Friday, July 3, 2009
Greetings from Weardale.
A busy day at the Rogerley mine with our recent Dutch acquaintances, Tim and Frank de Wit along with Will Larson, Eric Bougie and the Beadle clan. The day started out warm and cloudy and built to a steady rain by noon and this continued till about 4:00 in the afternoon when the sun came out.
Eric spent his day up on the landing, in good weather and bad, sorting small crystal from a large pile we have had there for three years. Will and the Dutch set to mucking out our new Northeast Crosscut – Will is featured shoveling muck in today’s photo. By day's end all our volunteers for this were cold and sore.
Dave and helpers mucked out and drilled the West Crosscut for what may likely be the last blast in that area of the mine. Byron and I set to exploring various holes left after the last blast at the face. One will need a 1/4 stick to really open it us since the mud is about 8" thick and the tube of fluorite is headed down-dip. The crystals are of a type we have encountered before -- large simple cubes of a bluish green color dotted with white aragonite. I checked out a pocket a bit closer to the face, which produced a few tubs of average material and was not particularly exciting. After bait (lunch) around 2:00 with all of us crowded into the container trying to stay dry and eat we made our way out through a steady rain. Byron and I opted to try looking at a blast hole up about 10 feet in the upper left hand corner of the face.
After an hour of washing the unusually tenacious mud, even by Rogerley standards, a large gem plate was exposed. It took nearly 45 minutes to get it out. Sadly the 1 1/2" gem twin decided to jump ship before we got the plate out but still a very respectable piece. The pocket continued to produce till day's end, hopefully we will catch up with the pocket after the next blast, whenever that will be.
Tomorrow being Saturday we will take Eric and Will out to see a few sights. With a bit of luck we will have a nice sunny day for touring.
That's it from here,
Will Larson on the working end of a shovel.