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Mineral dressing

(1,114 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
1. GeneralAfter extraction the raw products of mining generally need processing to remove the gangue, to sort, purify, and concentrate the valuable material, and to achieve optimum particle size for further utilization. Ore deposits – the most important object of mineral dressing during the early modern period (see Mining 4.1.) – often contain multiple valuable materials. Here the goal was to remove the barren material and separate the various ores (e.g. copper, lead, and zinc ore, and possibly precious metals) as cleanly as possible [9]; [10], since the purer the ore bein…
Date: 2020-04-06

Mining

(6,741 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
1. Definition 1.1. TerminologyThe Middle English “minen” (verb) and “mine” (noun) appeared around 1300, deriving from the Old French miner, “to dig,” and referring to the extraction of mineral resources from mineral deposits. These deposits were collectively called fossils (from Latin  (ef)fodere, “dig [out]”) before that term was narrowed in the 19th century to the preserved remains of living creatures of past ages that were often found during the extraction and dressing of mineral resources.German terminology was founded not on the act of digging, but on the ro…
Date: 2020-04-06

Assaying

(727 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
Assaying (or docimasy, from Greek  dokimasía, “examination”) is “the use of empirically developed analytic knowledge in the field of metallurgy, casting, and coinage, but also in alchemical and early chemical laboratories, since quantitative testing procedures were needed for the production and testing of salts, mineral acids, alcohols, etc.” (Alchemy) [8. 173]. In use since the Middle Ages, it developed into an independent discipline with its own literature in the 16th century; the first small book on assaying with formulas and instructio…
Date: 2019-10-14

Blasting

(940 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
1. Introduction Blasting is using explosives (black powder or gunpowder; other substances only came into use after the early modern period) in mining. Technically, blasting imitates an accident occurring in the military use of black powder, where the squib jams in the barrel of the cannon or gun, which is then often blown apart by the exploding powder charge [4. 55].When rocks and minerals needed to be loosened, holes were bored in the mass. If the borehole was dry, a certain amount of loose powder would be poured into it; if the hole was wet, the powde…
Date: 2019-10-14

Mining literature

(1,078 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
1. Before industrializationAlong with military technology and artistic craftwork (primarily sacral; cf. Crafts), mining was among the sectors of technology and production that produced specialist literature at an early date. Albertus Magnus made a beginning  in 1250 with his  De mineralibus (“On Minerals”); he emphasized that he had access to almost no classical texts on the subject (in fact most are known only by title). Medieval lapidaries (books about precious stones), books about nature, and a few poems repeatedly touched on …
Date: 2020-04-06

Extraction

(933 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph
In mining a distinction is made in the context of mining technology between extraction as the separation of minerals from the rock, site preparation with shafts, galleries, and drifts, preparation for extraction, water management and ventilation as auxiliary technologies, and delivery.In the early modern period, efforts were made to combine all mining operations with extraction. Therefore shafts, galleries, and drifts were cut within the mineral deposit if at all possible. But extraction within that deposit weakened the cohes…
Date: 2019-10-14

Markscheidewesen

(998 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph | Steffens, Gero
1. GeneralIn the Middle Ages, the term  Markscheidewesen – from Mark (obsolete: “territory, terrain”), Scheide (“boundary”), and Wesen (“entity”) – referred originally only to surveying in the context of mining. At the beginning of the early modern period it came to denote all the surveys and documentation required in mining; the Markscheider is the engineer responsible for all surveys, computations, and representations (plans, graphics) [5]. Measurements in conjunction with structures above and below ground were always a demanding job; carrying them …
Date: 2019-10-14

Mining technology

(3,255 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph | Farrenkopf, Michael
1. DefinitionThe term mining technology embraces all the technological methods and tools employed in extracting underground mineral resources. In the 16th century, this technology was already being systematized in a scientific framework, as is especially clear in the work of G. Agricola (1494–1555) [1], which outlined the essential areas of mining technology: sinking shafts and boring drifts, shoring, extraction, haulage, water management, ventilation, illumination, and mine surveying (Markscheidewesen). Agricola also described surfac…
Date: 2020-04-06

Mining lamp

(815 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph | Farrenkopf, Michael
The term  mining lamp denotes any source of artificial light employed to illuminate the underground spaces created in the mining of mineral resources. The German miners’ term  Geleucht became a common collective term for mining lamps [1]. In comparison to other areas of early modern mining technology, many forms of mining lamps were developed, depending on the type of mining and the region, but until well into the 18th century their construction, function, and fuel were based on principles that had developed in part in prehist…
Date: 2020-04-06

Mineral deposits

(3,223 words)

Author(s): Bartels, Christoph | Kirnbauer, Thomas
1. Definition and classification Mineral deposits are concentrations of mineral resources (rocks, minerals) that can be exploited economically (Resources, use of). The term came into use in the 18th century [4] and was in common use in the 19th. Previously all the minerals found underground had been called fossils. Depending on their nature and use, mineral deposits can be classified as (1) metal ore (or simply ore) deposits, the basis of metal production; (2) deposits of energy resources (e.g. black coal, lignite, petroleu…
Date: 2020-04-06

Copper

(3,283 words)

Author(s): Häberlein, Mark | Bartels, Christoph | Fried, Torsten
1. Introduction The resurgence of the European population after the plague epidemics of the 14th and 15th centuries, which also brought about a revival of long-distance trade (see Trade, long-distance), led to rising demand for copper, the softness, durability, and malleability of which made it suitable for many different applications (see below, 3.). European expansionism overseas made copper and brass goods important commodities in the Portuguese Africa and Asia trades from the 16th century (World economy) [3. 335, 337, 347 f.]. The development of new refining metho…
Date: 2019-10-14