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Mine ventilation shafts???????????????


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Big Question..............

Im sitting up at RH last weekend looking at Ocatve mine and wondering....

How did those guys get vent shafts into the mine? Did they dig up from the main shaft?

(That would be rough)

Did they dig down?

Just wondering.

Tom H

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Check out the giant fan I posted pics of that was sitting out in front of a adit. There's a pic of the mine it was in front of too. You can't tell very good from the pic but looking into that mine, there was a big hole going straight down about twenty feet in with a couple of rotten boards for a bridge across it. After that the mine went straight back about 200 feet before I lost visibility. There was no way I was getting near that hole either.

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Good question.

I believe both meathods were used- blasting their way up, or down. The question is how did they keep from getting knocked on the head or worse, when drilling up, or prying loose rocks after a blast.

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They dug up and down depending on the need at the time Tom.

Mining upward is not uncommon. Usually stopes are worked from the bottom so gravity ends up doing some of the work. If the gangue or country rock is weak the ore is removed from above to avoid the danger of cave ins.

When the tunnel is dug from below it's called a raise. When dug from above it's called a winze.

Here is a diagram that explains the different major types of mine excavation.


Notice how the sump is being pumped onto the workhouse on the end of the adit? Cartoon miners make those kind of mistakes all the time. :arrowheadsmiley:

Hope that helps.

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Even in the old days air was piped down line to the end of the shaft or working area. It was still hot but better than what nature was providing. In Coal Mines it flushed out the Methane and made things some what more safe. In the Old days they used Oil Sealed Compressors and that made almost as much a problem as the chit they was trying to lose. Water was more a Problem then Gas in Perseus metal mines. The little oil vapor that got through was ugly . Most people didn't recognize the problems. Being The Wild Kind, they just took it as Yet Another bad thing that can happen if your a Miner. Scieince was not much of the game back then . Holeo say, Juan says, George Says, Frits Says was all they had to go by.

Edited by homefire
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You use a scaling bar, for loose rock on the ceiling which is called, the back.An inside shaft is called a winze and a upward shaft is a raise....and it's really only a tunnel if both ends open to the outside,otherwise it's an adit or drift.Drifting is mostly used in conjunction with placer mines such as old tertiary rivers.In different mining districts and states people use and or interchange mining terms.

Edited by David Wiseman
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Yup it can be either from the surface down or from the mine to the surface. Now it is not uncommon to bore a hole from the bottom to the surface. They first start out with a pilot hole to the bottom, now that can be a trick hitting the drift, and then attach a cutter and pull the cutter up. Of course some distances are too difficult to do this method and the machines would need to be too large to pull up all the steel and the cutter and still cut the rock. They have to clean the cuttings out all the time at the bottom. In the olden days where there were a lot of mines in the area they would simply run a drift over to the already existing shaft or older workings IF the owner of the other mine was so inclined to allow. Or they could just buy out the claim. Spent a lot of time in underground mines some time ago in Leadville, New Mexico, PA and KY. It was another world and would love to do it again, but, now, too old. It was the best job to have.

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