‘They’ll be paid overtime’: trapped Tahmoor miners safe and well

Two miners who spent nine hours trapped underground at Tahmoor in a faulty lift will be paid overtime for their trouble.

The men, aged 54 and 37, were suspended in close confines, 160 metres from the surface before they emerged from the Tahmoor No. 3 Shaft shortly before midnight, Wednesday.

They were placed in the care of waiting paramedics but passed all medical checks and were able to go home. 

A SIMEC Mining spokesman said the mine would remain closed on Thursday as the company investigated the circumstances surrounding the breakdown. 

The shaft serves as an essential second means of egress from the mine, therefore operations can’t resume until the lift is operational. 

The moment two miners are brought safely to the surface after spending several hours trapped underground at Tahmoor. Source: Fire and Rescue NSW

Fire and Rescue NSW Superintendent Graham Jarrett said the men were extracted one at a time using a crane. 

The crane acted as a second lift carrier, which was lowered onto the stuck cage with two rescuers on board. One of the rescuers them swapped places with the first of the miners to emerge. 

The lift made another trip to retrieve the second man. 

“It was about 10.30pm when the rescue operation actually started, including the initial observation run just to make sure everything was going to work,” Supt Jarrett said. 

“It took about an hour and a half to make it happen.” 

The men were finishing their shift when they became stranded. 

The company and the CFMEU has confirmed they will be paid overtime. 

"They certainly will be paid overtime for it,” CFMEU south western district vice president mining and energy, Bob Timbs, said.

Mr Timbs said the men were in good spirits and were "ready to get back to work".

“The union is involved in the investigation into what went wrong and will make sure any lessons from these incident are well and truly learned,”  he said.