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DAY TEN – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

Holy Moly! It was a bit hard getting up this morning! The bones aching and the muscles complaining – not to mention the bladder with it’s private problems and the…..well……I hate getting old and being so unfit! Plus it’s cold…..and I’m tired…..(*enter whiney voice!*)…… But once we got to the drilling site all the whininess evaporated and I remembered that I am HAVING THE BEST TIME! We drilled two holes and by the end I was able to identify serpentinite confidently. And thankfully there was no asbestos, although we did still wear masks just in case. Today’s drill site was right next to the quarry, and as expected we found a lot of magnesite. If you look closely you can see clumps of magnesite just sitting on top of the ground. This paddock would make for some very healthy cows me thinks! There was a sense of elation as we completed the last hole. You can see the Long-Suffering Delightful Alfy looking especially elated! Jason just looks hungover! Again, the countryside is just amazing in Young. The paddocks are so lush and green despite not having much rainfall. I love the way the hills display a patchwork of fields with outcrops […]

DAY NINE – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

OH GOD I AM SO TIRED!……. But I am having so much fun! Today upon arriving at the drill site after having to stop for Cranberry Juice and Ural (don’t ask – it happens to me in the field all the time!), I immediately located a potential free-pee tree…..but as I got closer it kind of lost points in the rating……you can see why! Yeah…..I think that’s a dead cat – but it looks like it kinda just fell out of the tree and got stuck! It had me entranced for a while…..and then I had to choose another free-pee spot. Thank goodness for the delightful Alfy who recommended an excellent spot – which so far has been the best – I would give it 10 out of 10 as it had a particularly comfortable branch to squat on! Anyways! Back to work! Today was a hard day’s drilling. We managed 3 holes and two of them involved potential asbestos. The call to don the “Sperm” suits was made by the delightful Alfy. Full protective gear was necessary which involved a wonderful onesie that pulled at the crotch like you wouldn’t believe, masks, glasses and gloves. The onesie has a hoodie […]

DAY EIGHT – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

The countryside is just stunning…… I think I’m falling in love with outback NSW. The colours change with the sunrise, the granites cast purple glows and the sky is always changing. But today we had rolling mists, fog in the valleys…..and it was cold! Crisp and cold! Gawd….it’s just beautiful! We set up the drilling rig as the sun rose over the mists. The cows once again graced us with their presence – I swear the pressure of having them watch us constantly, I feel the need to break into a song and dance repeatedly. If I was a paranoid person I would think they were plotting to kill me…… We named this one Wilson……because he has a big head and well……he looks like a Wilson. I LOVE DRILLING!!!! Watching the dirt come out of the cyclone into the bag in all it’s different coloured horizons. How exciting is it to know that we are seeing what lies 20-30 metres below the ground! And to think of how it got there, the story it has to tell about floodplains, and droughts, and volcanic eruptions, and…..and…..! ….ok….so you may think I am overreacting and it’s just dirt……but look at the rich, […]

DAY SEVEN – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

Today was…….frustrating……! Finally we were all set to drill. 7am – bright eyed and bushy tailed, we started out to the first drilling site – hole 1 of 10 holes, 30 metre depth per hole. So overall, the program plans to drill 300 metres. I was so eager and looking forward to learning how to do drill logs and describe the geology of drill samples. It was freezing when we arrived at the first drill site – the wind chill factor was enough to make my nose feel as though it belonged to someone else! The cows immediately began eating the safety cones and trying to mount the trailer! We really are the biggest source of entertainment these beasts have ever had! Watching the rig set up was really interesting, my main thoughts – “Cor it’s big!” and “I wonder if the driller will let us shoot paddy melons out the top of it!”. The rig is an air core which means the drill shoots air at a massive pressure into the ground, virtually pulverising the dirt and causing it to loosen. It is then sucked up into a cyclone where the dirt is collected. Our trusty fieldies grab the bag […]

DAY SIX – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

Oh My Giddy Aunt! I have had the BEST DAY EVER!!!! This morning after packing the car, my Long Suffering Mentor surprised me with a visit to the Young Magnesite mine. It was so good to get out of the warehouse and see some landscape. Young, NSW is stunningly beautiful with it’s rolling hills, green pastures and beautiful gum trees. We saw a lot of kangaroos and wallabies, but no wild pigs, much to Jason’s relief! Donning our hot pink hard hats, we met up with Kevin, who has been running the mine forever! The magnesite mine consists of rock estimated to be up to 30 million years old and produces magnesite which is the highest grade in the Southern Hemisphere and the second highest grade in the whole world! Magnesite is used for many medicinal purposes and also can be used as food additives for animals. I have NEVER seen anything like what I saw today. There are lots of photos so I’ll go through step by step…. Magnesite in it’s raw form looks like a bulbous piece of white poo. But when you split it open it contains a pure white chalky powder that gives us superpowers when […]

DAY FIVE – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

Today I had the BEST day! Today we had to get rid of the huge bulka bags – the ones that were chocka block full of dirt! The process of doing this involved raising the bulka bag onto a forklift and moving it over a tipper truck. We then cut the bottom of the bag and emptied it into the tipper truck……sounds easy huh? It was dirty, nasty, dust up the nose, eyes streaming, dust in every crevice and orifice. It was also the most AWESOME job in the world. The colours of the different dirt was amazing – some vivid reds, some powder mustard yellows, some bright greens. Watching the stream of dirt falling from the bag was like a beautiful waterfall.                               Then we got to pick through the dirt to find different interesting rocks. Even the rent-a-fieldy started finding me great samples. The job ended up taking a lot longer than it should have with us digging through the tipper truck finding bits of cobalt, manganese and serpentinite.                           The dust […]

DAY FOUR – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

-7 degrees celsius….feels like -11.4 degrees celsius…… Are you KIDDING ME!!! It was so cold I couldn’t feel my face when I walked to the shed! There were frosticles everywhere! Even the locals looked slightly surprised! When I was moving rubbish around from outside the shed the front of my shirt was covered in ice – it looked like I was turning into a snowman! Another day at the warehouse and today it finally felt like we were getting somewhere. The shelves are organised, and although things are not in numerical order they are at least all in the same location. Just one more day and it should be all finished. The final job will be a little bit like tetris, moving things around to find the right fit, and to make room to fit another 9-10 pellets of sample bags which will be collected during this drilling program. To reward myself, I went off for lunch at the famous Wilder’s bakery in Young! I’m really missing my mum at the moment so I decided to have a creamed apple turnover as it is her very favourite thing. I can verify that the bakery is wonderful and the cakes are […]

DAY THREE – YOUNG DRILLING PROGRAM

HOLY GUACAMOLE!!! It’s cold – it is so fricking cold that even the frost flakes are cold! A start of -2.7 degrees Celcius (it would stick a dog to a tree or so my Dear Old Dad would say!) meant that I wore every single layer that I bought with me to the shed this morning, walking through Young looking like a Michelin Man with the locals looking at me with brief disdain! My brain must have frozen a bit because I couldn’t think straight until after my fourth cup of tea. There was frost on EVERYTHING! On the ground, the car, the clothesline, my bags of dirt!                                                                         So today was spent sorting big, big bulka bags of dirt, trying to make space, checking and rechecking codes against the magical list of dirt to keep and dirt to throw away, and creating more of a semblance of organisation from anarchy. We kinda feel like we are making a bit of progress – if I had more […]