Friday, July 27, 2012

Greetings from Weardale.

A dreary day on Thursday. No wind, occasional drizzle and very humid but for some reason almost no midges.... perhaps they were all taking a break to make the next generation.

It was just Ian, Jesse and myself yesterday and much of the day was spent working in the cross-cut. Up until bait, it was very disappointing. We had exposed several large areas of gem/gemmy fluorite on more large roof plates but all had a thin hard silicious band to which they were attached that was in turn attached to very weathered ironstone and thus pulling away from the blocks they were attached to. This yields almost exclusively small singles and bits. When looking at potentially great specimens it has a depressing effect.

Peter Briscoe from the Sheffield area came by briefly to drop a few books off and see the big specimen and take some pictures. He put on Wellies and our orange rubber pants... this is needed at present just to get across the currently muddy landing. He got to the cross cut to see our exposed fluorite sections and the next big one ready to shift down onto the loco when the rails are completed. This next large block only has a small section of nice fluorite on it but worth saving and sawing off. Today's picture shows Peter looking into the currently productive area of the crosscut.

After Peter left, I discovered a small mud filled fracture over one of the exposed plates and began forcing water into it, Ian and Jesse took turns and after bait they inserted a screwdriver into the thin channel and out came a nice specimen. After that our afternoon got much better and a number of nice small and a few larger specimens were produced and several more fine plates not attached to big rocks were exposed.

We do not have Dave or Joe today again. The solar panel installation on their home will take two days instead of one day. So we will attack the crosscut again and hope to extract a few more pieces.

Until next time…


Cal & Kerith, Jesse and Ian


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