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Mining safely. Mining more. Mining right.

Mining safely. Mining more. Mining right. CONTENTS 3

1. Mining Methods
Hard Rock
Trackless Underground

2. Terminology


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Mining Methods (Coal) Mining Methods (Hard Rock)

Headframe Slope Mine

Hoist house Outcrop

Open Pit Mine

Inclined Level Ore
shaft Vein
Shaft Level
Single Cage
Stage Stope
Hoisting Massive
ore deposit Level
1st level

Skip hoist Sump

Drift Raise
2nd level


Sump Bottom level Prospecting drift


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The following definitions set out some standard

terminology used when setting up a mining database
and in preparing for mine scheduling. Different parts
of the world use different terms but fairly unimportant
provided everyone involved in your particular project
has a consistent understanding of the terms.



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A 11

Abandon: To cease efforts to produce oil, gas or ore Adit: A nearly horizontal passage from the surface
from a mine when it becomes unproductive or unprof- by which a mine is entered and dewatered. A blind
itable. horizontal opening into a mountain, with only one
Abutment: The areas of unmined rock at the edges
of mining excavation that may carry elevated loads Advance: Mining in the same direction, or order of
resulting from redistribution of stress. Example, in sequence; first mining as distinguished from retreat.
coal mining the weight of the rocks above a narrow
roadway is transferred to the solid coal along the sides Agitation: In metallurgy, the act or state of being stirred
which act as abutments of the arch of strada span- or shaken mechanically, sometimes accomplished by
ning the roadway; and the weight of the rocks over a the introduction of compressed air.
longwall face is transferred to the front abutment, that
is, the solid coal ahead of the face and the back abut- Agitation Leaching: Leaching of gold from the host
ment, that is, the settled packs behind the face. rock by agitating the ground ore in a cyanide solution.

Acid Digestion: Dissolving mineral substances in acid


Acid Mine Water: Mine water that contains free

sulphuric acid, mainly due to the weathering of iron

Active Workings: Any place in a mine where miners

are normally required to work or travel and which are
ventilated and inspected regularly.


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Airtrack: A type of track mounted percussion drill. Alluvial: Pertaining to sedimentary rocks transported
and deposited by a river system and also unconsoli-
dated, transported sediments.

Alluvial Deposits: Clay, sand, gravel, etc. removed

from a parent rock by water and weathering agents
and deposited at a distance.

Alluvial Gold: Gold transported and deposited by the

river action and mined from the river sediments.

Anemometer: Instrument for measuring air velocity.

Anfo: An explosive made by mixing ammonium nitrate

and fuel oil.

Angle of Dip: The angle that strata or mineral deposits

are inclined to the horizontal plane. In most locations,
earth movements subsequent to deposition of the
strata have caused them to be inclined or folded.

Airway: Any passage through which air is carried. Also

known as an air course.

Alloy: A composition consisting of two or more metals.


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Angle of Draw: In coal mine subsidence, this angle Ash: The inorganic residue remaining after a pulver-
is assumed to bisect the angle between the vertical ised sample, especially coal, is incinerated under
and the angle of repose of the material and is 20 for standard laboratory conditions.
flat seams. For dipping seams, the angle of break
increases, being 35.8 from the vertical for a 40 dip. Assay: In general, the determination of the quantity of
The main break occurs over the seam at an angle a desired metal per unit mass of the material contain-
from the vertical equal to half the dip. ing it. The term assay is usually restricted to materials
containing precious metals.
Angle of Repose: The maximum angle from horizontal
at which a given material will rest on a given surface
without sliding or rolling. Auger: A rotary drill that uses a screw device to pen-
etrate, break, and then transport the drilled
Anthracite: A hard, black coal containing a high material (coal).
percentage of fixed carbon and a low percentage of
volatile matter.

Anticline: An upward fold or arch of rock strata.

Aquifer: A water-bearing bed of porous rock, often


Arching: Fracture processes around a mine opening,

leading to stabilization by an arching effect.

Area (of an airway): Average width multiplied by aver-

age height of airway, expressed in square feet.


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Auger Mining: A form of underground mining that uses Notes

an auger, which looks like a large carpenters wood
drill. The auger bores into a coal seam and discharges
coal out of the spiral onto a waiting conveyor belt.
When mining is finished, the openings are back-filled.
This method is usually employed to recover any ad-
ditional coal left in deep overburden areas that cannot
be reached economically by further contour or area

Auxiliary operations: All activities supportive of but not

contributing directly to mining.

Auxiliary ventilation: Portion of main ventilating current

directed to face of dead end entry by means of an
auxiliary fan and tubing.



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Back: The roof or upper part in any underground min-

ing cavity.

Backfill: Mine waste or rock used to support the roof

after coal removal.

Back Pressure: Pressure formed by the restriction of

flow of either liquid or gas.

Bank Cubic Meter (BCM): A cubic meter of material in


Bank Cubic Yard (BCY): A cubic yard of material in


Bank / Bench Face: Specifically, usually a steep slop-

ing mass of any earthy or rock material rising above
the digging level from which the soil or rock is to be Bank Height / Bench Height: The vertical height of a
dug from its natural or blasted position in an open pit bank measured between its highest point or crest and
mine or quarry. its toe at the digging level or bench.

Bank Slope / Bench Slope: The angle, measured in

degrees of deviation from the horizontal, at which the
rock material will stand in an excavated, terrace like
cut in an open pit mine or quarry.


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Barrel (BBL): 42 US Gallons or ( 159 litres ). Bearing: A surveying term used to designate direc-
tion. The bearing of a line is the acute horizontal angle
Barricading: Enclosing part of a mine to prevent inflow between the meridian and the line. The meridian is
of noxious gasses from a mine fire or an explosion. an established line of reference. Azimuths are angles
measured clockwise from any meridian.
Barrier: Something that bars or keeps out. Barrier
pillars are solid blocks of coal left between two mines Bearing Plate: A plate used to distribute a given load.
or sections of a mine to prevent accidents due to in- In roof bolting, the plate used between the bolt head
rushes of water, gas, or from explosions or a mine fire. and the roof.

Base Metal: Any of the more common chemically ac-

tive metals, e.g. copper, lead, zinc, nickel, tin, etc. but
excludes gold or silver.

Batter: Slope of open pit walls.

Bauxite: A rock made up of hydrous aluminium oxides;

the most common aluminium ore.

Beam: A bar or straight girder used to support a span

of roof between two support props or walls.

Beam Building: The creation of a strong, inflexible

beam by bolting or otherwise fastening together sev-
eral weaker layers. In coal mining this is the intended
basis for roof bolting.


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Bed: A stratum of coal or other sedimentary deposit. Belt Conveyor: A looped belt on which coal or other ma-
terials can be carried and which is generally constructed
of flame-resistant material or of reinforced rubber or
rubber-like substance.

Bedrock: Solid rock mass exposed at the surface of

the earth or overlain by weathered unconsolidated
material and soils. It is also the firm base rock on
which structures are anchored.


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Belt Idler: A roller, usually of cylindrical shape, which

is supported on a frame and which, in turn, supports
or guides a conveyor belt. Idlers are not powered but
turn by contact with the moving belt.

Belt Take-up: A belt pulley, generally under a conveyor

belt and inby the drive pulley, kept under strong ten-
sion parallel to the belt line. Its purpose is to automati-
cally compensate for any slack in the belting created
by start-up, etc.

Bench: A ledge, which, in open pit mines and quar-

ries, forms a single level of operation above which
mineral or waste materials are excavated from a
continuous bank or bench face. The material or waste
is removed in successive layers, each of which is a
bench, several of which may be in operation simulta-
neously in different parts of, and at different elevations Benching: A method of working small quarries or open
in an open pit mine or quarry. pits in steps or benches.

Bench Face Slope: The angle measured in degrees

between the toe of the bench and the crest. Typically
this slope is about 60 degrees or in the ratio of two
units vertically to one horizontal. The material type
and extent of blasting will influence the angle.


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Bench Height: The vertical distance between the base Berm: A horizontal shelf or ledge built into an em-
of one bench and the base of the overlaying bench. bankment or sloping wall of an open pit or quarry
The bench height is designed by the mine planner. to break the continuity of an otherwise long slope
The main constraint on height of a bench is usually for the purpose of strengthening and increasing
the limiting thickness that can be handled by the drills the stability of the slope or to catch or arrest slope
and or loading equipment. slough material. A berm may also be used as a
haulage road or serve as a bench above which
material is excavated from a bank or bench face.

Binder: A streak of impurity in a coal seam.

Bentonite: A clay with great ability to absorb water and

which swells accordingly.


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Bituminous Coal: A middle rank coal (between sub

Bit: The hardened and strengthened device at the end bituminous and anthracite) formed by additional pres-
of a drill rod that transmits the energy of breakage to sure and heat on lignite. Usually has a high Btu value
the rock. The size of the bit determines the size of the and may be referred to as "soft coal."
hole. A bit may be either detachable from or integral
with its supporting drill rod. Black Damp: A term generally applied to carbon diox-
ide. Strictly speaking, it is a mixture of carbon dioxide
and nitrogen. It is also applied to an atmosphere
depleted of oxygen, rather than having an excess of
carbon dioxide.

Blast Hole (Bore Hole): A hole drilled into rock to ac-

commodate an explosive charge for blasting rock or

Blast: The ignition of explosive charges in an under-

ground mine, open cut mine or quarry to break up or
fracture rock material.

Blasting Agent: Material or mixture consisting of fuel

and oxidizer, used as an explosive. Ingredients are not
classified as explosives.


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Blasting Cap: A detonator containing a charge of deto- Block Caving: An inexpensive method of mining in
nating compound, which is ignited by electric current which large blocks of ore are undercut, causing the ore
or the spark of a fuse. Used for detonating explosives. to break or cave under its own weight.

Blasting Circuit: Electric circuits used to fire electric

detonators or to ignite an igniter cord by means of an
electric starter.

Bleeder or Bleeder Entries: Special air courses devel-

oped and maintained as part of the mine ventilation
system and designed to continuously move air-meth-
ane mixtures emitted by the gob or at the active face
away from the active workings and into mine-return air
courses. Alt: Exhaust ventilation lateral.


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Blow-Out: A sudden or violent escape of gas or oil Borehole: Any deep or long drill-hole, usually associ-
(and sometimes water) from a drilling well when high ated with a diamond drill.
pressure gas is encountered and preparation to pre-
vent or to control the escape has not been made. Borehole Mining: (BHM) is a remote operated method
of extracting mineral resources through boreholes by
Bolt Torque: The turning force in ft-lbs applied to a roof means of high pressure water jets. This process can
bolt to achieve an installed tension. be carried-out from land surface, open pit floor, un-
derground mine or floating platform or vessel through
Bolting: Drilling a hole, and inserting a bolt to strength- pre-drilled boreholes.
en the ceiling and walls of an underground mine.
Bottom: Floor or underlying surface of an underground
Booster: An explosive or special character used excavation.
in small quantities to improve the performance of
another explosive. A high explosive used to initiate an Break Line: The line that roughly follows the rear edg-
explosive charge. es of coal pillars that are being mined. The line along
which the roof of a coal mine is expected to break.

Breakthrough: A passage for ventilation that is cut

through the pillars between rooms.

Bridge Carrier: A rubber-tire-mounted mobile convey-

or, about 10 meters long, used as an intermediate unit
to create a system of articulated conveyors between a
mining machine and a room or entry conveyor.


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Bridge Conveyor: A short conveyor hung from the Bullion: Metal formed into bars or ingots.
boom of mining or lading machine or haulage system
with the other end attached to a receiving bin that dol- Bump (or burst): A violent dislocation of the mine
lies along a frame supported by the room or entry con- workings which is attributed to severe stresses in the
veyor, tailpiece. Thus, as the machine boom moves, rock surrounding the workings.
the bridge conveyor keeps it in constant connection
with the tailpiece. Burden: The volume of rock which lies within the zone
of influence of a charge of explosive; the volume of
Brow: A low place in the roof of a mine, giving insuf- rock to be broken by any hole or charge.
ficient headroom.
Butt Cleat: A short, poorly defined vertical cleavage
Brushing: Digging up the bottom or taking down the plane in a coal seam, usually at right angles to the
top to give more headroom in roadways. long face cleat.

Btu: British thermal unit. A measure of the energy re- Butt Entry: A coal mining term that has different mean-
quired to raise the temperature of one pound of water ings in different locations. It can be synonymous with
one degree Fahrenheit. panel entry, sub-main entry, or in its older sense it
refers to an entry that is "butt" onto the coal cleavage
Bug Dust: The fine particles of coal or other material (that is, at right angles to the face).
resulting form the boring or cutting of the coal face by
drill or machine. By-Product: A secondary metal or mineral product
recovered in the treatment process.
Bulk Mining: Any large-scale, mechanised method of
mining involving many thousands of tons of ore being
brought to the surface per day.



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Cage: In a mine shaft, the device, similar to an eleva- Cap: A miner's safety helmet. Also, a highly sensitive,
tor car, that is used for hoisting personnel and materi- encapsulated explosive that is used to detonate larger
als. but less sensitive explosives.

Calorific Value: The quantity of heat that can be liber-

ated from one pound of coal or oil measured in BTU's.

Channel Coal: A massive, non-caking block coal with

a fine, even grain and a conchoidal fracture which has
a high percentage of hydrogen, burns with a long, yel-
low flame, and is extremely easy to ignite.

Canopy: A protective covering of a cab on a mining


Cap Block: A flat piece of wood inserted between the

top of the prop and the roof to provide bearing sup-

Cap Rock: An impervious rock which may act as a

seal so hydrocarbons remain trapped in an underlying
or adjacent reservoir.

Car: A railway wagon, especially any of the wagons

adapted to carrying coal, ore, and waste underground.


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Car-Dump: The mechanism for unloading a loaded Certified: Describes a person who has passed an examina-
car. tion to do a required job.
Chain Conveyor: A conveyor on which the material
Carbide Bit: More correctly, cemented tungsten
is moved along solid pans (troughs) by the action of
carbide. A cutting or drilling bit for rock or coal, made
scraper crossbars attached to powered chains.
by fusing an insert of molded tungsten carbide to the
cutting edge of a steel bit shank.
Chain Pillar: The pillar of coal left to protect the gang-
way or entry and the parallel airways.
Carbon Dioxide: A colourless tasteless, odourless gas
(CO2) widely found in nature. Its excessive presence
Charge: The explosive or blasting agent used in a
in mines can cause breathing problems and with oxy-
blast hole.
gen depletion, death.
Charge or Load: To place explosives in a drill hole.
Cast: A directed throw; in strip-mining, the overburden
Also, to transfer broken material into a haulage de-
is cast from the coal to the previously mined area.

Charging Up: Filling up drill holes with explosives.

Check Curtain: Sheet of brattice cloth hung across an

airway to control the passage of the air current.

Chock: Large hydraulic jacks used to support roof in

longwall and shortwall mining systems.


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Claim: An area of land or water used by a prospec- Cleat: The vertical cleavage of coal seams. The main
tor or mining company for the purpose of exploration set of joints along which coal breaks when mined.
over a period of time. Claims are first staked out and
then recorded in the appropriate states Department of Coal: A solid, brittle, more or less distinctly stratified
Mines. combustible carbonaceous rock, formed by partial to
complete decomposition of vegetation; varies in color
Clay: An extremely fin-grained natural earthy material from dark brown to black; not fusible without decom-
composed primarily of hydrous aluminium silicates. position and very insoluble.
Clay is plastic when sufficiently pulverised and wetted,
rigid when dry, and vitreous when fired to a sufficiently Coal Blending: Coal that is mixed in predetermined
high temperature. and controlled quantities to produce a uniform feed or
Clay Vein: A body of clay-like material that fills a void
in a coal bed. Coal Dust: Particles of coal that can pass a No. 20
Clean Coal: Processed coal suitable for marketing.
Coal Gasification: The conversion of coal into a gas-
Clean Coal Technology: A number of innovative, new eous fuel.
technologies designed to use coal in a more efficient
and cost-effective manner while enhancing environ-
mental protection. Several promising technologies
include: fluidized-bed combustion, integrated gasifica-
tion combined cycle, limestone injection multi-stage
burner, enhanced flue gas desulfurization (or "scrub-
bing"), coal liquefaction and coal gasification.


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Coal Mine: An area of land and all structures, facilities, Coal Prep Plant: A place where coal is cleaned, sized
machinery, tools, equipment, shafts, slopes, tunnels, and prepared for market.
excavations, and other property, real or personal,
placed upon, under, or above the surface of such land Coal Reserves: Measured tonnages of coal that have
by any person, used in extracting coal from its natural been calculated to occur in a coal seam within a par-
deposits in the earth by any means or method, and ticular property.
the work of preparing the coal so extracted, including
coal preparation facilities. British term is "colliery". Coal Resources: Total coal deposits, regardless of
whether they can be mined or recovered. The United
States is estimated to have 4 trillion tons of coal re-
sources by the U.S. Geological Survey.

Coal Washing: The process of separating undesirable

materials from coal based on differences in densi-
ties. Pyritic sulphur, or sulphur combined with iron, is
heavier and sinks in water; coal is lighter and floats.

Coke: A hard, dry carbon substance produced by

heating coal to a very high temperature in the absence
of air.

Coking Coal: Coal which is suitable for making coal.

Collar: Top of shaft or raise or a drill hole.

Coal Miner: One who is engaged in the extraction of
coal. In 2005, 81,000 coal miners in the United States
produced about 6.3 tons of coal per hour each.


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Comminution: The breaking, crushing, or grinding of Cone Crusher: A machine which crushes ore
coal, ore, or rock. between a gyrating cone or crushing head and an
inverted, truncated cone known as a bowl.
Competent Rock: Rock which, because of its physical
and geological characteristics, is capable of sustaining
openings without any structural support except pillars
and walls left during mining (stalls, light props, and
roof bolts are not considered structural support).

Concentrate: The product of concentration in a treat-

ment plant, in which the abundance of a particular
mineral species is upgraded to the final product for
shipment from the mine.

Concentrator: A milling plant that produces a concen-

trate of the valuable minerals or metals. Further treat-
ment is required to recover the pure metal.
Consortium: A group of companies, not normally re-
lated, working together on a particular project.

Contact: The place or surface where two different

kinds of rocks meet. Applies to sedimentary rocks, as
the contact between a limestone and a sandstone, for
example, and to metamorphic rocks; and it is espe-
cially applicable between igneous intrusions and their


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Continuous Miner: A machine that constantly extracts Controlled Blasting: Blasting patterns and sequences
coal while it loads it. This is to be distinguished from designed to achieve a particular objective. Cast
a conventional, or cyclic, unit which must stop the blasting, where the muck pile is cast in a particular
extraction process in order for loading to commence. direction, and deck blasting, where holes are loaded
once but blasted in successive blast days apart, are

Conventional Mining: The first fully-mechanized

underground mining method involving the insertion of
explosives in a coal seam, the blasting of the seam,
and the removal of the coal onto a conveyor or shuttle
car by a loading machine.

Conveyor: An apparatus for moving material from one

point to another in a continuous fashion. This is ac-
complished with an endless (that is, looped) proces-
sion of hooks, buckets, wide rubber belt, etc.

Core: The long cylindrical piece of rock, brought to the

surface during some form of core drilling.

Core Sample: A cylinder sample generally 1-5" in di-

ameter drilled out of an area to determine the geologic
Contour: An imaginary line that connects all points on and chemical analysis of the overburden and coal.
a surface having the same elevation.
Coupling: Tube which connects the shank to the steel.


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Cover: The overburden of any deposit. Cross Entry: An entry running at an angle with the
main entry.
Crib: A roof support of prop timbers or ties, laid in
alternate cross-layers, log-cabin style. It may or may Crude Oil: Oil that has been produced from a reser-
not be filled with debris. Also may be called a chock voir.
or cog.
Crude Steel: Unrefined steel.
Cribbing: The construction of cribs or timbers laid at
right angles to each other, sometimes filled with earth, Crusher: A machine for crushing rock or other materi-
as a roof support or as a support for machinery. als. Among the various types of crushers are the ball
mill, gyratory crusher, handsel mill, hammer mill, jaw
Crop Coal: Coal at the outcrop of the seam. It is usu- crusher, rod mill, rolls, stamp mill, and tube mill.
ally considered of inferior quality due to partial oxida-
tion, although this is not always the case. Cut-and- Fill: A method of stoping in which ore is
removed in slices, or lifts, and then the excavation is
Crossbar: The horizontal member of a roof timber set filled with rock or other waste material (backfill) before
supported by props located either on roadways or at the subsequent slice is extracted.
the face.

Crosscut: A passageway driven between the entry

and its parallel air course or air courses for ventila-
tion purposes. Also, a tunnel driven from one seam to
another through or across the intervening measures;
sometimes called "crosscut tunnel", or "breakthrough".
In vein mining, an entry perpendicular to the vein.


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C 55

Cut-and-Fill Stoping: In cut and fill stoping, the ore

body is retrieved in horizontal slices beginning at the
very bottom and advancing upwards towards the
surface. Ramps are excavated to connect the surface
to the underground ore body. Drifts are excavated
to come in contact with the ore slices. The slices are
drilled using a jumbo, blasted by charging the drill
holes with explosives, and ore is removed by using
dump trucks or LHD vehicles. The ore is dumped into
an ore pass, an inclined tunnel where ore is trans-
ported to a lower elevation in the mine. The ore is
picked up at the other end of the ore pass by a LHD to
be transported out of the mine through a ramp. Once
a slice is completely mined out, the empty space is
partially backfilled hydraulically. The backfill material
used can be a mixture of sand and rocks, waste rock
with cement, or dewatered mill tailings. The backfill
underground serves to keep the mine walls stable
and also as the floor for mining the next slice. Mining
continues upwards towards the surface
until the ore body is depleted.


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C 57

Cut-Off Grade: The unit metal content at which ore is Cyclone: Equipment for separating course and fine
separated from waste. This is an economic distinc- particles by centrifugal force.

Cutter; Cutting Machine: A machine, usually used in

coal, that will cut a 10- to 15-cm slot. The slot allows
room for expansion of the broken coal. Also applies
to the man who operates the machine and to workers
engaged in the cutting of coal by prick or drill.

Cyanidation, Cyanide Leach: A method of extracting

exposed gold or silver grains from crushed or ground
ore by dissolving it in a weak cyanide solution. May be
carried out in tanks inside a mill or out in the open in
heaps of ore. Also known as leaching.

Cyanide: A chemical species containing carbon and

nitrogen used to dissolve gold and silver from ore.

Cycle Mining: A system of mining in more than one

working place at a time, that is, a miner takes a
lift from the face and moves to another face while
permanent roof support is established in the previous
working face.



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Deck: The area around the shaft collar where miners Deposit Types:
and materials enter the cage to be lowered under- Kimberlite pipes formed at least 93 miles (150 km)
ground. below the surface.

Demonstrated Reserves: A collective term for the sum Epithermal formed by hydrothermal volcanic activity
of coal in both measured and indicated resources and pushing magma through vents.
Laterites deeply weathered mixture of oxide, hy-
droxide minerals, and clays.
Density: The mass of material per unit volume ex-
pressed as kg/m3. Lode usually narrow and inconsistent, but important
sources of precious metals.
Depletion: The steadily declining amount of ore in
a property resulting from production. Minerals are Magmatic formed when molten rock cools, minerals
considered a depleting resource because once mined, crystallize and sink to the base.
they cannot be replaced. An accounting device, used
Massive homogenous mineralization that conforms
primarily in tax computations which recognises the
to the host rocks structure.
consumption and its diminishing years of future min-
ing. Placer minerals eroded, transported, and deposited
in a sedimentary bed.
Deposit: Mineral deposit or ore deposit is used to
designate a natural occurrence of a useful mineral, or Porphyry formed by igneous activity with mineraliza-
an ore, in sufficient extent and degree of concentration tion forming veins.
to invite exploitation.


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Depth: The word alone generally denotes vertical Development Mining: Work undertaken to open up
depth below the surface. In the case of incline shafts coal reserves as distinguished from the work of actual
and boreholes it may mean the distance reached from coal extraction.
the beginning of the shaft or hole, the borehole depth,
or the inclined depth. Diamond: The hardest known mineral, composed of
pure carbon; low-quality diamonds are used to make
Detectors: Specialized chemical or electronic instru- bits for diamond drilling in rock.
ments used to detect mine gases.

Detonator: A device containing a small detonat-

ing charge that is used for detonating an explosive,
including, but not limited to, blasting caps, exploders,
electric detonators, and delay electric blasting caps.

Diffusion: Blending of a gas and air, resulting in a ho-

mogeneous mixture. Blending of two or more gases.


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Diffuser Fan: A fan mounted on a continuous miner to Dragline: A large excavation machine used in surface
assist and direct air delivery from the machine to the mining to remove overburden (layers of rock and
face. soil) covering a coal seam. The dragline casts a wire
rope-hung bucket a considerable distance, collects the
Digging Height: Maximum safe digging height of an dug material by pulling the bucket toward itself on the
excavator. ground with a second wire rope (or chain), elevates
the bucket, and dumps the material on a spoil bank, in
Dilute: To lower the concentration of a mixture; in this a hopper, or on a pile.
case the concentration of any hazardous gas in mine
air by addition of fresh intake air.

Dilution: Waste material adjacent to the ore which

is unavoidably mined with the ore. The amount of
dilution is a function of equipment type, size, physical
differences of ore and waste and operator skills.

Dip: The inclination of a geologic structure (bed, vein,

fault, etc.) from the horizontal; dip is always measured
downwards at right angles to the strike.

Directional Drilling: A technique where a well is

deliberately drilled on an angle to reach a particular


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D 67

Drainage: The process of removing surplus ground or Drill: A machine utilizing rotation, percussion (ham-
surface water either by artificial means or by gravity mering), or a combination of both to make holes. If the
flow. hole is much over 0.4m in diameter, the machine is
called a borer.
Draw Slate: A soft slate, shale, or rock from approxi-
mately 1 cm to 10 cm thick and located immediately
above certain coal seams, which falls quite easily
when the coal support is withdrawn.

Drift: A horizontal passage underground. A drift follows

the vein, as distinguished from a crosscut that inter-
sects it, or a level or gallery, which may do either.

Drift and Fill Mining: A type of underground mining

where a horizontal underground opening follows along
the length of a vein or rock formation as opposed to
a crosscut which crosses the rock formation. The drift
is filled with backfill material as it progresses forward
when the vein or rock formation dips upwards.

Drift Mine: An underground coal mine in which the

entry or access is above water level and generally on
the slope of a hill, driven horizontally into a coal seam.


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Drilling: The use of such a machine to create holes for Notes

exploration or for loading with explosives.

Drop Cut: The initial cut made in the floor of an open-

pit mine or quarry for the purpose of developing a
bench at a level below the floor.

Dummy: A bag filled with sand, clay, etc., used for

stemming a charged hole.

Dump: To unload; specifically, a load of coal or

waste; the mechanism for unloading, e.g. a car dump
(sometimes called tipple); or, the pile created by such
unloading, e.g. a waste dump (also called heap, pile,
tip, spoil pike, etc.).



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E 73

Eluvial: Used to describe decomposed (weathered)

rock debris not far removed from the place of forma-
tion, which may contain a valuable constituent mate-
rial as residue.

Entry: An underground horizontal or near-horizontal

passage used for haulage, ventilation, or as a main-
way; a coal heading; a working place where the coal is
extracted from the seam in the initial mining; same as
"gate" and "roadway," both British terms.

Erosion: The breaking down and subsequent removal

of either rock or surface material by wind, rain, wave
action, freezing and thawing and other processes.
Exploder: A portable electrical energy source used to
Excavator: Open pit mining machine that mines by initiate electric detonators.
digging, lifting and dumping bucket loads of material
into a truck, generally articulated by hydraulics. Exploration: The search for mineral deposits and the
work done to prove or establish the extent of a mineral
deposit. Alt: Prospecting and subsequent evaluation.

Explosive: Any rapidly combustive or expanding sub-

stance. The energy released during this rapid com-
bustion or expansion can be used to break rock.

Extraction: The process of mining and removal of coal

or ore from a mine.



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Face: The exposed area of a coal bed from which coal Fan, Booster: A large fan installed in the main air cur-
is being extracted. rent, and thus in tandem with the main fan.

Face Cleat: The principal cleavage plane or joint at Fan Signal: Automation device designed to give alarm
right angles to the stratification of the coal seam. if the main fan slows down or stops.

Face Conveyor: Any conveyor used parallel to a work- Fault: A slip-surface between two portions of the
ing face which delivers coal into another conveyor or earth's surface that have moved relative to each other.
into a car. A fault is a failure surface and is evidence of severe
earth stresses.
Factor of Safety: The ratio of the ultimate breaking
strength of the material to the force exerted against it. Fault Zone: A fault, instead of being a single clean
If a rope will break under a load of 6000 lbs., and it is fracture, may be a zone hundreds or thousands of feet
carrying a load of 2000 lbs., its factor of safety is 6000 wide. The fault zone consists of numerous interlacing
divided by 2000 which equals 3. small faults or a confused zone of gouge, breccia, or
Failure: Failure in rocks means exceeding the maxi-
mum strength of the rock or exceeding the stress or Feasibility Study: An assessment of the legal, envi-
strain requirement of a specific design by an applied ronmental, social, cultural heritage and governmental
load. aspects of a proposed project as well as the techni-
cal aspects of mining, processing and marketing the
Fall: A mass of roof rock or coal which has fallen in product is coupled with financial analysis to determine
any part of a mine. the viability of the project.

Fan, Auxiliary: A small, portable fan used to supple- Feeder: A machine that feeds coal onto a conveyor
ment the ventilation of an individual working place. belt evenly.


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F 79

Ferrous: Mineral containing iron; non-ferrous is a Flat-Lying: Said of deposits and coal seams with a dip
standard term for other minerals. up to 5 degrees.

Fill: Any material that is put back in place of the ex- Flight: The metal strap or crossbar attached to the
tracted ore to provide ground support. drag chain-and-flight conveyor.

Fire Damp: The combustible gas, methane, CH4. Also, Flitch: Mining level in an open pit.
the explosive methane-air mixtures with between 5%
and 15% methane. A combustible gas formed in mines Float Dust: Fine coal-dust particles carried in suspen-
by decomposition of coal or other carbonaceous mat- sion by air currents and eventually deposited in return
ter, and that consists chiefly of methane. entries. Dust consisting of particles of coal that can
pass through a No. 200 sieve.
Firing / Footwall: Exploding holes charged with explo-
sives. Floor: That part of any underground working upon
1. The lower wall of an incline or horizontal fault. which a person walks or upon which haulage equip-
2. The junction of the ore body and the country rock on ment travels; simply the bottom or underlying surface
the lower side of the lode, ie the wall upon which the ore of an underground excavation.
body may be considered to be resting.
Flue Gas Desulfurization: Any of several forms of
Fissure: An extensive crack, break, or fracture in the
chemical/physical processes that remove sulfur com-
pounds formed during coal combustion. The devices,
commonly called "scrubbers," combine the sulfur in
Fixed Carbon: The part of the carbon that remains
gaseous emissions with another chemical medium to
behind when coal is heated in a closed vessel until all
form inert "sludge" which must then be removed for
of the volatile matter is driven off.


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F 81

Fluidized Bed Combustion: A process with a high Formation: Any assemblage of rocks which have
degree of ability to remove sulfur from coal during some character in common, whether of origin, age,
combustion. Crushed coal and limestone are sus- or composition. Often, the word is loosely used to
pended in the bottom of a boiler by an upward stream indicate anything that has been formed or brought into
of hot air. The coal is burned in this bubbling, liquid- its present shape.
like (or "fluidized") mixture. Rather than released as
emissions, sulfur from combustion gases combines Fossil Fuel: Any naturally occurring fuel of an organic
with the limestone to form a solid compound recov- nature, such as coal, crude oil and natural gas.
ered with the ash.
Fracture: A general term to include any kind of dis-
Fly Ash: The finely divided particles of ash suspended continuity in a body of rock if produced by mechani-
in gases resulting from the combustion of fuel. Elec- cal failure, whether by shear stress or tensile stress.
trostatic precipitators are used to remove fly ash from Fractures include faults, shears, joints, and planes of
the gases prior to the release from a power plant's fracture cleavage.
Fragmentation: General term which describes the size
Footwall or Hanging Wall: The footwall is the side of of individual pieces of rock after blasting.
the pit underlying a sloping ore body or steeply dip-
ping seam. The hanging wall is on the side overlying Friable: Easy to break, or crumbling naturally. Descrip-
the ore body if you imagine all of the ore removed, tive of certain rocks and minerals.
the remaining waste would be overhanging. The term
originated in underground mining but is also used Fuse: A cord-like substance used in the ignition of
today in open-pit mining. explosives. Black powder is entrained in the cord and,
when lit, burns along the cord at a set rate. A fuse can
be safely used to ignite a cap, which is the primer for
an explosive.



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Gasification: Any of various processes by which coal Global Climate Change: This term usually refers to the
is turned into low, medium, or high Btu gases. gradual warming of the earth caused by the green-
house effect. Many scientists believe this is the result
Gathering Belt: Same as Gathering Conveyor. of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases such
as carbon dioxide, chlorofluorocarbons (CFC) and
Gathering Conveyor: Any conveyor which is used to methane, although there is no agreement among the
gather coal from other conveyors and deliver it either scientific community on this controversial issue.
into mine cars or onto another conveyor. The term is
frequently used with belt conveyors placed in entries Gob: The term applied to that part of the mine from
where a number of room conveyors deliver coal onto which the coal has been removed and the space more
the belt. or less filled up with waste. Also, the loose waste in a
mine. Also called goaf.
Geological Plans: A set of plans representing the
characteristics of the deposit. Structure plans show Grade: The unit metal content in rock. Expressed in
absolute elevation and typically represent the control- percentage, as grams per ton or oz. per ton.
ling geological structure of weathered surface. Cross 1. The slope of a surface.
sections typically illustrate the trend of geology across
the deposit. Longitudinal sections are perpendicular Grade Control: A general term which describes the
to the cross section. Contour plans show attributes or many measures required to maximize mining recovery
equal value, such as gold grade, sulphur content or of the valuable mineral whilst minimizing dilution.
economic value. These plans are a fundamental part
of the mine design and scheduling process. Granite: In petrology, that factor of the texture of a
rock composed of distinct particles or crystals which
depends upon their absolute size.


G 87
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Grizzly: Course screening or scalping device that pre- Ground Pressure: The pressure to which a rock for-
vents oversized bulk material form entering a material mation is subjected by the weight of the superimposed
transfer system; constructed of rails, bars, beams, etc. rock and rock material or by diastrophic forces created
by movements in the rocks forming the earth's crust.
Such pressures may be great enough to cause rocks
having a low compressional strength to deform and be
squeezed into and close a borehole or other under-
ground opening not adequately strengthened by an
artificial support, such as casing or timber.

Gunite: A cement applied by spraying to the roof and

sides of a mine passage.

Gyrate Crusher: A machine that crushes ore between

an eccentrically mounted crushing cone and a fixed
crushing throat. Typically has a higher capacity than a
Ground Control: The regulation and final arresting jaw crusher.
of the closure of the walls of a mined area. The term
generally refers to measures taken to prevent roof
falls or coal bursts.



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Hanging Wall: The mass of rock forming the overlying Haulroad, Haul Road: Roads used by the main
side of a fault plane, vein, lode, orebody, bed of ore or haulage trucks to move waste and ore out of the pit.
stope. Because of the size and weight of open-pit mining
equipment these roads must be specially constructed
Hard Rock Deposits: Used here to describe non-alluvi- and usually kept at less than 10% of climb in direction
al gold deposits. of loaded travel. By contrast access roads are used
only by light vehicles (support equipment) and are
Hard Cap: A hard, tough rock of limited thickness designed to a much lower standard of construction.
overlying softer material.

Haulage: The horizontal transport of ore, coal, sup-

plies, and waste. The vertical transport of the same is
called hoisting.

Haulageway: Any underground entry or passage-

way that is designed for transport of mined material,
personnel, or equipment, usually by the installation of
track or belt conveyor.

Hazard: Something with the potential to cause harm

(also called a fault).


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H 93

Head frame: The structure surmounting the shaft Head Section: A term used in both belt and chain con-
which supports the hoist rope pulley, and often the veyor work to designate that portion of the conveyor
hoist itself. used for discharging material.

Heap Leaching: A low-cost technique for mineral ex-

cavation, generally used on low-grade ores, where ore
is loaded onto an impermeable surface and irrigated
with a solvent solution to dissolve the metal content in
the ore.

Heaving: Applied to the rising of the bottom after

removal of the coal; a sharp rise in the floor is called a

High Grade: Rich ore. As a verb, it refers to the

selective mining of the best or highest grade ore in a
mineral deposit.

Highwall: The unexcavated face of exposed overbur-

den and coal in a surface mine or in a face or bank on
the uphill side of a contour mine excavation.

Heading: A vein above a drift. An interior level or air-

way driven in a mine. In longwall workings, a narrow
passage driven upward from a gangway in starting a
working in order to give a loose end.


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H 95

Highwall Miner: A highwall mining system consists of Hopper Car: Open freight cars with a floor sloping to
a remotely controlled continuous miner which extracts one or more hinged doors for discharging bulk materi-
coal and conveys it via augers, belt or chain convey- als such as coal. A car for coal, gravel, etc., shaped
ors to the outside. The cut is typically a rectangular, like a hopper with an opening to discharge contents.
horizontal cut from a highwall bench, reaching depths
of several hundred feet or deeper.

Horizon: In geology, any given definite position or

interval in the stratigraphic column or the scheme of
stratigraphic classification; generally used in a relative
Hoist: A drum on which hoisting rope is wound in the
engine house Horseback: A mass of material with a slippery surface
in the roof; shaped like a horse's back.
Hoisting: The vertical transport coal or material.


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H 97

Hydraulic: Of or pertaining to fluids in motion. Hydrau- Notes

lic cement has a composition which permits it to set
quickly under water. Hydraulic jacks lift through the
force transmitted to the movable part of the jack by a

Hydrocarbon: A family of chemical compounds con-

taining carbon and hydrogen atoms in various combi-
nations, found especially in fossil fuels.



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Igneous Rock: Rock which has originated below the Inby: Toward or in the direction of the working face
earths surface and has solidified from a hot, molten and away from the mine entrance. Opposite of outby.
Initiate: Act of detonating high explosives by means of
a detonator or by detonating cord.

Intake: The passage through which fresh air is drawn

or forced into a mine or to a section of a mine.

Intermediate Section: A term used in belt and chain

conveyor network to designate a section of the con-
veyor frame occupying a position between the head
Immediate Roof: The roof strata immediately above and foot sections.
the coal bed, requiring support during the excavation
of coal. In-Situ: In the natural or original position. Applied to a
rock, soil, or fossil when occurring in the situation in
Incline or Decline: Any entry to a mine that is not verti- which it was originally formed or deposited.
cal (shaft) or horizontal (adit). Often incline is reserved
for those entries that are too steep for a belt conveyor
(+17 degrees -18 degrees), in which case a hoist
and guide rails are employed. A belt conveyor incline
is termed a slope. Alt: Secondary inclined opening,
driven upward to connect levels, sometimes on the dip
of a deposit; also called "inclined shaft".


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Iron Ore: Iron Ore has minerals from which metallic Notes
iron (Fe) can be extracted. The iron itself is usually
found in the form of magnetite (Fe3O4) or hematite
(Fe2O3), both of which are iron oxides. However, as
much of the pure magnetite and hematite ore has
already been mined, modern iron mines rely on ag-
gregate ore such as taconite, which must be pro-
cessed to remove non-iron-bearing components prior
to smelting. Iron mines therefore produce tremendous
amounts of waste. Almost all (98%) iron ore is used
in steelmaking.

Ironstone: A broad term for a rock consisting mainly of

iron oxides.

Isanol: An explosive containing ammonium nitrate,

polystyrene and vegetable oil. It has less strength than

Ith Rig: An in-the-hole hammer pneumatic rock drilling




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Jackleg: A percussion drill used for drifting or stop-

ping that is mounted on a telescopic leg which has an
extension of about 2.5 m. The leg and machine are
hinged so that the drill need not be in the same direc-
tion as the leg.

Jackrock: A caltrop or other object manufactured with

one or more rounded or sharpened points, which
when placed or thrown present at least one point at
such an angle that it is peculiar to and designed for
use in puncturing or damaging vehicle tires. Jackrocks
are commonly used during labor disputes.

Jaw Crusher: A primary crusher in which large lumps

of ore or rock are broken by the crushing action of
moving steel jaws to finer sizes for further crushing
and grinding.
Job Safety Analysis (J.S.A.): A job breakdown that
gives a safe, efficient job procedure.

Joint: A divisional plane or surface that divides a rock

and along which there has been no visible movement
parallel to the plane or surface.


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Jumbo: A drill that is capable of drilling more than one Notes

hole at a a time and is especially useful in preparation
for blasting.



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Kerf: The undercut of a coal face. Notes

Key Block: A block whose removal would cause the
surrounding blocks to fall out.

Kimberlite: A hybrid volatile-rich potassic ultrabasic

igneous rock (a variety of peridotite) intruded from the
mantle and occurring at or near the surface as a cone-
shaped volcanic pipe or as sheet-like dykes or sills,
the most common host rock of diamonds.



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Lamp: The electric cap lamp worn for visibility. Also, Life of Mine (LOM): Number of years that the opera-
the flame safety lamp used in coal mines to detect tion is planning to mine and treat ore, and is taken
methane gas concentrations and oxygen deficiency. from the current mine plan.

Layout: The design or pattern of the main roadways Lift: The amount of coal obtained from a continuous
and workings. The proper layout of mine workings is miner in one mining cycle.
the responsibility of the manager aided by the plan-
ning department. Liquefaction: The process of converting coal into a
synthetic fuel, similar in nature to crude oil and/or
Leach Pad: A leveled and compacted surface, pre- refined products, such as gasoline.
pared for the purpose of heap leaching with an imper-
vious layer to direct the liquid to the collection point. Load: To place explosives in a drill hole. Also, to trans-
May be reusable or non-reusable. fer broken material into a haulage device.

Load Haul Dump: A vehicle with a large bucket on the

front used for transporting ore to crushing stations and


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Loading Machine: Any device for transferring exca- Loading Pocket: Transfer point at a shaft where bulk
vated material into the haulage equipment. material is loaded by bin, hopper, and chute into a

Long Ton: 2240 lb. Avoirdupois (compared with a short

ton which is 2000 lb. And a metric ton (ton) which is
2204.6 lb).

Long Hole Draw Point Mining: Long Hole and Draw

Point Mining is a type of underground mining where
horizontal underground drifts are cut across sections
of the ore body. Smaller drifts or crosscut drifts are cut
into the rock along these main drifts and a series of
vertical long holes are drilled into the ore bearing rock
formation which are eventually filled with dynamite
and exploded in a sequential implosion like order. This
causes the ore to fall to the lower horizontal crosscuts
which then serve as draw points. There are a num-
ber of draw points which are mucked-out by LHDs,
dumped in to an ore pass which leads to an under-
ground crusher. The crushed ore is then fed to a skip
at a loading pocket via a conveyor belt and hoisted to
the surface.


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Longwall Mining: One of three major underground

coal mining methods currently in use. Employs a steal
plow, or rotation drum, which is pulled mechanically
back and forth across a face of coal that is usually
several hundred feet long. The loosened coal falls
onto a conveyor for removal from the mine.

Loose Coal: Coal fragments larger in size than coal


Low Voltage: Up to and including 660 volts by federal




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Magma: The molten material deep in the earth from Man Car: A carrier of mine personnel, by rail or rubber
which rocks are formed. tire, to and from the work area.

Magazine: A bulk storage area for explosives and / or


Magnetite: Black, magnetic iron ore, an iron oxide.

Manhole: A safety hole constructed in the side of a

gangway, tunnel, or slope in which miner can be safe
from passing locomotives and car. Also called a refuge

Man Trip: A carrier of mine personnel, by rail or rubber

tire, to and from the work area.

Main Entry: A main haulage road. Where the coal has Manway: An entry used exclusively for personnel to
cleats, main entries are driven at right angles to the travel from the shaft bottom or drift mouth to the work-
face cleats. ing section; it is always on the intake air side in gassy
mines. Also, a small passage at one side or both sides
Main Fan: A mechanical ventilator installed at the of a breast, used as a traveling way for the miner, and
surface; operates by either exhausting or blowing to sometimes, as an airway, or chute, or both.
induce airflow through the mine roadways and work-


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Marble: A metamorphic rock derived from the re- Measured Coal Resources: Coal for which estimates
crystallization of limestone under intense heat and of the rank, quality, and quantity have been computed
pressure. from sample analyses and measurements from close-
ly spaced and geologically well-known sample sites,
such as outcrops, trenches, mine workings, and drill
holes. The points of observation and measurement
are so closely spaced and the thickness and extent of
coals are so well defined that the tonnage is judged
to be accurate within 20 percent of true tonnage. Al-
though the spacing of the points of observation neces-
sary to demonstrate continuity of the coal differs from
region to region according to the character of the coal
beds, the points of observation are no greater than
mile apart. Measured coal is projected to extend as a
-mile wide belt from the outcrop or points of obser-
Mass: The quantity of matter in a body or volume vation or measurement.
of any material. The unit of mass is the lb. or kg.


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Meridian: A surveying term that establishes a line of Methane: A potentially explosive gas formed naturally
reference. The bearing is used to designate direction. from the decay of vegetative matter, similar to that
The bearing of a line is the acute horizontal angle be- which formed coal. Methane, which is the principal
tween the meridian and the line. Azimuths are angles component of natural gas, is frequently encountered in
measured clockwise from any meridian. underground coal mining operations and is kept within
safe limits through the use of extensive mine ventila-
Metamorphic Rock: Rocks that have undergone a tion systems.
change in texture or composition as the result of heat
and / or pressure. Methane Monitor: An electronic instrument often
mounted on a piece of mining equipment, that detects
and measures the methane content of mine air.

Mine Development: The term employed to designate

the operations involved in preparing a mine for ore ex-
traction. These operations include tunneling, sinking,
cross-cutting, drifting, and raising.

Mine Mouth Electric Plant: A coal burning electric-

generating plant built near a coal mine.


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Mine Shaft: A vertical or inclined excavation used to Mine Shaft Cont: The third compartment is used for
access an underground mining facility. On the surface an emergency means of egress, it may house an
above the shaft stands a building known as the pit auxiliary cage or a system of ladders which extend the
head (or poppet head or head frame), which histori- length of the shaft. An additional compartment houses
cally contained a winding engine and in modern times the mine services, such as high voltage cables and
contains an electric hoist controller. This raises and pipes for transfer of water, compressed air or diesel
lowers the conveyances within the shaft. A mine shaft fuel. The horizontal workings extending from the
is split into multiple compartments. The largest com- central shaft are called drifts, galleries or levels. This
partment is used for the cage. The cage is the convey- is contrasted to drift mining.
ance used for moving workers and supplies from the
surface to underground. It functions in a similar man- Miner One: Who is engaged in the business or occu-
ner to an elevator. The second compartments are the pation of extracting ore, coal, precious substances, or
skip compartments. The skip is the conveyance used other natural materials from the earth's crust.
to transport ore from the underground working to the
surface. In smaller mining operations there may not be Mineral: An inorganic compound occurring naturally in
a skip compartment and the skip would be mounted the earth's crust, with a distinctive set of physical prop-
underneath the cage conveyance. erties, and a definite chemical composition.

Mining Engineer: A person qualified by education,

training, and experience in mining engineering. A
trained engineer with knowledge of the science,
economics, and arts of mineral location, extraction,
concentration and sale, and the administrative and
financial problems of practical importance in connec-
tion with the profitable conduct of mining.


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Mining Plans: These plans represent the regular Mud Cap: A charge of high explosive fired in contact
benches planned to be excavated, or actually exca- with the surface of a rock after being covered with a
vated by the mining equipment. Parts of these mining quantity of wet mud, wet earth, or sand, without any
plans show geological features, but the main purpose borehole being used. Also termed adobe, dobie, and
of the plan is to show design features such as mining sandblast (illegal in coal mining).
limits, haulroad and access roads and haulage ramps.
The mining plans are an integral part of the scheduling Muck: Ore or rock that has been broken by blasting.
process as they trace out the conversion of geological
data into mining blocks having special relationships
and production and economic attributes.

Mining Recovery: The reverse of dilution. This rec-

ognizes that not all of the material that was planned
to be mined actually is mined. Sometimes material is
not possible to mine because of physical constraints,
these are mining losses. This should not be confused
with metallurgical recovery which is a function of the
processing plant.

Misfire: A charge or part of a charge which for one of

any number of reasons has not exploded. Specific Muck Sample: A representative piece of ore that is
safety procedures must be observed. taken from a muck pile and then assayed to determine
the grade of the pile.
MSHA: Mine Safety and Health Administration; the
federal agency which regulates coal mine health and Mullock: Waste rock or waste produced during the
safety in the USA. mining process.



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Native Metal: A metal occurring in nature in pure form, Nip: Device at the end of the trailing cable of a mining
uncombined with other elements. machine used for connecting the trailing cable to the
trolley wire and ground.
Natural Ventilation: Ventilation of a mine without the
aid of fans or furnaces. Nonel: Non-electric detonator.

Net Present Value (NPV): The sum of the present Nugget: Piece of gold found in alluvial deposits at
values of all the net cash flows to be received from an least large enough to be readily picked out by hand.

Nickel: Ni the symbol for nickel on the Periodic

Table. A hard bright, silver-white metallic element of
the iron group that is malleable, ductile, and resistant
to corrosion. It is used in alloys to provide corrosion
and heat resistance for products in the iron, steel and
aerospace industries. Nickel is used as a catalyst in
the chemical industry.



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O 141

Opencast / Open-Cut / Open-Pit: A mine working open Ore: Rock containing minerals which can be mined at
to the surface simular to a quarry. Opencast pits are a profit.
started along an outcrop and continued downhill until
the thickness of overburden prevents further economic Ore body: A solid, naturally occurring mineral aggre-
exploration. The operations are highly mechanized, gate of economic importance, from which one or more
and may be divided into: valuable constituents may be recovered by treatment.
1 Removal of overburden
2 Removal of exposed ore Ore Pass: A vertical or incline passage that is used for
The extent of economic opencast mining depends on transporting ore to a lower level or hoist.
the ratio of the thickness of overburden to that of the
ore. The quality of the deposit will also influence the Outcrop: Coal that appears at or near the surface.


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O 143

Outside Dump: If possible, mining plans try to dump Overall Pit Slop Angle: The overall angle between the
unwanted waste material back into the worked out toe of the bench for the lowest bench in the mine and
pit area (an in-pit dump), because this is usually less the crest in the uppermost bench at the surface. This
costly and it aids rehabilitation. An outside dump any overall angle may be limited by geological character-
dump located beyond the pit limits must be built at istics (the base of the ore zone) or geotechnical (the
the start of the mine (even if it may be rehandled back maximum safe slope angle). The overall angle allows
into the worked pit later), and often at other times for safety berms, haulroads and access roads.
throughout the mine life. Many metalliferous mines
never reach the point where they can dump waste
back into the worked out pit.


Mining safely. Mining more. Mining right. O 145

Overburden: Layers of soil and rock covering a coal Notes

seam. Overburden is removed prior to surface mining
and replaced after the coal is taken from the seam.

Overcast (Undercast): Enclosed airway which permits

one air current to pass over (under) another without



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P 149

Panic Bar: A switch, in the shape of a bar, used to cut Percussion Drill: A drill, usually air powered, that
off power at the machine in case of an emergency. delivers its energy through a pounding or hammering
Parting: (1) A small joint in coal or rock; (2) a layer of
rock in a coal seam; (3) a side track or turnout in a Permissible: That which is allowable or permitted. It is
haulage road. most widely applied to mine equipment and explosives
of all kinds which are similar in all respects to samples
Pattern: A dimensioned plan of holes to be drilled for that have passed certain tests of the MSHA and can
blasting a face. be used with safety in accordance with specified
conditions where hazards from explosive gas or coal
Peat: The partially decayed plant matter found in dust exist.
swamps and bogs, one of the earliest stages of coal
formation. Permit: As it pertains to mining, a document issued
by a regulatory agency that gives approval for mining
Percentage Extraction: The proportion of a coal seam operations to take place.
which is removed from the mine. The remainder may
represent coal in pillars or coal which is too thin or Piggy-Back: A bridge conveyor.
inferior to mine or lost in mining. Shallow coal mines
working under townships, reservoirs, etc., may extract Pillar: An area of coal left to support the overlying
50%, or less, of the entire seam, the remainder being strata in a mine; sometimes left permanently to sup-
left as pillars to protect the surface. Under favourable port surface structures.
conditions, longwall mining may extract from 80 to
95% of the entire seam. With pillar methods of work- Pillar Mining: The mining of scattered blocks of reef
ing, the extraction ranges from 50 to 90% depending of variable size usually associated with older shafts,
on local conditions. which have been left behind and are now being mined
in the final clean-up stage of the mines orebody.


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P 151

Pillar Robbing: The systematic removal of the coal Pit: Any open cut mine or quarry.
pillars between rooms or chambers to regulate the
subsidence of the roof. Also termed "bridging back"
the pillar, "drawing" the pillar, or "pulling" the pillar.

Pinch: A compression of the walls of a vein or the roof

and floor of a coal seam so as to "squeeze" out the

Pinch: A compression of the roof and floor of a coal

seam so as to "squeeze" out the coal.
Pinning: Roof bolting.


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Pit Limits: The plan extent of mining after all ore and Placer Mining: The extraction of heavy minerals from a
waste has been taken out. The limits are a function of place deposit by concentration in running water. It in-
economics and physical factors such as faulting, lease cludes ground sluicing, panning, shoveling gravel into
boundaries etc. Even if you do not intend to reach the a sliuce, scraping by power scraper and excavation by
mining limits in 30 years for example, it is important draglines, dredge or other mechanized equipment.
to know where the limits are. As well as determining
where the final pits are likely to be, it is also important
to know where they are likely not to be, and where
they are likely to change with changing resource eco-
nomics. To avoid an embarrassing relocation, surface
facilities should preferably be positioned adjacent to
a pit limit that is insensitive to changing economic

Pit Slope: The angle at which a wall of an open pit or

cut stands as measured along an imaginary plane ex-
tended along the crest of the berms or from the slope
crest to its toe.

Pitch: The inclination of a seam; the rise of a seam.


P 155
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Plan: A map showing features such as mine workings Primary Roof: The main roof above the immediate top.
or geological structures on a horizontal plane. Its thickness may vary from a few to several thousand
Portal: The structure surrounding the immediate en-
trance to a mine; the mouth of an adit or tunnel. Prills: Cellular sub-globular AN particles formed by
spraying AN solution against a stream of air.

Primer (booster): A package or cartridge of explosive

which is designed specifically to transmit detonation to
other explosives and which does not contain a detona-

Production: The winning of material from the ground.

Prop: Coal mining term for any single post used as

roof support. Props may be timber or steel; if steel--
screwed, yieldable, or hydraulic.
Portal Bus: Track-mounted, self-propelled personnel
carrier that holds 8 to 12 people.

Post: The vertical member of a timber set.

Preparation Plant: A place where coal is cleaned,
sized, and prepared for market.

Pre-Stripping: Removal of waste rock before mining of

ore in an open pit.


P 157
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Pyrite: A hard, heavy, shiny, yellow mineral, FeS2 or Notes

iron disulfide, generally in cubic crystals. Also called
iron pyrites, fool's gold, sulfur balls. Iron pyrite is the
most common sulfide found in coal mines.



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Q 161

Quartz: Common rock-forming mineral species com- Notes

posed of crystalline silica (SiO2).

Quartzite: A granulose metamorphic rock consisting

essentially of quartz, formed by the transformation of a
sandstone by heat and pressure.



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Mining safely. Mining more. Mining right. R 165

Raise: A secondary or tertiary inclined opening, verti- Ramp: A secondary or tertiary inclined opening, driven
cal or near-vertical opening driven upward form a to connect levels, usually driven in a downward direc-
level to connect with the level above, or to explore the tion, and used for haulage.
ground for a limited distance above one level.

Raise Boring: Method of underground excavation by

drilling upwards.

Raise or Rise: A secondary or tertiary inclined open-

ing, vertical or near vertical opening driven upward
from a level to connect with the level above, or to
explore the ground for a limited distance above one


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R 167

Ranks of Coal: The classification of coal by degree of

hardness, moisture and heat content. "Anthracite" is
hard coal, almost pure carbon, used mainly for heat-
ing homes. "Bituminous" is soft coal. It is the most
common coal found in the United States and is used
to generate electricity and to make coke for the steel
industry. "Sub-bituminous" is a coal with a heating
value between bituminous and lignite. It has low fixed
carbon and high percentages of volatile matter and
moisture. "Lignite" is the softest coal and has the high-
Four ranks of coal:
est moisture content. It is used for generating electric-
ity and for conversion into synthetic gas. In terms of Bituminous
Btu or "heating" content, anthracite has the highest Sub-bituminous
value, followed by bituminous, sub-bituminous and Lignite


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R 169

Raw Coal: Run of Mine (ROM) coal as it is mined from Recovered Grade: The recovered mineral content per
the earth prior to processing. unit of ore treated.

Reclamation: The restoration of land and environmen- Recovery: The proportion or percentage of coal or ore
tal values to a surface mine site after the coal is ex- mined from the original seam or deposit.
tracted. Reclamation operations are usually underway Refining: The final purification process of a metal or
as soon as the coal has been removed from a mine mineral.
site. The process includes restoring the land to its ap-
proximate original appearance by restoring topsoil and Regulator: Device (wall, door) used to control the
planting native grasses and ground covers. volume of air in an air split.

Reserve: That portion of the identified coal resource

that can be economically mined at the time of determi-
nation. The reserve is derived by applying a recovery
factor to that component of the identified coal resource
designated as the reserve base.

Resin Bolting: A method of permanent roof support in

which steel rods are grouted with resin.


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R 171

Resources: Concentrations of coal in such forms that Rider: A thin seam of coal overlying a thicker one.
economic extraction is currently or may become fea-
sible. Coal resources broken down by identified and Ripper: A coal extraction machine that works by tear-
undiscovered resources. Identified coal resources are ing the coal from the face or attachment on rear of
classified as demonstrated and inferred. Demonstrat- mining machine.
ed resources are further broken down as measured
and indicated. Undiscovered resources are broken
down as hypothetical and speculative.

Retreat Mining: A system of robbing pillars in which

the robbing line, or line through the faces of the pillars
being extracted, retreats from the boundary toward the
shaft or mine mouth.

Return: The air or ventilation that has passed through

all the working faces of a split.

Return Idler: The idler or roller underneath the cover

or cover plates on which the conveyor belt rides after
the load which it was carrying has been dumped at the
head section and starts the return trip toward the foot

Rib: The side of a pillar or the wall of an entry. The

solid coal on the side of any underground passage.
Same as rib pillar.


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R 173

Rob: To extract pillars of coal previously left for sup- Class Type Family
port. Granite
Intrusive (plutonic) Diorite
Robbed Out Area: Describes that part of a mine from Igneous Peridotite
which the pillars have been removed. Rhyolite
Extrusive (volcanic) Trachyte
Rock: classification includes: Igneous rock formed
Calcareous Limestone
by solidification of molten volcanic material, Sedimen- Dolomite
Sedimentary Shale
tary rock formed from soil / plant / animal remains Siliceous Sandstone
that are hardened by pressure, time, and deposits of Chert (flint)
natural cements and Metamorphic rocks that were Gneiss
Foliated Schist
originally igneous or sedimentary that have been Amphibolite
Metamorphic Slate
altered by extreme heat and pressure. Quartzite

Roll: (1) A high place in the bottom or a low place in

the top of a mine passage, (2) a local thickening of
roof or floor strata, causing thinning of a coal seam.


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R 175

Roll Over Protection (ROPS): A framework, safety Roof Jack: A screw- or pump-type hydraulic exten-
canopy, or similar protection for the operator when sion post made of steel and used as temporary roof
equipment overturns. support.

Roof: The stratum of rock or other material above a

coal seam; the overhead surface of a coal working
place. Same as "back" or "top." Roof Fall: A coal mine cave-in especially in permanent
areas such as entries.
Roof Bolt: A long steel bolt driven into the roof of un-
derground excavations to support the roof, preventing Roof Sag: The sinking, bending, or curving of the roof,
and limiting the extent of roof falls. The unit consists especially in the middle, from weight or pressure.
of the bolt (up to 4 feet long), steel plate, expansion
shell, and pal nut. The use of roof bolts eliminates the Roof Stress: Unbalanced internal forces in the roof or
need for timbering by fastening together, or "laminat- sides, created when coal is extracted.
ing," several weaker layers of roof strata to build a


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R 177

Roof Support: Posts, jacks, roof bolts and beams used The loose rocks, also called muck is transported by
to support the rock overlying a coal seam in an under- either trucks or LHD vehicles back up to the surface
ground mine. A good roof support plan is part of mine for either waste disposal or processing. As mucking
safety and coal extraction. progresses, rooms are cut into the ore body. In order
to provide safe roof support for mining,pillars of mate-
Roof Trusses: A combination of steel rods anchored rial around the rooms are left standing to hold up the
into the roof to create zones of compression and ten- rock ceiling above. Some parts of the mine roof can
sion forces and provide better support for weak roof be particularly weak and fragile. In addition to pillar
and roof over wide areas. support, a jumbo is then brought back in for rock bolt-
ing of the roof to ensure safety. When all the ore in the
Room and Pillar Mining: (coal) A method of stopes has been transported up to the surface, some
underground mining in which approximately pillars can be removed, since they still have valuable
half of the coal is left in place to support the mineral content, while some must be left standing to
roof of the active mining area. Large "pillars" provide active support for the ceiling. In some room
are left while "rooms" of coal are extracted. and pillar mines, pillars are all excavated as mining
(hardrock) Ramps are excavated to connect the nears completion, to allow the natural collapse of the
surface to the underground ore body. Drifts (horizon- roof.
tal tunnels) are excavated at different elevations to
surround the ore body. Next, stopes are mined to gain
access to the ore. All tunnels are excavated by drill-
ing and blasting. Jumbos are in charge of drilling the
holes in the rocks and filling them with explosives.


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R 179

Room and Pillar Mining Room Neck: The short passage from the entry into a

Round: Planned pattern of drill holes fired in sequence

in tunneling, shaft sinking, or stopping. First the cut
holes are fired, followed by relief, lifter, and rib holes.

Royalty: The payment of a certain stipulated sum on

the mineral produced.

Rubbing Surface: The total area (top, bottom, and

sides) of an airway.

Run-of-Mine or ROM: Run-of-mine (ROM) refers to

ore after it has been mined, with quantities and qual-
ity characteristics accounting for losses and dilution.
Planning adjustments to account for likely dilution
involve discrete steps. In-situ geological material is
converted to mineable material, by allowing for weath-
ered zones, lease boundaries, yield or quality cut-offs,
thickness criteria and economic criteria.


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R 181

Run-of-Mine (cont): Run-of-mine ore characteristics Notes

allow for mining losses and dilution. Run-of-mine
characteristics are converted to estimated production
characteristics by allowing for plant efficiency, recov-
eries, and other adjustments. These steps are an
important process in the conversion of, or build up of a
database fully reflecting the characteristics of the ore
as it passes from an undisturbed state in the ground,
until it leaves the mine site in some marketable form.

The Steps in the conversion: In- Situ Geological

Quantities and Quality

Adjusted For

Run Of Mine - Lease Boundaries

Quantities and Quality - Yield, Quality Cut-off
- Thickness
- Cost Ranking
- Geological Interpretation
Less Allow For:

- Mining Losses
- Ore Dilution / Contamination

- Plant Efficiency
Product Quantities
- Recovery
And Quality
- Moisture Adjustment



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S 185

Safety Fuse: A train of powder enclosed in cotton, jute

yarn, or waterproofing compounds, which burns at a
uniform rate; used for firing a cap containing the deto-
nation compound which in turn sets off the explosive

Safety Lamp: A lamp with steel wire gauze covering

every opening from the inside to the outside so as to
prevent the passage of flame should explosive gas be

Sampling: Cutting a representative part of an ore (or

coal) deposit, which should truly represent its average
value. Sapphire: A flawless crystal of corundum

Sandstone: A sedimentary rock consisting of quartz

sand united by some cementing material, such as iron
oxide or calcium carbonate.


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S 187

Scaling: Removal of loose rock from the roof or walls. Scrubber: Any of several forms of chemical/physical
This work is dangerous and a long bar (called a scal- devices that remove sulfur compounds formed during
ing bar)is often used. coal combustion. These devices, technically know as
flue gas desulfurization systems, combine the sulfur in
Schedule: Plan of future events, usually numeric. gaseous emissions with another chemical medium to
form inert "sludge," which must then be removed for
Scoop: A rubber tired-, battery- or diesel-powered disposal.
piece of equipment designed for cleaning runways
and hauling supplies. Seam: A stratum or bed of coal.

Screen: A large sieve for grading or sizing. Secondary Roof: The roof strata immediately above
the coalbed, requiring support during the excavating
of coal.

Section: A portion of the working area of a mine.


S 189
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Sedimentary: Rock formed from soil / plant / animal Self-Rescuer: A small filtering device carried by a coal
remains that are hardened by pressure, time, and miner underground, either on his belt or in his pocket,
deposits of natural cements. to provide him with immediate protection against
carbon monoxide and smoke in case of a mine fire or
explosion. It is a small canister with a mouthpiece di-
rectly attached to it. The wearer breathes through the
mouth, the nose being closed by a clip. The canister
contains a layer of fused calcium chloride that absorbs
water vapour from the mine air. The device is used
for escape purposes only because it does not sustain
life in atmospheres containing deficient oxygen. The
length of time a self-rescuer can be used is governed
mainly by the humidity in the mine air, usually between
30 minutes and one hour.

Selective Mining: The object of selective mining is to

obtain a relatively high-grade mine product; this usu-
ally entails the use of a much more expensive stop-
ping system and high exploration and development
costs in searching for and developing the separate
bunches, stringers, lenses, and bands of ore. Self-
contained Breathing Apparatus: A self-contained sup-
ply of oxygen used during rescue work from coal mine
fires and explosions; same as SCSR (self-contained
self rescuer).


S 191
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Sequential Firing: A system in which the holes with Shearer: A mining machine for longwall faces that
least resistance are detonated progressively, reducing uses a rotating action to "shear" the material from the
the burden on each subsequent hole fired. face as it progresses along the face.

Shaft: A primary vertical or non-vertical opening Shift: The number of hours or the part of any day
through mine strata used for ventilation or drainage worked.
and/or for hoisting of personnel or materials; connects
the surface with underground workings. Shortwall: An underground mining method in which
small areas are worked (15 to 150 feet) by a continu-
Shaft Mining: A type of underground mining that uses ous miner in conjunction with the use of hydraulic roof
a mine shaft. It may also refer to the act of excavating supports.
the shaft itself.
Shuttle Car: A self-discharging truck, generally with
Shale: A rock formed by consolidation of clay, mud, rubber tires or caterpillar-type treads, used for receiv-
or silt, having a laminated structure and composed of ing coal from the loading or mining machine and trans-
minerals essentially unaltered since deposition. ferring it to an underground loading point, mine railway
or belt conveyor system.

Silver: A white precious metal Ag commonly found as-

sociated with lead ores and with gold ores.


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S 193

Sinking: The process by which a shaft is driven. Slope: Primary inclined opening, connection the sur-
face with the underground workings.
Skid: A track-mounted vehicle used to hold trips or
cars from running out of control. Also it is a flat-bottom Slope Mine: An underground mine with an opening
personnel or equipment carrier used in low coal. that slopes upward or downward to the coal seam.

Skip: A car being hoisted from a slope or shaft. Slope Stability: The resistance of any inclined surface,
e.g. the wall of an open pit or cut, to fracture by sliding
Slack: Small coal; the finest-sized soft coal, usually or collapsing.
less than one inch in diameter.
Sloughing: The slow crumbling and falling away of
Slag: The waste product of the process of smelting. material from roof, rib, and face.

Slate: A miner's term for any shale or slate accompa- Solid: Mineral that has not been undermined, sheared
nying coal. Geologically, it is a dense, fine-textured, out, or otherwise prepared for blasting.
metamorphic rock, which has excellent parallel cleav-
age so that it breaks into thin plates or pencil-like Sounding: Knocking on a roof to see whether it is
shapes. sound and safe to work under.

Slate Bar: The proper long-handled tool used to pry Spacing: The distance between adjacent shot holes
down loose and hazardous material from roof, face, parallel to the free face.
and ribs.
Span: The horizontal distance between the side sup-
Slip: A fault. A smooth joint or crack where the strata ports or solid abutments along sides of a roadway.
have moved on each other.


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S 195

Specific Gravity: The weight of a substance compared Squeeze: The settling, without breaking, of the roof
with the weight of an equal volume of pure water at 4 and the gradual upheaval of the floor of a mine due to
degrees Celsius. the weight of the overlying strata.

Split: Any division or branch of the ventilating current. Stability: The condition of a structure or a mass of ma-
Also, the workings ventilated by one branch. Also, to terial when it is able to support the applied stress for a
divide a pillar by driving one or more roads through it. long time without suffering any significant deformation
or movement that is not reversed by the release of
Spoil / Waste: The overburden or non-ore material stress.
removed in gaining access to the ore mineral material
in surface mining. Steeply Inclined: Said of deposits and coal seams with
a dip of from 0.7 to 1 rad (40 degrees to 60 degrees).

Stemming: The noncombustible material used on top

or in front of a charge or explosive.

Stockpile: Broken ore heaped on surface, pending

treatment or shipment.

Stope: An underground excavation from which ore has

been removed.

Strike: The direction of the line of intersection of a bed

or vein with the horizontal plane. The strike of a bed is
the direction of a straight line that connects two points
of equal elevation on the bed.


S 197
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Stripping: The removal of earth or non-ore rock mate- Stump: Any small pillar.
rials, as required, to gain access to the ore or mineral
materials worked; the process of removing overburden Subsidence: The gradual sinking, or sometimes
or waste material in a surface mining operation. abrupt collapse, of the rock and soil layers into an
underground mine. Structures and surface features
Stripping Ratio: The unit amount of overburden that above the subsidence area can be affected.
must be removed to gain access to a similar unit
amount of coal or mineral material. Sump: The bottom of a shaft, or any other place in a
mine, that is used as a collecting point for drainage
Strip Mining: An open pit mine, usually a coal mine, water.
operated by removing overburden, excavating the coal
seam, then returning the overburden. Sumping: To force the cutter bar of a machine into or
under the coal. Also called a sumping cut, or sumping

Support: The all-important function of keeping the

mine workings open. As a verb, it refers to this func-
tion; as a noun it refers to all the equipment and
materials--timber, roof bolts, concrete, steel, etc.--that
are used to carry out this function.

Sub-bituminous: Coal of a rank intermediate between

lignite and bituminous.

Sub-level: A level or working horizon in a mine be-

tween main working levels.


S 199
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Sub-level Caving: Sublevel caving is usually carried Sub-level Stoping: A mining method in which ore
out when mining of the ore body through an open pit is blasted from different levels of elevation but is
method is no longer economically feasible. Mining removed from one level at the bottom of the mine.
now proceeds underground, underneath the open Before mining begins, an ore pass is usually drilled
pit. At first, both a raise and a network of tunnels are from a lower to a higher elevation. Jumbo drills
made. At different sub-levels, Jumbos are used for selectively drill holes into the roof of the drift and fill
long drill hole drilling, drilling directly upwards into the them with explosives. When the roof is blasted, loose
roof. These holes are then charged with explosives rocks, or muck fall through the drilled ore pass. A Load
and blasted. As the roof cave in, the rock from the Haul Dump (LHD) vehicle transports the muck to an-
ground surface will cave into the underground as well. other ore pass where it falls to a hopper that feeds a
(LHD) vehicles transport the muck to an ore pass crusher. The crushed ore is then raised to the surface
where the rocks are lifted to the surface. Drilling and I a skip. As the muck is taken out , more drilling of the
blasting takes place at different underground levels now higher roof continues. The roof is blasted until it
of the mine at the same time. As the blasted muck is is so high that it can not be reached by a Jumbo. Then
continuously transported to the ore pass, more blast- a Jumbo working in a higher elevation drift is used to
ing will encourage the roof to cave into the void and intersect the stope. After blasting, the ore falls down to
further into the drift. This is repeated until blasting, the lower drift where LHDs can drive in and load the
caving and transporting depletes the entire ore body. muck and dump it at an ore pass. Drilling and blast-
ing continues until the stope is completely excavated.
Once the stope is completely hollowed out, it is back-
filled from the bottom up.
The backfill material used can be mixed of sand and
rocks, waste rock with cement, or dewatered mill tail-
ings. The backfill material must have the strength to
support the roof of the empty stope.


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S 201

Sub-Surface Mining: Or underground mining refers to Suspension: Weaker strata hanging from stronger,
a group of techniques used for extraction of coal and overlying strata by means of roof bolts.
other valuable minerals or other geological materi-
als from the earth. In contrast to the other main type Syncline: A fold in rock in which the strata dip inward
of excavation, surface mining, sub-surface requires from both sides toward the axis. The opposite of
equipment and / or manpower to operate under the anticline.
surface of the earth.

Surface Mine: A mine in which the coal lies near the

surface and can be extracted by removing the cover-
ing layers of rock and soil.


S 203
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Notes Notes



Mining safely.Mining
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Taconite: A highly abrasive iron ore. Tail Section: A term used in both belt and chain con-
veyor work to designate that portion of the conveyor
at the extreme opposite end from the delivery point.
In either type of conveyor it consists of a frame and
either a sprocket or a drum on which the chain or belt
travels, plus such other devices as may be required
for adjusting belt or chain tension.

Tailing: Materials rejected from a mill after the recover-

able valuable minerals have been extracted.

Tailgate: A subsidiary gate road to a conveyor face as

opposed to a main gate. The tailgate commonly acts
as the return airway and supplies road to the face.

Tailpiece: Also known as foot section pulley. The pul-

ley or roller in the tail or foot section of a belt conveyor
around which the belt runs.


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T 209

Tailing Pond: A low-lying depression used to confine Through-Steel: A system of dust collection from rock
tailings, the prime function of which is to allow enough or roof drilling. The drill steel is hollow, and a vacuum
time for heavy metals to settle out or for cyanide to is applied at the base, pulling the dust through the
be destroyed before water is discharged into the local steel and into a receptacle on the machine.
Timber: A collective term for underground wooden

Timbering: The setting of timber supports in mine

workings or shafts for protection against falls from
roof, face, or rib.

Timber Set: A timber frame to support the roof, sides,

and sometimes the floor of mine roadways or shafts.

Tipple: Originally the place where the mine cars were

tipped and emptied of their coal, and still used in that
same sense, although now more generally applied to
Talc: A very soft light-grained mineral of the micas the surface structures of a mine, including the prepa-
mineral group, usually occurring in metamorphic ration plant and loading tracks.

Thermal Coal: Coal burned to generate the steam that

drives turbines to generate electricity.


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T 211

Toe: A remnant of rock left unbroken at the foot of the Transfer: A vertical or inclined connection between two
pit face by an unsatisfactory blast. or more levels and used as an ore pass.

Transfer Point: Location in the materials handling sys-

tem, either haulage or hoisting, where bulk material is
transferred between conveyances.

Trip: A train of mine cars.

Troughing Idlers: The idlers, located on the upper
framework of a belt conveyor, which support the
Ton: A short or net ton is equal to 2,000 pounds; a loaded belt. They are so mounted that the loaded belt
long or British ton is 2,240 pounds; a metric ton is ap- forms a trough in the direction of travel, which reduces
proximately 2,205 pounds. spillage and increases the carrying capacity of a belt
for a given width.
Top: A mine roof; same as "back.
Troy Oz: Ounce in Troy system of weight used for sell-
Tractor: A battery-operated piece of equipment that ing gold, is equivalent to 31.103477 grams.
pulls trailers, skids, or personnel carriers. Also used
for supplies. Tunnel: A horizontal, or near-horizontal, underground
passage, entry, or haulageway, that is open to the
Tram: Used in connection with moving self-propelled surface at both ends. A tunnel (as opposed to an adit)
mining equipment. A tramming motor may refer to an must pass completely through a hill or mountain.
electric locomotive used for hauling loaded trips or it
may refer to the motor in a cutting machine that sup-
plies the power for moving or tramming the machine.



Mining safely.Mining
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Undercut: To cut below or undermine the coal face by Underground Station: An enlargement of an entry,
chipping away the coal by pick or mining machine. In drift, or level at a shaft at which cages stop to receive
some localities the terms "undermine" or "underhole" and discharge cars, personnel, and material. An
are used. underground station is any location where stationary
electrical equipment is installed. This includes pump
Underground Mine: Also known as a "deep" mine. rooms, compressor rooms, hoist rooms, battery-charg-
Usually located several hundred feet below the earth's ing rooms, etc.
surface, an underground mine's coal is removed me-
chanically and transferred by shuttle car or conveyor Unit Train: A long train of between 60 and 150 or more
to the surface. hopper cars, carrying only coal between a single mine
and destination.


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Universal Coal Cutter: A type of coal cutting machine Notes

which is designed to make horizontal cuts in a coal
face at any point between the bottom and top or to
make shearing cuts at any point between the two ribs
of the place. The cutter bar can be twisted to make
cuts at any angle to the horizontal or vertical.

Upcast Shaft: A shaft through which air leaves the


Uraninite: A uranium mineral with high uranium oxide

content. Frequently found in pegmatite dykes.

Uranium: A radioactive, silvery-white, metallic element.



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V 221

Valuation: The act or process of valuing or of estimat- Volatile Matter: The gaseous part, mostly hydrocar-
ing the value or worth; appraisal. bons, of coal.

Vein: A mineralized zone having a more or less regular Volcanic: Rocks formed from the solidification of lava
development in length, width and depth which clearly extruded on or erupted at the earths surface. Also
separates it from neighboring rock. includes pyroclastic rocks.

Velocity: Rate of airflow in lineal feet per minute.

Ventilation: The provision of a directed flow of fresh

and return air along all underground roadways, travel-
ing roads, workings, and service parts.

Violation: The breaking of any state or federal mining


Virgin: Un-worked; untouched; often said of areas

where there has been no coal mining.

Void: A general term for pore space or other re-

openings in rock. In addition to pore space, the term
includes vesicles, solution cavities, or any openings
either primary or secondary.



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W 225
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Waste: That rock or mineral which must be removed Winning: The excavation, loading, and removal of coal
from a mine to keep the mining scheme practical, but or ore from the ground; winning follows development.
which has no value.
Winze: Secondary or tertiary vertical or near-vertical
Water Gauge (standard U-tube): Instrument that mea- opening sunk from a point inside a mine for the pur-
sures differential pressures in inches of water. pose of connecting with a lower level or of exploring
the ground for a limited depth below a level.
Wedge: A piece of wood tapering to a thin edge and
used for tightening in conventional timbering. Wire Rope: A steel wire rope used for winding in shafts
and underground haulages. Wire ropes are made from
Weight: Fracturing and lowering of the roof strata at medium carbon steels. Various constructions of wire
the face as a result of mining operations, as in "taking rope are designated by the number of strands in the
weight". rope and the number of wires in each strand. The fol-
lowing are some common terms encountered: airplane
White Damp: Carbon monoxide, CO. A gas that may strand; cable-laid rope; cane rope; elevator rope;
be present in the afterdamp of a gas- or coal-dust extra-flexible hoisting rope; flat rope; flattened-strand
explosion, or in the gases given off by a mine fire; rope; guy rope; guy strand; hand rope; haulage rope;
also one of the constituents of the gases produced by hawser; hoisting rope; lang lay rope; lay; left lay rope;
blasting. Rarely found in mines under other circum- left twist; no spinning rope; regular lay; reverse-laid
stances. It is absorbed by the hemoglobin of the blood rope; rheostat rope; right lay; right twist; running rope;
to the exclusion of oxygen. One-tenth of 1% (.001) special flexible hoisting rope; standing rope; towing
may be fatal in 10 minutes. hawser; transmission rope.

Width: The thickness of a lode measured at right

angles to the dip.


W 227
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Working: When a coal seam is being squeezed by
pressure from roof and floor, it emits creaking noises
and is said to be "working". This often serves as
a warning to the miners that additional support is

Working Face: Any place in a mine where material is

extracted during a mining cycle.

Working Place: From the outby side of the last open

crosscut to the face.

Workings: The entire system of openings in a mine for

the purpose of exploitation.

Working Section: From the faces to the point where

coal is loaded onto belts or rail cars to begin its trip to
the outside.



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X 231

Xenolith: A fragment of country rock enclosed in an

intrusive rock. Notes



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Y 235

Yield: The proportion of ore or coal obtained in min-

ing, the product of a metallurgical process; extraction;



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Z 239

Zone: An area or region which is distinct from the Notes

surrounding rock, either because of a difference in the
type of structures or because of mineralization.

Zone of Oxidation: The portion of an ore body that has

been oxidized, usually in the upper portion of the ore


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