Drilling and Blasting

modern Geevor miner drilling a stope using a compressed air drill

To reach the tin ore miners had to drill holes and use explosives to break the rock underground.

Drilling holes in the hard Cornish rock was time consuming and hard work.  Early miners drilled holes by hand and used gunpowder to blast the rock apart.  Modern miners at Geevor used compressed air drills and gelatin to break the rock underground.

Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Chirs Elson held by the Geevor Archivel


Modern techniques for Breaking Rock

Click to see a larger version of this imagediagram showing the general layout of what a mine looks like below the surface including stope face, development drive and box holes

Modern mining techniques and machinery enabled large quantities of tin ore to be mined more efficiently and safely than ever before.

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Click to see a larger version of this imagea pair of developers preparing for blasting

Development is the process of mining the tunnels underground to reach and follow the lode. 

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Mechanical drilling

Click to see a larger version of this imageminer using a mechanical drill (compressed air)

By 1880 mechanical drilling machines were  introduced to Cornish Mines. 

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Click to see a larger version of this imagevictorian miner preparing for blasting using explosives

Blasting with gunpowder enabled larger quantities of rock to be broken, but it was also a risk for those involved.

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Comment left by wayne burns on 2009-10-28 11:22:18

Geevor is a 20th century mine so how can this be true : By 1880 mechanical drilling machines were first being used at Geevor.

Comment left by GEEVOR TIN MINE on 2009-11-11 11:33:34

Thank you for your comments, we have now amended the entry.


Comment left by Leif Nielsen on 2011-05-27 22:08:57

A very interesting museum, which we visited during a holiday i United Kingdom in May 2011.


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