Trevali Mining Corp.’s search and rescue teams reached the refuge chamber below Level 520 in the Perkoa mine in Burkina Faso and found no one inside. It is now clear that none of the eight missing miners survived the inundation, the company said. The rescue operation has now become a recovery operation.

“This is devastating news, and we would like to offer our deepest sympathies to our colleagues’ families and friends during this difficult time,” Trevali President and CEO Ricus Grimbeek said. “We will continue our search efforts unabated and reaffirm our commitment to work at full-speed to find our colleagues.”

Senior representatives of Trevali and the Perkoa mining contractor Byrnecut have been in close communication with the families of the missing workers throughout the search process and will continue to offer support. The company will also continue to work alongside the Burkinabe authorities and is grateful for the search assistance received from them as well as the Burkina Faso mining community. Out of respect for privacy of the workers’ families and friends, the company said it will not publicly disclose the names of the workers.

The Perkoa zinc mine suffered a massive inundation after a heavy rainfall event, where approximately 125 mm (10 in.) of rain fell in less than an hour. The water level settled at the 520 Level and mine is 710 m deep.