Equipment Specs

Shaft Mining

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Mining Processes

Shaft mining is a form of underground mining using shafts driven vertically from the top down into the earth to access ore or minerals. Shaft mining, also termed shaft sinking, is particularly ideal for concentrated mineral deposits, such as iron or coal, that are deeply imbedded underground.[1] Today, shaft mines are still found all over the world and most underground mines feature shafts.

[edit] Process

A shaft mine is comprised of many different compartments. A primary compartment or central shaft with a cage functions as an elevator to transport equipment and workers in and out of the mine. A secondary compartment called a skip is used to transport the mined ore or other material up to the surface. Smaller shaft mine operations sometimes mount the skip under the cage. A third shaft is reserved as an emergency exit, housing an additional cage or system of ladders. Supplementary shafts or compartments in the mine service cables and pipes for transporting water, compressed air, and diesel fuel.[2] Additional horizontal workings referred to as drifts, galleries, or levels extend out from the central shaft in the direction of the ore body.

A shaft mine is also easily distinguished by a building at the surface called a pithead, headframe, or poppet head. Historically, the pithead of a shaft mine contained a winding engine that was used to raise miners in and out of the mine. Today, this is accomplished with an electric hoist motor or sheave wheel, a hoist motor mounted on the ground. The pithead building also functions as a storage facility for ore before it is hauled away to a processing facility.[3]

[edit] Equipment Used

[edit] References

  1. Shaft Mining., 2008-09-29.
  2. Underground Mining Methods. History of Mining in Minnesota, 2008-09-29.
  3. Underground Mining Methods. History of Mining in Minnesota, 2008-09-29.