Uranium-Mining Practices and Costs at Ten Salt Wash Lease Operations of Union Carbide Nuclear Co. Page: 33
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An unusual feature is the position of the station relative to the shaft.
Instead of both shaft compartments opening onto the station from their wall-
plate side, the station is driven from the end-plate side of the hoisting com-
partment. The skip is hung in the hoistway at right angles to the conventional
position, and the skip guides are fastened to the wall plates. The dumping
side of the skip faces the end of the single track that enters the station.
The headframe was erected so that the bent of the front posts is perpendicular
to the long axis of the compartments.
The shaft was sunk on the Virgin No. 3 claim near the northeast end of a
cluster of small ore bodies 340 to 400 feet deep. Exploratory drilling indi-
cated that these ore bodies underlie part of the Virgin No. 3 claim and extend
south into ground that had been withdrawn from public entry under Public Land
Order 459, effective March 30, 1948, and later amended by Public Land Order
698, effective February 15, 1951. (See fig. 15.) This ground is designated
as Government Block B. Under terms of a mineral lease (ML-14) negotiated with
the Atomic Energy Commission on October 19, 1951, Union Carbide Nuclear Co.
has the right to mine the ore lying within the withdrawn ground.
The general dip of the beds is about 6' NE., the dip of the ore ranging
from nearly horizontal to about 9 NE. The shaft was sunk on the downdip side
of the ore, and the development drifts were driven updip in the ore zone, in-
tersecting the ore bodies above the level of the track. Other drilling dis-
closed another group of ore bodies about 1,400 feet northeast on the adjoining
Wednesday claim and downdip from the Virgin shaft. Owing to the dip of the
beds and surface topography, these ore bodies are 550 to 600 feet deep and 65
to 105 feet lower than the shaft station. The ore is mined through a 940-foot
incline driven from the older workings. Bunker's principal production thus
far has come from the Wednesday ore bodies.
Most of the ore stoped to date on the Wednesday claim has been 4 to 6
feet thick and has had a maximum thickness of approximately 15 feet, The ore
mined from the Virgin No. 3 claim and Government Block B has been thinner; the
average thickness has been about 3-1/2 feet and the maximum thickness about 10
feet. The back is sandstone and has stood well for the most part. Roof bolt-
ing has not proved effective in increasing the widths of the stopes, as it is
not always possible to anchor the bolts to competent rock at the places where
they are most needed.
Blast holes are drilled with airleg-mounted drills and 7/8-inch hexagonal
steel integral with 1-17/32-inch tungsten carbide insert chisel bits. Bunker
reported that in the Virgin mine he can drill 800 to 1,000 feet of hole in the
harder ground with one piece of steel before the gage of the bit is worn too
small for further use. At that time the crown of the insert is worn down only
20 to 35 percent. The life of the steel is prolonged by spotting beads of
tube-borium rod on the two gage points of the bit. The bit can then be used
only in soft ore, but an additional 80 to 100 feet of hole can be drilled be-
fore the beads break off. The process can be repeated until the steel or
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Dare, W. L. Uranium-Mining Practices and Costs at Ten Salt Wash Lease Operations of Union Carbide Nuclear Co., report, 1959; Washington D.C.. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc170712/m1/39/: accessed September 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.