a. A term applied to working alluvial deposits by underground methods of mining. The paystreak, varying from 2 to 8 ft (0.6 to 2.4 m), sometimes greater, is reached through an adit or a shallow shaft. Wheelbarrows or small cars may be used for transporting the gravel to a sluice on the surface. If relatively large, the deposit is removed in a system of regular cuts or slices taken across the paystreak, working generally in a retreating fashion from the inner limit of the gravel. Drift mining is more expensive than sluicing or hydraulicking; consequently it is used only in rich ground. See also: placer mining
b. The working of relatively shallow coal seams by drifts from the surface. The drifts are generally inclined and may be driven in rock or in a seam. Drift mining may be viewed as intermediate between opencast coal mining and shaft or deep mining. See also: development drift; surface drift. Nelson
Source:
Dictionary of Mining, Mineral, and Related Terms












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