The keystone punch drill was used to prospect for ores. A small hole would be drilled into the earth and a hallow tube would take a core sample in order to measure the earth's riches. The drill crew consists of four men: the driller, the helper, the panner and a fireman. The panner had the job of panning all the samples from the drill, and to keep a written log showing the depths at which core samples were taken, the number of colours in each pan and the character of the formation drilled. The driller and his helper manned the drill while the fireman took care of the fire needed for the boiler. The drill operated on steam, which powered the mechanics of the drill as well as the steam point which thawed the ground before drilling. The driller would lower the punch into the ground. A series of ropes, winches, and pulleys powered by the boiler would raise and lower the punch, pounding it into the ground. After drilling five feet the whole point would be lifted out of the hole and taken off the pulley. A hallow point would take its place and a core samples could be taken. Once removed the core sample would be panned for gold, silver or ore. They would sample every five feet until they reached bedrock. The Keystone drill could reach depths of 200 feet. The only limitation on the drill was the length of the rope on the drum.
Keno City Mining Museum, Keno City