South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7: Photography in the mine was a huge challenge. Because the heat and humidity were always an issue. So many images were lost due to fogged up lenses.

Very often after several hours underground my boots would be full of sweat, emptying them out was unpleasant. On my first trip into the mine I had to beg some water from a miner as I was suffering from dehydration, I never made that mistake again. When it was hot, it got hotter. However it was always the final walk up the 1:4 incline back to the 400 Fathom shaft station that was always the killer.

This is the second page of Diamond Drilling Images.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.1 – This first image is of South Crofty Miner Paul Coppinger “Winjer” using a Boyles Bazooka Diamond Drill. In the background is Julian North.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.2 – A second image of Paul operating the drill, the exhaust can be clearly seen.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.3 – This is Julian North watching the drill do its work, he is standing by in case the drill binds in the hole.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.4 – A second image of Julian North watching the drill work.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.5 – This and the next three images were taken in a sequence to show how quickly the mine tunnels would fill up with the exhaust from the Diamond Drill. In this image the drill has just started, the Diamond Driller is Julian North. Leaning against the wall on the left is a Holman Silver 303. This was the more commonly used rock drill years ago then the SIGs were gradually phased in as Holman’s stopped making spares.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.6 – After a few seconds drilling the passage “gets funky”.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.7 – The heat and humidity in such a confined space was oppressive.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.8 – The final image of the set. Photography became harder and harder, firstly I was deaf and blind, secondly 90% of the flash would be reflected back at me making the image useless, also focusing was impossible as the viewfinder would be full of condensation.

Another Diamond drill site with John Usoro.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.9 – The first image of this set is of John Usoro washing a box of drill cores. The miner operating the Diamond Drill is Tony Crocker.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.10 РOne of my favourites on this page. A closer view of Tony  Crocker operating the drill.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.11 – The drill in use is a Boyles Bazooka.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.12 – A good close image of Tony Crocker at the controls of the drill.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.13 – Water seemed to be spraying everywhere from the drill.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.14 – Tony and John discussing the results of the drill. Because this was very expensive it was necessary to monitor the results every day.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

South Crofty Mine Underground 7.15 – Taken slightly up the passage, this image shows the setup of blocks and acro props to hold the drill in position.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.16 – Finally a well lit image of the drill to complete this set.

At a different location. These next images are some of the best I have taken underground. It was one of the few chances I had to set up a Slave Flashgun. This was a sensor on the flash that would register the light from the flash on the camera and set itself off. Due to lack of time getting this working was usually impossible.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.17 – Diamond Driller Jonny Wedlake looking on as a few final adjustments are made to the Diamond Drill, by Paul “Snitcher” Richards.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.18 – In this image the drill is being connected to the drill core. Water can be seen coming out of the drill core in the rock face.

South Crofty Mine Underground 7

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.19 – Another image of adjustments being made to the Bazooka Drill.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.20 – This drill was a Boyles Bazooka Diamond Drill Rig. It would usually be used for holes 30 – 40m deep. However it was used up to 100m by South Crofty.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.21 – The final connections are made and the drill is ready for use.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.22 – The drill starts its work. Jonny Wedlake is on the left and Jonny Nicholls is at the back controlling the speed of the drill. Always time for a laugh and a joke.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.23 – The drill is up and running. The flashgun is diffused due to the reflective vapour in the air.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.24 – Paul “Snitcher” Richards keeps a close eye on the drill as it does its work. Both he and Jonny are smoking, this was allowed as it was a hard rock mine with no chance of explosive gases.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.25 – Paul Richards watching the working end of the drill. Also, the water used to keep the dust down can be seen coming out of the drilled hole.

This was such a good opportunity to photograph this drill in use. The confines of the passage also added to the lighting effect. The extreme noise of the drill in the passage was also very uncomfortable.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.26 – I really like this and the following images. Because the lighting is so effective.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.27 – Jonny Wedlake drilling, “Snitchers” with his back to camera. Jonny Nicholls in the background. This is one of the best images on that I have from the mine.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.28 – Controlling the drill was a two man job.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.29 – Another image of the two miners. Jonny Nicholls looks on, deep in concentration.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.30 – Jonny Nicholls controlling the drill still finds time for a bit of a laugh.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.31 – It was a noisy and difficult job. However it was essential to the mines survival that new lodes were discovered.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.32 – A close image of Jonny. Its a pity part of the drill was in the way, but it was well worth printing.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.33 – Moving up the passage with the slave flash in place adds a bit more perspective to the image.

Cornish Mine Images

Cornish Mine Images Underground 7.34 – A final image of the same team of miners taken further up the passage. The lighting is very effective, because it is was always nice when the slave flash actually fired. With all the vapour around more than often it didn’t.

South Crofty Mine Underground 8

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