August 1, 2000
Yesterday it rained and today is bright and sunny with white puffy clouds and azure blue sky. This morning it was so clear that I could make out the color paint they put on the sheep, for identification, across the valley from the house. Very crisp and clear.
I did a bunch of scaling in the new drift and brought down 3 tub full of muck which I then mucked out. Trying to keep it safe. Right now, it looks pretty good but I still want to set timber in there to keep the ceiling from running.
We then did some more digging with the bar, since it's so broken up it was pretty easy, and found some small pockets. In one of the small vugs we found small purple crystals and in another the greens weren't a very good color. This was the same thing we encountered as we broke into the main zone. To me, this indicates that we just passed through the main part of the "flat" and are now moving away from it. The last pockets that were extracted seemed to be getting tighter and not opening up like one would expect if we were moving into the center of the "flat". If my hunch is right then the "flat" is not as big as we hoped it would be. Byron and I discussed this and I pointed out the fact that the Rogerley Mine is on the edge of the fluorite zone so the mineralization may be thinning out. He said we are on the edge of the fluorite zone only because no one dug any further to the east of the Frosterley Pit since the Great Limestone plunges to the east not far from here. In my experience the "old timers" stopped digging for a reason and depth wasn't one of them. It is usually due to lack of mineralization. In fact the Rogerley Mine has only been worked for fluorite crystals and not for ore because it wasn't rich enough. The mineralization was certainly known about since it was skipped over while quarrying the limestone for building material.
Either way, if after pushing the tunnel north for another few feet and we don't find more fluorite we can plan on how best to attack the "flat" on an east-west basis. We do know that there is more fluorite in the cavity on the left we opened up as we moved into the "flat" and some distance to intersect Byron's pocket from last year. And we don't know the extent of the "flat" on the right to the east.
More tomorrow. Cheers, Jim