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Definition of stope

i. An excavation from which ore has been removed in a series of steps. A variation of step. Usually applied to highly inclined or vertical veins. Frequently used incorrectly as a syn. for room, which is a wide-working place in a flat mine.

Ref: Standard, 2

ii. To excavate ore in a vein by driving horizontally upon it a series of workings, one immediately over the other, or vice versa. Each horizontal working is called a stope because when a number of them are in progress, each working face under attack assumes the shape of a flight of stairs. When the first stope is begun at a lower corner of the body of ore to be removed, and, after it has advanced a convenient distance, the next is commenced above it. This is called overhand stoping. When the first stope begins at an upper corner, and the succeeding ones are below it, it is called underhand stoping. The term stoping is loosely applied to any subterranean extraction of ore except that which is incidentally performed in sinking shafts, driving levels, etc., for the purpose of opening the mine.

iii. Commonly applied to the extraction of ore, but does not include the ore removed in sinking shafts and in driving levels, drifts, and other development openings.

Ref: Lewis

iv. The working above and below a level where the mass of the orebody is broken. A stope is the very antithesis of a shaft, tunnel, drift, winze, or other similar excavation in a mine.

Ref: Ricketts

v. Any excavation in a mine, other than development workings, made for the purpose of extracting ore. The outlines of the orebody determine the outlines of the stope. The term is also applied to breaking ground by drilling and blasting or other methods.

See Also: caving

vi. A body of mineral left by running drifts about it.

Ref: Standard, 2

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