It is now the 13th September 2011 and I am one week in from my 8/9 week stint. Reading my last post before writing this makes me realise how much has changed. I did make it down the mine in the end...lucky really seeing though it is my job =)
So now I am becoming a veteran of the mine site things are a little easier. I guess i'm still the new kid but i'm coping far better with day to day life. I know when breakfast is, which is useful as it means that you can catch a lift to the office a few miles down the road. I know enough people now to get pretty much everywhere I need too and have even passed my 4x4 site driving test which allows me to dive any of the land cruisers on site, so long as the person who it belongs too gives consent...very important point that.
I have completed several morning shifts down the mine consisting of sampling and mapping the walls, face and backs...that's mining talk...i'm learning! The mine is hotter than I could ever have expected, to the point that the 360C on surface is a welcome breath of fresh 'cool' air. With the depth and the machinery etc. it makes for a fairly unpleasant start to the day. Saying that, I am starting to get used to it a little and have to admit I do enjoy it.
I have learnt to log core samples, something that would have been very easy and useful to have learnt in uni...alas we were spending our time on far more complex and advanced things than a lowly and humble student geotechnical engineer has to deal with. A new core will be arriving soon and I shall be given time to log it if I can under the watchful eye of the exploration geologists here...hopefully. The good thing about logging core...(apart from the obvious best things about sitting looking at hundreds of meters of rock) is the view from the core shed. It looks out over an expanse of vegetation that cuts sharply into a stunning crop of blood red flat topped short mountains. Its a sight to behold.
The weather is just as breath taking as the land it covers. During the days, the land is scorched by the sun, often framed in a bright and near clear blue sky...why i'm not tanned yet I have no idea. Apparently in a few months time it will reach over 500C during the day! But often by night the clouds form and we get lightning storms on the horizon that are more spectacular by the day. They are often followed but thunder and hammering rain and wind. This often makes it hard to sleep for the noise.
I have also been assigned a project dealing with an open pit and the slope stability, mapping and data recording of its walls. A bit of a daunting task seeing though i'm the only geotech guy on site...
Luckily with such work keeping me occupied and the beauty of the place the days are becoming more and more productive and are passing easier. maybe I will be OK here after all. Here's hoping...