When you are 1500 feet deep, there’s no wind, there’s no ambient sound, and there’s no sunlight as well (no wonder!). However, ride on the elevator doesn’t take too long – during these seconds you virtually see your whole life in front of your eyes. The open cage whooshes downwards swinging around like crazy and your guts really seem to come all the way up to your throat!
When you’re out of the cage, you arrive to a small platform, where multiple tunnels are intercrossed. These tunnels are made for so called “taxis”, small diesel-powered vehicles that can transport 2 to 12 men, depending on their designation. The mine uptake is only a drop in the sea of shafts, since there are lots of tunnels, which lead to actual mining sites. The most distant longwall (which is the name of the place of actual mining) is 17 miles away from the elevator! The “taxi” drives at speed of 20-25 mph, so it takes quite some time for some miners to get to work.