The first steps towards a plan to re-open the Pike River mine have been taken in Greymouth.
Three internationally-recognised mining experts have been asked by the families of 29 workers killed in explosions at the West Coast mine in November 2010 to determine if a recovery operation is feasible.
David Feickert, Bob Stevenson and David Creedy will decide on whether to re-open the sealed mine.
While they are yet to establish a feasible plan, they say similar mine re-entries have been carried out worldwide.
Mr Feickert says collecting information has begun, with a meeting with Pike River owner Solid Energy and Mines Rescue personnel in Greymouth on Tuesday afternoon.
Mr Feickert says there is still a lot of work to do, but mine entry and body recovery is entirely possible.