The plight of the Chilean miners trapped deep underground could be over by the end of next week, according to the country’s President Sebastian Pinera.
Pinera said the emergency workers are now very close to the 33 miners.
Initial estimates said the men would not be brought to the surface until December.
The miners have been caught 700 metres below ground since August the 5th.
As the eyes of the world focus on the predicament of the trapped men their colleagues have taken to the streets to demand payment after they failed to receive their salaries for the second half of September.
As many as 250 workers have been unemployed since the 700-thousand tonnes of rock fell and sealed off the mine with the men inside.