History Of Mining - Explore for More

History Of Mining
History Of Mining
 Some primitive mining activity occurred during the
stone age when Neolithic Man exploited flint deposits.
 Some of these early flint mines consisted of vertical
shafts 6 feet in diameter and 30 feet deep.
 Old mining implements included deer horn picks and
the shoulder blade of large animals used as shovels
History Of Mining
 The earliest records of organized mining are those of
the Egyptians dating from 3000 BC
 They mined for gold, silver, copper and turquoise in
near surface deposits
 In 50 BC they used prisoners to mine for gold
History Of Mining
Fire Setting
• At the time fire setting was the universal method of
driving tunnels through hard rock.
• Consisted of lighting brushwood fires against the solid
rock face and when it was hot rapidly cooling it by
throwing water on it.
• This abrupt cooling would cause cracking and could be
broken down with primitive picks and wedges.
History Of Mining
 The next race of people to advance the spread of
mining were the Romans.
 They had learned mining methods from the many
different nations they had conquered and
accumulated considerable experience which had been
acquired in the course of centuries by many different
 The Romans mined on a large scale throughout Europe
and Africa.
 In most cases they had slaves do the mining
History Of Mining
North American Natives
Mined rocks for native copper, flint, chert, siltstone
obsidian and ochre.
They used these rocks to make tools, weapons and
decorative objects.
Flint was used for making spear points, arrowheads,
knives, scrapers and to start fire.
Red ochre was used to paint stories on rocks.
Aboriginal people had an extensive trade network and
traded these materials throughout the Americas.
History Of Mining
 Advances in technology and civilizations indicated in
terms of Stone Age. Copper Age, Bronze Age and Iron
 People had to dig trenches, caves, and pits, operations
later extended to the excavation of shafts, tunnels and
underground chambers.
 Ancient operations were limited to the technology
History Of Mining
 By the middle ages (1000 – 1453 AD) advances had
been made in mining and metallurgy, although they
remained labour intensive.
 The use of explosives which began around 1627
eliminated much of the arduous work needed to break
the rock.
 Steam was first applied for industrial power around
1700 in Cornwall England.
 The use of steam locomotives and mine hoists
followed a few years later.
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
 In the western hemisphere no underground mining
was done before the arrival of the Spanish. Mining had
been limited to Placer work.
 The search for gold was a principal objective of the
 In North America, Master Simon, a mining engineer
with Samuel de Champlain reported the discovery of
silver and iron in Acadia in 1604.
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
 Early sailors and settlers were aware of coal outcrops along
the shores of Cape Breton Island.
The first coal mine in Canada was on Cape Breton Island.
Mining and metallurgical operations began in Eastern
North America as settlements proceeded.
Small ore bodies of lead (for bullets) and copper were
opened, iron deposits were also mined.
By the early 1700’s, several iron foundaries were in
operation in Forges Saint-Maurice at Trois-Rivieres,
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
 The first significant mines in northern North America were
opened about 1845 to exploit copper ore bodies near Lake
 The discovery of placer gold along the Fraser river in 1858
caused a Gold Rush in the interior of British Columbia.
 In 1896 gold was discovered in the Yukon Territory setting
off the exiting and turbulent Klondike Gold Rush
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
 In 1883 during the construction of the Canadian Pacific
Railway, nickel-copper ore was discovered near Sudbury
 Shortly after the turn of the century Silver was discovered
in Cobalt, then gold in Porcupine and Kirkland Lake.
Prospecting continued leading to discovery of copper, lead
and zinc ore bodies in Rouyn-Noranda and Val d’Or
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
Coal has been mined on Nova Scotia and New Brunswick
since the early days of settlement. Coal mining didn’t start
in the west until the 1830’s when the Vancouver Island coal
seams were opened near Nanaimo. As the railways brought
settlers to the prairies coal seems were mined to provide
fuel for local use and foothill and mountain seams were
opened to serve both railways and settlers. As the railways
pushed their way across the country the population
increased in the more remote areas resulting in an increase
in mineral exploration, discoveries and new mines.
History Of Mining
Canadian Mining History
The growth in export markets particularly in Japan and
the use of coal for electric-power generation is now
provided by larger open pit mines.

similar documents