List of words “used” in the Cornish tin mines


 R words

Radon An inert, heavy, colourless and tasteless radioactive gas found associated with granitic type rocks. Radon itself has a fairly long half life


Rolled mild steel product with a head, web and foot, used in pairs to make track for vehicles to run on. Rail in the local mines was of 20lb, 30lb, 35lb, 40lb and 60lb per yard depending on usage, and generally in 15ft lengths. Rail-Bender – See Jim Crow


A tunnel mined upwards from between 50° and vertical, generally to join levels together for ventilation, stope purposes and for passes.
Raise Borer – A large machine with multiple rotating heads used to bore     cylindrical raises upwards.
Raise Peg – Stout L-pegs generally a metre long or more inserted into previously drilled peg holes in the raise floor onto which the staging is placed.


mined hole up, level to level etc.

reamer  a type of drill.


A drill steel with a bit of greater diameter than the norm, to drill larger diameter holes for ease of breaking out cuts in headings.
Reamer Bit – The drill bit attached to a special drill steel for reaming larger diameter holes.
Reamer Hole – The hole produced by a reamer bit, used as an empty hole in a burn or cylinder cut. Typically one, two or four are used depending on circumstances
Reamer Steel – The drill steel with pilot bit and chamfer to hold a reamer bit

rearing wood partition between ladder way & loose dirt in stope.

A construction of stout timber providing an access into a shrink stope. Most rearings went up on full dip, stepped in if the lode value dropped, almost to the    full height of the stope, generally anything up to a 100ft from the level below. The space contained a wooden ladder with platforms, service pipes, storage, etc. 
Rearing Board – 8”x3” timber, with small gaps, nailed vertically on the stope side of the rearing pieces
Rearing Peg – A plate with ears, bolted to a pair of pegs (see under Peg, Shoe)
Rearing Piece – A 6”x8” timber placed horizontally across the stope on  pegs, wedged in tight and to which the rearing boards are nailed.

Receiver A storage vessel for compressed air, used to act as a reservoir and to even out the flow.

To recover broken rock hung up in stopes after the bulk has been drawn off. Dirt in shrink stopes has atendency to cake together over time due to minerals within it oxidising or concreting together with moisture.
Stope Reclaim – The task of bringing down dirt stuck in stopes. Water under pressure and blasting are the usual methods, either from below or from a catwalk, if installed.


A small tunnel or cuddy mined in the side of a drive, crosscut, decline, etc. in which personnel can stand out of the way of passing wagons.

Reserve Station

A secured area underground in which explosives are stored, and issued by the shiftboss to the shotfirers. Some levels had two or three reserve station depending on distance from work places, and the amount required to be kept as there are limits to stock allowed.


A slope of loose broken rock, and though negotiable with care, a rope or chain is useful for climbibg up or down, especially if carrying materials or equipment as in a rill stope. To rill down means to collapse a wall of broken rock to the point where it can be negotiated with care.
rill Slope of broken ground usually within a stope

(1) A line of shot holes transversely across the length of a long hole stope. The holes   are fired in sequence, before the next ring is blasted, thus taking a slice of ore away with each ring.
(2) A set of steel arches used to support weak ground. Arches come in two or more pieces and, when fishplated together are often referred to as a ‘ring’.


A mass of any solid part of the Earth’s crust.

A high tensile steel rod of any length inserted in a hole and anchored by      whatever means to hold a mass of rock together.
Mechanical Rockbolt – A rockbolt with an expanding base that, when tightened up, anchors the base within the rock, and having a plate on the surface of the hole to hold the rock behind it. 
Grout Rockbolt – A rockbolt inserted into a hole in which a suitable mortar has been poured. Once the mortar has set the bolt may have a plate washer and nut put on but, because the hole is generally downhill, not of importance.
Resin Rockbolt – A rockbolt inserted into a hole in which resin capsules and hardeners are already placed. The bolt is then spun and pushed its full length into the hole and, when the resin has set, a plate washer and nut are secured on the outside end. 
Rockbolt Pattern – The layout of rockbolts considered to have the best effect in supporting the rock to be stabilised.

Rock Drill

Any machine designed to drill holes in rock by means of impact or friction.
Atlas Copco™ - Swedish manufacturer of a wide range of equipment for mining, civil engineering and many other uses. A range of manually operated rock drills were used in some of the local mines, notably the ‘Lion’ and ‘Puma’.
Holman™ - Local manufacturer of a wide range of equipment for mining, civil engineering and many other uses. Rock drills used  from the fifties on included the ‘Silver Three’, ‘303’, ‘Silver 90’ and ‘900’. 
SIG ™- Swiss manufacturer of a wide range of equipment for mining, civil   engineering and many other uses. Two rock drills made under licence from Gardner Denver™ were used in the last few years
Rockflo”™ Wagon A rail mounted wagon designed such that when being loaded the wagons in a train can be moved along without the flow of rock,or whatever, to be halted as the wagons pass underneath. The wagons are emptied by being pulled over a specially fitted out dump without needing to stop, the ‘bottom’ of the wagon dropping down and then automatically brought back up as the wagon advances.   


Common term for a detonator complete with safety fuse.


The part of a conveyor or rope haulage system on which the the belt or rope respectively is supported to prevent it sagging or dragging in the dirt.


The part of a drive, heading, stope or other place underground that is overhead.

Room & Pillar

A method of mining in horizontal or shallow dipping orebodies in which regular blocks of ore


Formerly common term for a Stoper type rock drill
round a pattern of holes.

The shotholes ( and empty holes) required to advance a development heading a set distance in one firing sequence.
Drilling over a Round – The task of drilling all the holes required for a blast in a development heading.
Round Frame- A piece of equipment formerly used in ore dressing, using water to ‘wash’ the different weights of crushed rock into specific places, whereby the desired ore can be recovered.


Term used to describe a number of events occurring, for instance weak rock like ‘pot’ granite falling out of fissures, or broken rock cascading down after a hang-up in a chute or pass collapses.

Peter Hughes has supplied words of this colour
D.C.Williams at Exeter University, better known as Gus. has supplied words of this colour
The remainder are supplied by Michael Davis