"The works of the Ore Knob Copper Company are situated in the County of Ashe in the north-western part of the state of North Carolina, about ten miles from the Virginia line at an elevation of 4000 feet above the sea.

The works are 45 miles from the railroad, which makes the transportation very difficult. These unfavorable conditions make it necessary for the owners of the mine to smelt their ores and to send to market nothing except the metal, which alone will bear the cost of transportation. The mine was opened previous to 1860, but has only been worked successfully during the last 8 or 10 years.

The vein is a fissure-vein from 10 to 20 feet in thickness, and has been explored over a long distance by working and trial shafts. The method of mining employed is known as underhand stoping. The rock is hard, but the ore is won without much difficulty. The method of extraction is by iron buckets. These hold from 1000-2000 lbs. each. They are placed on a truck which, when loaded, is rolled to the shaft and the buckets are there hoisted. The ventilation of the mine is excellent, the foul air from a blast being removed in a very short time. The smelting works are situated only a few hundred feet from the mine. The ore is delivered into the dressing-house, where that containing copper is separated from the sterile materials and discharged into a car running by gravity to the smelting works where it is dumped into carts and carried to the piles to be roasted.

It has been found by experiment that an ore containing 3% of copper just pays the expenses of mining and smelting.

The metallurgical works consist of six roasting sheds, ten shaft furnaces, one reverberatory furnace, and four houses for storing the coal. The fuel used is wood for roasting and refining and charcoal for the shaft furnace.

Pig Copper is obtained in four & ingot copper in 5 operations"--pages 1-2.


Mining Engineering

Degree Name

Professional Degree in Mining Engineering


Holograph [Handwritten and illustrated in entirety by author].

Download includes a transcription of this handwritten thesis.


Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy

Publication Date



24 pages

Geographic Coverage

Ashe County, North Carolina


© 1887 Oscar Lachmund, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Copper mines and mining -- North Carolina -- Ashe County
Ore Knob Copper Company

Thesis Number

T 33

Print OCLC #


Electronic OCLC #



Thesis Location