August 31, 2000

Well, the weather didn't cooperate, it was cold and raining all day. This was a cold northerly storm, a sure sign that winter is coming.

It's the last day of the month and we are to have all the smaller specimens at the house for final washing by tomorrow. In the morning I trimmed the last of the larger pieces and Byron then cleaned and oiled the chain saw. Mick and Lindsay were by in the early afternoon and took the saw with them to lock it up in their explosive bunker. I guess that means we are really done with the mining.

The timing was actually good, we have removed all the specimens that are reachable and now it would take some lifters to gain the room necessary to dig any more. A good place to leave till next year.

Byron tacked together the two crates for the Frosterley Marble so that is ready. Now the only thing left is to put all the tools together and the machines in the New Drift. It will be then that we consider the mine officially closed for the season. This should be done over the weekend and Monday everything going to be shipped will be transported to the loading facilities near Durham and loaded into the container.

Jesse and I mapped the mine with a Brunton compass and a tape measure and we will plot the bearings over the weekend. Hopefully, the steel arches will not have a great effect on the compass but we won't really know until we plot everything on a map and see if the two cavities actually touch as they do in real life. Among the different geologic features we mapped, the contact of altered Limestone, the "ankerized" Limestone, and the hard, gray Limestone should be the most interesting. This will give a boundary to the "flats" since the mineralization lies within the altered zone. We have two good points on the south that will give us a southern boundary, but the north is very much open and we won't really know how extensive the "flats" are to the north until we do more mining.

I'll get everyone posted on our progress as we close down the operation and get ready for our flight home.

Cheers, Jim



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