A block of solid ore or other rock left in place to structurally support the shaft, walls or roof of a mine.

Any igneous rock in which relatively large crystals, called phenocrysts, are set in a fine-grained groundmass.

Porphyry Copper Deposit
A disseminated large-tonnage, low-grade deposit in which the copper minerals occur as discrete grains and veinlets throughout a large volume of rock.

Precious Metals
High value metals including gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Probable Reserves
Reserves for which quantity and grade and are computed from information similar to that used for proven reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling, and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than that for proven reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.

A project is a prospect that after the initial drilling program indicates the existence of a possible ore deposit that requires further evaluation through an extensive drilling program to continue with the evaluation.

A prospect is the initial stage of a geological evaluation of a possible project that requires drilling to evaluate.

Proven Reserves
Reserves for which (a) quantities are computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; (b) grade and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling; and (c) sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is sufficiently defined that the size, shape, depth and mineral content of the reserves are well established.


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

The percentage of valuable metal in the ore that is recovered by metallurgical treatment.

A metallurgical plant in which the refining of metals takes place.

Purifying the matte or impure metal undertaken to obtain a pure metal or mixture with specific properties.

Refining Charge
The fees charged by a refinery for purifying crude metallic products.

That part of a mineral deposit which could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination.

A mass containing a combination of minerals.

Room-and-Pillar Mining
A method of mining flat-lying ore deposits in which the mined-out area, or rooms, are separated by pillars of approximately the same size.

An amount of money paid at regular intervals by the lessee or operator of an exploration or mining property to the owner of the ground. Generally based on a certain amount per ton or a percentage of the total production or profits. Also, the fee paid for the right to use a patented process.


A small portion of rock or a mineral deposit taken so that the metal content can be determined by assaying.

Selecting a fractional but representative part of a mineral deposit for analysis.

A vertical or inclined excavation in rock for the purpose of providing access to an ore body. Usually equipped with a hoist at the top that lowers and raises a conveyance for handling workers and materials.

Shrinkage Stoping
A stoping method which uses part of the broken ore as a working platform and as support for the walls of the stope.

A very malleable metal found naturally in an uncombined state or with other metals.

The vitreous mass separated from the fused metals in the smelting process.

Material discharged from a refinery after the primary valuable minerals have been recovered. Slimes may contain quantities of gold and silver.

A metallurgical plant in which the smelting of the concentrates and ore takes place.

A pyro-metallurgical process of separating metal by fusion from those impurities with which it may be chemically combined or physically mixed.

Solvent Extraction
A method of separating one or more metals from ore by treating a solution containing the ore with a solvent that dissolves the required substances.

Solvent Extraction/ Electrowinning
A metallurgical technique, so far applied only to copper ores, in which metal is (SX/EW) dissolved from rock using organic solvents and recovered from the resulting solution by electrolysis. (A combination of solvent extraction and electrowinning.)

A zinc sufide mineral; the most common ore mineral of zinc.

An enlargement of a shaft made for the storage and handling of equipment and for driving drifts at that elevation.

The process of removing overburden to expose ore.

Stripping Ratio
The ratio of waste materials plus leaching ore to ore mined in the material moved in an open-pit operation.

Sulfide Ore
Ore characterized by the inclusion of metal in the crystal structure of a sulfide mineral.

The working area in a mine from which ore is extracted.


Material rejected from a mill after the valuable minerals have been recovered. Changes in metal prices and improvements in technology can sometimes make the tailings economical to reprocess at a later date.

Tailings Dam (pond)
A low-lying depression used to confine tailings, the prime function of which is to allow enough time for heavy metals to settle out or for cyanide to be destroyed before water is discharged into the local watershed.

Toll Arrangement
A contractual arrangement for the treatment of any material in a smelter or refinery under which metal content of the smelted or refined product is returned or credited to the account of the customer of such smelter or refinery.

Ton (metric ton)
A unit of mass equivalent to 1,000 kilograms or 2,204.6 pounds.

Treatment and Refining Charges
Charges levied by smelter/refineries for the treatment of concentrate from mines. Particularly applicable to copper, lead and zinc.

Troy ounce
Universal unit measure of mass for precious metals equal to 31.1035 grams. One troy ounce equals 1.09714 avoirdupois, or normal, ounces.


A fissure, fault or crack in a rock filled by minerals that have traveled upwards from some deep source.


Rock lacking sufficient grade and/or other characteristics of ore to be economically mined.

Wire Rod
A continuous length of metal for subsequent drawing into wire.


Bluish-white hard metal, occurring in various minerals, such as sphalerite.

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