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New Zealand Mining Glossary

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Location: New Zealandmap
Surnames/tags: New Zealand Mining
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Mining Glossary

Mining has a language of its own. This might help explain reports and investigations into mining incidents.

Specific to coal mining, this is a full text, online, searchable book:
A Glossary of Terms Used In Coal Mining by William Stukeley Gresley, 1883, London, New York, E. & F.N. Spon
Mining Glossary of Terms
AnthraciteA hard, black, shiny coal, which is very high in fixed carbon and low in volatile matter,hydrogen and oxygen.
BiogasEnergy produced from the anaerobic digestion of sewage and industrial waste.
Biomass generationGeneration of electricity by the burning of trees and grass crops, forestry and urban.
Bituminous coalA relatively soft dark brown to black coal, lower in fixed carbon than anthracite but higher in volatile matter, hydrogen and oxygen.
BratticeSacking erected in passageways of underground mines to direct air from main airway. Made from impermanent materials as the roof was progressively allowed to collapse as the coal face advanced.
Carbon dioxideGas produced through the burning of carbon products [including coal].
Carbon monoxidePoisonous gas released in the mines following the use of explosive charges to release the coal from the coal face.
CarbonisationThe industrial process to reduce coal slack to carbonettes.
Carbonisation plantAn industrial plant designed to make profitable use of coal slack.
CharThe solid carbonaceous residue that results from incomplete combustion of organic
CoalA hard, black substance, mainly carbonised plant matter found in underground seams and used as a fuel.
Coal faceThe actively mined area of a coal mine.
Coal seamA layer of coal.
Coal tarA thick, black, oily liquid, distilled from coal and used as a source of benzene.
Coking Coal [Coke]The end product when coal is burned in the absence of oxygen, which reduces volatile gases, leaving almost pure carbon. This is used in industrial steel and aluminium manufacturing in a blast furnace.
CreosoteWood preservative.
Drive and driftMining method involving vertical mine shaft and horizontal mining of coal.
FiredampAn explosive mixture of gasses of which methane is the predominant part.
Fossil fuelsCoal, natural gas and fuels derived from crude oil [including petrol and diesel]. They have been formed over long periods of time from ancient organic matter.
GeothermalElectricity generation by naturally occurring steam.
Greenhouse gasGases that increase the temperature of the earth‟s surface. These include water vapour, tropospheric ozone, chlorofluorocarbons, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane and nitrous oxide.
Hydro electricElectricity generation by water.
LigniteA brownish-black, woody structured coal, lower in fixed carbon than either anthracite or bituminous coal, but higher in volatile matter and oxygen.
Longwall miningDriving underground roads along a continuous block of coal before extracting the entire block on the return journey - accounts for about 50% of the world‟s production of coal.
MethaneA flammable gas created by decomposition of organic matter, which is released as the coal is mined.
MineAn excavation in the earth for extracting coal or other minerals.
Mine roofThe layer of rock or mineral over an underground mine working.
Mine shaftA passageway allowing access to a mine.
Natural gasConsists mainly of methane occurring naturally in underground deposits. It may be associated or free gas.
Opencast mineMining by the removal of the surface layers, working the mine from above, rather than from the shafts of a mine.
OverburdenLayer of soil and useless rock on top of the coal being mined by the opencast method.
OxygenA colourless, tasteless, odourless, gaseous element, occurring naturally in most minerals and organic substances.
PeatVegetable matter decomposed in water and partly carbonised, a precursor to coal which then requires compression.
Pit propsTimber supports used to hold up the roof of an underground mine tunnel
Pit-headThe entrance to a mine shaft.
SlackVery fine powder, a residue of mining.
SpraggA piece of timber or iron between the spokes of a cart wheel to slow down coal cart.
StoppingA wall erected across the entrance of a worked out or dangerous area, so that air cannot pass into the disused district.
Sub-bituminousA glossy-black made of smaller particles coal that bituminous coal. It has a higher oxygen content than bituminous coal.
SubsidenceAn area of ground that has sunk due to underground mining beneath.
SulphurA pale yellow, non-metallic element with a suffocating smell which occurs in coal.
TailingsThe waste products after mining.
Underground coal gasificationThe burning of coal underground without mining and the collection of the gas to a turbine for the generation of electricity.
Underground mineMining by the removal of coal from an underground tunnel network.
Ventilation fansFans in the underground mining tunnels used to disperse poisonous gases released during the mining of coal.

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