21 Nov 2011

Commission to hear from miner who quit mine

5:46 am on 21 November 2011

The Royal Commission into the Pike River Coal mine disaster will this week hear from a Japanese miner who quit his job at the mine because of concerns about its operation.

The Commission is looking at what caused the explosions at the mine on 19nNovember last year and the systems that were in place at the time. Twenty nine men died.

Masaoki Nishioka, a Japanese hydro-mining expert with 40 years experience in the industry worked at the mine for three months, before leaving a month before the first explosion.

He was critical of a number of aspects of hydro-monitoring systems at the mine and left because of his concerns.

The first witness this week will be David Stewart, a mining consultant from Minserv Ltd, who carried out an audit of the mine six months before the explosions.