Queensland miner 'dead for up to three days'

Niamh Hannon and AAP

The body of a 62-year-old man killed in a mine collapse may have been dead for up to three days, according to the ABC.

Sidney Cuddy was killed when a trench at a shallow-cut opal mine collapsed at Opalton, near Winton, on Saturday.

It took emergency crews six hours to get to the remote location. Police and firefighters said it was impossible to get equipment onto the remote site.

Mr Cuddy's body could have been under the rubble for 'up to three days'. Image: Twitter/@lucymurray53

Crews had to dig with their hands for three hours to get through two metres of rubble to retrieve his body.

Winton Shire mayor Butch Lenton, who went to school with Mr Cuddy, said the Longreach-based man was well-liked.

"He was a knockabout and kind-hearted bloke, who has just been out there trying his luck," he told AAP.

The mine is in Opalton, a remote location between Winton and Jundah. Image: Google Maps

Mr Lenton said accidents were rare at the Opalton fields, which is one of the largest of its kind in Queensland.

"There hasn't been too many accidents out in the opal fields but unfortunately something has gone wrong here and Sid's lost his life, the poor bugger."

Opalton is popular with individual miners and part-time fossickers, many of whom converge on the area during the cooler winter months.

Investigators from the Department of Natural Resources and Mines are examining the cause of the mine collapse and police will prepare a report for the coroner.