Glossary


Definitions for the language of the gold mining industry

Acid mine drainage

Acidic run off water from mine waste dumps and mill tailings ponds containing sulphide minerals. Also refers to contaminated ground water pumped to surface from mines.

Acidic rocks

Igneous rock carrying a high (greater than 65%) proportion of silica.

Adit

An opening driven horizontally into the side of a mountain or hill for providing access to a mineral deposit.

Aeromagnetic survey

A geophysical survey using a magnetometer aboard, or towed behind, an aircraft.

Agglomerate

A breccia composed largely or entirely of fragments of volcanic rocks.

Agglomeration

A method of concentrating valuable minerals based on their adhesion properties.

Agitation

In metallurgy, the act or state of being stirred or shaken mechanically, sometimes accomplished by the introduction of compressed air.

Airborne survey

A survey made from an aircraft to obtain photographs, or measure magnetic properties, radioactivity, etc.

Albite

Is a mineral within the Feldspar Group which is the sodium rich end member of the Albite-Anorthite Series. It is a common type of hydrothermal alteration.

Alloy

A compound of two or more metals.

Alluvium

Relatively recent deposits of sedimentary material laid down in river beds, flood plains, lakes, or at the base of mountain slopes. (adj. Alluvial)

Alteration

The chemical change in a rock due to hydrothermal and other fluids.

Amphibolite

A gneiss or schist largely made up of amphibole and plagioclase minerals.

ANFO

Acronym for ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, a mixture used as a blasting agent in many mines.

Anode

A rectangular plate of metal cast in a shape suitable for refining by the electrolytic process.

Anomaly

Any departure from the norm which may indicate the presence of mineralisation in the underlying bedrock.

Anticline

An arch or fold in layers of rock shaped like the crest of a wave.

Archaean

A geological eon before 2.5 Ga.

Arsenopyrite

An iron arsenic sulfide mineral.

Assay

A chemical test performed on a sample of ores or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained.

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