Access to the ore bodies underground is provided by the 10.27-mile haulage tunnel which serves at once as transportation for miners proceeding to their working places, for supplies being taken underground, and for haulage of ore and waste rock.
Three-boom Gadner-Denver jumbo at face.The haulage of waste to surface is unique but it was pointed out that because of topography, climate, and mining conditions, studies showed that the best place to dump the rock was in the valley north of the Tide surface camp.
Three large 750 h.p. Mitsubishi electric trolley locomotives drawing power from a 1500-volt system are used to haul the 50-ton side dump railroad cars and the ingoing man-trains through the 15-ft. by 15-ft. tunnel.
The trip underground in the locomotive beside the driver, a situation which provided an excellent look at the trackage and tunnel's physical aspects. A Basque, he kept up a running commentary on the joys and difficulties of his job and of the changing conditions in the tunnel where, he pointed out, here the rock conditions were not so good and a considerable amount of rock bolting had to be done, and there where steel sets were installed for sup- port, and so on.
The trip itself started in the "station" immediately below the concentrator building on the 2,460-ft. level, proceeding through a 380"ft; concrete-snow shed before entering the tunnel proper . The train travels along at a good clip and takes about 27 minutes to reach the underground terminal where the men disembark to go to their jobs in the various areas or to be taken by trackless vehicles to their working places. Hardly to be realized is that during the trip the train has passed under two mountain peaks and three glaciers.
At or near the underground terminal are located the compressor room for underground air supply, repair shops, the drill-bit sharpening room operated by Hard Metals Ltd. which supplies the underground-drill requirements, sub- station, tire repair and change shops, lunch rooms, supervisory staff offices, and other service facilities.