Shaft mining is the deepest form of
Underground mining is chosen when the
mineral is too far
to reach using
surface mining. Shaft mining is the
kind of mine that you usually see in movies where the miner
travels straight down into a deep, dark
tunnel [shaft] until he reaches
The shaft mine has a vertical manshaft,
a tunnel where the men travel up and down in an elevator.
Equipment is taken into the mine using this shaft, too. Short
tunnels to the ore are dug from that manshaft [see diagram].
When the ore is dynamited and broken into chunks, it is
taken to the top and loaded into trucks through a second shaft. There is
usually an airshaft that gives the mine ventilation. When we
coal mine, it was amazing how much air moved around in the
tunnels. Moving air removes the gases that are naturally
Tunnels are deepened and the mine is made larger until there isnít any ore left, or it
costs too much money to get it out. Even though those old movies show
abandoned mines that spooky people travel through, most mines
are filled with some kind of cement or filler when mining is
done. This keeps the land around it from sinking when the inside mine
beams rot away. It is a safer way to close a mine.