Work will begin this morning to repair the mine subsidence which opened a hole at Alford Park last weekend.
Work will begin this morning to repair the mine subsidence which opened a hole at Alford Park last weekend. Arthur Gorrie

Repair work to begin at Lake Alford

REPAIR work will begin today on the mine shaft subsidence which caused a hole to appear in the Museum Markets car park area at Lake Alford last weekend.

A spokesman for the Gympie Shaft Repair Project yesterday blamed wet weather which had apparently undermined a cap previously placed on a historic single mine shaft in the area.

He said investigations revealed the most probable cause of the 2m by 2m hole was flooding which occurred in the area over several days earlier this year.

"The floodwater appears to have infiltrated the shaft under the existing concrete cap. The project team will place a footing under that cap to re-seal the shaft and make it watertight," he said.

"The site will remain barricaded off for public safety until the repairs are complete."

He said the Department of Natural Resources and Mines had been operating the Gympie Shaft Repair Project since 1990 to make safe thousands of historic mine shafts in the Gympie area.

"Many of those shafts were dug over a century ago following the discovery of gold in 1867.

"Mine subsidence collapses from these long-abandoned diggings are due to natural events such as heavy rainfall, flooding and rotting of supporting timbers and iron," he said.

The project has cost more than $13.4 million and has made more than 2000 shafts safe.