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Final efforts to save headframe

Thursday, 19th February, 2015

Hay bales were stacked around the deteriorating Number 4 headframe last month in order to catch debris. Hay bales were stacked around the deteriorating Number 4 headframe last month in order to catch debris.

By Andrew Robertson

The Commonwealth and State governments are to be approached for grant funding as a last ditch attempt to save Number 4 headframe surfaced yesterday.

It’s been revealed a mystery third party has come forward and offered a “possible solution” to stabilise the 100-year-old structure which appears close to collapse.

But the work, which would involve removing the top of the headframe and replacing the rotted timber struts, will require more than the $50,000 initially set aside for the rescue mission.

Mayor Wincen Cuy yesterday told the BDT that Council would now try to secure more funding so the work could be carried out, though would not reveal how much was being sought.

“We have a figure in mind for now but I’ve now going to (reveal it) at this stage.”  

He also declined to name the person that has offered to perform the work, saying they wanted to remain anonymous for now.

The fate of the derelict headframe on the Rasp mine lease had appeared all but sealed after CBH Resources recently received a second damning engineer’s report into its condition.

While the proposed fix now offers a glimmer of hope Mayor Cuy said there was no guarantee the Commonwealth or State governments would want to help.

“I’m not confident but I am hopeful,” the mayor said.

“I have made some enquiries at this point and waiting for a reply.

“I think the (city’s heritage) listing will give us an advantage that we didn’t have previously but it will still be a big ask.”   

The mayor said if the requests for funding were knocked back it would be up to CBH to decide the fate of the headframe, as Council would be unlikely to commit any more money than the $10,000 it has already. 

CBH, which has committed the other $40,000 towards the repair of the headframe, has also said it is not in a position to provide any more funding in the event the cost of the project was to blow-out.

ìI know CBH Resources is very motivated in keeping the headframe and retaining it in its current position because of its historical significance to Broken Hill and our mining history,” Mayor Cuy said in a joint statement. 

ìBut this is a process that will take time. CBH Resources will need to work with NSW Trade,

Investment, Resources and Energy as well as meet stringent risk assessments in terms of working on the structure.

ìThe positive news is that we have a possible solution to keeping what is a significant piece of local history, but the process will take some time and has some risks associated with it.î

Under the proposed repair, once removed the top of the headframe would be stored until the repair works are completed and then reattached, following stabilisation.

ìIt is a process that will take some time and will need to be further explored in greater detail

particularly to ensure it can be managed safely,î  CBH’s chief operating officer Visko Sulicich said in the statement.

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