Barren Rock: Rock that does not contain minerals in quantities sufficient to allow for economically profitable mining.

Blasting: Technique to break ore in an underground or open-pit mine.

Bulk sampling: Removing mineral substances in substantial quantities (over 50 tonnes) in order to do mineral processing tests.


Claim: Mining right that grants holder the exclusive right to search, within a given territory, for any mineral substance. May exclude peat, sand, clay, gravel, hydrocarbons, brine and stone used for industrial purposes.

Concentrate: Substance of value produced by physical and/or chemical processing of ore. The separation of economically valuable minerals from the gangue.

Core sample: Cylindrical sample of rock taken from the ground by drilling for research and exploration purposes.

Cross-cut: Drift in an underground mine that provides access to an orebody.

Crown or Surface Pillar: A body of rock of variable geometry, which may or may not contain minerals. Located above the underground operations, it supports the surface above stopes.


Development: A phase of activity ranging from confirmation of a mineral deposit to the decision to build a mine. Development includes all geological, engineering and economic work necessary to ensure profitable mining and compliance with applicable laws.

Diamond: The hardest and most brilliant of all precious gems. Drills are equipped with diamond tips in order to cut through hard rock.

Drift (tunnel): Underground passageway that provides access to mining operations.

Drilling: Piercing a hole in rock. In exploration, drilling allows for samples of the rock to be taken. In mining, it is used to insert explosives for blasting.

Dyke (vein): A long mass of eruptive rock, a dyke (vein) may consist of mineral deposits located between other rocks.


Erosion: Wearing away and transformation of the earth’s crust caused by water (rain, sea), ice and atmospheric agents (wind).

Exploration: In the broad sense, the whole range of mining activity from searching for and developing mineral deposits to developing the mine. In the strict sense, the search for mineral deposits up to discovery and includes the deliniation of the deposit by means of drilling and sampling.

Extraction: Mining activity that consists of removing the rock from an underground or open-pit mine.


Foundry/smelter: A pyrometallurgical plant where the concentrate is chemicaly reduced in order to extract the metal or metals it contains.


Gangue: Rock surrounding a mineral or precious gem in its natural state.

Geochemistry: The study of the chemical components of the earth’s crust and mantle. Geochemistry is applied to mining exploration to detect sites that indicate abnormal concentrations either of the elements being sought or of their more readily detected associate elements. Depending on circumstance, geochemical exploration samples soils, rock and lake and stream sediments.

Geology: Science devoted to the study of the structure and evolution of the earth’s crust.

Geophysics: Study of the various physical properties of the earth and the composition and movement of its component layers of rock. Geophysics is applied to mining exploration to detect zones characterized by their physical properties such as magnetism, gravity or conductivity (electromagnetism).

Gold: A very ductile and malleable brilliant yellow precious metal that is resistant to air and water corrosion.

Grinding: Means of reducing ore into very small particles by means of pressure or impact. Different types of grinders are used in the processing plant to obtain the desired dimension.


Head frame: Structure above the mine shaft containing the equipment necessary for lowering and raising equipment and personnel, and for raising the ore which is generally stored in a ore bin before being transported to the processing plant.

Hematite: The most common iron ore, it is a natural iron oxide that is reddish or brown in colour.


Infrastructure: Construction necessary for mining, such as certain buildings, gas pipes, water lines, sewage and water systems, telephone cables and reservoirs. It may also include roads, railways, airports and bridges, as well as transmission lines, electrical cables, pylons and transformers.

Iron: A ductile and malleable greyish white metal used in making steel.


Leaching: Slow passage of a solvent through a layer of porous or crushed material in order to extract valuable components. For example, gold can be extracted by heap leaching a porous ore or pulverized tailings.

Lead: A heavy soft malleable ductile but inelastic bluish white metallic element found mostly in combination and used in pippes, cable sheaths, batteries, solder, type metal, and shields against radioactivity.