Definition of stope in English:



  • A steplike part of a mine where minerals are being extracted.

    • ‘This meant we had to carry heavy battery-powered lights into the old stopes.’
    • ‘By this time the mine had three shafts, many large stopes and hundreds of metres of drives.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We explored the areas that were not being mined, including miles of old abandoned drifts and stopes.’
    • ‘For the next ten years it was leased to tributors who worked the old stopes of the conglomerate lode above the adit level.’
    • ‘Company geologists regularly visit stopes and development headings to gather samples, map local geology, and give direction to miners.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Several pockets up to 1.3 meters and containing calcite crystals were exposed in the walls of the stopes.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There are numerous open stopes and interconnected, short, meandering, near-surface underground workings that are in varying degrees of collapse and very dangerous.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Open stopes extending upward to grass roots are not uncommon in the area, and hikers and tourists should take note of this danger.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The stopes from the 49th to the 48th level also contained datolites but not as many - an estimated 400 pounds of nodules were recovered.’
    • ‘As a result of this practice immense stopes, or cavities, connected by narrow drives had been formed.’
    • ‘Crystallized copper could still be found in the mined-out stopes, but we didn't find any datolite.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dunham noted that fluorite was more common in stopes developed on veins lower down in the Melmerby Scar Limestone than in the upper flats.’
    • ‘Another major development was an underground ore handling system for the drill, extraction and trucking levels associated with the stopes.’


  • 1 (in mining) excavate a series of steps or layers in (the ground or rock)

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1Geology The process by which country rock is broken up and removed by the upward movement of magma.
      • ‘Emplacement was accompanied by local dilation to form contact parallel, NNW- and WNW-trending dykes and by stoping of contacts.’
      • ‘The intrusions are passively emplaced into the surrounding host by stoping and assimilation.’
      • ‘In summary, magmas do not have to rise in the crust by slow, density-driven diapiric processes, or stoping processes where the magma detaches and absorbs blocks of surrounding rock.’


Mid 18th century: apparently related to the noun step.