Archive for September, 2010


Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010

Chile hopes for earlier rescue of trapped miners

By Antonio de la Jara
and Jorge MedinaPosted 2010/09/21 at 2:16 pm EDT

COPIAPO, Chile, Sep. 21, 2010 (Reuters) — Rescuers could free 33 miners weeks earlier than expected as drills work around the clock to bore an escape shaft to the men trapped underground for 47 days.

Workers operate the Xtrata 950 drill, which is digging a hole for trapped miners to escape from, in Copiapo, some 725 km (450 miles) north of Santiago September 21, 2010. The first of three rescue drills last Friday reached 33 Chilean miners trapped for six weeks half a mile (0.70 kilometre) underground, but it will still take weeks to widen the shaft enough to extract the men. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Rapid progress by three drills has improved the chances of reaching the miners in October instead of November as first thought, a senior official in the challenging rescue operation told Reuters on Tuesday.

The men have been trapped in a copper and gold mine 2,300 feet below Chile’s arid Atacama desert since it caved in on August 5.

Their fight for survival has captivated the attention of the Chilean nation and drawn support from foreign presidents, Pope Benedict and World Cup soccer stars.

“It is likely that the rescue operation will take place in October if we have no delays,” said the official, who asked not to be named because he was not allow to speak publicly.

Relatives said they are confident the miners will be back on the surface in early October, but worry about their mental health after spending weeks in the dimly-lit and hot tunnel.

“I want to take him home as soon as possible,” said Alicia Campos, mother of trapped miner Daniel Herrera. “But I fear he will not come out of the mine the same person who went in.”

Chile’s government brought in a team of NASA experts and submariners for advice on how to keep the miners mentally and physically fit during their prolonged confinement in the dark.

Rescuers are in contact with the miners down several small ducts through which they deliver food and water, letters from relatives and even soccer videos.

The men were in high spirits on the weekend when they cheered and clapped as they watched celebrations of the 200th anniversary of Chile’s independence on a small video projector linked to the surface by optic fiber cable. They watched singers perform for their relatives near the mine.

Rescuers also lowered them traditional meat pies and soda — a reprieve from a strict diet aimed at keeping the men healthy, but thin enough to fit through the rescue shaft.

The miners, who range from a former professional soccer player to a first-time miner and a Bolivian immigrant, have exchanged letters and videos with their relatives — including images of the birth of the daughter of one of them.

The miners keep busy clearing away debris that falls into the mine as the drill bores through the earth above them.

The Chilean Navy is building rescue capsules — dubbed the “Phoenix” for the mythical bird that rises from its ashes — that will be used to winch the men to the surface one by one after the bore hole diameter is widened to 28 inches.

(Writing by Alonso Soto; Editing by Anthony Boadle)

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


The exposed ore visible in the pit at the Cairn Hill Mine near Coober Pedy

Resources developer, IMX Resources Limited (ASX:IXR) is pleased to announce that it has received $14.6 million from private Chinese investor Sichuan Taifeng.

IMX Board will use these funds to continue the development of the Cairn Hill Phase 1 project in South Australia. Importantly, shipping is expected to commence in mid to late Q3. Continue reading ?

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha


Tuesday, September 14th, 2010


Cairn Hill – Pit1, first blast, shot being loaded, with drilled ground and partial mining fleet in background

Miner, IMX Resources Limited (ASX:IXR) is pleased to announce that the first blast of ore has occurred at its Cairn Hill Phase 1 magnetite – copper – gold mine in South Australia and the mine is now in production.

IMX has been pre-stripping the first pit for four months for construction material for the ROM  and laydown pads. To date approximately 380,000 bcm of material has been moved. The top of the orebody adjacent to the trial mine in Pit 1 has been exposed, drilled and blasted. This first blast comprises approximately 40,000 tonnes of ore. Continue reading ?

Sourced & published by Henry Sapiecha