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

Aeromagnetic/Airborne Magnetic: Measurement of the earth’s magnetic field from an aircraft for the purpose of recording the magnetic characteristics of rocks.
Arsenopyrite: The most common arsenic mineral and principal ore of arsenic; occurs in many sulfide ore deposits, particularly those containing lead, silver and gold.
Assay: An analysis to determine the presence, absence or quantity of one or more chemical components.
Au: gold.

B

Ball mill: A steel cylinder filled with steel balls into which crushed ore is fed. The ball mill is rotated, causing the balls to cascade and grind the ore.
Basalt: An extrusive volcanic rock composed primarily of plagioclase, pyroxene and some olivine.
Base Metal: A metal, such as copper, lead, nickel, zinc or cobalt.
Belt: A series of mineral deposits occurring in close proximity to each other, often with a common origin.
Biotite: A common rock-forming mineral in crystalline rocks, either as an original crystal in igneous rocks or as a metamorphic product in gneisses and schists; a detrital constituent of sedimentary rocks.
Breccia: Rock fragmented into angular components.

C

Carbon-in-leach: A process step wherein granular activated carbon particles much larger than the ground ore particles are introduced into the ore pulp. Cyanide leaching and precious metals adsorption onto the activated carbon occur simultaneously. 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.
Carbon-in-pulp: A process step wherein granular activated particles much larger than the ground ore particles are introduced into the ore pulp after primary leaching in cyanide. Precious metals adsorption occurs onto the activated carbon from the pregnant cyanide solution.
Carbonate: A rock composed principally of calcium carbonate (CaC03).
Care and maintenance: The status of a mining operation when mining has been suspended but reclamation and closure of the property has not been commenced. The mill and associated equipment is being cared for and maintained until operations recommence.
Chalcopyrite: A copper mineral composed of copper, iron and sulphur. This mineral is very similar to marcasite in its characteristics; it tarnishes easily; going from bronze or brassy yellow to yellowish or grayish brown, has a dark streak, and is lighter in weight and harder than gold.
Chert: A compact, glass-like siliceous rock composed of silica of various types (opaline or chalcedonic).
CircuitA processing facility for removing valuable minerals from the ore so that it can be processed and sold.
Claim/Concession (Mineral/Mining): The area that confers mineral exploration/exploitation rights to the registered holder under the laws of the governing jurisdiction.
Copper: A ductile, malleable base metal with a myriad of uses in construction (piping, wire) and electronics due to its high electrical and thermal conductivity and good resistance to corrosion.
Core: The long cylindrical piece of rock, about an inch in diameter, brought to surface by diamond drilling.
Cyanidation: A method of extracting exposed gold or silver grains from crushed or ground ore by dissolving the contained gold and silver in a weak cyanide solution. May be carried out in tanks inside a mill or in heaps of ore out of doors.

D

Diamond Drilling/Drill Hole: A method of obtaining a cylindrical core of rock by drilling with a diamond impregnated bit.
Dilution: The effect of waste or low-grade ore being included unavoidably in the mine ore, lowering the recovered grade.
Dip: The angle at which a stratum is inclined from the horizontal.
Doré: Unrefined gold and silver bullion bars, which will be further refined to almost pure metal.
Dyke: A tabular body of igneous rock cross cutting the host strata at a high angle.

E

Epithermal: A hydrothermal deposit formed close to surface at low temperature and pressure.

F

Fault: A fracture in a rock along which there has been relative movement between the two sides either vertically or horizontally.
Feldspar: 1) Constituting 60% of the Earth’s crust, feldspar occurs in all rock types and decomposes to form much of the clay in soil, including kaolinite. 2) The mineral group albite, andesine, anorthite, anorthoclase, banalsite, buddingtonite, bytownite, celsian, hyalophane, labradorite, microcline, oligoclase, orthoclase, paracelsian, plagioclase, reedmergnerite, sanidine, and slawsonite.
Felsic: Igneous rock composed principally of feldspars and quartz.
Fold: Any bending or wrinkling of rock strata.
Formation: A body of rock identified by lithological characteristics and stratigraphic position.

G

Gabbro: A fine to coarse grained, dark coloured crystalline igneous intrusive rock composed mainly of calcic plagioclase, clinopyroxene and sometimes olivine.
Galena: A lead mineral, which occurs with sphalerite in hydrothermal veins, also in sedimentary rocks as replacement deposits; an important source of lead and silver.
Geochemistry/Geochemical: Study of variation of chemical elements in rocks or soil.
Geology/Geological: Study of the Earth’s history and life, mainly as recorded in rocks.
Geophysics/Geophysical: Study of the earth by quantitative physical methods, either by surveys conducted on the ground, in the air (by fixed wing aircraft or helicopter) or in a borehole or drillhole.
Gold: A heavy, soft, ductile, malleable precious metal used in jewelry, dentistry, electronics and as an investment.
Grade: The amount of valuable metal in each tonne or ore, expressed as grams per tonne for precious metals. Cut-off grade – is the minimum metal grade at which a tonne of rock can be processed on an economic basis. Recovered grade – is actual metal grade realized by the metallurgical process and treatment or ore, based on actual experience or laboratory testing.
Grams per tonne (g/t or gpt): A unit of measurement commonly used to quantify the concentration of precious metals.
Gravity recovery circuit: Equipment used within a plant to recover gold from the ore using the difference in specific gravity between the gold and the host rock. Typically used are shaking tables, spirals, etc.

H

Hectare: A square of 100 metres on each side.

I

Igneous: A classification of rocks formed from the solidification from a molten state.
Intrusive/Intrusions: Said of an igneous rock that invades older rocks.

L

Leach: A method of extracting gold from ore by a chemical solution usually containing cyanide.
Lode: Vein of metal ore.

M

Mafic: An igneous rock composed chiefly of dark iron and manganese silicate minerals.
Magnetic Survey: A geophysical survey conducted on the earth’s surface that measures variations in the earth’s magnetic field caused by variations in rock type or geological structures.
Mapping: The art and science of recording geological observations on a map.
Metallurgical: The science and technology of extraction of metals from their ores and the refining of metals.
Metamorphism/Metamorphic: A process whereby the composition of rock is adjusted by heat and pressure/A class of rock affected by metamorphism.
Mill: A plant where ore is ground fine and undergoes physical or chemical treatment to extract the valuable metals.
Mineralization: The concentration of metals and their chemical compounds within a body of rock.

N

Net smelter return: A type of royalty payment where the royalty owner receives a fixed percentage of the revenues of a property or operation.

O

Open pit: A mine that is entirely on surface. Also referred to as open-cut or open-cast mine.
Ore: Rock containing mineral(s) or metals that can be economically extracted to produce a profit.
Orogen/Orogeny: A belt of deformed rocks through folding and faulting, in many places accompanied by metamorphic and intrusive rocks that form mountains/the process of mountain building.
Outcrop: An exposure of bedrock at the surface.

P

Porphyry: A rock consisting of larger crystals embedded in a more compact finer grained groundmass.
Prospecting: The art and science of searching for mineral deposits.
Proterozoic: The youngest part of the Precambrian from 2450 – 570 million years ago.
Pyrite: A yellow iron sulphide mineral, normally of little value. It is sometimes referred to as “fool’s gold.”
Pyroxene: A calcium/sodium ferromagnesium silicate. One of the major rock forming minerals.

Q

Quartz: A mineral composed of silicon dioxide.

R

Reclamation: The restoration of a site after mining or exploration activity is completed.
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.

S

Sample: A small portion of rock or a mineral deposit taken so that the metal content can be determined by assaying.
Schist: A foliated metamorphic rock the grains of which have a roughly parallel arrangement; generally developed by shearing.
Sediment: Solid material that has settled down from a state of suspension in a liquid. More generally, solid fragmental material transported and deposited by wind, water or ice, chemically precipitated from solution, or secreted by organisms, and that forms in layers in loose unconsolidated form.
Sedimentary: Pertaining to or containing sediment or formed by its deposition.
Shear: A planar zone of deformed rock caused by the movement of the rock.
Shear zone: A geological term used to describe a geological area in which shearing has occurred on a large scale.
Sill: A tabular body of igneous rock conforming to the last strata.
Soil Sampling: Systematic collection of soil samples at a series of different locations in order to study the distribution of soil geochemical values.
Sphalerite: A zinc mineral which is composed of zinc and sulphur. It has a specific gravity of 3.9 to 4.1.
Stockpile: Broken ore heaped on surface, pending treatment or shipment.
Strike: Direction or trend of a geologic structure.
Structure/Structural: Pertaining to geological structure, ie folds, faults, etc.
Sulphide/Sulphidation: A group of minerals in which one or more metals are found in combination with sulfur/rock that has been sulphidized.

T

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

U

Ultramafic: A dark coloured igneous rock containing less than 45% silica and characterized by mafic minerals, such as olivine, amphibole and pyroxene.

V

Vein: A thin sheet-like intrusion into a fissure or crack, commonly bearing quartz /a small vein or cluster of veins.
Volcanic: Descriptive of rocks originating from volcanic activity.