Eight miners remain missing at Perkoa nickel op: Trevali

Canadian-based operator Trevali Mining said its continuing a search for eight miners that have been missing since a flooding event at the Perkoa nickel mine in Burkina Faso on 16 April.

In an update report released 9 May, company officials said it has removed 32 million litres of water so far from the mine, restoring access to Level 550, but to date there has not been any communication with the missing group and their location has not been determined.

The company, which said it will continue to search for the eight workers 24 hours a day with its rescue crews working at maximum capacity, is also continuing to strengthen its search capabilities with additional equipment and resources.

Also during this process, senior representatives of Trevali and Byrnecut, Perkoa’s mining contractor, have been in daily communication with the workers’ families and offer ongoing support.

“We are working in solidarity with all levels of government and as fast as we possibly can using all available resources in the country, as well as importing additional machinery and equipment to assist with locating our missing colleagues,” said President and CEO Ricus Grimbeek.

He also said Trevali is appreciative of the support it has been receiving from the government and various agencies of Burkina Faso. 

“We welcome the decision by the government to move its crisis management committee nearer to the mine site to better include family members of the missing workers and facilitate closer collaboration as we rapidly work to locate the missing individuals. We will remain closely engaged with government authorities to help the community respond to the impacts of the recent flooding,” he added. 

In addition to the dewatering, the miner said that it has been carefully rebuilding a road to aid in search efforts; that access, on more than 5,000 metres of underground decline ramp, will help not only with the mission to find the individuals but also to safely install and operate pumping and piping infrastructure to remove additional floodwater. 

As of 8 May, the company had used approximately 25,000 tonnes of waste rock to rehab the access ramp, welded and installed 5,000 metres of new poly pipe alongside existing pipes, and installed more than 24 electric and diesel pumps.

Trevali, based in Vancouver, holds 90% of Perkoa. It also owns 90% of the Rosh Pinah mine in Namibia and wholly owns the Caribou mine in northern New Brunswick, Canada. 

Source: Trevali Mining

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