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How will the tunnel be built?

The underground mine tunnel entrance will be well outside of the Sheep Creek Valley and will form the main haulage way for equipment and workers between the surface and the underground mine development. It will be developed using the drill and blast method. Drill jumbos (underground mechanized drilling machines) will drill 1.75in diameter holes which will be loaded with explosives and then blasted. The broken rock (called muck) will be removed, the roof will be stabilized by bolting, and then the process will begin again. Each cycle advances the decline approximately 14 feet. As currently planned, the decline will be approximately 17ft X 17ft.