Meaning of stope in English:


Pronunciation /stəʊp/


usually stopes
  • An excavation in a mine working or quarry in the form of a step or notch.

    ‘they haul the rock out of the stopes using buckets driven by small motorized winches’
    • ‘By this time the mine had three shafts, many large stopes and hundreds of metres of drives.’
    • ‘For the next ten years it was leased to tributors who worked the old stopes of the conglomerate lode above the adit level.’
    • ‘We explored the areas that were not being mined, including miles of old abandoned drifts and stopes.’
    • ‘In January 1933 the company announced that it was suspending mining below the 81st level and would confine production to the hanging-wall backs left in the old stopes and inclined shaft pillars.’
    • ‘Huge stopes with textbook square-set timbering began permeating the interior of Green Hill because the almost-vertical gold, silver, and copper ore-shoots were mined profitably on a large scale.’
    • ‘The mineralized vein was less than 2 feet wide, and the old stopes show extensive support timbering, necessary because of fracturing and extensive alteration of adjacent wall rock.’
    • ‘There are numerous open stopes and interconnected, short, meandering, near-surface underground workings that are in varying degrees of collapse and very dangerous.’
    • ‘The stopes from the 49th to the 48th level also contained datolites but not as many - an estimated 400 pounds of nodules were recovered.’
    • ‘Company geologists regularly visit stopes and development headings to gather samples, map local geology, and give direction to miners.’
    • ‘Another major development was an underground ore handling system for the drill, extraction and trucking levels associated with the stopes.’
    • ‘Open stopes extending upward to grass roots are not uncommon in the area, and hikers and tourists should take note of this danger.’
    • ‘Several pockets up to 1.3 meters and containing calcite crystals were exposed in the walls of the stopes.’
    • ‘Crystallized copper could still be found in the mined-out stopes, but we didn't find any datolite.’
    • ‘This meant we had to carry heavy battery-powered lights into the old stopes.’
    • ‘As a result of this practice immense stopes, or cavities, connected by narrow drives had been formed.’
    • ‘Dunham noted that fluorite was more common in stopes developed on veins lower down in the Melmerby Scar Limestone than in the upper flats.’
    • ‘Chalcanthite was noted in several locations within the mine on this tour, with thick encrustations of bladed crystals in many of the older drifts and stopes.’
    • ‘The new owners gave an extended lease of life to the mine by extracting ore from the footwall zone of the old stopes that were thought to have been mined out.’
    • ‘Nothing of interest was found, so we decided to check the short drift that was driven from No.2 shaft and was exposed from a stope that was mined to the surface.’
    • ‘The occurrence is in coarsely brecciated dolomite at the margin of a previously mined-out area in pillars and on the walls of a stope where the early work had ended.’


[with object]
  • (in mining) excavate a series of steps or layers in (the ground or rock)

    ‘many thousands of tons of stone, richly laden with gold, are ready to be stoped’
    • ‘They financed the shaft and the equipment and they were away, sinking, drifting, and stoping, all at the same time, just as Rick laid it out.’
    • ‘Once more Aclare was alive with the sounds from tunneling, stoping, dressing, sorting, bagging, and the loading of ore from the mine.’
    • ‘Underground stoping, and work on the smelters had also been very costly.’
    • ‘Eventually stoping cut farther into the veins so that either shafts had to be sunk or adits driven into the hillside to make connections with the underground workings.’


Mid 18th century apparently related to the noun step.