During the fourth quarter, the Company made significant progress advancing the critical aspects of its mine expansion.
On surface, the major construction components are now completed. The headframe, the main substation, the hoist house building, the service hoist (which is used for shaft sinking) and the auxiliary hoist are all fully operational and 100% completed. The installation of the production hoist has commenced and commissioning is scheduled for the first quarter. The remaining work on surface includes the installation of the main skip dump and the surface ore bins.
Underground, shaft sinking is progressing well, in line with the Company''s scheduled rates of advancement. The shaft sinking is currently at a an approximate depth of 475 metres below surface, representing almost 60% of the total 825 metres planned for the first phase of the shaft sinking. Installation of the 740-metre level loading pocket is scheduled for the first quarter, and the ramp and stope development is also progressing on schedule. Accordingly, the Company maintains its development plan to begin mining via shaft in the third quarter this year."
The shaft was raise bored, which means from the bottom up to surface. This work IMO has been done for awhile. What I think they mean by shaft sinking is installing the internal working of the shaft (mainly the production hoist) which they are working from the surface down using the service hoist. This is my understanding.
If in fact they are still digging (boring) the shaft then, IMO, us longs are in trouble.
Hopefully Bell's email will clear up the confusion.
"The shaft sinking is currently at a an approximate depth of 475 metres below surface, representing almost 60% of the total 825 metres planned for the first phase of the shaft sinking."
This should tell you that they go from surface to bottom? otherwise they should have said 40% instead 60%? do you see what I mean? Am i wrong?
If you can contact PAL you should ask them to give some real clear drawing of the work they are doing. WIth what they give I have no idea what is going on and I am too far from LDI to pay them a visit.
The confusion is when the say "shaft sinking" which seems to mean that they are digging or boring the shaft from the surface down. I do not think that this is the case since the shaft was raise bored. They set up a raise boring machine on the surface in the head frame building. They first drill a pilot hole down to the 875m level where the ramps go down to. Then they attach a boring bit of say 3-5 m in diameter to the drill thread. The raise boring machine then pulls the boring head up to the surface. Using haul trucks they remove the drilling debris via the ramps. Once it reaches the suface the shaft is physically bored.
Now that the shaft is bored they then start installing the internals such as: ventilation, service hoist, auxillary hoist, and finally the production hoist. I think that it is these items that are installed from the surface down to 875m. We know the the auxillary, and service hoists are 100% complete and operating. They said that the production hoist should be finished by Q1 2013. So when they say that they are 60% complete with the sinking of the shaft, I think that they are referring to installing the production hoist and shaft internals, down to 875m. Again this is my understanding.