August 3, 2000
I thought it would be a nice day for a change as I drove to the mine. But after being in the tunnel for a while and came out it was pouring rain with a cold wind. Don't they have a proper summer here?
Went to the face in Mick and Lindsay's tunnel first thing to check on the ceiling since we blasted there yesterday. The ceiling looked fine but the right hand wall is nothing but rocks with mud holding them together. Several large pieces had come down during the night and a lot more needed to be barred out or they could come down at any time. So I did a few hours of scaling and washing. Also collected some galena for the mining museum at Killhope. The water course I discovered is starting to open up and I sprayed water in there for a long time and nothing ever came back out. They have found large limestone caverns, some mineralized and some not, in other parts of the Great Limestone here in the valley. This one doesn't show any mineralization where we have broken into it but you never know. I also found the same fossilized coral that has been altered to limonite that we encountered in the New Drift. This muddy area we have in both tunnels may be the same fault, won't know until we do a detailed map. That's a project that will be done near the end of this month.
We only worked a half day today because we have a personalized tour of Auckland Castle in the afternoon. It has been, and still is, the primary home of the Bishop of Durham for the last 800 years. It actually started out as a hunting lodge by the first Prince-Bishop of the Palatinate of Durham and is now the Bishop's residence and houses the Diocesan offices. Inside the Cathedral the columns and mantles are made from Frosterley marble found in the quarry where the mine is located. The history here is so amazing and colorful. To say the least, it was a lot to take-in in one afternoon.
Tomorrow we will be working a full day and must start out cleaning all the muck out the tunnels. At noon the Church of England is sending over a professional photographer to photograph the mine for their archives.
More on what we find tomorrow. Cheers, Jim