Under pressure from family and friends of the missing miner and community leaders, the Chinese-owned Bosai Bauxite Mining company suspended all operations today to step up searches for miner.
The miner, Neptrind Hercules, has been missing since early Saturday morning when he was sucked underground by quicksand along with the bulldozer he was operating in the mines.
Hercules worked in the bauxite industry for more than four decades and was months away from retirement.
Family members have been protesting at the main office of the Bauxite company over the past two days, seeking additional information and calling for additional measures to be taken to aid the search efforts.
There has been no trace of the man or the heavy duty equipment since the early Saturday morning incident. It is suspected that he was working alone in the area and might have only been discovered missing hours after the earth let loose and he was completely covered along with the machine.
Search efforts were suspended twice over the weekend owing to poor lighting of the area.
Miners who work in the area have told News Source that it could take days before the man’s body or the equipment could be located and recovered, because of the depth of the area where the collapse of the soil took place.
Prime Minister Mark Phillips and Works Minister Juan Edghill visited the scene where the search efforts are ongoing this morning. It was during their visit that it was announced that all of the other operations of the company were being suspended to assist with the searches.
The Guyana Geology and Mines Commission has dispatched specialised equipment to assist with the search efforts, but all of those working at the site of the tragedy are being extra cautious because of the loose soil in the mining area.
Meanwhile, the Ministry of Labour has announced that it will also be conducting a full investigation of the tragic incident.
In a statement, Minister of Labour Joe Hamilton said the current search operations will also be closely monitored by the Labour Ministry.
“We will continue to monitor, we will continue to supervise and we will continue to interview all concerned, who is to be interviewed. We will do a review of the location in totality, so that we can have an understand of how the safe or not so safe the place was,” the Minister said.
The Labour Minister said the search efforts are very technical.
“The preliminary investigation suggest that the equipment and Mr. Hercules might be buried more than 100-feet into that mining pit and escavation has not been yielding fruit because of the vastness of the place so we have to bring in some hi-tech equipment to help to pinpoint the area and that is what they are attempting,” the Minister pointed out.
In a statement on Sunday, the Bosai Bauxite company said all efforts are being made to locate the missing miner and equipment.
There are serious questions being asked about the company’s search and rescue policies, as well as its safety practices in the mining areas.