Glossary of mining and geological terms

  • Banksman (mine) – person in charge at the shaft top, keeps records of production and pit sales.
  • Board (mine) – see stall.
  • Cinders (mine) - coke
  • Colliery (mine) – all the surface and underground workings and the administrative entity.
  • Corf / corves (mine) – wicker baskets used for transporting and raising coal, dragged on sledges or trolleys, variable capacity but here 2 cwt.
  • Deep (mine) – the direction down coal dip.
  • Dip (geol.) – amount and direction of maximum slope on rock bedding surface.
  • Down brow / down board (mine) - coal extraction below pit bottom level, enabled by pumping groundwater.
  • Downthrow (geol.) – vertical displacement of rock bed, e.g. coal seam, by a fault.
  • Drainage level (mine) – see sough.
  • Drawing (mine) – coal hauling.
  • Face (mine) – coal face worked at end of stall.
  • Fault (geol.) – a major fracture in rocks which results in their displacement.
  • Gate (mine) – a secondary or temporary road for coal transport connecting with a level.
  • Gin (mine) – a device for raising coal involving a large horizontal wheel driven by a horse in a circular track.
  • Goaf (mine) – area from which coal worked, used for waste rock.
  • Hitch (mine) – see fault.
  • Level (mine) – a sub-horizontal road used for hauling, i.e. close to coal strike, from which stalls developed, also often used for groundwater drainage to pit bottom. Also loosely used for any underground road or and drainage level (sough).
  • Load (mine) – a measure of broken coal volume, generally based on corf load.
  • Mine (mine) – see colliery.
  • Pillar (mine) – a section of coal left unmined as roof support.
  • Pit (mine) – all the underground workings.
  • Rise (mine) – the direction up coal dip.
  • Road (mine) – passage used for coal transport.
  • Shaft (mine) – the vertical entrance shaft for the mine.
  • Sough (mine) - underground drain (= "suff" as in "suffer", OED)
  • Staple pit (mine) – an underground shaft.
  • Stall (mine) - the individual worked out area behind the face.
  • Strike (geol.) – the direction at right angles to dip of rock bed and therefore horizontal.


Stukeley, W 1883: A glossary of terms used in coal mining. E & FN Spon, London, 296 pp.

MK 2012
Page created 05-12-2012. Latest update 22-12-2012
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