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An entrance to a mine
Common clues:
Mine entrance; Mine passage; Collier's entrance; Access for a collier; Shaft entrance; Way into a mine; Horizontal mine entrance; Entrance for extraction
Crossword puzzle frequency: once a year
Frequency in English language: 69696 / 86800
Medieval gold mine adit in Bohemia

An adit is a type of entrance to an underground mining operation in which the entrance shaft is horizontal or nearly horizontal. Adits are usually built into the side of a hill or mountain, and often occur when a measure of coal or an ore body is located inside the mountain but above the adjacent valley floor or coastal plain. The use of adits is generally called drift mining.

Gated entrance to an abandoned adit

Adits have many advantages over conventional mining pits with vertical access shafts. Less energy is required to transport miners, horses and heavy equipment into and out of the mine. It is also much easier to transport coal or ore out of the mine. Horizontal travel by means of narrow gauge tramway or cable car is also much safer and can move more people and coal than vertical elevators. In some situations, mines with adits can be drained of water by gravity alone or power-assisted gravity.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Adit".