MINING TERMINOLOGY

©Susan Cook
©Illinois Trails History and Genealogy
http://www.iltrails.org



Arc - Islands or mountains arranged in a great curve. b. As applied to electricity, the luminous bridge formed by the passage of a current across a gap between two conductors or terminals.

Back entry - The air course parallel to and below an entry.

Barricade - Asphyxiating gases are formed when there has been a fire in any mine or an explosion in a coal mine. If miners are unable to escape, they should retreat as far as possible, select some working place with plenty of space, short-circuit the air from this place, build a light barricade or stopping, and remain behind it until rescued.

Blown-out shot - A shot or blast is said to blowout when it goes off like a gun and does not shatter the rock. A shot which dissipates the explosive force by blowing out the stemming instead of breaking down the coal.

Breathing apparatus - An appliance that enables mine rescuers to work in irrespirable or poisonous gases. It contains a supply of oxygen and a regenerator which removes the carbon dioxide exhaled from the supply.

Bug dust - The fine coal or other material resulting from a boring or cutting of a drill, a mining machine, or even a pick.

Cage - Mining term for elevator. b. The structure used in a mine shaft for the conveyance of miners and materials.

Carbide lamp - Carbide cap light. A lamp that is charged with calcium carbide and water and burns the acetylene generated.

Conveyor - A mechanical contrivance, generally electrically driven, which extends from a receiving point to a discharge point and conveys, transports, or transfers material between those points. b. The apparatus, belt, chain, or shaker, which, in conveyor mining, moves coal from the rooms and entries to a discharge point or to the surface.

Cutting machine - A power-driven machine used to undercut or shear the coal to facilitate its removal from the face.

Draeger breathing apparatus - A long-service, self-contained, oxygen-breathing apparatus with an entirely lung-governed oxygen feed. It will enable a person to do hard work for a period of 5 hours; in doing normal work, the apparatus will last for 7 hours, and, in the event of a rescue brigade being trapped, it will sustain the men for 18 hours if they sit down and rest. It weighs 40 pounds, and is carried on the wearer's back inside a light metal protecting case with hinged doors.

Entry - In coal mining a haulage road, gangway, or airway to the surface. b. An underground passage used for haulage or ventilation, or as a manway.

Face - The solid surface of the unbroken portion of the coalbed at the advancing end of the working place. b. The face of coal is the principal cleavage plane at right angles to the stratification. Driving on the face is driving against or at right angles with the face. c. A point at which coal is being worked away, in a breast or heading; also, working face. The working face, front, or forehead is the face at the end of the tunnel heading, or at the end of the full-size excavation.

Fan - A ventilator to exhaust or blow the air current necessary to circulate the mine roadways and workings. feeder. Very small fissures or cracks through which methane escapes from the coal. As working faces are advanced, fresh feeders are encountered in each fall of coal. b. A small stream of gas escaping from a coal crevice.

Fire boss - A person designated to examine the mine for gas and other dangers. In certain states, the fire boss is designated as the mine examiner. b. A state certified supervisory mine official who examines the mine for firedamp, gas, and other dangers before a shift comes into it and who usually makes a second examination during the shift; in some states, it is used loosely to designate assistant or section foreman.

Fleuss apparatus - The first practical form of self-contained breathing apparatus, which was developed by H.A. Fleuss in 1879. Compressed oxygen, carried in a copper cylinder, was used in the apparatus; was used at Seaham colliery in 1881.

Gibbs apparatus - A compressed-oxygen breathing apparatus used widely in the United States. The capacity of the oxygen bottle is 270 liters at a pressure of 135 atmospheres. The oxygen supply is sufficient for a minimum time of 2 hours and the flow is automatic. Caustic soda is used in the regenerator. The apparatus, which weighs about 35 pounds, is carried by a harness strapped to the wearer.

Hanging side; hanging wall; hanger - The wall or side above the ore body.

Haulageway - The gangway, entry, or tunnel through which loaded or empty mine cars are hauled by animal or mechanical power.

Headframe - The steel or timber frame at the top of a shaft, which carries the sheave or pulley for the hoisting rope, and serves various other purposes. b. The shaft frame, sheaves, hoisting arrangements, dumping gear, and connected works at the top of a shaft or pit.

Helmet man - Rescue man

Hydrocarbon - Any of a large class of organic compounds containing only carbon and hydrogen, comprising paraffins, olefins, members of the acetylene series, alicyclic hydrocarbons (such as cyclic terpenes and steroid hydrocarbons), and aromatic hydrocarbons (such as benzene, nephthalene, and biphenyl), and occurring in many cases in petroleum, natural gas, coal, and bitumens.

Incendive spark - An incendive spark is an electric spark of sufficient intensity to ignite flammable material.

Motorman - The man who operates a haulage locomotive.

Overcast - An enclosed airway to permit one air current to pass over another one without interruption. They should be built of incombustible materials, such as concrete, tile, stone, or brick. The use of overcasts results in better ventilation, removes the danger due to doors, such as being left open, and leakage.

Outburst - The name applied to the violent evolution of firedamp (usually together with large quantities of coal dust) from a working face. Outbursts are known wherever coal is worked. b. The occurrence is violent and may overwhelm the workings and fill the entire district with gaseous mixtures. Roadways advancing into virgin and stressed areas of coal are particularly prone to outbursts in certain seams and faults often intersect the area.

Propagate - To transmit or spread from place to place; as coal dust propagates a mine explosion.

Raise - A vertical or inclined opening driven upward from a level to connect with the level above, or to explore the ground for a limited distance above one level. After two levels are connected, the connection may be a winze or a raise, depending upon which level is taken as the point of reference.

Recover - To restore a mine or a part of a mine that has been damaged by explosion, fire, water, or other cause to a working condition.

Rock dusting - The dusting of underground areas with powdered limestone to dilute the coal dust in the mine atmosphere thereby reducing explosion hazards.

Roof - The rock immediately above a coal seam. It is commonly a shale and is often carbonaceous in character and softer than similar rocks higher up in the roof strata. The roof shale may contain streaks and wisps of coaly material which tends to weaken the deposit. Roof in coal mining corresponds to hanging wall in metal mining.

Room - A place abutting an entry or airway where coal has been mined and extending from the entry or airway to a face. b. Space driven off an entry in which coal is produced. Rooms may vary in width from 14 to 45 feet and in depth from 50 to 300 feet, depending on depth of overburden, underground conditions, and seam thickness.

Shot - A charge of some kind of explosive, in regular mining placed in a hole drilled in the coal, the purpose being to break down the coal.

Shot firer - A man whose special duty is to fire shots or blasts, especially in coal mines.

Slope - The main working gallery or entry of a coal seam which dips at an angle and along which mine cars are hauled. sprocket. A gear that meshes with a chain or crawler track.

Stopping - A brattice or, more commonly, a masonry or brick wall built across old headings, chutes, airways, etc., to confine the ventilating current to certain passages, and also to lock up the gas in old workings, and in some cases to smother a mine fire.

Colliery - A whole coal mining plant, generally used in connection with anthracite mining but sometimes used to designate the mine, shops, and preparation plant of a bituminous operation.

Headframe - The steel or timber frame at the top of a shaft, which carries the sheave or pulley for the hoisting rope, and serves various other purposes. Also called gallows frame; hoist frame; shad stocks. Also called headgear. Includes all the raised structure around the shaft which is used for lading and unlading cages. Can. Gallows over shaft to which cable for hoisting is attached.

Tipple - Originally the place where the mine cars were tipped and emptied of their coal, and still used in that sense, although now more generally applied to the surface structures of a mine, including the preparation plant and loading tracks.

Trip - A small train of mine cars. The cars hauled at one time by mules, or by any motor, or run at one time on a slope, plane, or sprag road.

Washery
a. A place at which ore, coal, or crushed stone is freed from impurities or dust by washing. Also called wet separation plant.
 b. A coal preparation plant in which a cleaning process is carried out by wet methods.


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