Work has begun to launch prospecting operations at the Buffalo Boy Mine this summer, with a crew putting up a fence around the 2.6-acre permitted area at the Oyama Tunnel near the summit of Stony Pass.
Officials with the Buffalo Boy Mining Co. and Running Sun Advisory Services, a Denver-based mining venture firm, said they see the potential for a 100-ton-a-day mining operation by accessing the Buffalo Boy workings through the nearby Oyama Tunnel.
John Wright, consulting engineer on the project, figures the Oyama tunnel is about 2,500 feet long and about 300 feet shy from being under the Buffalo Boy workings. But it will take another 1,000 feet of tunneling to get completely under it.
The Colorado Division of Reclamation and Mining Safety has issued a permit for the prospecting operation.
“It’s small,” Wright acknowledged. The first step — a visual inspection of the Oyama Tunnel, has already been completed.
Wright said he entered and was able to go about a third of the way into the 2,500-foot-long Oyama Tunnel before he came upon a cave-in which he described as “not severe.” And he said the air was good up to that point.
The next step will involve tunnel ventilation, as well as hand sampling of water and rock.
Later this summer, site preparation will begin, followed by actual prospecting activity that is projected to last until the fall of 2015.
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