1: Drilling & Blasting
Making underground openings to extract ore or rock. Miners drill holes in a working face of ore, or waste rock,
with drilling machines.
(Jackleg, Jumbo, Buzzes)
He then inserts explosives in the holes drilled, times each hole of explosives to what order he wants them to explode. Then sets off the blast, to break up the mass of rock.
2: Moving or Hauling the Rock. ‘Mucking’
Loaders, or chutes (draw points), load the rock (muck) into mine cars, that have locomotive attached. The more modern Mines have rubber tire mine trucks and loaders. Then off to the main haulage ways, and to the surface, by drift and, or shaft for hoisting.
3 Miners use a different type of Ground Support
Bolting & Timbering
Wood (timber), rock bolts (split set, resin, mechanical, cable bolts) and, or shotcrete, steel sets, just to name a few. The support holds the walls (ribs) and roof (back). Also, we use timber for chutes and staging. Not only is it the miner’s job to extract the rock, but to support, and make it safe as well. It’s not only for all there lives but the life of the mine as well.
4 Miners Pay
Miners get an hourly wage, but what a miner is there for, is the Bonus Pay. Bonus is usually based on, the feet of advance, or by the square-cube of rock. That’s what we all work for, but there are times when the ground conditions get bad, so we have to put in more ground support, and also blasting can be slowed too. We blast bad ground a lot lighter, so we don’t fracture it anymore then we have to. Sometimes we’ll only blast half the face. Two blasts to get the same amount of footage. That slows the advance and the pay goes down.
So, a miner is always hoping for that great rock that breaks easy, with not as many blast holes, doesn’t make boulders when blasted and is easy to support. A miner is always waiting for that type of rock.
With all that said, you can probably tell that it takes a certain type of person to be an underground miner, He has to be able to work in hard conditions. This a daily thing with miners. With the more modern mining methods, it is a lot better than years before. But a miner still has to deal with mine gases, dust, heat, cold, less oxygen, diesel exhaust, fall of ground, rock bursts. But between the mines and the miners, they have found pretty safe ways to do it all…