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Pike River mine formally on market next week

Thursday 31st March 2011

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Pike River Coal's West Coast mine, in which 29 men died last November, is to be formally put on the market next week.

Receivers PricewaterhouseCoopers said they wanted to have the damaged mine sold by the end of June, the New Zealand Herald reported today.

Advice from the mine rescue group was that it was still not safe to go into the mine, receiver John Fisk said.

It was hoped that at the weekend a bore hole to the mine area would be finished to allow laser monitoring equipment to be lowered into it.

It was planned to lower the equipment into the pit bottom area next Wednesday.

Advertising for the mine will start in Australia next week and companies that could be interested are being contacted. About 120 different industry contacts are being targeted.

State-owned Solid Energy has declared its interest and said it was prepared to spend up to $100 million on a concept plan to resume mining at Pike, inland from Greymouth.

Earlier this week Grey District Mayor Tony Kokshoorn said families of the 29 men who died in the November 19 blast were "totally fed up" with delays in entering the mine.

The receivers should enter the mine or stand aside and let someone else go in, he said.



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