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Uranium /jʊˈrniəm/ is a silvery-white metallic chemical element in the actinide series of the periodic table that has the symbol U and atomic number 92. Besides its 92 protons, a uranium nucleus can have between 141 and 146 neutrons, with 146 (U-238) and 143 in its most common isotopes. The number of electrons in a uranium atom is 92, 6 of them valence electrons. Uranium has the highest atomic weight of the naturally occurring elements. Uranium is approximately 70% denser than lead, but not as dense as gold or tungsten. It is weakly radioactive. It occurs naturally in low concentrations (a few parts per million) in soil, rock and water, and is commercially extracted from uranium-bearing minerals such as uraninite (see uranium mining).


Tumbler Ridge town hall
The District Municipality of Tumbler Ridge is a small town in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in northeastern British Columbia, Canada, and a member municipality of the Peace River Regional District. The municipality of 1,574 square kilometres (608 sq mi), with its population of 2,454 people, incorporates a townsite and a large area of mostly Crown land.[1] The housing and municipal infrastructure, along with regional infrastructure connecting the new town to other municipalities, were built simultaneously in 1981 by the provincial government to service the coal industry as part of the British Columbia Resources Investment Corporation's Northeast Coal project.


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The California Gold Rush (1848–1855) began on January 24, 1848, when gold was discovered by James Wilson Marshall at Sutter's Mill, in Coloma, California. News of the discovery soon spread, resulting in some 300,000 men, women, and children coming to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. Of the 300,000, approximately 150,000 arrived by sea while the remaining 150,000 arrived by land.

These early gold-seekers, called "40-niners," (as a reference to 1849) traveled to California by sailing boat and in covered wagons across the continent, often facing substantial hardships on the trip. While most of the newly-arrived were Americans, the Gold Rush attracted tens of thousands from Latin America, Europe, Australia, and Asia. At first, the prospectors retrieved the gold from streams and riverbeds using simple techniques, such as panning. More sophisticated methods of gold recovery developed which were later adopted around the world. At its peak, technological advances reached a point where significant financing was required - increasing the proportion of corporate to individual miners. Gold, worth billions of today's dollars, was recovered, which led to great wealth for a few. However, many returned home with little more than they started with.


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The Klondike Gold Rush, also called the "Yukon Gold Rush", the "Alaska Gold Rush" and the "Last Great Gold Rush", was a migration by an estimated 100,000 prospectors to the Klondike region of the Yukon in north-western Canada between 1896 and 1899. Gold was discovered here on August 16, 1896 and, when news reached Seattle and San Francisco the following year, it triggered a "stampede" of would-be prospectors. The journey proved too hard to many and only between 30,000 and 40,000 managed to arrive. Some became wealthy; however, the majority went in vain and only around 4,000 struck gold. The Klondike Gold Rush ended in 1899, after gold was discovered in Nome, prompting an exodus from the Klondike. It has been immortalized by photographs, books and films.


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A bal maiden, from the Cornish language bal (mine) and the English maiden (young or unmarried woman), was a female manual labourer in the mining industries of Cornwall and the bordering areas of western Devon, at the south-western extremity of Great Britain. A boom in Cornish mining in the late 17th and early 18th centuries resulted in increasing numbers of women and girls were recruited to the area's mines from about 1720 to the 1770s, processing the ore sent up by the male miners underground.

With the rise of the Industrial Revolution, women and girls were again recruited in large numbers for work in ore processing. Although machinery was capable of performing much of the work done by bal maidens, the industry grew so quickly that the number of women and girls working grew steadily even though their numbers fell as a proportion of the workforce to 15–20% by 1850. At the peak of the Cornish mining boom, in around 1860, at least 6000 bal maidens were working at the region's mines. From the 1860s onward, Cornish mining went into decline In 1891 the number of bal maidens had fallen to half its peak, and by the outbreak of the First World War in 1914 very few remained in employment. In 1921 Dolcoath, the last mine to employ bal maidens, ceased operations, bringing the tradition to an end.


Rhyolite is a mining ghost town in Nye County, Nevada, United States. It is in the Bullfrog Hills, about 120 miles (190 km) northwest of Las Vegas, near the eastern edge of Death Valley. The town began in early 1905 after a prospecting discovery in the surrounding hills, leading to a gold rush. By 1907, Rhyolite had electric lights, water mains, telephones, an opera house, and a stock exchange, yet it declined almost as rapidly as it rose. The richest ore was quickly exhausted, and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and the financial panic of 1907 made it more difficult to raise development capital. In 1908, the mining company's stock value crashed; it closed in 1911. By 1920, the population was close to zero, after which its buildings crumbled, were salvaged for building materials, or were moved to nearby Beatty. Rhyolite and its ruins have since become a tourist attraction.


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Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper is soft and malleable; a freshly exposed surface has a reddish-orange color. It is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, a building material, and a constituent of various metal alloys.

The metal and its alloys have been used for thousands of years. In the Roman era, copper was principally mined on Cyprus, hence the origin of the name of the metal as сyprium (metal of Cyprus), later shortened to сuprum. Its compounds are commonly encountered as copper(II) salts, which often impart blue or green colors to minerals such as azurite and turquoise and have been widely used historically as pigment. Architectural structures built with copper corrode to give green verdigris (or patina). Decorative art prominently features copper, both by itself and as part of pigments.


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The Cripple Creek miners' strike of 1894 was a five-month strike by the Western Federation of Miners (WFM) in Cripple Creek, Colorado, USA (pictured). It resulted in a victory for the union and was followed in 1903 by the Colorado Labor Wars. It is notable for being the only time in United States history when a state militia was called out (May/June 1894) in support of striking workers.

The strike was characterized by firefights and use of dynamite, and ended after a standoff between the Colorado state militia and a private force working for owners of the mines. In the years after the strike, the WFM's popularity and power increased significantly through the region.


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Lead is a chemical element in the carbon group with symbol Pb (from Latin: plumbum) and atomic number 82. Lead is a soft and malleable metal, which is regarded as a heavy metal and poor metal. Metallic lead has a bluish-white color after being freshly cut, but it soon tarnishes to a dull grayish color when exposed to air. Lead has a shiny chrome-silver luster when it is melted into a liquid.

Lead is used in building construction, lead-acid batteries, bullets and shot, weights, as part of solders, pewters, fusible alloys, and as a radiation shield. Lead has the highest atomic number of all of the stable elements, although the next higher element, bismuth, has a half-life that is so long (much longer than the age of the universe) that it can be considered stable. Lead, at certain contact degrees, is a poisonous substance to animals, including humans. It damages the nervous system and causes brain disorders.


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  1. ^ BC Stats, Community Facts, 2006.