Friday, August 14, 2009

Greetings from Weardale,

Yesterday was cloudy and cool for the most part, and come evening the breeze totally died out, allowing the midges to swarm in fine fashion. This morning it is overcast and still. I can see the little buggers hovering outside, through the front window. It will be a good day to be underground.

Yesterday Byron spent much of the day digging at the face. Though much rock and mud was shifted about, much of what was found was damaged or crushed to bits. Some real nice gem twins were found but the amount of damage means that they will be gem rough rather than specimens. Hopefully we can find some of these that haven’t been forcibly removed from their matrix. Mid-afternoon he opened a small pocket that yielded a couple decent specimens, which were plates of small, gemmy, lustrous twins highly reminiscent of the 2001 Solstice Pocket material. Today I suspect he will be back at it looking for more.

A few days back Cal ordered a couple compressed air reservoir tanks for the mine, and delivery was promised at the timber mill around 10 am, so he left the cottage a little early to meet the delivery truck. After waiting around for a couple hours with no sign of the delivery he showed up back at the mine in a bad mood. Later in the afternoon Billy, the yard foreman at the mill showed up at the mine with the tanks on his forklift. Turns out that the delivery truck had showed up early, around 7 am and dropped off the tanks. Cal did not notice them because a large truck was subsequently parked directly in front of them, and no one bothered to tell him they were there. Today’s photo is of Byron speculating on how we will get them up the tip and into the mine.

Dave and Joe spent the day mucking out the tunnel in front of the Rat Hole, and timbering the area around the newly discovered cavity. A couple short holes were drilled in both the floor and roof rocks in front of the cavity and shot around 4 pm. After letting the air clear for a bit we went in and had a look at the results. The shot looks like it did what we wanted and broke the rock to the front of the cavity, leaving our timbering pretty much in place (something that doesn’t always happen). Dave is off today preparing for a bike meet in Scotland this weekend, so Cal, Eric and I will be mucking out the mess today. Hopefully the cavity will have survived intact, and worth the effort. We’ll know when we get there.

Back up dale we met up with Lloyd, Sandra, Barry and Helen at the pub for a few beers and some chat, and Kerith put on a salmon feast afterwards.

Until next time,

Jesse & Crew

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