Missing Tasmanian miner likely dead, police say

Police say it is highly unlikely a missing miner has survived an earth collapse at a gold mine on Tasmania’s west coast.

A drone with three-dimensional laser technology was overnight used to map a section of the Henty Gold Mine, where the man went missing around 4am on Thursday.

“The amount of debris that has fallen into that scene, we now think it’s highly unlikely that our missing miner has survived,” Tasmania Police Inspector Shane Lefevre told reporters on Friday morning.

“Our thoughts immediately have gone out to the family and friends. This community is a mining community and it’s very devastated at the moment.”

media_cameraInspector Shane Lefevre gives an update into the search for the missing miner at the Henty gold mine. Picture: Grant Wells

The man, believed to be from the nearby town of Queenstown, was operating a loader on a night shift about 700 metres underground.

Images from the drone have shown the cabin of the loader is completely underneath large and small rocks.

PYBAR Mining Services CEO Brendan Rouse said it is too dangerous to send crews to that part of the mine for a recovery effort, as rock was still collapsing on Thursday night.

“We’ll come up with a plan of how we’re going to do it. But it won’t involve putting people into the unsafe area,” he said “The area is quite isolated within the mine. It’s quite a big mine. It’s safe for people to access the mine, but obviously not in the exact area.”

The man is believed to be from the nearby town of Queenstown. Picture: Grant Wellspacific.epeak.in/wp-content/uploads/2020/01/Missing-Tasmanian-miner-likely-dead-police-say.webp”/>
media_cameraThe man is believed to be from the nearby town of Queenstown. Picture: Grant Wells

A thermal imaging device and robotic drone were used on Thursday to try and find the man, who is believe to have worked at the mine for about two years.

His name hasn’t been released publicly out of respect for his family. Production at the mine has ceased indefinitely.

Mr Rouse said there was no indication of a seismic event around when the rock collapsed.

Originally published as Missing Tasmanian miner likely dead

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