Today there are different methods for stone extraction; It’s better to know some stuffs about mines and the history of stone extraction before proceeding these methods. Generally mine is the place where stones, sand and other minerals are extracted from. There are two types of mines:
Open-pit mine and sub-surface mine
The most usual purpose of a mine is to extract stones for building materials. Mining history goes back to ancient Egypt. The first mines were extracted using hammers and boasting chisels which were made of iron or bronze. During last few years extraction methods have changed. Common methods are: using explosives, using diamond wire and using parallel hole.
Indeed there are other methods such as: expandable chemicals, extraction by feather and wedge or mechanical wedges, steel cutting wire, water jet, lasers and etc. which are not very popular because of their high costs. From 1366 (1985) up to now exploitation of new mines is due to using methods without incendiary materials. Nowadays more than 90% of stone extraction in Iranian mines is done by using diamond wire .
As different decorative stone mines exist in Iran, Iran is in the fourth place in the world; but unfortunately it doesn’t have a good situation in world marketing because of incorrect stone extraction. In order to extract building materials identifying cut table stone and its physical features are important.
Common methods of stone extraction and terms related to stones and mining will be explained in the following posts.