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Cheering "Viva Chile," workers early Monday completed the installation of steel tubing to reinforce the path that will be used to bring 33 trapped miners to the surface.
About 96 meters of sheet metal was put in place to line the tunnel bored four-tenths of a mile into the Earth.
The work was the final step before the extraction of the miners can begin, Mining Minister Laurence Golborne said Sunday.
If all goes according to plan, the first of the miners could be pulled from the mine by Wednesday, he said. But the health and safety of the miners remained the top priority, he added.
The miners have been trapped since August 5 and the crisis has not only gripped Chileans in their native land, but it has been captivating people around the world.
We want to hear from you - are you a Chilean that has been following the developments of this crisis? What will it mean when they are finally freed? Have you donated money to help?
We'd love to hear from you and then air your comments and thoughts on the CNN.