The Pick and Shovel Method
most simple and inexpensive way of extracting ore for the
early miners was the Pick and Shovel method. Miners would
swing picks into the rock, slowly breaking it apart.
enough rock had been removed, it would be shoveled away
to be assayed or milled. The pick and shovel method was
about the slowest way to extract ore for the miners and
prospectors. It also took a lot of strength and would tire
them out very quickly. Almost all of the major ore discoveries
were done using this method.
As technololy advanced, and the need for more efficient
methods of extracting
rock prevailed, miners starting drilling the rock with rock
drills (pictured left). Once an ore body was disovered,
people would move in immediately creating a small town.
Equipment and machinery was brought in to start large mining
operations. Among this machinery were large steam boilers
to power air compressors. These compressors would be used
to power the pneumatic (air powered) rock drills. The
rock drills looked something like the modern jack hammer
and hard very hard bits (pictured right) on the end. Rock
drilling was a much faster and more efficient way to extract
ore than the pick and shovel method. Sometimes, rock drills
would be used to make holes in rock face into which dynamite
or other explosives were placed.
Core sampling was done to test or assay the value of
a particular area of rock without having to go through the
trouble of removing the whole area.
Core samplers would be drilled into a rock
face and would extract a small core sample. This
core sample would usually be a few inches in diameter and
up to a few feet long. The core sampler could drill deep
into the rock face without having to removed the whole area
of rock. Core samples would then be assayed to determine
the feasibility of mining in that particular area.