The Government is signing off on three concept plans for re-entry into Pike River mine.
Minister in charge Andrew Little outlined the proposals from the Recovery Agency to West Coast families last weekend.
The options include building a new 2m by 2m tunnel, drilling a large borehole and or re-entering from the main drift.
"Recovery of the mine drift is technically feasible and the risks of harm can be managed and minimised," said Mr Little.
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Detailed plans are now underway, including a procurement process, with an update expected in October. Re-entry efforts may begin before the end of 2018.
Twenty-nine men lost their lives in the 2010 disaster.