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MINING GLOSSARY

A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
A
  • Adit

    A horizontal passage from the surface into a mine. Sometimes called a tunnel.

  • Adsorption

    The process by which a solid holds molecules of a gas or liquid or solute as a thin film.
  • Ag

    Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, derived from the Proto-Indo-European for "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal.
  • Albite

    Albite is a plagioclase feldspar mineral. It is the sodium endmember of the plagioclase solid solution series. It represents a plagioclase with less than 10% anorthite content. Its color is usually pure white, hence its name from Latin albus. It is a common constituent in felsic rocks.
  • Alteration

    Mineral alteration is the change in the mineralogic composition of a rock brought about by physical conditions or by chemical means, such as the action of hydrothermal solutions.
  • Ankerite

    Ankerite is a calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese carbonate mineral of the group of rhombohedral carbonates. In composition it is closely related to dolomite, but differs from this in having magnesium replaced by varying amounts of iron and manganese. It forms a series with dolomite and kutnohorite.
  • Anomaly

    A geological feature, esp. in the subsurface, distinguished by geological, geophysical, or geochemical means, which is different from the general surroundings and is often of potential economic value, and usually suggests the possibility of a mineral deposit.

  • Argillic

    Pertaining to clay or clay minerals; e.g. "argillic alteration" in which certain minerals of a rock are converted to minerals of the clay group.

  • Arsenopyrite

    A tin-white or silver-white to steel-gray mineral. Arsenopyrite occurs chiefly in crystalline rocks and esp. in lead and silver veins, and constitutes the principal ore of arsenic.

  • Assay

    (verb) To analyze the proportions of metals in an ore, to test an ore or mineral for composition, purity, weight, or other properties of commercial interest.
    (noun) A chemical test by wet or fire methods performed on a rock sample to determine the amount of valuable metal contained.
  • Au

    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal.
B
  • Backfilling

    The process of refilling an excavation, a mine opening, or the space around a foundation.

  • Ball Mill

    A rotating horizontal cylinder with a diameter almost equal to the length supported by a frame or shaft, in which nonmetallic materials are ground using various types of grinding media such as quartz pebbles, porcelain balls, etc.

  • Base Metal

    Any of the more common and more chemically active metals, e.g. lead, copper.

    The principal metal of an alloy, e.g. the copper in brass.

  • Bed/Beds

    Perhaps the most common term in geology, meaning layer or stratum. Quarrymen usually mean by beds not the stone beds in the geologist's sense but the partings between them.

  • Below Collar

    A distance below the surface elevation of a shaft.

  • Bench

    In an underground mine, a long horizontal face or ledge of ore in a stope or working place.

    The horizontal step or floor along which coal, ore, stone, or overburden is worked or quarried.

  • Blast-hole

    A hole drilled in a material to be blasted, for the purpose of containing an explosive charge.

  • Breccia

    A rock composed of angular broken fragments of minerals or rock held together by a mineral cement or in a fine-grained matrix. The fragments have sharp edges and unworn corners.

  • Brecciation

    The formation of breccia, or masses of rock composed of fragments of older rock fused together.
  • By-product

    A secondary metal or mineral product recovered in the milling process.

C
  • Calc-silicate Rock

    A metamorphic rock consisting mainly of calcium-bearing silicates such as diopside and wollastonite, and formed by metamorphism of impure limestone or dolomite.

  • Capital Assets

    Assets, purchased as a long term investment for generating profit, such as buildings, plant and machinery and fixtures etc.

  • Carbon Columns

    Any vertical cylindrical vessels used to contain granules of activated carbon for processes such as the extraction of gold from solution, elution or acid treatment.

  • Carbonaceous

    Said of a rock or sediment that is rich in carbon; coaly.

    Said of a sediment containing organic matter.

  • Carbonate

    A mineral compound containing a fundamental carbonate ion.
    A sediment formed by the organic or inorganic precipitation from aqueous solution of carbonates of calcium, magnesium, or iron; e.g. limestone and dolomite.

  • Carbon-in-column

    CIC, a carbon adsorption technology to recover gold and silver from heap leach solutions. During this process, the heap leach solution containing ore flows through a series of fluidized bed carbon columns. The process is highly effective for removing gold and silver from low grade ore. It is followed by treatment to reverse the adsorption process and electrowinning to remove the gold and silver.
  • Carbon-in-leach

    CIL, a recovery process in which a slurry of gold ore, carbon granules and cyanide are mixed together. The cyanide dissolves the gold content and the gold is adsorbed on the carbon: the carbon is subsequently separated from the slurry for further gold removal.

  • Carbon-in-pulp

    CIP, a precious metals leaching technique in which granular activated carbon particles much larger than the ground ore particles are added to the cyanidation pulp after the precious metals have been solubilized. The activated carbon and pulp are agitated together to enable the solubilized precious metals to become adsorbed onto the activated carbon. The loaded activated carbon is mechanically screened to separate it from the barren ore pulp and processed to remove the precious metals and prepare it for reuse. Similar to carbon-in-leach process.

  • Carlin–type gold deposits

    Carlin–type gold deposits are sediment-hosted disseminated gold deposits. These deposits are characterized by invisible (typically microscopic and/or dissolved) gold in pyrite and arsenopyrite. This dissolved kind of gold is called "Invisible Gold", as it can only be found through chemical analysis. The deposit is named after the Carlin mine, the first large deposit of this type discovered in the Carlin Trend, Nevada.
  • Cash Operating Cost

    Include site costs for all mining (excluding deferred stripping costs), processing and administration, but are exclusive of royalties, production taxes, depreciation, reclamation, financing costs, capital costs and exploration costs.

  • Chalcopyrite

    A bright brass-yellow tetragonal mineral. It is generally found massive and constitutes the most important ore of copper.

  • Channel Width

    The total thickness of all reef bands, including internal waste mined as one unit.

  • Clastic

    Denoting rocks composed of broken pieces of older rocks.
  • Collar

    The mouth or upper end of a mineshaft.

  • Composite grade

    A grade average-weighted by the length intervals of its component grades.
  • Compression

    A system of forces or stresses that tends to decrease the volume or to shorten a substance, or the change of volume produced by such a system of forces.

  • Concentrates

    The valuable fraction of an ore that is left after worthless material is removed in processing.

  • Concentrator

    A plant where ore is separated into values (concentrates) and rejects (tails). An appliance in such a plant, e.g., flotation cell, jig, electromagnet, shaking table. Also called mill; reduction works; cleaning plant.

    An apparatus in which, by the aid of water, air, and/or gravity, mechanical concentration of ores is performed.

  • Contained Gold

    The total gold content of the orebody (tons multiplied by grade), irrespective of economic potential and without deduction for mining and processing losses prior to recovery.

  • Contained Ounces

    Represents ounces in the ground without the reduction of ounces not recovered by the applicable metallurgical process.

  • Contango

    Contango on gold is the positive difference between the spot market gold price and the forward market gold price. It is often expressed as an interest rate and is the difference between inter-bank deposit rates and gold lending rates.

  • Copper

    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and in various metal alloys.
  • Core

    A core or core sample is a cylindrical section into material such as rock. Core samples are often obtained by drilling into the material using a hollow steel tube (a core drill). 
  • Core Hole

    Any hole drilled for the purpose of obtaining cores.

  • Core length (CL)

    Apparent thickness of a structure or bed, measured as it is intersected along a borehole.
  • Crustiform

    Term analogous to crustification banding, it describes a texture involving successive, narrow (up to a few centimeters), subparallel bands which are distinguished by differences in texture, mineral proportions, and/or color.
  • Cu

    Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu (from Latin: cuprum) and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and in various metal alloys.
  • Cut & Fill

    A stoping method in which the ore is excavated by successive flat or inclined slices, working upward from the level. However, after each slice is blasted down, all broken ore is removed, and the stope is filled with waste (backfill) up to within a few feet of the back before the next slice is taken out, just enough room being left between the top of the waste pile and the back of the stope to provide working space. The term cut-and-fill stoping implies a definite and characteristic sequence of operations:

    breaking a slice of ore from the back;

    removing the broken ore; and introducing filling.

  • Cut Off Grade

    The lowest grade of mineralized material that qualifies as ore in a given deposit; ore of the lowest assay value that is included in an ore estimate.

  • Cyanidation

    A process of extracting gold and silver as cyanide slimes from their ores by treatment with dilute solutions of potassium cyanide or sodium cyanide. The slimes are subsequently fused and cast into ingots or bullion.

D
  • Deferred Stripping Costs

    Mining costs associated with waste rock removal that are deferred and charged to income on the basis of the average stripping ratio for the mine. The average stripping ratio is calculated as a ratio of the tons of material estimated to be mined to the estimated recoverable ounces of gold. At the start of a mine's productive life costs on a per-ounce basis are usually higher than in later years as the mining rate is above the life-of-mine stripping ratio. In later years, as the mining rate falls below the life-of-mine stripping ratio, the deferred costs are charged to operating costs.

  • delineation drilling

    Delineation drilling is carried as part of a drill program with the objective of appraising the value of a mineral discovery. Delineation or step-out drilling is carried so that the probable outline of the mineralization may be delineated.
  • Depletion

    The decrease in quantity of ore in a deposit or property resulting from extraction or production.

  • Development

    The decrease in quantity of ore in a deposit or property resulting from extraction or production.

  • Development

    The preparation of a mining property or area so that an orebody can be analyzed and its tonnage and quality estimates have been made; ore essentially ready for mining.

  • Diamond Drilling

    A variety of rotary drilling in which diamond bits are used as the rock-cutting tool. It is a common method of prospecting for mineral deposits, esp. in development work where core samples are desired.

  • Dike

    A tabular igneous intrusion that cuts across the bedding or foliation of the country rock.

  • Dike Swarm

    A group of dikes, which may be in radial, parallel, or en echelon arrangement. Their relationship with the parent plutonic body may not be directly observable.

  • Dilution

    The contamination of ore with barren wall rock in stoping. The assay of the ore after mining is frequently 10% lower than when sampled in place.

  • Diorite

    An igneous rock formed by the solidification of molten material.

  • Dip

    Dip is the angle at which a planar feature is inclined to the horizontal plane, giving the steepest angle of descent of the tilted feature relative to a horizontal plane.
  • Disseminated Ore

    Said of a mineral deposit (esp. of metals) in which the desired minerals occur as scattered particles in the rock, but in sufficient quantity to make the deposit an ore.

  • Doré

    Gold and silver bullion that remains in a cupelling furnace after the lead has been oxidized and skimmed off.

  • Drift

    A horizontal or nearly horizontal underground opening driven along a vein to gain access to the deposit.

  • Dry Stack Tailings

    Dewatering tailings to higher degrees than a paste consistency. This produces a dry (unsaturated) cake that can no longer be transported by pipeline due to its low moisture content. This method of storing tailings is considered to reduce the environmental impacts.

E
  • Electro-winning

    A process of recovering gold from solution by means of electrolytic chemical reaction into a form that can be smelted easily into gold bars.

  • Electrum

    A naturally occurring, deep-yellow to pale-yellow alloy of gold with silver; argentiferous gold, containing more than 20% silver.

  • Elution

    Recovery of the gold from the activated carbon into solution before zinc precipitation or electro-winning.

  • Erosion/Erosional

    The group of physical and chemical processes by which earth or rock material is loosened or dissolved and removed from any part of the Earth's surface. It includes the processes of weathering, solution, corrosion, and transportation.

  • Extraction

    The process of mining and removal of coal or ore from a mine.

    The process of dissolving and separating out specific constituents of a sample by treatment with solvents specific for those constituents.

  • Extrusive rock

    Any rock derived from magma (molten silicate material) that was poured out or ejected at Earth’s surface.
F
  • Fault Gouge

    Soft, un-cemented pulverized clay or claylike material, commonly a mixture of minerals in finely divided form, found along some faults or between the walls of a fault, and filling or partly filling a fault zone; a slippery mud that coats the fault surface or cements the fault breccia. It is formed by the crushing and grinding of rock material as the fault developed, as well as by subsequent decomposition and alteration caused by underground circulating solutions.

  • Fault Zone

    A fault that is expressed as a zone of numerous small fractures or of breccia or fault gouge. A fault zone may be as wide as hundreds of meters.

  • Fill

    Man-made deposits of natural earth materials (e.g. rock, soil, gravel) and waste materials (e.g. tailings or spoil from dredging), used to fill an enclosed space such as an old stope or chamber in a mine.

  • Flotation

    A process by which some mineral particles are induced to become attached to bubbles and float, and other particles to sink, so that the valuable minerals are concentrated and separated from the worthless gangue.

  • Foot Wall

    The two sides of a non-vertical fault, orebody or mine working are known as the hanging wall and footwall. The hanging wall occurs above , the footwall occurs below it. This terminology comes from mining: when working a tabular ore body, the miner stood with the footwall under his feet and with the hanging wall above him.
  • Foot

    An Imperial unit of length with the symbol ft, measuring 0.3048 meters or 12 inches.
  • Ft

    The symbol for foot, an Imperial unit of length measuring 0.3048 meters or 12 inches.
G
  • g/t

    Gram per metric tonne, also denoted with gpt, it measures the concentration of an element within 1,000 kilograms of material.
  • Glacial Deposits

    A general term for debris transported by glaciers or icebergs, and deposited directly on land or in the sea.

  • Glaciation

    The formation, movement, and recession of glaciers or ice sheets.

    The covering of large land areas by glaciers or ice sheets.

    The geographic distribution of glaciers and ice sheets.

    A collective term for the geologic processes of glacial activity, including erosion and deposition, and the resulting effects of such action on the Earth's surface.

    Any of several minor parts of geologic time during which glaciers were more extensive than at present.

  • Gold

    Gold is a chemical element with the symbol Au (from Latin: aurum) and atomic number 79, making it one of the higher atomic number elements that occur naturally. In its purest form, it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal.
  • Gold Equivalent

    Gold equivalent ounces include silver ounces produced and sold, converted to a gold equivalent based on a ratio of the average spot market price for the commodities for each year.

  • gpt

    Gram per metric tonne, also denoted with g/t, it measures the concentration of an element within 1,000 kilograms of material.
  • Grade

    The concentration of an element of interest in a potentially mineable ore deposit, often measured in grams per tonne or in ounces per ton.
  • Grade

    The amount of valuable mineral in each ton of ore, expressed as troy ounces per ton or grams per tonne for precious metals and as a percentage for other metals.

  • Gravity Circuit

    A method by which mineral particles are separated with the aid of water or air, according to the differences in their specific gravities.

  • Grinding

    Size reduction of ore into fine particles to prepare it for processing; comminution.

H
  • Hanging Wall

    The two sides of a non-vertical fault, orebody or mine working are known as the hanging wall and footwall. The hanging wall occurs above , the footwall occurs below it. This terminology comes from mining: when working a tabular ore body, the miner stood with the footwall under his feet and with the hanging wall above him.
  • Heap Leach Pad

    A large impermeable foundation or pad used as a base for ore during heap leaching.

  • Heap/Dump Leaching

    A process used for the recovery of copper, uranium, and precious metals from weathered low-grade ore. The crushed material is laid on a slightly sloping, impervious pad and uniformly leached by the percolation of the leach liquor trickling through the beds by gravity to ponds. The metals are recovered by conventional methods from the solution.

  • Hectares

    One hectare = 2.47 acres.

  • Hematite

    Hematite is one of the most abundant minerals on Earth's surface and in the shallow crust. It is an iron oxide, a common rock-forming mineral found in sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks at locations throughout the world.
  • Hoist

    The machine used for raising and lowering the cage or other conveyance in a shaft.

  • Host Rock

    The rock surrounding an ore deposit.

  • Hydrothermal

    Of or pertaining to hot water, to the action of hot water, or to the products of this action, such as a mineral deposit precipitated from a hot aqueous solution, with or without demonstrable association with igneous processes; also, said of the solution itself.

I
  • Impervious

    Said of a rock that does not permit the passage of fluids under the pressure conditions ordinarily found in the subsurface.

  • In Situ Deposit

    Reserves still in the ground

  • Indicated Mineral Resource

    An Indication Mineral Resource is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics, can be estimated with a level of confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed.

  • Inferred Mineral Resource

    An Inferred Mineral Resource is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity and grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified, geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.

  • Infill Drilling

    A drilling program is often divided into a step-out drilling program and an infill drilling program. Step-out drilling has a fixed starting point from which it intends to expand the mineralization zone. Infill drilling is used to confirm the presence of mineralization between the step-out drill holes.
  • Intercept

    That portion included between two points in a borehole, as between the point where the hole first encounters a specific rock or mineral body and where the hole enters a different or underlying rock formation.

  • Intrusive rock

    Rock formed from magma forced into older rocks at depths within the Earth’s crust; the molten material then slowly solidifies below the Earth’s surface.
K
  • Karst

    Karst is a topography formed from the dissolution of soluble rocks such as limestone, dolomite, and gypsum. It is characterized by underground drainage systems with caves, sinkholes, fissures, and underground streams. It has also been documented for more weathering-resistant rocks, such as quartzite, given the right conditions.
  • Kilometer

    A unit of length in the metric system, equal to one thousand meters or to 0.62 miles.

L
  • Leaching

    The separation, selective removal, or dissolving-out of soluble constituents from a rock or orebody by the natural action of percolating water, or the extraction of soluble metals or salts from an ore by means of slowly percolating solutions.

  • Level of a mine

    A level is comprised of lateral workings, such as stations, drifts, and crosscuts, at approximately the same horizon or elevation, 
  • Life Of Mine

    Number of years that the operation is planning to mine and treat ore, and is taken from the current mine plan.

  • Lode

    A mineral deposit consisting of a zone of veins, veinlets, disseminations, or planar breccias; a mineral deposit in consolidated rock as opposed to a placer deposit.

  • Long-Hole Open Stope

    A method of mining involving the drilling of holes up to 90 feet long into an orebody and then blasting a slice of rock which falls into an open space. The broken rock is extracted and the resulting open chamber is not filled with supporting material.

M
  • m

    Symbol for meter, it is a fundamental unit of length in the metric system equal to 100 centimeters, or approximately 39.37 inches, or 3.28 feet.
  • Mafic

    Relating to, denoting or containing a group of dark-colored, mainly ferromagnesian minerals, such as pyroxene and olivine.
  • Measured Mineral Resource

    A Measured Mineral Resource is that part of a Mineral Resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape, physical characteristics are so well established that they can be estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and economic parameters, to support production planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough to confirm both geological and grade continuity.

  • Merrill Crowe Circuit

    Removal of gold and silver from pregnant cyanide solution by de-oxygenation, followed by precipitation on zinc dust, followed by filtration to recover the resultant auriferous gold and silver slimes.

  • Metallurgical Plant

    A processing plant erected to treat ore and extract gold

  • Metallurgy

    The science and art of separating metals and metallic minerals from their ores by mechanical and chemical processes; the preparation of more metalliferous materials from raw ore.

  • Meter

    A fundamental unit of length in the metric system denoted with symbol m, it is equal to 100 centimeters, or approximately 39.37 inches, or 3.28 feet.
  • Mill

    A plant where ore is ground fine and undergoes physical or chemical treatment to extract the valuable metals.

  • Mill Head Grade

    The grade of ore as it comes from a mine and goes to a mill.

  • Milling Circuit

    The combination of various processes and systems which concentrate the valuable minerals.

  • Mine

    An excavation beneath the surface of the ground from which mineral matter of value is extracted.

  • Mineral

    A naturally occurring homogeneous substance having definite physical properties and chemical composition and usually a crystal form.
  • Mineral Deposit

    A mineralized body which has been delineated by appropriately spaced drilling and/or underground sampling to support a sufficient tonnage and average grade of metal. This material or deposit does not qualify as a reserve until a comprehensive evaluation, based on costs, grade, recoveries and other factors, demonstrates economic feasibility. Consequently, although the potential exists, there is no assurance that this mineral deposit will ever become an ore reserve.

  • Mineral Reserve

    The economically mineable part of a Measured or Indicated Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study.  This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified.  A Mineral Reserve includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined.
  • Mineral Resource

    A mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of material of economic interest in or on the earth's crust in such form, quality and quantity that there are reasonable and realistic prospects for eventual economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, continuity and other geological characteristics of a mineral resource are known, estimated from specific geological evidence and knowledge, or interpreted from a well-constrained and portrayed geological model. Mineral resources are subdivided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into inferred, indicated and measured categories. The mineral resources are inclusive of those resources which have been modified to produce ore reserves.

  • Mineralization

    The process or processes by which mineral or minerals are introduced into a rock, resulting in a valuable or potentially valuable deposit.

  • Mineralized Material

    Mineralized material is the projection of mineralization in rock based on geological evidence and assumed continuity. It may or may not be supported by sampling but is supported by geological, geochemical, geophysical or other data. This material may or may not have economically recoverable mineralization.

  • Mining Claim

    That portion of public mineral lands which a party has staked or marked out in accordance with federal, provincial or state mining laws to acquire the right to explore for and exploit the minerals under the surface.

N
  • Net Smelter Return

    A royalty based on a percentage of gold produced with settlement made either in kind or in currency based on the spot gold sale proceeds received less the cost of refining at an off-site refinery.

  • NI 43-101

    National Instrument 43-101 (the "NI 43-101" or the "NI") is a national instrument for the Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects within Canada. The Instrument is a codified set of rules and guidelines for reporting and displaying information related to mineral properties owned by, or explored by, companies which report these results on stock exchanges within Canada, including foreign-owned mining entities who trade on stock exchanges overseen by the Canadian Securities Administrators.
O
  • opt

    Abbreviation used for troy ounce per tonne or for troy ounce per ton. One troy ounce per tonne equals 31.1035 grams per tonne. One troy ounce per ton equals 34.2857 grams per tonne.
  • Ore

    Rock, generally containing metallic or non-metallic minerals that can be mined and processed at a profit. Also, the mineral(s) thus extracted.

  • Ore Shoot

    An elongated pipelike, ribbonlike, or chimneylike mass of ore within a deposit (usually a vein), representing the more valuable part of the deposit.

  • Ore Slurry

    The fine carbonaceous discharge from a mine washery. All washeries produce some slurry, which must be treated to separate the solids from the water in order to have a clear effluent for reuse or discharge.

  • Orebody

    A sufficiently large amount of ore that can be mined economically.

  • Ounce (troy ounce)

    Ounce is a measure of weight, in particular a troy ounce is used in the sale of precious metals. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams. One kilogram contains 32.1507 troy ounces.
  • Outcrop

    Outcrops are rocks exposed at the present-day erosion surface.
  • Overburden

    Barren rock material, either loose or consolidated overlying a mineral deposit, which must be removed prior to mining.

  • Oxide Ore

    Mineralized rock in which some of the original minerals have been oxidized. Oxidation tends to make the ore more porous and permits a more complete permeation of cyanide solutions so that minute particles of gold in the interior of the minerals will be readily dissolved

  • Oxidized Zone

    An area of mineral deposits modified by surface waters, e.g. sulfides altered to oxides and carbonates.

  • Oz

    Symbol for ounce.
  • Oz/ton

    Notation for troy ounce per short ton, it measures the concentration of an element within 2,000 pounds of material. One troy ounce per ton equals 34.2857 grams per tonne.
P
  • Patenting

    A process established under the U.S. General Mining Law of 1872 which permits the conversion of mining claims on federal lands into full fee ownership, provided certain conditions are met.

  • Permeable

    Pertaining to a rock or soil having a texture that permits passage of liquids or gases under the pressure ordinarily found in earth materials.

  • Plunge

    Plunge is the vertical angle between the horizontal plane and the axis or line of maximum elongation of a feature. Plunge is measured along the axis of a fold, whereas dip is measured along the limbs.
  • Pregnant Pond

    Pond containing solution which has percolated through the ore on a heap leach. The solution is impregnated with gold and silver removed from the ore.

  • Preliminary Assessment

    Preliminary assessment, commonly referred to as a scoping study, is defined in the National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (the "Instrument"). A preliminary assessment may be based on a combination of Measured, Indicated, or Inferred mineral resources. The CSA considers these types of economic analyses to include disclosure of forecast mine production rates that may contain capital costs to develop and sustain the mining operation, operating costs, and projected cash flows. A preliminary assessment must be either in the form of a technical report or be supported by a technical report. In some cases the technical report must be independent. Although preliminary assessments can provide important information to the market, because of the early stage of the project the information has a high degree of uncertainty. Under general securities laws, an issuer must disclose a preliminary assessment that is a material change in its affairs. In so doing, an issuer may trigger a technical report under the Instrument. When an issuer discloses the results of a preliminary assessment which includes inferred mineral resources, an issuer must provide the cautionary statement required by the Instrument, with the purpose to alert investors to the limitations of the information.
  • Probable Mineral Reserve

    The economically mineable part of an Indicated, and in some circumstances a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study.  This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified.
  • Probable Ore

    Material for which tonnage and grade are computed partly from specific measurements, samples or production data and partly from projection for a reasonable distance on geological evidence; and for which the sites available for inspection, measurement and sampling are too widely or otherwise inappropriately spaced to outline the material completely or to establish its grade throughout.

  • Proven Mineral Reserve

    The economically mineable part of a Measured Mineral Resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study.  This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic, and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction is justified.
  • Proven Ore

    Material for which tonnage and grade are computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, underground workings or drill holes; grade is computed from the results of adequate sampling; and the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are so spaced and the geological character so well-defined that size, shape and mineral content are established.

  • Pyrite

    A common, pale-bronze or brass-yellow, isometric mineral. It is dimorphous with marcasite, and often contains small amounts of other metals. Pyrite has a brilliant metallic luster and an absence of cleavage, and has been mistaken for gold. Pyrite is the most wide-spread and abundant of the sulfide minerals and occurs in all kinds of rocks, such as in nodules in sedimentary rocks and coal seams or as a common vein material associated with many different minerals.

Q
  • Qualified Person

    A qualified person is defined by the NI 43-101 as an engineer or geoscientist with at least five years of experience in mineral exploration, mine development or operation or mineral project assessment, or any combination of these, with experience relevant to the subject matter of the mineral project and the technical report; and in good standing with a professional association and, in the case of a foreign association, of recognized stature within that Organization.
  • Quartz

    A widely distributed mineral of many varieties that consists primarily of silica, or silicon dioxide, often coloured by minor impurities such as iron lithium, sodium, potassium, and titanium. Quartz is the most common gangue mineral of ore deposits, forms the major proportion of most sands, and has a widespread distribution in igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks.

  • Quartzite

    A granoblastic metamorphic rock consisting mainly of quartz and formed by recrystallization of sandstone or chert by either regional or thermal metamorphism.

    A very hard but un-metamorphosed sandstone, consisting chiefly of quartz grains that have been so completely and solidly cemented with secondary silica that the rock braks across or though the grains rather than around them. The cement grows in optical and crystallographic continuity around each quartz grain, thereby tightly interlocking the grains as the original pore spaces are filled.

R
  • Raise

    A vertical hole between mine levels used to move ore or waste rock or to provide ventilation.

  • Ramp

    An inclined underground tunnel which provides access for exploration or a connection between levels of a mine.

  • Reclamation

    The process by which lands disturbed as a result of mining activity are reclaimed back to a beneficial land use. Reclamation activity includes the removal of buildings, equipment, machinery and other physical remnants of mining, closure of tailings impoundments, leach pads and other mine features, and contouring, covering and re-vegetation of waste rock piles and other disturbed areas.

  • Recovered Grade

    Actual metal content of ore determined after processing.

  • Recovery

    A term used in process metallurgy to indicate the proportion of valuable material obtained in the processing of an ore. It is generally stated as a percentage of valuable metal in the ore that is recovered compared to the total valuable metal present in the ore.

  • Recovery Rate

    A term used in process metallurgy to indicate the proportion of valuable material obtained in the processing of an ore. It is generally stated as a percentage of the material recovered compared to the total material present.

  • Reef

    A gold-bearing sedimentary horizon, normally a conglomerate ban, that may contain economic levels of gold.

  • Refining

    The final stage of metal production in which impurities are removed from the molten metal.

  • Refractory Material

    Gold mineralized material in which the gold is not amenable to recover by conventional cyanide methods without any pretreatment. The refractory nature can be either silica or sulphide encapsulation of the gold or the presence of naturally occurring carbons which reduce gold recovery. Material of this nature is difficult or expensive to recover its valuable constituents.

  • Rehabilitation

    The process of reclaiming land disturbed by mining to allow an appropriate post-mining use and address among other issues, ground and surface water, topsoil, final slope gradient, waste handling and re-vegetation issues.

  • Reserve

    The quantity of mineral that is calculated to lie within given boundaries. It is described as total (or gross), workable, or probable working, depending on the application of certain arbitrary limits in respect of deposit thickness, depth, quality, geological conditions, and contemporary economic factors. Proved, probable, and possible reserves are other terms used in general mining practice.

  • Reserves

    That part of a mineral deposit which could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. Reserves are customarily stated in terms of ore when dealing with metalliferous minerals. There are two categories of reserves: Proven Ore & Probable Ore.

  • Resource

    A Mineral Resource is a concentration or occurrence of natural, solid, inorganic or fossilized organic material in or on the Earth's crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge.

  • Reverse Circulation Drilling

    Drilling that produces rock chips rather than core. Faster and cheaper than diamond drilling, the chips are forced by air to surface for examination.

  • Reverse Circulation Holes

    Holes drilled using a process where the circulation of bit-coolant and cuttings-removal liquids, drilling fluid, mud or air down the borehole outside the drill rods and upward inside the drill rods. Also called countercurrent; counter flush.

  • Rhyolite

    A group of extrusive, igneous rocks.

  • Rod & Tube Mills

    These are types of circular grinding mills used to break the ore down into fine particles in preparation for dissolving out the gold by means of cyanide.

S
  • Scoping study

    A preliminary study for early stage projects, that may use inferred resources and consequently being associated with a higher degree of uncertainty. Also referred to as a Preliminary Assessment, it is defined and regulated by the National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (see definition of Preliminary Assessment).
  • Sediment

    Solid fragmental material that originates from weathering of rocks and is transported or deposited by air, water, or ice, or that accumulates by other natural agents, such as chemical precipitation from solution or secretion by organisms, and that forms in layers on the Earth's surface at ordinary temperatures in a loose, unconsolidated form; e.g., sand, gravel, silt, mud, alluvium.

  • Sedimentary Rock

    Rocks formed from material derived generally by erosion of other rocks and laid down by a chemical or mechanical process i.e., limestone, shale and sandstone

  • Shaft

    A vertical passageway to an underground mine for moving personnel, equipment, supplies and material including ore and waste rock.

  • Sheeted Veins

    A group of closely spaced, distinct parallel fractures filled with mineral matter and separated by layers of barren rock.

  • Shotcrete

    A mixture made of course aggregate, applied by pneumatic pressure through a specially adapted hose and used as a fireproofing agent and as a sealing agent to prevent weathering of mine timbers and roadways.

  • Silica

    A hard, unreactive, colorless compound which occurs as the mineral quartz and as a principal constituent of sandstone and other rocks.
  • Siliceous

    Containing or consisting of silica.
  • Silver

    Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag (from the Latin argentum, derived from the Proto-Indo-European for "shiny" or "white") and atomic number 47. A soft, white, lustrous transition metal, it exhibits the highest electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, and reflectivity of any metal. 
  • Slurry

    A mixture of crushed and finely ground solids with water.

  • Smelting

    A metallurgical operation in which metal is separated from impurities by a process that includes fusion.

  • Spot Bolting

    The use of one or just a few roof bolts at spot locations.

  • Step-out drilling

    A drilling program is often divided into a step-out drilling program and an infill drilling program. Step-out drilling has a fixed starting point from which it intends to expand the mineralization zone. Infill drilling is used to confirm the presence of mineralization between the step-out drill holes.
  • Stockpile

    Broken ore heaped on surface or prepared areas underground, pending treatment or shipment.

  • Stockwork

    A mineral deposit consisting of a three-dimensional network of planar to irregular veinlets spaced closely enough that the whole mass can be mined.

  • Stope

    An area in an underground mine where ore is mined.

  • Stoping

    The process of mining the orebody on the plane of the reef.

  • Stoping Width

    The sum of the channel width and external waste widths.

  • Stratum/Strata

    A bed or layer of rock; strata, more than one layer.

  • Strike

    The horizontal of an orebody or zone of mineralization.
  • Strike Fault

    A fault whose strike is parallel to the strike of the strata.

  • Strike Length

    The longest horizontal dimension of an orebody or zone of mineralization.

  • Strike line

    The strike line of a bed, fault, or other planar feature, is a line representing the intersection of that feature with a horizontal plane. 
  • Stripping Ratio

    The ratio of the number of tonnes of waste material removed to the number of tonnes of ore removed, used in connection with open pit mining.

  • Subcrop

    Subcrops are now-buried rocks that were exposed at ancient erosion surfaces. If part of a geological formation is close to the surface, it is a subcrop. A subcrop is usually under the soil profile or alluvial sediments.
  • Sulphide Ore

    A sub-group of refractory ore - mineralized rock in which much of the gold is encapsulated in sulphides and is not readily amenable to dissolution by cyanide solutions - associated with sulphide minerals (primarily pyrite) that have not been oxidized. Some sulphide ore may require autoclaving or roasting prior to cyanidation.

  • Syenite

    A coarse-grained intrusive igneous rock with a general composition similar to that of granite, but deficient in quartz, which, if present at all, occurs in relatively small concentrations (< 5%).
  • Syngenetic

    Formed contemporaneously with the deposition of the sediment.

T
  • Tailings

    The material that remains after all metals considered economic have been removed from ore during milling.

  • Tailings Dam

    A natural or man-made area suitable for depositing the material that remains after the treatment of ore.

  • Thermal Regeneration

    The process of heating activated carbon granules typically to 750 degrees Celsius to restore the properties of carbon for the next gold extraction cycle.

  • Thickener

    A vessel or apparatus for reducing the proportion of water in a pulp by means of sedimentation.

  • Thrusting Event

    A period of structural compression in geological time with the generation of low-angle thrust faults.

  • Ton (short ton)

    Imperial unit of weight equal to 2,000 pounds or to 907.185 kilograms.

  • Tonnage

    Quantities where the ton or tonne is an appropriate unit of measure. Typically used to measure resources and reserves of gold-bearing material in situ or quantities of ore and waste material mined, transported or milled.

  • Tonne

    Metric unit of weight equal to 1,000 kilograms or 2,205 pounds.

  • Total Cash Cost

    Total cash production costs calculated in accordance with the Gold Institute Standard includes direct mining expenses, mine development adjustments, refining and transportation costs, by-product credits, royalties and production taxes.

  • Total Production Cost

    Total production costs comprise total cash production cost plus depreciation, depletion and reclamation provisions.

  • Troy Ounce

    A measure of weight in which precious metals are sold. One troy ounce is equal to 31.1035 grams. One kilogram contains 32.1507 troy ounces.
  • True width (TW)

    Also true thickness, it represents the orthogonal thickness of a structure or bed, measured at right angles to its surface. Where the structure or bed is inclined, a surface exposure or borehole may give a value greater than the true thickness. In its simplest form, true thickness can be calculated from an outcrop exposure by multiplying the width of the exposed layer by the sine of the angle of dip of the layer.
V
  • Vein

     A fissure, fault or crack in a rock filled by minerals that have traveled upwards from a deeper source.
  • VG

    Abbreviation for visible gold.
  • Volcaniclastic

    Relating to or denoting a clastic rock which contains volcanic material.
W
  • Waste

    Material that contains insufficient mineralization for consideration for future treatment and, as such, is discarded.

Z
  • Zinc Precipitation

    Zinc precipitation is the chemical reaction using zinc dust that converts gold solution to a solid form for smelting into unrefined gold bars.