Forty Days to Go

So here's a shot of the gold mill at the Williams Operating Mine. My workplace. I have forty days or work to go before I walk away and retire. The conveyors carry broken chunks of ore (the good rock containing gold) from the underground to the tops of those towers, from which point the crushing of the rock starts.

This monstrosity is the headframe, mechanics shops, warehouse and main administration building. I try to avoid this place as much as possible... The headframe is the tall bit, with the shaft conveyance that gets us in and out of the underground portion of the mine.

This little darling is the Core Shack where I hide out. Outside you can see pallets loaded up with wooden boxes. Those have been delivered to the Core Shack from the Headframe. The drilling happens underground in the mine, and the core samples (rock we investigate) comes in those wooden core boxes. In a typical year we handle about 50 kilometres of drill core here. Two geoscientists and a pile of technicians.

Here's one view inside the Core Shack. I 'd show you my workstation but someone else was working there today and it was too messy. On the table you can see the long cylinders of rock, called core. We read the core, much like lines of text on a page; top left to lower right. We make notes about rock types and interesting minerals. Then we demarcate sections that we want to have taken out for chemical assay. That eventually tells us exactly how much gold is in the rocks. With that information we can begin to plan the production work in the mine.


  1. Nice core shack! They always seem to have pallets of core here and there. Glad you have lots of technicians.


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