Chile To Begin Rescue Drilling

Amid reports that the miners had moved their camp to a drier area nearly 1,000 feet deeper into the mine, a new video showed them to be generally upbeat but emotional about their separation from families. The miners have been trapped more than 2,300 feet down inside the San Jose gold and copper mine under Chile’s Atacama Desert since a cave-in on August 5. On Sunday afternoon, they were each allowed a brief conversation with a single family member via a telephone line that now links the miners with Camp Hope, a nearby tent village where their relatives have gathered. Omar Reygadas, 56, asked to speak to his youngest son, Luciano, and they had just a minute to talk, the latter told the BBC. “I told him about us – that we’re well, that we’re all supporting him, praying for him,” he said. His father said he was doing the same and reassured him that all the miners were calm and healthy, he added. The latest video footage appears to bear out such claims. In it, the miners, shirtless and wearing quick-drying white surgical trousers, said they were doing better since receiving food, water and the encouragement of family and rescuers in handwritten notes. However, some of them broke into tears when they talked about their wives and children. “I’m sending my greetings to Angelica. I love you so much, darling,” said Osman Araya, 30, his voice choking as he began to cry. “Tell my mother, I love you guys so much. I’ll never leave you, I will fight to the end to be with you.” Laurence Golborne, Chile’s mining minister, reiterated government estimates that the drilling operation could take three or four months and rejected reports claiming it could be done much quicker. It will also depend on the miners remaining sufficiently strong to clear up to 4,000 tons of rock as it falls out of the rescue hole. The men have only basic clearing equipment including wheelbarrows and battery-powered industrial sweepers.