June 30, 2000
Last day of the month and we finally hit the green zone in the "flat". It was a good thing, after all, that we intersected the zone at an acute angle because we found broken green fluorite crystals on the muck pile that came from the extreme left corner on the face. Had we hit the zone perpendicularly, there would have been broken green fluorite crystals all across the face. Now we will slow down and dig carefully.
The "flat" here is geologically different from where Byron was digging. I believe the zone to be much bigger here and hopefully, with much better fluorite. The limestone is "ankerized" and has been severally broken up by our last blast. The seams with the fluorite don't seem to be disturbed very much since they are full of clay which acts as a cushion. This "ankerized" zone goes up into the ceiling and probably into the floor as well. Where we had a nice flat roof only 4 feet back we now have a severely altered limestone that doesn't have the same fracture pattern so it doesn't break the same way it did. Don't worry, we watch the ceiling carefully and will timber if necessary.
As Byron dug father in on the left hand corner the quality of the fluorite improved. The last piece he pulled out had 3/4 inch cubes covered with a secondary calcite. The color improved also going from a yellow/green to a fine green. I think as we move into the center of the zone they will improve even more, hopefully, clear cubes. It looks as though we will be up to our necks in specimens in no time at all. Other points of interest; there are dipyrimidal crystals of galena as before, the matrix is becoming more siliceous as we move away from the edge of the zone and the seams are dipping to the north as in Byron's pocket. There is no doubt that we are in the same green zone and must be about 10 feet farther east from where Byron left off.
At least digging here, so far, doesn't require the diamond chain saw. The formation is so broken up that a screw driver and bar are sufficient. This fracturing is NOT due to our blasting. There is a few millimeters of clay between the broken fragments and some have a line of fluorite, not crystallized due to the lack of space.
Tomorrow, I will muck out the debris from today's digging and look at the floor for mineralization. If necessary, I will also drill a few short holes on the right side to widen the producing zone across the face.
Another imminent project is to make a new point switch where we diverged from the main tunnel so we will be able to move the equipment from one section of the mine to the other. On Sunday Dave's coming out to make a pattern for the plate and "V" to start building the switch.
Byron and I will work through the weekend since we are taking Monday and Tuesday off. More tomorrow.
Cheers, Jim, Byron and Jonina