One month after eight workers were trapped within the Perkoa nickel mine in Burkina Faso after flooding, and despite 24-hour-per-day searches, rescue crews have confirmed they reached the mine’s refuge chamber and that the unit was empty.
The chamber, located at Level 520, about 570 metres below ground, was still intact but had not been used. Searchers have pledged to continue searching around the clock.
The flood event, which sent millions of litres of water into the mine, occurred on 16 April.
Earlier this month, Trevalis said it had been working to dewater the mine and 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.
“This is devastating news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to our colleagues’ families and friends during this difficult time,” said President and CEO Ricus Grimbeek.
“We will continue our search efforts unabated and reaffirm our commitment to work at full-speed to find our colleagues.”
Representatives from Trevali, Perkoa and contractor Byrnecut have all been in close communication with the families of the missing workers and are continuing to offer support, the company said.
It also will remain in close connection with Burkinabe authorities as efforts continue.
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.