far.

He says that when the 'gag' machine was brought in, families and the Government were told the mine would be made inert and stable within hours; but 21 days later, that has not happened.

The Government will refer the detailed action plan to independent experts for assessment.

A series of explosions began in the mine on 19 November. Pike River Coal went into receivership on 13 December.