Trip Home from the Mine(Wildlife)

Just want to share with you guys some of the sights on my trip from the minesite back to home. No pictures just memories.

Left the mine heading down the Nahanni Range Road. Coming out of the snow capped mountains in the North West Territory heading to to a pristine narrow valley with a small creek running through towards the Yukon Territory. About two hundred feet ahead on the gravel road we spot a beautiful grizzly bear. The thing hears the van and got up on it’s hind legs to take a peak. At leat seven feet tall, light brown hair and a tuft of blonde hair on it’s back hump. The thing just bolted, and man these things can motor. So onward for another hour then below off the crest of the road near a tiny mountain spring pool, a moose (1 to 2 years old) drinking water. Abvout another hour further up the road a black bear. Another hour up the road a huge, and I mean huge bull moose. Quite eventfull.

Can’t wait till I see a bigfoot.


Definitely cool. What kind of mine is it that you were returning from?

Underground. We mine tungsten in a mineral form called Scheelite (CaWO3). Conventional cut an fill mining as well as longhole pillar extraction mining methods. I’ll explain.

The ore body is similar to a table top flipped on its side dipping at a steep 70-80 degrees. The ore zone has a variable thickness (15-30ft).

We attack the ore body by driving in at 100 foot levels. Starting at the bottom of each level, we drive 12 foot high cuts right through and along the orientation of the ore, so essentially you are drilling horizontally. Once we reach the extent of the ore zone we will fill this cut with waste material to gain height (and for safety reasons) and then take out the next 12 foot section etc, etc… Hence the name cut and fill.

Eventually you reach a point where you cannot cut and fill anymore. The bridge of rock that seperates level 100 from level 200 is no longer 100 feet deep because mining occurs simultaneously from bottom to top in each level, so as we reach a distance of about 30 feet between these levels, we rely on longhole mining. This time you drill and blast the remaining 30 feet of ore between levels by drilling in an upward direction. You blast it, the ore will fall down and it’s mined out with remotely controlled scoops (long short front end loaders). The bridge of rock is called a pillar hence pillar ectraction.

Probably a little more info than necessary but it’s a world few people know much about.