Equipment Specs

Drift Mining

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Mining Processes

Drift mining is a method of subsurface mining or underground mining that involves cutting an opening horizontally into the side of a mountain or hillside to access a mineral seam. The result is the creation of a drift, a tunnel dug and driven directly along a horizontal path to the seam.[1]

[edit] Process

Drift mining is used to access a variety of minerals such gold, coal, quartz, and zinc. It poses a more economical means of retrieval than other more invasive forms of underground mining that involve excavating though rock.[2] Sub-horizontal and horizontal tunnels dug into the side of a mountain or hill, given the generic name of a drift, are usually driven at an incline or just below the seam so that gravity can better assist in the haulage of material out of the mine.[3] Once tunnels are driven, they can be used for haulage, ventilation, and exploration of other possible mineral or coal seams. Material is typically mined and extracted using longwall mining or room and pillar mining techniques and continuous mining equipment.[4]  Drift mines are a common type of mine throughout the eastern United States.[5]

[edit] Equipment Used

[edit] References

  1. Coal. Encarta, 2008-09-29.
  2. Drift Mining., 2008-09-29.
  3. Drift Mining., 2008-09-29.
  4. Types of Underground Coal Mines, 2008-09-29.
  5. How is coal mined?, 2008-09-29.