Until the inception of modern mining techniques, mineral deposits that were located subhorizontally and were large in dimension were mined using a technique called 'widening,' where mine tunnels were used to locate the mineral deposit boundaries and then these tunnels were subsequently widened to extract all the required minerals. This method was technically quite simple but geotechnically unstable. During spontaneous and unrestrained mining, this method was especially destructive, and often would lead to local cave‐ins. To be successful this method required the ceiling of the rock bed being mined to be made up of stable material. You can see this type of mining in the picture.
Around the mid‐18th century subhorizontally located minerals began to be mined using a technique that encompassed the use of underhand stoping (horizontal cut) or overhand stoping. This method allowed for better stability of the rock. It is with this technique that the mine chambers in the Johannes mine were created. The steeply inclined mineral veins were mined using the underhand and overhand techniques. The mined ore was transported towards the mine shaft via a stope where, with the assistance of a chute, was poured into the mine carriages and wheeled away.