mining involves any type of mining where raw minerals are
depostied in sand or gravel or on the surface and are picked
up without having to drive, use dynamite or any other signifigant
means. The word placer means "sand bank" in Spanish.
Specific types of placer mining are panning, dredging, sluicing,
using a Rocker, or just picking up what lies on the ground.
mining involves high pressure water. The water is
Operating hydraulic mining elevator and impounding works
at North Bloomfield Mine
at an area of rock and/or gravel and the water breaks the
rock up, dislodging ore and placer deposits. The water/ore
Hydraulic mining in Alder Gulch. Madison County, Montana.
is then milled. This is a very destructive way to mine and
has been outlawed in most areas.
mining entails diging into solid rock to fine minerals usually
in their ore form (the metal plus oxygen). To do this, miners
used picks and shovels, rock drills, dynamite
and more. Miners dug either shafts that went straight down
to follow ore bodies and veins, or tunnels which went somewhat
horizontal into rock faces. Shafts usually had some sort
of headframe (pictured left) standing above them to support
the hoists. Shafts and tunnels were often supported with
large timbers to prevent cave-ins. Most shaft or tunnel
mines would eventually flood as they hit the water table
and water would have to be continually pumped out. Sometimes
there was so much water they had to abandon the mines.
involve digging large open holes in the ground as opposed
to a small shaft in hard rock mining. This method of mining
is most often used with minerals like copper and molybdenum.
Open pit mines are very large and devistate the surrounding
landscape as can be seen in this picture of the Bingham
Canyon Mine near Tooele, Utah. Mining operations of this
scale were not done too often in the 19th century.