Looking North from the South Rim

 

This panorama was taken from the first bench below the top of the pit and shows the north end of the pit and the small protrusion of the pit to the south east. The tunnel or portal half way down the north wall serves two purposes in this mine. First, it provides a way for ore haul trucks to access the bottom of the pit - the ramp continues underground and comes out through the portal in the bottom of the pit. Second, the underground ramp has allowed some exploratory tunneling to asses the feasibility of doing underground mining as the pit gets deeper. Note that that work area on the pit bottom has shrunk substantially from the 'footprint' of pit at the ground surface. Mineralization more than about another hundred feet below the pit floor will need to be mined as an undergound operation.

Examine the geology of the north pit wall. The main contact of the granite with the country rock amphibolite is fairly obvious as are several additional granitic intrusions. The same red-brown weathering profile is well developed over the north end of the pit. In some areas it is difficult to discern where the light-colored granite ends and the weathering begins.

Zoom in on the western margin of the large triangular mass of dark gray country rock near the top of the north wall. Just below the 2nd bench, can you see the very irrugular contact between the two dominant rock masses? The margins of the largest white colored dike in the east wall are quite sharp, most of the blurring seen when zooming in is caused by either loose rock or image processing.