floor, noun

Origin:
EnglishShow more Special sense of general English floor level space upon which some industry is carried out.
historical, Diamond-mining
Usually in the plural, often the floors: flat surfaces in the open air upon which diamondiferous rock was spread, to be broken down over several years by natural weathering.
1886 G.A. Farini Through Kalahari Desert 32The hard, flinty clay..is left exposed for a time to the atmosphere of the ‘floors’.
1893 T. Reunert Diamonds & Gold 55For a time the blue ground remains on the floors without much manipulation. The heat of the sun and moisture soon have a wonderful effect upon it.
1899 R. Devereux Side Lights on S. Afr. 147An endless stretch of sad grey fields, surrounded by high walls of barbed wire, topped by huge electric light globes. These are the ‘floors’ over which the blue ground is spread, as soon as it is taken from the mine.
1937 H. Sauer Ex Afr. 47The De Beers’ Company had to buy the bulk of their own diamonds from the natives whom they employed on the ‘floors’.
1946 S. Cloete Afr. Portraits 129The bluish indurated mud is..spread out on floors, where it is allowed to rot for two or three years during which time it oxidises and disintegrates from exposure.
1956 L.G. Green There’s Secret Hid Away 80The diamond-bearing ‘blue ground’..was spread on ‘floors’ for a year so that the weather might break up the rock.
1973 A. Hocking Diamonds 7Great stretches of the nearby veld were cleared and levelled and the mined ground was spread over these ‘floors’.
1989 P.E. Raper Dict. of Sn Afr. Place Names 162Floors, Suburb of Kimberley...Established in 1948, it received its name from the old diamond ‘floors’ on which it was laid out.
flat surfaces in the open air upon which diamondiferous rock was spread, to be broken down over several years by natural weathering.
Derivatives:
Hence flooring noun, the process of breaking down diamondiferous rock on the floors; also attributive.
1931 G. Beet Grand Old Days 99As the Kimberley mines became deeper the blue ground became harder and less amenable to the flooring treatment...It was decided in 1920 to abandon flooring..in favour of stage crushing and washing.

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18861989

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