Miner's inch

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The miner's inch is a unit of flow in terms of volume per unit time, usually in relation to the flow of water. The definition of a miner's inch varies by location.

In hydraulic mining and some forms of placer mining, as well as ore dressing, a large and regular supply of water is needed. The miner's inch is a method of measuring the amount of flow a particular water supply system (such as a flume or sluice) is capable of supplying.

The miner’s inch was derived from the amount of water that would flow through the hole of a given area at a given pressure (for example, 4-6 inches of water, or 1-1.5 kPa). The word 'inch' actually refers to the area of the hole in 'square inches'.


Historically, the unit lacked a firm definition or equivalent measurement, and varied by location, leading to confusion within the mining industry.[1][2] In 1905, its usage in California was standardized.[2] Today, the standards are:[citation needed]

State regulations sometimes forbid[citation needed] the use of the unit without its being associated with a definition in the same document.


  1. ^ Placer Mining. Scranton, PA: Colliery Engineering Co. 1897. pp. 76–80.
  2. ^ a b Wilson, E. B. (1907). Hydraulic and Placer Mining. New York: John Wiley & Sons. pp. 91–92.

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