Underground Mining: Stoping Methods
October 2016 by Chris RalphIn an old mine that does not have stopes, you know the old miners did not take much if any ore out of that excavation. On the other hand, if you see large stopes within the mine you know that it is these places where the miners found profitable ore deposits within the vein.
At first, I tried to shift things around, but then a hand with a rock would appear, so I would stop trying to adjust my gear and grab the rock to keep things moving.
There are many smaller old hard rock mines out there—more than you might think. There are some small hard rock properties that are even open to be claimed if one does the right amount of research to find them.
There were nice sections of vein material at the end of several drifts, like they just stopped work one day and walked away.
These days they employ the use of metal detectors and carefully scan the shattered rocks, hoping to hear that sound we detectorists love to hear.
I believe dry washing is an underappreciated prospecting method. There are plenty of places where there is some pretty decent gold to be had, but the spot is a long way from any water and dry processing may well be the best way to go.
Depending on the ore and if significant sulfides are present, a hard rock miner may be able to get away with simply using a flux to digest the other minerals that may be present.
All these decisions and more depend on the richness of a claim—something that is determined by sampling. But sampling isn’t cheap, and even collecting the samples can be more difficult than it appears on the surface.
The Bawl Mill • Ask The Experts: Should I remove someone else’s claim post from my claim? • Ask The Experts: Question about resolving a quitclaim error • A New Prospecting Spot • MMAC & PLP Update • Digging It Dry • Alternative Financing Alternatives • Dredging Therapy • Moving The Big Rocks • Modesto, California Man Finds 18-Ounce Nugget • New ICMJ Website Almost Here • California State & National Gold Panning Championships • Melman on Gold & Silver • Mining Stock Quotes and Mineral & Metal Prices