'Highly unlikely' worker survived collapse at Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania, police say

| 24.01,20. 02:34 PM |

'Highly unlikely' worker survived collapse at Henty Gold Mine in Tasmania, police say

Photo: Authorities say the area of the mine the man was working in was "isolated". (ABC News: Jessica Moran)

The man has been missing since 4:00am on Thursday (ABC News) Police say it is "unlikely" a man missing after a collapse at a Tasmanian gold mine early yesterday morning could have survived.

In a statement, police said operations overnight had used a drone with 3D laser technology which revealed the extent of the collapse.

"The amount of earth and rock and the situation that presents tells us that it is highly unlikely he could have survived," the statement read.

"This is very sad for the all his family and loved ones and the West Coast community and our thoughts are with them."

The man has been missing in the Henty Gold Mine, near Zeehan and Queenstown in Tasmania's west, since 4:00am on Thursday when his colleagues lost contact with him and discovered a section of collapsed earth.

The missing worker was about a 20-minute descent underground at the time, police said.

Chief executive of mining services contractor PYBAR Brendan Rouse this morning said the drone was still on site with specialist operators.

"There was still material falling [in the mine last night] so it may have gotten worse this morning," he said.

"That's why it's not safe to put people anywhere near the hole at the moment."

He said for that reason, exploration was being done remotely for now.

"That will form the basis of any other recovery plans going forward, the safety of our people," he said.

"We'll come up with a plan of how we're going to do it, but it won't involve putting people into the unsafe area.

"It's quite a big mine, so the area is quite isolated."

Mr Rouse said the company was keeping the family "informed along the way".

"They're our first point of contact and we have spoken to the family this morning," he said

Earlier, AWU national secretary Daniel Walton said Queenstown locals knew "all too well the inherent dangers with mining".

"Queenstown is a small mining community here, and unfortunately, in recent years there's been a few accidents around here," he said.


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