Littlejohns China Clay Pit 2, this is the second page of images taken during my visit in May 2012. The images are taken within the pit and show the production side of the mining operation.
Because of the nature of the pit, the sun caused a few issues with the camera metering. Similar to those conditions when taking photographs in the snow. I have however compensated at the printing stage and got some quite good results.
The mining methods used here are quite simple and have not changed since the early days. Once the overburden rock has been removed by blasting the clay bearing rock is exposed.
The traditional method of mining china clay is by using high pressure jets of water which erode the working face of the pit. The Kaolin is washed out in suspension, the resulting slurry flows to the bottom of the pit where it is pumped to the surface to be processed.
There was a Articulated Dump truck which was being filled by the digger. The truck which was a Bell B50D could carry up to 50 tons of material in one load. At over 35 foot long it can still travel at over 30 mph.
The final set of images on the page are of a Mobile Drilling unit at work in Littlejohns Pit. It is drilling prior to a blast to remove the rock above the Clay bearing material. The vehicle is a Tamrock Gator (Blasthole) Quarry Drilling Rig. This was one of five crawlers that were operated in the Clay Pits by Saxton Drilling.
The driver of the rig is thought to be Keith Morcombe.
An amazing place with it’s own environment, a great place for pictures. I hope to arrange another trip if I can.