Canadian personnel and equipment have been sent to the Dominican Republic to help rescue two men who have been trapped for a week in an underground mine at the Cerro de Maimón operation located in the central part of the island.
Cerro de Maimón produces copper and zinc and is owned by the Dominican Mining Corporation (Cormidom), a Dominican company controlled by foreign capital and shareholders.
On July 31, a landslide blocked gallery 265 trapping two of the 70 workers that were on site. The men ended up in a 375-square-meter space located about 31 metres below the surface.
Given that each worker wears a tracking device, mine personnel and local authorities were able to locate the trapped men within a few hours of the accident. They were also able to drill a section of the blocked shaft and introduce a pipe to provide the miners with food, water, and medication, as well as to communicate with them.
Due to the lack of expertise in the Dominican Republic on underground mining, President Luis Abinader reached out for help to the Canadian ministries of Foreign Affairs and Defense, as well as to the Armed Forces.
After internal coordination, the Canadian government decided to send a Boeing C-17 Globemaster military aircraft carrying mining excavation equipment weighing over 52,000 lbs.
The machinery to be used in the rescue operation include a Cubex drill Model 6200, a Cubex booster R-110, and rod racks, among other tools. The equipment was provided by Machines Roger International, a company with headquarters in Val-d’Or in Quebec.
The Dominican government also transported to the site a tunnel boring machine that was used during the construction of Santo Domingo’s subway system.