General manager of Tara Mines, Gunnar Nyström, briefed Tanaiste Leo Varadkar on the situation at the Mines last Friday evening. Photo: Seamus Farrelly

Water flow into Tara Mines has stopped

Work now beginning on restoration of mine

The efforts carried out to stop the increased water inflow to the Tara mine have been successful, according to parent company New Boliden.

In a statement issued this morning, they say work is now beginning to restore the mine, which includes pumping and mapping of any damage as a result of the water inflow.

As a result of increased water inflows to the Tara mine, production was stopped for safety reasons on 23rd November and efforts were initiated to stop the water inflow and to protect production-critical equipment. The efforts to stop the water inflow have been successful and starting today we have the water inflow under control. Several efforts are now being initiated to restore the mine to normal production. When this can happen is still uncertain as water accumulations need to be removed, and a survey of damages to the mine infrastructure must be carried out.

"No person has been severely injured and no impact on the external environment has been registered, however, the situation is monitored continuously," the company adds.

Yesterday, while in Stockholm on Government business, Meath TD and Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne took the opportunity to meet with Mikael Staffas, the CEO of Boliden Tara Mines, for a briefing on the situation.

Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne with Mikael Staffas, the CEO of Boliden Tara Mines.

"A number of arms of the State have given some help in the past week and I know that Boliden are grateful for that," the minister said.

This morning, he added: "I want to congratulate the team at Tara Mines for successfully stopping the flow of the water into the mine, safely.

"The Geoscience Regulation Office which regulates the industry has been on site and will receive a report on the event. The Environmental Protection Agency and the Health and Safety Authority were also informed as a matter of course.

"I’m certain it will take a little time to undo the damage done, but I am glad for the sake of workers and the local economy that this problem has now been fixed," Minister Byrne stated.