Mining Glossary

Glossary of Geology and Mining Terms

activated carbonchemically treated and heated carbon which has the ability to absorb gold
alterationthe physical or chemical change in the composition of rock
arsenopyriteiron arsenic sulphide, FeAsS
backfillwaste rock or tailings used to fill mined out areas, particularly underground
basaltdark colored, fine-grained volcanic igneous rock
base metalnon-ferrous metals inferior in value to precious metals; i.e. copper lead, zinc, nickel
bedrocksolid rock beneath superficial soil cover and unconsolidated sediments
beltan exposed zone or band of a particular kind of rock
bioxidationthe oxidation of elements caused by naturally occurring bio-organisms in rock. Bioxidation is used in the recovery of gold from sulhpide rock by providing the optimum temperature, acidity (pH) and oxygen levels for the natural oxidation process to work most effectively
brecciarock consisting of angular fragments in a finer-grained matrix
bullionthe product of smelting or refining precious metals, usually in the form of bars or ingots
by-productrevenue, net of transportation, refining and treatment charges, from the sale of metals derived in conjunction with the production of the primary mine metal
carbon-in-leach (CIL)a process to recover dissolved gold onto activated carbon, by introducing activated carbon into a gold-cyanide slurry during the agitation process and subsequently separating the loaded carbon from the slurry for the removal of the gold
carbon-in-pulp (CIP)a process to recover dissolved gold onto activated carbon, by introducing activated carbon into the system after the gold has been dissolved by the cyanide solution and subsequently separating the loaded carbon from the slurry for the removal of the gold
cash costincludes production costs, royalties, marketing and refining charges, together with all administration expenses at the operating level
chloriteplatey iron-magnesium silicate, typically formed during alteration by other minerals at low temperatures
contractorany non-Newmont employee or group working for an operation and who are regularly exposed to mine hazards
cut-and-filla mining method which removes ore in horizontal slices and the remaining void is filled with waste rock before proceeding to mine the next slice of ore
cut-off gradethe lowest grade of mineralized material considered to be economic and used to calculate the ore reserve in a deposit
cyanide-leachingdissolving gold or silver in a weak solution of sodium cyanide or potassium cyanide
dipthe angle of incline from horizontal of a planar feature, such as an orebody
disseminated oreore bearing small particles of valuable minerals spread throughout the rock
doleriteintrusive dyke rock made up mostly of feldspar and pyroxene
doréunrefined gold and silver bars usually containing more than 90 percent precious metal
drift-and-fillan underground mining method whereby ore is mined by drifting along the mineralization and backfilling the void so that the next level can be mined
dykean igneous intrusion which cuts across the bedding of other planar structures in the country rock
erosionthe alteration, loosening and removal of land surface material by the actions of running water and wind
exposure hoursthe total number of hours worked at the operation
extrusiveigneous rock which has been erupted to the surface by volcanic activity
faciesdistinctive rock type
fatalitydeath of an individual as a result of a work related accident or illness
faulta break in the sub-surface strata where there is displacement relative to the original position of strata
feasibility studya comprehensive study undertaken to determine the economic feasibility of a project; the conclusion will determine if a production decision can be made and is used for financing arrangements
first aidall work related injury or illness that does not require medical attention
flotationa process by which some mineral particles are induced, by the introduction of specific reagents, to become attached to bubbles and float while other particles sink; the valuable minerals are concentrated and separated from the gaunge
folda bend in rock strata
formationa unit of geological mapping, consisting of a large and persistent stratum of rock
gabbrocoarse-grained igneous rock containing minor silica
gold equivalentgold plus silver expressed in equivalent ounces of gold using a conversion ratio dependent on prevailing gold and silver prices
gradethe amount of valuable material in a specific volume of rock; typically expressed as grams per tonne for precious metals and as a percentage for base metals
granophyrican igneous texture characterized by irregular intergrowths of quartz and feldspar
gravity separationrecovery of gold from crushed rock using gold's high specific gravity to separate it from lighter material
greenstonemetamorphosed mafic igneous rock which is typically green due to content of chlorite, actinolite, etc.
headframethe framework building at the top of the shaft which houses the hoisting mechanisms
hedgingthe effective offsetting of a price or exchange risk inherent in another transaction or arrangement
host rockthe rock containing minerals; eg an orebody
hydrometallurgythe selective dissolution of metals from ore to concentrates
hydrothermalpertaining to heated water which transports minerals in solution
ISO 9000international standards for organizations to implement quality management systems and quality assurance programs
ISO 14000international standards for organizations to implement sound environmental management systems
infill drillingdrilling between previously drilled holes to provide additional geological information to more accurately define mineralization
lagcoarse gravel material remaining behind when finer material has been eroded away
lavamolten magma extruded from volcanic vent
maficigneous rock with dark coloration due to high magnesium and iron content
Merrill-Crowea precipitation process to recover precious metals from a cyanide solution using zinc dust
metasedimentsmetamorphosed sedimentary rocks
metasomatismthe process by which one mineral is replaced by another
millthe plant for grinding ore to a fine powder and extracting the economic metals by physical and/or chemical means
mineralized zonehost rock in which minerals of potential commercial value occur
net smelter return (NSR)a share of the net revenue generated from the sale of metal produced by the mine
open pita mine on the surface
orea mixture of minerals, host rock and waste rock which is expected to be profitably mined
ouncesweight of gold with a fineness of 999.9 parts per 1,000; 1 Troy ounce is equal to 31.1034 grams
outcroppart of a geological formation or structure that appears at the surface of the earth
oxidationchemical reaction between any substance and oxygen
oxide oremineralized rock in which the minerals have been partially or wholly oxidized by weathering processes
porphyryigneous rocks containing large crystals in a fine-grained groundmass
pressure oxidationan oxidation process which uses high temperature and pressure to convert refractory sulphide mineralization into amenable oxide ore
process lossany unplanned interruption or downgrading of operating processes resulting from an accident, abuse, negligence, or act of God
production costcash cost plus depreciation, amortization and reclamation
pyritean iron sulphide, FeS
pyrrhotitean iron sulphide, FeS
raisea vertical or upward inclined drive to connect underground mine levels or to the surface
reagenta chemical used in the mineral recovery process/td>
reclamationthe rehabilitation to beneficial use of land disturbed by mining activity
refractory oregold mineralization encapsulated in silica or sulphide, which is not amenable to cyanide leaching methods
reservethat part of a resource that can be profitably mined under current or specified economic conditions. A reserve estimate must consider all technical, operating, legal and financial factors
reserve - proventhe estimated quantity and grade of part of a measured resource for which all consideration factors establish the highest degree of confidence in the estimate
reserve - probablethe estimated quantity and grade of part of a indicated resource for which all consideration factors establish a confidence level for positive decisions on major expenditures
resourcethe grade and quantity estimate of a mineralized deposit that indicates mining is currently or potentially profitable under economic and operating conditions
resource - measuredthe estimated grade and quantity for that part of a deposit configuration which has been very well established by observation, sampling, drilling trenches and mine workings
resource - indicatedthe estimated grade and quantity for that part of a deposit for which grade continuity, shape and extent has been established for reliable grade and tonnage estimation
resource - inferredthe estimated grade and quantity determined from limited sampling but sufficient geological information and understanding to outline a deposit of potential economic merit
room-and-pillarmining method used for flat-lying deposits where the ore is removed in chambers or rooms leaving pillars for support
schistfine-grained metamorphic rock with laminations similar to slate
shafta vertical passage in an underground mine used for transporting personnel, equipment, supplies and mined material
silicic alterationreplacement of silica
spot pricecurrent price of gold or other commodity traded in the immediate market
stockworka 3-dimensional network of veins or veinlets/td>
stopethe working area from which ore is extracted in an underground mine
strikethe direction or bearing of a mineralized vein or rock formation
stripping ratiothe ratio of the amount of waste rock removed per tonne of ore mined
sulfidea mineral compound characterized by the linkage of sulfur with metal or semimetal; eg galena, PbS, or pyrite, FeS2
synclinea fold of strata forming an inverted arch
tailingsmaterial rejected from a treatment plant after the valuable minerals have been recovered
telluridea mineral characterized by the linkage of metal with tellurium
tholeiiticbasaltic magma containing little or no olivine
tuffstrata of volcanic ash
turbiditea marine clastic sediment deposited by sea bed currents laden with suspended material
ultrabasicigneous rock with very low silica content
wall rockthe rock mass adjacent to a fault, fault zone or lode
weathered zonenear surface zone in which the exposed rock has been chemically or physically changed due to the action of rain, water, etc.

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