July 2, 2000
Today we have typical Northern England weather, cold and rainy. That's why it so green here, although they had major floods on the East Coast not far from here. It actually makes working underground very pleasant and warm.
After mucking out the debris that Byron created while digging the fluorite, I drilled 4 holes to widen the face and enlarge parts of the tunnel. I would have drilled more holes except that was all the detonators we had on hand, so we went with what we had. The blast did a great job breaking the rock and, unfortunately, the fluorite too. The large block in the face Byron couldn't move and wanted to shoot contained a seam of fluorite with crystals more than an inch across. I should say had. That was the bad news. The good news is that is only the beginning of the "flat" and the seams should open up to large cavities similar to what Byron encountered last year.
Peter Tutt helped me drill and was completely covered with mud when we finished. At the end of the day he said with a smile on his face "good, now we go to the office (pub) and have a beer". He hasn't been around a rock drill since he was in his early twenties, he is now in his mid-sixties, and it is traditional to have a beer at the end of your mining shift, even in Germany.
The roof around where we are digging is getting very dicey and we may have to timber it. We will keep scaling the roof until it is at the appropriate height to enable us to operate the mucker, then we will place the timbers. The mucker needs a full 7 feet to dump into the ore car behind it and since we crossed a crack with about 1 foot of displacement we haven't been able to dump in this zone. We keep moving the mucker back to the nearest place to dump and then back to the face again, a distance of about 15 feet.
Monday and Tuesday we are taking off so the next report will be on Wednesday, July 5th.
Till then, Cheers. Jim, Byron and Jonina