hi all i thorght i would post some of the dangers of exploreing old non active mines 1.never go alone in a tunnel or down a shaft always have at least 1 other person with you or near by if going down a shaft AND ALWAYS LET SOMEONE KNOW WHEN YOU ARE COMEING HOME OR BACK HAVE A SET TIME 2. When walking into a tunnel always look on the floor for shafts or stoped out parts along the tunnel floor sometimes the whole floor of the tunnel can be just old wooden boards that are coverd by dirt and with out knowing you may walk over the top of these false floors and fall several meters if in dout always get a small scoop and remove the top layer of dirt on the floor of the tunnel if you find rock under it it means its ok to walk on but if its wood it can be unsafe to continue walking on it test the floor every 1 to 2 meters as you walk unless you can see solid rock in the floor. 3. When going down a shaft get a big old sheet or blanket and tie it to the end of your rope and pull it up and down in the shaft for 5 to 15mins to displace any bad air and gas before going down hower if you have a gas detector you wont need to do this. For tunnels do the same but with a unbrella if there is no vent shafts. 4. If you find a water filled tunnel and the water is higher than say anke high drain it first do NOT WADE IN WATER KNEE OR WASTE HIGH it can be deadly because of the carbon gas and rotting wood under or in the water again do step 3. After draining the water 5. Never go past a rock fall from the roof even if you can see it gos on past it because the ground is most likely a fault zone and still unstable the old miners only put in wood props to give them some warning if pressure was on the props to get out before a cave in not to surport the roof at all. 6. Always take 3 torchers with you and a head torch so you can have your hands free incase of any unexpected things that may happen .7 wear a mask for dust a lot of miners died from dust in their lungs a painful way to die and slow.8. If you see frogs and womats snakes fruit bats and other animals in the mine do not corner them as they will try and bite/run at you they will be as scared of you as you are of them but if you do find animals in the mines it means the air is good and safe from bad air and gas. 9. Always keep a first aid kit close to you .10. Never dig into a quartz reef in the roof of a tunnel as you could bring down a rock biger than you when i take reef samples i take them out of the floor or near the base of the walls with a hammer and chizzel/steel stake never the røof ever if you can see gold its not worth it. 11. When inspecting quartz in the old slag head/waste rock look out for old cynide pits in the ground near mine sites they look like water pits DO NOT DRINK WASH OR HANG OVER THESE PITS FOR A LOOK. 12. If your panning down stream from a big mine waste dump expect to find mercury actached to your gold DO NOT TAKE IT OUT OF THE WATER it will start vaporizeing into a gas form and is deadly if breathed in as a gas form .13. When detecting around deep shafts never go right to the edge of the shafts as they could be under cut or crumbly without you knowing it.14 enjoy your adventures and stay safe and use common sence and wear a hard hat and goggles gloves when smashing quartz regards hunting the yellow
Last edited by Hunting the yellow (08 November 2014 04:11 am)
again this is just my basic list if i was to write out all the steps in exploreing a mine safely as possiple it would be at least 10 pages long this is just a guide only
i will be adding pics of my own to explan some of the text and dangers listed above in a few weeks
With the greatest respect HTY,
You are obviously very experienced and are more than capable of staying safe.
For the rest of us it would be irresponsible without training to enter a mine. You put your life at risk, life of your rescuers at risk and destroy the lives of your family if it all goes bad. No gold is worth that and its hard to spend when your dead
I have only done some confined space training for tunnel rescue of failed trains and it scared the hell out of me to never go in an old Gold mine. There are gases that you can disturb in water, rotting vegetation, blood and bone pits, hydrogen sulphide (rotten egg gas) that will literally put you to sleep and you never wake up. You also initially smell it then it dulls your sense of smell in about 20 seconds so you think its gone then you die.
Sewer workers have lent over man hole covers initially smelt the hydrogen sulphide, thought it was clear, passed out, fell in and died. There was another case of an abattoir where a blood and bone pit was disturbed by a worker stirring up the hydrogen sulphide he died, his rescuer died as well till they figured out what was happening. I hope I have scared some of you. Lowering a gas monitor down the confined space is critical.
Cut from Google.
The 5 fatal mistakes of confined space entries
1. The prime causal factor for 92% of confined space fatalities in the last 15 years in Western Australia was ‘inadequate
confined space entry training’
2. Over 90% of confined space fatalities had ‘inadequate supervisor knowledge and supervision’ as the secondary
cause of the fatality.
3. Contractors who work within confined spaces make up 60% of fatalities within confined space statistics.
4. Only 15% of organisations that suffered a confined space fatality had ‘appropriate confined space procedures in place’
5. Internationally, 60% of confined space fatalities have occurred when personnel have tried to rescue injured
personnel from within confined spaces
I come from a safety critical industry and this activity would never pass a risk assessment without proper equipment and training.
There are people that disregard safety warnings and I see them on the news all the time. So your advice will keep them alive for a bit longer.
Thanks for sharing your experience and I learnt that the are even more hazards down there.
Last edited by Retirement Stone (08 November 2014 06:13 am)
SDC 2300, Walbanker, Garrett pans, Determination and a touch of Gold Fever!
just trying to get some verry basic ideas/dangers into people who dont have any exprience in it or what to do if they wore to come accross something listed above
Yep I agree mate 100% and I did not want my post to come across as an attack which sometimes is hard to convey on a forum.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge on the subject with us and I look forward to seeing your photos
SDC 2300, Walbanker, Garrett pans, Determination and a touch of Gold Fever!
i know m8 you wore not attacking anyone m8 just happy to share knownlage as the verry first mine i ever went into had a live tnt stick unexploded left in the wall of a tunnel that was at the age of 12 ill post that pic too so people know a bit of what to expect
To add a bit more, I always carry a wooden broom handle with me. As I walk in I tap the floor and roof in front of me. If the sound is dull it is probably o.k. If it's drummy or hollow sounding you need to be extremely careful.
The most important thing when you go underground is a hard hat. Never enter a mine without one. A mine I was drilling in a few years back looked good. However just drilling loosened a rock the size of a football. It fell just 30cm onto my head. My hard hat was split down the middle and I had a very sore neck and shoulder afterwards. No hard hat, and you wouldn't be reading this.
Also always wear steel cap boots. Same applies. A rock falls on your foot, your going to get hurt. My advice here is if you don't know exactly what you are doing, stay above ground. it's that simple.
I can appreciate HTY sharing your info and knowledge of exploring old mines, I get a kick out of reading the stories and seeing the pic's.
I also appreciate what RT is saying here too as there are a lot of dangers that the average Joe Blow wouldn't understand with the characteristics of certain gasses and the effects they have, let alone the other slip, trip, fall and cave in issues.
I work in gas regulator pits maintaining the flow from transmission Press > HP > MP > low pressure around Melbourne and confined space is part of my every day job, we regularly get called to escapes in pits and have to diagnose and fix the problems, training and knowledge of various gasses and how they behave is paramount in our industry.
With all the training, equipment and knowledge I have in confined spaces I personally wouldn't feel safe in an old mine, it's not my field of expertise and there are too many "unknowns" and variables present.
I take my hat off to HTY, Puddler Bill and the others who give us the chance to explore these old mines from our living room chairs, you guys have got "big balls", there's nothing I can say that you don't already know so good luck guys and stay safe.
As for anyone with no real experience in exploration, mining and confined space (and doesn't have a death wish) my advise would be PB's quote
My advice here is if you don't know exactly what you are doing, stay above ground. it's that simple.
PS: looking forward to more pic's HTY
Gold ............ it's more about the places it takes you than about how much you find, peaceful surroundings in the middle of the bush is what it's all about :-)
im also looking forward to pics ohh wait im the guy taking the pics ops lol
heres the first one when walking along a tunnel watch out for shafts in the floor the other side of this shaft is quite dangerous as its all just wood platforms filled with waste rock to act as a false foor this is what i was saying about in the very first post again to check this scrap down with a scoop untill you hit true rock bottom this shaft you see here gos 60meters strait down to another level of the mine
heres no.2 water filled tunnel note the water line i did dig this out but the grass has took over and water filled shaft never go into a shaft like this allways put something heavy on the end of your rope so you can hear it splash if there is water
draining a tunnel
heres no.3 caved in areas when you see the old props like this dont even go near them as they are under a lot of pressure
and a tunnel like this a wombat size hole do not try and go past it
Last edited by Hunting the yellow (10 November 2014 04:53 pm)
heres another one when I went into this one I had a gas mask as the mould spurs can make you quite sick this wood I could stick my finger strait into it very easy as it was rotten
and another big cave in again only look from a distance away don't touch it
last one my favourite a live dynamite stick still left in the end of a old mine if you see this run outa there as fast as possible as it gets older the jelly/nitro glycerine gets very unstable and can go off with the smallest thing like a bug walking over it do NOT TRY TO EVEN SET IT OFF as it is still powerful enough to send rocks flying for at least 30meters down the tunnel let alone the shock wave
I found this one at the age of just 14 and when I came running out dad asked me what's wrong son I said its gunna BLOW !!!
Love these pics HTY...keep them coming mate
Gear used : Garret pans, mini sluice, Highbanker/sluice, Dry blower, Rock crusher and Minelab Pro-find pointer, MineLab XT17000
Amazing pics, and a huge set of balls. Thanks for sharing.
With my dislike of confined spaces I would never have witnessed something so awesome.
Huge areas stoped out...with all that rock above...SCAREY!!
thanks m8 love what I do but I thought I would post this topic for newbie's exploring the mines this just go's to show what dangers you could come across when exploring old mines
Agree with everything that has been mentioned already. Winzes (shafts inside adits to connect to lower levels) are extremely dangerous particularly if debris has partly obscured the shaft...be careful next time you step over logs or rubbish inside a tunnel. Another caution is highly cleaved or sheared rocks inside a tunnel or stope. Miners generally dug tunnels to allow the easiest way to get to the minerals. Stopes or tunnels in highly sheared or cleaved geology have the ability to cave in easily. Try not to bash rocks that hanging up above..because they are doing just that..hanging.
My two cents worth but maybe its best to not go in too deep
A mate and myself came across an old abandoned mine west of gympie a while back the location on qld globe was out by about 400trs and would be quite easy to just walk straight into either of the shafts which have been abandoned.
luckily for us we were taking our time trying to find this mine & saw the shafts in plenty of time.