31 Oct 2012

Industry believes Pike report won't end underground mining

10:23 pm on 31 October 2012

People on the West Coast and in the mining industry are confident the Royal Commission's report on the Pike River disaster will not bring an end to underground coal mining.

Twenty-nine men were killed in explosions at the West Coast mine that began on 19 November 2010.

The Royal Commission's findings and recommendations were given to the Government on Tuesday and will be made public early next week.

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy says the recommendations may make underground mining less profitable because of added health and safety regulations.

But its New Zealand chair, Tony King, says that will not end the industry.

Grey District mayor Tony Kokshoorn says underground mining still has a role to play - which is why the report's proposals are so important.

Mr Kokshoorn says Solid Energy is currently in talks with parties interested in buying underground mines.

The Government says it will issue its response to the report at the same time it is released next week.