Irish connection: Drill company celebrates rescue

Thu, Oct 14, 2010, 01:00

WORKERS AT THE firm whose equipment was used to reach the 33 trapped miners celebrated the success of the rescue operation yesterday morning.

Mincon Ltd manufactures a geological sampling tool that allows operators to take samples as they drill in order to gauge the type and density of the rock.

Their MX 5053 drill was used to create a small bore hole which reached the miners’ refuge after they had spent 17 days beneath the surface with no contact from above.

Staff at the Shannon plant in Co Clare watched the final rescue phase on monitors placed around the shop floor and were elated at the success of the operation.

Joe Purcell, technical director at Mincon, said he was “absolutely delighted” and proud.

“Everyone in the company was walking around with a smile on their faces.”

He said the search operation was a topic of conversation over the course of the rescue operation. and he added that the workers were “very proud” to have played their part. Mr Purcell said Mincon’s involvement had raised the company’s profile. “It’s great for everyone here to see the name on the news and . . . I would have to say we probably have sold some product on the back of it.

He said there was “no doubt” but that it showed Ireland had the expertise to design and produce high-tech products.