One of the first places I visited outside of JoBurg was an old gold mine which is now an amusement park called "Gold Reef City." The mining operation itself closed in the early 1970's.
A large mechanism is used to move carts with people and/or ore up and down the first 1km shaft. There are two other shafts leading down to a total of 3km below the surface.
Dynamite was kept in wooden boxes to prevent sparks.
Pumps were used to keep water out of the shafts which were generally below the water table.
At a checkin bench, miners would take a "token" which they would then have to return at the end of the day. This allowed the workers to ensure everyone was out of the mine before blasting took place.
A powerful drill was used to cut into the walls of shafts.
Side shafts branched out and up on each level creating a tree-like structure of tunnels.
Ore was moved down wooden shoots and into trolleys.
On each level was an combination air vent and emergency exit. Anyone needing to escape the mine in an emergency would have to climb 1km elevation on stairs at roughly a 45 degree angle.
All pages, images, and text © 2001 by Michael V Osier. All rights reserved.