‘No signs of life’ in latest search for miner
SEARCH crews attempting to locate the missing man inside the collapsed Henty Gold Mine have returned to the surface with no clearer picture of where he could be.
Police, fire and specialist mine rescue crews are reviewing the thermal imaging and robotic camera footage taken in the latest attempt to pinpoint the man's location.
Current imaging has not been able to identify any signs of life.
"We are hoping to soon make contact with the missing worker and get him out," Inspector Shane LeFevre said on the surface of the mine at 1pm.
"We are positive he is still with us and hope to get him out within the hour."
The miner, a loader driver from Queenstown who has worked by PYBAR Mining Services at Henty for two years, was reported missing at 4am by co-workers after they could not make contact with him.
Those co-workers found the ground collapsed around where he was loading a truck with ore.
His shift was due to finish at 7am and he is very deep in the mine - about a 20-minute drive underground.
It is hoped he is in his machine which would provide extra protection.
"We will soon be able to identify where he is and what his condition is," PYBAR Mining Services CEO Brendan Rouse said.
"There are currently about 20 emergency workers in the mine including a crew and specialised equipment from the Rosebery mine.
"We are confident he will be found soon but are very distressed at the moment. The focus is on finding him."
Drones and thermal imaging technology are being used as emergency crews try to locate the man - one of about 120 personnel at the west coast mine.
It is the first significant incident at the mine - about 30km from Queenstown - in its history and the first in the Tasmanian mining industry since 2013-14 when three miners were killed in two separate incidents at Mt Lyell copper mine.
Henty Gold Mine first opened in 1996 and was put on care and maintenance in 2015 and reopened in 2017.