Exploring an Early Colonial Mine

Its been a while since I posted. Recently we sent the Trident into a newly discovered flooded pit in an early colonial mine. The mine is said to good quite deep underground, but until recently only minor adits were uncovered. After recently clearing what was thought to be a dead end, a partly filled and flooded pit was found on the other side. To one side we could see it opened up to a passage. Feeling this might be the lost pit to the deeper part of the mine, we sent in the ROV, and we weren’t disappointed. We’re already planning out our next visit with the ROV to go even deeper and see what we can uncover.

Here are some clips from the 45 minutes of video we got.

Hopefully soon we will have a much more crafted video of what we’ve uncovered during this expedition.

~Michael

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Amazing, nice footage! Please keep up posted with more videos. Out of curiosity, how did you manage the tether cable? It appears to be a complex structure with many protruding elements where the cable could get entangled.

Bests,

@Jose Thanks! I cannot deny that the tether and several other reason were a concern of mine for getting stuck. Thank goodness the tether is somewhat buoyant, and stayed near the ceiling of the passages, and away from all the debris that littered the floor.

When we explored a pit and down to some lower passages though, the risk factor went up. We did get stuck for a few minutes, but with one person working the controls and the other gently pulling on the tether, we got it free.

When the final video for our first run is ready, I’ll post it here. More visits to this mine to come in the near future too.

~Michael

I can imagine all the stress operating in such environment. What was the longest track? We have operated the ROV in some fairly complex artificial structures, and I must admit that the fear of entanglement was too high, so we played safe by staying close to the home station (30~40m). After that, we started to explore the idea of developing a navigation-assisting system to improve reliability and safety. I’ll let you know if something comes up, maybe it can help people exploring complex environment.

Cheers,

@jose We didn’t go too far on the first visit. I think we did a total of 45-50m for this first run. 30m of it was following the first drift. We then came to a pit that dropped 6-9m, did a 180 degree turn and began following another drift for another 10m or so. Nothing too complex for the first run. We had taken our time to look for side passages or mining artifacts.

When we reach the furthest point in the lower drift, the walls and floor began to vanish and we were in total darkness. We think we might have found a very large stope the records of the mine spoke of. That was when we somehow got stuck. Once free we decided to get a few more images of a few things and then called it a day. We’re working on a plan to return to the possible stope with better lighting.

I’d be interested in learning about your navigation system. we don’t have a planned return date yet, but hopefully it won’t be too long from now.

I’d also be interested in knowing more about where you have explored with your ROV. I saw you ROV on the page for the university website you have a link for in your profile.

Best Regards,
~Michael