The inquiry was not limited to events at the mine, but extended to the actions of the regulators and the effectiveness of mining regulation and practice in New Zealand. In 2005 the Pike board decided to proceed with development of the mine. Undoubtedly there was a failure to control methane at Pike River on 19 November 2010. Development costs escalated over the $143 million figure projected in 2007. The families have stated that “We have been told that it was put on a helicopter contracted by Pike River Coal and taken to the mine office. Work Health and Safety Bill passes Upper House, Former head of health & safety joins RED 5 board, Accident | Truck driver crushed by excavator bucket, Anglo’s remote multi-pass drill wins QLD mining innovation award, Pembroke’s Olive Downs mine approved in QLD, Government to mandate AEB emergency braking technology in light vehicles, Glencore Mutanda mine logistics company kills 20, Caterpillar safety bulletin issued on Grader Wheel Spindles, South Australia aiming for more mining jobs, High fatalities from truck accident demand greater safety standards.

Pike River Coal sold the mine in March for NZ$7.5m, considerably less than the NZ$400m the mine was valued at prior to the accident, and selected Solid Energy over interested parties from Australia, Asia and South America as the New Zealand firm were reportedly the only one to prioritise the recovery of the miners’ bodies over other plans for the mine. Associated risks were not properly assessed. A mine ventilation system must provide fresh air throughout the workings, and take return (foul) air out of the mine. It was distracted by the financial and production pressures that confronted the company. Unlike his company, he was not convicted, instead reaching an agreement to pay NZ$3.4m to the families affected by the tragedy, a move that angered many related to the victims, and did little to dispel a growing public image of Pike River Coal as a company more interested in profit than safety, and one ultimately unrepentant for its actions. “Or, even if it is, whether other options such as an eventual re-entry to all or part of the mine will be feasible.”. was photographed on the 28th of November 2010 after it was blown up a 111-metre vent shaft and landed on the ground above the mine. Market credibility, capital raising, higher coal production, increased ventilation capacity, methane management and upskilling the workforce were significant challenges facing the company. The emergency focus changed to recovery of the bodies. [2] Pike River Coal Ltd, Roadway Names: Rescue_101119_208, 4 August 2011, MBIE3000010015/1. According to the Royal Commission Report ‘The 2007 underground fan risk assessment had identified ‘built-in explosion proofing’ and protection as a control for placement of the main fan underground, and Pike told insurance risk assessors in 2010 the underground fan would be located in ‘explosion protected panels’, but no protection was in place.’.

They were in the stone access tunnel (drift), a distance from the pit bottom area where the main workplaces were located. Pike installed fixed sensors that reported to the control room, but at the time of the explosion there were too few and they were not well sited. A two-man health, safety and environment committee was to lead this process and report to the board. By March 2011, the company had resumed control of the mine, although it was tasked with overseeing mine stabilisation operations, rather than restarting production. In broad terms the commission was required to report on: The commission was also asked to make recommendations about the prevention of mine disasters, the improvement of search, rescue and recovery operations, any necessary changes to mining law and practice and how to make the Pike River mine safe should it not be reopened. The seam dips in an easterly direction between a sheer escarpment to the west and the Hawera Fault to the east. A team of three rescuers were able to reach a set of sealed doors 30m into the mine, watched by a number of members from the Pike River Recovery Agency and the Pike River Family Reference Group, a body representing the families of the 29 victims.