Prehistoric Mines

There exists evidence that our ancient ancestors were mining at a time they were supposed to barely able to use fire:

Wattis, Utah Coal Mine

In 1953, miners at the Lion Coal Mine in Wattis, Utah were digging a new tunnel, and broke into an already existing system. The coal found in these tunnels was so old and weathered, it was useless for burning. Further exploration by Drs Wilson and Jennings from the University of Utah revealed not only the tunnels, but centralized rooms where coal was brought prior to being taken to the surface. The tunnels themselves averaged about 5-6' high, (although there was one 8' tunnel they followed for 8500 feet), and followed the coal seams in the same way as today. Yet none of the North American Indian tribes ever used coal.[1] Who, then, were the miners?

Ngwenya, Africa Iron Mine

In 1967, an iron mine in Ngwenya, Africa broke into tunnels and evidence of mining that were dated by Drs Dart and Beaumont as being from 40,000 B.C. They discovered that at least 100,000 tons of ore has been previously removed. So, we have sophisticated mining occuring when man supposedly was using stone tools...[2]

[1] "Secrets of the Lost Races: New Discoveries of Advanced Technology in Ancient Civilizations", Rene Noorbergen (2001)

[2] "Evidence of Iron Ore Mining in Southern Africa in the Middle Stone Age", R.A. Dart and P. Beaumont (1969)