June 28, 2000
The first thing we did in the morning was to pick at the face and see if we were into the greens yet. All we found were the small purple fluorite crystals in druzzy quartz lined cavities. Since we didn't find any green fluorite and it appeared they weren't eminent, we drilled 6 holes and shot the face before we broke for lunch.
After lunch the smoke had cleared and we went to see if we had hit anything. Still nothing (except the same purples). We are in more than 30 feet now and expected to hit the green well before now. WHERE THE HE.. ARE THEY!!
Dave and mucked out the shot and found out that by repairing the ore car we raised it ever so slightly just enough to catch the bucket of the mucker every time we dump. If it's not one thing it's another. We'll just have to live with it until we can get a cutting torch and modify the ore car.
After mucking, we again picked at the face looking for the elusive greens. Nothing. This is becoming frustrating and a bit uneasy not finding what we are looking for and expecting. We started thinking maybe the geology changed and the green aren't there. The formation is enlarging and now the whole face is altered Limestone with abundant calcite stringers, vugs and cavities, etc., just no greens. Dave started digging on the right hand wall in a crack 6 feet from the face and low and behold about 5 feet back in the crack he found the greens. Paul immediately said change directions and chase them down. I explained what that would entail, relaying track with another bend, a larger room that would probably make the ceiling unstable, etc. Since our goal was to push through the "flats" we should keep to our plan for the time being. Also, since the formation is obviously thickening we may not have gone far enough to cross the greens yet in spite of the fact we think we have gone to far. We have been able to drill and shoot a 4 foot round every day so in 3 days we should make another 12 feet, surely we will cross the greens by then. If not and the formation appears to be pinching then an option would be to return to the crack and chase them down. It would have been better to enlarge Byron's hole from last year and follow them as we go in, as I suggested in the beginning, and now people are seeing why it would have been a better idea.
The plan for tomorrow is to first survey the mine again and try to determine what is going on. Then muck out the mess we made digging, then drill and shoot the face again.
Hopefully, tomorrow I'll have better news for everyone.
Till then, keep a stiff upper lip, as they say.
Jim, Byron and Jonina