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Solid Energy releases Pike River coal mine safety statement

World Coal,

Solid Energy’s board chair, Pip Dunphy, has emphasised the importance of safety in relation to the company’s project to re-enter the drift at the Pike River coal mine.

“We understand that the time it is taking to complete our evaluation of the risks is frustrating for the family members and we are trying to complete this work as quickly as we can,” Dunphy commented. “It is Solid Energy’s responsibility to make this decision and we will do so, once we have all the information required to make a fully-informed decision.”

Solid Energy is obliged to consult with WorkSafe if and when the company considers it has a safe and credible plan to re-enter the drift.

Dunphy continued: “In August 2013, we received the preliminary risk assessment work, a document which highlights the step-by-step risks. That was also the time when we were fully engaged with the process of sealing the ventilation shaft.

“The process is iterative and comprehensive. Following the preliminary risk assessment, the Board’s advisor recommended further assessment of the risks, a step which is aligned to industry best practice. This has involved much more detailed examinations of all risks which could lead to serious injury or fatalities, and this was completed in July this year.

“We are now in a stage of final oversight review by the management team and independent experts and are awaiting some of these last evaluations and individual experts’ opinions.”

Adapted from press release by Katie Woodward

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