This weekend ended in tragedy in the Dominican Republic. Two miners, one Dominican and one Colombian, were trapped after collapsing rocks in a copper and zinc mine in the province of Monseñor (center). Thus, the rescue has a somewhat longer forecast than many would like. This Tuesday the owner company has informed through a press conference that this it may take several weeks.
“They will be some very challenging weeks before achieving the rescue (…) at the moment we cannot determine the exact time for this, because the tasks are slow and we must respect the procedures,” said the president of the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom), Paul Marinko.
The rockfall accident occurred in the underground mine level 215, where the Colombian expert Carlos Yepez Ospina and the Dominican mine assistant Gregory Méndez Torres were. That they were trapped and have already been locked up for three days.
Initially, the company claimed that the two miners were in good health and, as proof of this, he presented a photograph taken on Tuesday in which the two of them were smiling.
Carlos Yepez’s wife traveled from Colombia and has been in the country since yesterday, while the relatives of Méndez Torres, who is the father of two minors, have been in the place since Sunday, since he is a native of the place.
Thus, President Marinko has affirmed that Yepez and Méndez are receiving solid food, drinks and have enough air to keep in good condition underground. Therefore, it has not set off the alarms for a possible death due to suffocation, dehydration or malnutrition.
“We are using two processes to reach them. One of them is the drilling of an encapsulated steel tunnel in the same area of the collapse, about 31.6 meters, and another in a nearby area of about 70 meters,” said Marinko.
Thus, he has also commented that the rescue work is being carried out by a team of 70 people, led by specialized technicians from the United States, Australia, Canada, Mexico and Peru.
“Our only priority is to rescue Carlos and Gregory. The operations of the mine are completely paralyzed until we bring them to the surface,” said the executive, who also explained that the relatives have access to the front of the company and receive psychological assistance.
The Cerros de Maimón mine is located in the Monseñor Nouel province, about 100 kilometers north of the Dominican capital. And, the company has thanked the “full support” it has received after the incident from the Dominican Government “especially” from the country’s president, Luis Abinader.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.