Mine shafts were made using a combination of vertical and inclined tunnels. Their allocation was determined by the morphological makeup of the mineral deposits and the size of the actual mines. Johannes mine was initially a series of open‐air mines, and it was not until later that the shaft known as Johannes was created for water drainage purposes. An example of a mine shaft from the 15th century is shown in the following image (according to Agricola).
From the 16th century the main method of mining minerals that were spread out over a large area was by heating and then breaking away the rock to create mining chambers, some of which were of a considerable size, as you can see in the main chamber of the Johannes mine.
During mining the fire‐setting method was used where fires were set against a rock face to make them as hot as possible and then they were cooled as quickly as possible. The quick changes in temperature caused the stone to fracture and become more easily breakable using tools such as spikes and mining hammers and picks.