June 22, 2000
Hello everyone and I believe that yesterday's report was dated the 22nd when it should have been dated the 21st. The days all blend and it feels like I've been here a lot longer than I actually have. Thank goodness Jonina keeps a calendar on the refrigerator otherwise I wouldn't know what day it was. But the mining is coming along very well.
The muck pile from the previous day's shot was relatively small so it took no time to clean out. We are well beyond the set of tracks we installed sometime earlier, when was that?, and had to lay a set of temporary tracks to be able to muck out the next round. Each section of track is 18 feet long and the temporary track is around 9 feet. With the temporary track and then adding "sliders" we can move up far enough, after a couple of rounds, to install another 18 feet permanent set of track. This all takes time of out of our drilling and blasting, but so far we have been able to drill and blast a round everyday this week, hopefully this will continue.
After plotting the trend of the tunnel on a map I found that we are pulling to much to the west. If we continued in this direction we would end up in the center of the pocket instead of the end where we want to be. We are now heading in the right direction and should intersect the pocket just east of where Byron left off last year, hopefully.
For those of you that have ever mapped underground it's a pain in the arse. To add to the difficulty there are numerous steel arches and pillars for support that will drive a compass crazy. I made a device out of a plastic 360 degree protractor, a piece of wood and some string to measure the angles of the track in relationship to each other moving up the tunnel. This is not very accurate but has given us an idea where to head. Our new drift has no metal so using a compass is no problem and we now have a heading to follow.
We are moving through the crack I mentioned in the last report and the Limestone on the east side is completely different that the Limestone on the west side. The Limestone on the east side is hard and homogenous while the Limestone on the west is "woody" as Dave describes it. This crack may be the "Crack of Doom" that we see in the back of the main drift, hard to tell. If it is, the good point is that the mineralization on the east side of the "Crack of Doom" is much better. Time will tell.
By the end of the day we had drilled, blind again, and shot another full round. There is more muck from this blast than in our previous shots. The ceiling is 7 feet high and the muck comes within 2 feet of it. It will take us a while to clean it out tomorrow but we are planning to clean it out and shoot another round.
We should be close to Byron's green pocket, so from now on we will take one 4 foot hole and drill it to 6 feet to see if we hit any voids and/or bits and pieces of green fluorite. Certainly by the end of next week we will be back into the greens.
That's all for now and we ARE being safe. Dave says that the only thing underground that is soft is you.
Till tomorrow, cheers. Jim, Byron and Jonina