June 20, 2000
Well, summer is over and the clouds have reappeared. We only had a sprinkle at the mine today but Jonina said it was really raining in Kendal. Nice working weather actually, not to hot and not to cold.
The muck pile from the day before was bigger than we expected and it took till about 2:30 to muck it out, lost count in the number of ore cars we dumped. The muck extended out to the portal which is more than 30 feet, and not in a straight line, from the face. At the face the muck was chest high. The reason being, there is a large mud filled crack on the right hand side that the shot broke to enlarging our tunnel to almost 7 feet wide, not what we wanted but what we got. It appears that the 4 foot holes actually shot about 5 feet of the face and I was able to bar and pick at least another foot of tunnel.
Mucking around the "S" curve proved to be a challenge as the mucker kept jumping the track and with our tunnel so narrow at the curve, putting it back on was also a challenge. At one point Dave suggested that he finish mucking because he is really good with the machine and still the problem persisted. I teased him about it and he said "well that is just the way it is, you have to put up with these bloody problems." Finally, he put some grease on the inside of the track to give the mucker a chance to smoothly move around the sharp bends and that ended that problem. It's a heavy machine (2 1/2 tons) and with the slightest provocation it will go where it wants to, not where you expect it to, so you have to be careful about it not running over your feet.
We then drilled the next round, 8 holes. Figuring they would have a tendency to break to the crack on our right side we didn't need the full 16 holes. The drill produced enough water and oil vapor that we drilled blind again but were able to finish the holes without much problem. Dave loaded the holes while Byron wired the loop together. The holes were shot around 4 and after letting the air clear for a few minutes we all went in to see how the shot went. Dave's prediction of the breakage was right and it appears that we again broke more than the length of the drill steel. Tomorrow I will take some finial measurements to make sure the tunnel is on the heading.
In the morning while Dave and I were mucking, Byron installed the clean rebuilt injectors in the compressor, a tedious job. He finished about lunch time and just after lunch Jonina showed up with the explosives. Using her car to jump the battery on the compressor he tried to start it. It sounded like it wanted to start but it just wouldn't. The compressor wouldn't turn over fast enough so Jonina took the compressor battery to Mark Watson for recharging. We'll try again tomorrow.
Till tomorrow, Jim, Byron and Jonina