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Eight days entrapped – PT Nusa Halmahera Mineral’s rescue of a trapped miner


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Author K Kosmara, A Hilli and J Steyn


PT Nusa Halmahera Minerals (PT NHM) is an Indonesian joint venture company owned by Newcrest Mining Limited (75 per cent) and PT Aneka Tambang (Persero) (25 per cent). PT NHM operates two underground gold mines, Kencana and Toguraci at the Gosowong mine site in North Halmahera District, North Maluku Province, Indonesia.

On 8 February 2016, a major ground movement occurred in the K-Link orebody of the Kencana underground mine, effectively blocking the only two access ways to the stoping area. Following mine clearance, it was found that a Solo production drill rig operator, who had been drilling in the Level 10 Extraction Drive was still underground, cut off from the rest of the mine by the ground movement.

Communication, nutritional and logistic supply to the trapped operator was established with the breakthrough of two diamond drill holes. A range of technical expertise and opinions from both on and off-site were sought and two options were chosen for implementation of the rescue operation. The rescue was completed successfully on 16 February 2016 with the operator being rescued in good physical and mental health.


Kosmara, K, Hilli, A and Steyn, J, 2017. Eight days entrapped – PT Nusa Halmahera Mineral’s rescue of a trapped miner, in Proceedings 13th AusIMM Underground Operators’ Conference 2017, pp 155–160 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).