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Smallcleugh Mine - Beyond Bogg Shaft, Longcleugh and Middlecleugh North Veins (28/07/05)

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On the last few trips we have been looking at the most western parts of the mine. Continuing on the theme, this trip we went to the forehead of the west side of the Longcleugh Vein, and explored some of the stopes on the Middlecleugh North Vein. The problem with this part of the mine is that it takes about a hour to get there, and so you loose over two hours of play time throughout the day.

We made our way to the rise on the Longcleugh Vein which took us up into the stopes to bypass the collapse at Bogg's Shaft, at the same time taking the opportunity to replace the original anchor placed there in 1990. From the stope on the other side of Bogg Shaft an ore shoot was rigged and we dropped back down into the horse level. We headed west until a junction was reached. Turning right we entered a crosscut and came to a toilet box, continuing on a sump was crossed in the centre of the passage which, leads to the Caplecleugh Level. At the end of the crosscut another sump was reached and we climbed an incline over the sump into a massive stope on the Middlecleugh North Vein which puts the Ballroom to shame. The stope had many well preserved artifacts and a number of ore shoots which led to a partially flooded sub level, which needs to be explored. A ledge could be seen in the stope some 6m above which we managed to climb up to, here we discovered a tool box and many artifacts, including pit prop timbers. On the way out from the stope the remains of a double rise was seen some 20m above us just suspended in the air - probably the result of the Vieille Montagne Zinc Company reworking the stopes for zinc. We wondered if any explorers have managed to get up there?

Back in the cross cut we put in an anchor for the sump to the Caplecleugh Level for next time, we would have done more but the drill ran out of juice after the first one. Returning to the Longcleugh Vein, we carried on to the forehead and yet again found more artifacts. Karli climbed up a rise just past the junction which needs more investigation next time round and yet again he reported many artifacts. As always one trip is never enough to check out an area and we need to come back again with some more equipment, with a view to checking out the sub level, sump to Caplecleugh and the level in the stope.