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Mining and miners in Zlatá Idka

Mining operation

In the begining of  mining, the gold was sifted in the valley of the river Ida, which gradually got into the valley due to weathering. Prospectors, who came later, were searching  and opening veins, which were cropping out on the surface.  After the extraction of the top parts of deposit, rich in utility metals, it was necessary to go deeper.

If  the ore bearings below the ground were cropping out on the surface or in another suitable place according to the terrain relief, they were gradually opened from above by adits,  which were founded on the deposits themselves.  Each venous pull was opened individually by several adits in an irregular altitude difference. These adits were simultaneously  served as the basic tracking, mining and transport corridors.

As the work progressed in depth and also because of the concentration of transport and drainage, longer mining works were established – hereditary adits. The task of these adits was to drain underground water from higher located  mining fields, perhaps even whole ore districts. The name “hereditary“ was associated with a long period of excavation of such an adit, in which several generations of miners were replaced.

In the old days, the rock disintegration was done manually – by chisel and hammer. Later, during the aggregation operation, by gunpowder until the introduction of more effective explosives (dynamite,..etc.) in 60s of 19th century. In 1896, electric drilling machines began to be used in local mines.


Ugrian trolleys (hunty) pushed on the wooden boards, were used  in horizontal transportation in basic corridors for few decades. In 1868, rail transport was introduced in the Ľudovika adit. Later it was gradually introduced  in all basic corridors. Rail transport on shorter routes and interhorizons and later in deeper horizons was manual. Horse transport was introduced in surface continuation of longer basic corridors, which opened into the surface ( adit Breuner, Ľudovika, Michal).

A good example is the vein Štefan, which has the largest incline range in the area. The difference is 400 m. The vein Štefan is considered to be the richest vein in Zlatá Idka. It was known near the surface before, but it was opened by Svajczer at the beginning of the 19th century. Only the antimony ores without silver formed the venous filling at higher altitudes.

The volume of silver in vein was rising, the deeper they went, until the level of the adit Ľudovika. The presence of pure gold was detected in a certain section at the lower level of the adit Breuner. The I. and II. deep horizons were characterized by a great volume of silver, but on the deepest horizon of adit Péch, the venous fill was weaker and only contained trace ores. In 1894-96, the vein Štefan was explored even  30 m below the adit Péch horizon.