Saturday, 12 September 2015

Getting to the Black-stone mine

The mice used to mine black-stone on the island but not any longer. The island mine ran out of black-stone about four years ago. Searching the nearby mainland for another source of black-stone was an epic adventure, but more black-stone was found.

The new mine is out of sight of the island over the hill crest. The journey to the new mine is perilous but many mice have to make that trip almost every day. In an effort to make the journey to the mine less dangerous a safe-path is being constructed on the mainland from the beach all the way to the mine. It is not complete yet and probably wont be completed for another year or two.

The safe path is a combination of full tunnel and covered way. It starts beneath a rock on the beach and heads uphill towards the mine. The tunnel passes under the rock and on the far side a ditch has been excavated and covered over with twigs and grass. The long term plan is eventually to dig this ditch deeper and cover it over with soil making it a complete tunnel, but that is going to have to wait until the covered way is completed.

The full journey to the mine, crosses the water of the bay, climbs the beach, dives into the short tunnel under the rock and along the covered way which already reaches to the top of the first hill. From that point mice have to rely on their wits and the protection of the Mecha Corp as they run to the mine in the valley beyond.

Each day as the mice return with their loads of black-stone, they spend a short time to extend the covered way a little.

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