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Mine Exploration Forum

Author Open cast copper mining
Jnewland

Joined: 13/03/2020

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Open cast copper mining
Posted: 13/03/2020 09:01:46
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Hi guys. I'm new to the site, so here goes. I'm a fiction author, writing a novel set in a fictional mountain top town next to/near some open mine copper workings. Although it's not specified, the town is fictionally set in Israel/the Middle East or there or thereabouts. I've joined Aditnow to try and get some more info from you experts, if that's ok. I'd like to get a picture of what an open cast mining might look like, what tools they used (one site I saw said the spades in olden times were made of alder wood, is that right), what infrastructure they might need (e.g. water supply, mules, donkeys, carts, roads up the mountain etc.) The novel is set in a time where the people have some metal work, but not much in the way of mechanisation, no cars, no mechanised pumps etc. More questions a. What is the process involved in extracting the ore from the ground, i mean do they just dig a big hole and them smelt what's there. b. what is needed to set up a smelting oven, if that's what it's called. c. are there any examples in the world or in history that I could use as a template e.g. i kinda think the wild west and it's gold rush might hold some clues and some info for me. d. are there any images I could look at to get an idea of what these places looked like. e. Is there a book for example which might have this kind of detail in it, fictional or preferably non-fiction. f. Another question that's bugged me, is how do the locals who live near the copper mine not get copper poisoning (in the food or water)? When and how does the copper enter the water supply/table? As you can see, I'm in need of a lot of help here, so any and all info and references to books or website would be greatly appreciated. i'm not aiming to be an expert in copper mining, but I'd like to add some authentic and accurate information into the novel. Many thanks in advance for any help given. IP: 86.135.158.22
sparty_lea

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Joined: 26/04/2007
Location: Weardale

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Open cast copper mining
Posted: 13/03/2020 09:11:28
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De re metallica by Agricola translated Herbert Hoover can give you a starting point, after that maybe a google on the history of somewhere like Parys mountain should bring up useful stuff for you.

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There are 10 types of people in the world. Those that understand binary and those that do not!
IP: 86.160.90.15
BertyBasset

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Joined: 13/12/2007
Location: Caernarfon, North Wales

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Open cast copper mining
Posted: 13/03/2020 13:26:52
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Copper mining in Cyprus might be a good places to look at. Lots on google e.g.

https://www.fergusmurraysculpture.com/cyprus/history-notes-12-pages/iv-kupros-copper/
IP: 185.19.209.50 Edited: 13/03/2020 13:27:06 by BertyBasset
AR

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Joined: 07/11/2007
Location: Knot far from Knotlow in the middle of the Peak District

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Open cast copper mining
Posted: 13/03/2020 20:52:10
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For some reading on early mining and smelting, I'd suggest the works of R.F.Tylecote. As for examples of an early copper mine, there's Engine Vein at Alderley Edge, Great Orme, and the Copa Hill workings at Cwmystwth although all have been reworked in later times.

As for potential copper pollution, a lot depends on what form it is present in, particularly around solubility. I'm reminded of the lovely crystal-clear streams at Coniston Ghyll and Tilberthwaite Ghyll in the Lakes, where much of the water is coming from mine drainage or leaching through the tips (full of Arsenopyrite at Tilberthwaite!Shocked) but the local sheep don't seem too troubled by it?

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Follow the horses, Johnny my laddie, follow the horses canny lad-oh!
IP: 80.247.28.103
Jnewland

Joined: 13/03/2020

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Open cast copper mining
Posted: 15/03/2020 22:54:54
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Thanks for this, and to the other two responses. Very useful and appreciated.
IP: 86.135.158.22
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