Holman silver 3 stoping drill

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

Holman silver 3 stoping drill

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

GEEVOR TIN MINE. Stoping was the process of mining the tin-rich lode. The aim was to extract only the narrow strip of ore-bearing rock, removing as little as possible of the barren rock on either side. Stopers worked in pairs to drill a series of holes in the roof of the stope. Holes were drilled upwards, and explosives were inserted in the holes and the rock was blasted down.

Made at Camborne, the Holman's Silver 3 stoping drill represented a great advance on the earlier pneumatic drills. It was much lighter (44kg) and more compact than earlier drills and incorporated a telescopic 'air leg' which pushed the drill upwards.

Powered by compressed air, miners could work a kilometre or more from the power source because the compressed air was piped to storage tanks and then underground via steel pipes and flexible hoses. Until the 1960s, when tungsten carbide drills were introduced, drills needed to be sharpened frequently.

Photo: Bernie Pettersen

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Cornwall, Camborne

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