Salus began continuous mining from the launch shaft towards the SVCW plant after a planned stoppage. During the final stop, Barnard-Bessac Joint Venture (BBJV) disassembled the launch cradle and made modifications to the launch shaft in preparation for Salus’ continuous mining. BBJV installed a drive unit and continuous muck conveyor system within the shaft to haul the much from the face of Salus’ cutting tool to the launch shaft. The drive unit pulls the continuous conveyor belt and transfers the muck from the conveyor system to remove muck from the shaft. The last thing BBJV installed was the California switch, which allows supply rail cars to pass each other in the tunnel to promote efficient movement of supply materials in and out of the tunnel.
Safety is emphasized at all stages of the continuous mining process. BBJV conducts daily tunnel taskforce meetings and works closely with SVCW to monitor ground settlement. BBJV staff visit stations in the tunnel and on the TBM to monitor the safety equipment, review safety equipment operations, and practice mine safety rescues on a regular basis.
As of October 19, Salus mined 1,470 feet from the launch shaft and built 289 rings.