Industry Glossary

Industry Glossary

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Term Definition
Back
The roof or upper part in any underground mining cavity.
Back sample
Rock chips collected from the roof or back of an underground opening for the purpose of determining grade.
Backfill
Waste material used to fill the void created by mining an orebody.
Background
Minor amounts of radioactivity due not to abnormal amounts of radioactive minerals nearby, but to cosmic rays and minor residual radioactivity in the vicinity.
Backwardation
A situation when the cash or spot price of a metal stands at a premium over the price of the metal for delivery at a forward date.
Balance sheet
A formal statement of the financial position of a company on a particular day, normally presented to shareholders once a year.
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.
Banded iron formation
A bedded deposit of iron minerals.
Barren
Said of rock or vein material containing no minerals of value, and of strata without coal, or containing coal in seams too thin to be workable.
Barricading
Enclosing part of a mine to prevent inflow of noxious gasses from a mine fire or an explosion.
Barrier
Something that bars or keeps out. Barrier pillars are solid blocks of coal left between two mines or sections of a mine to prevent accidents due to inrushes of water, gas, or from explosions or a mine fire.
Basal till
Unsorted glacial debris at the base of the soil column where it comes into contact with the bedrock below.
Basalt
An extrusive volcanic rock composed primarily of plagioclase, pyroxene and some olivine.
Base camp
Centre of operations from which exploration activity is conducted.
Base metal
Any non-precious metal (eg. copper, lead, zinc, nickel, etc.).
Basement rocks
The underlying or older rock mass. Often refers to rocks of Precambrian age which may be covered by younger rocks.
Basic rocks
Igneous rocks that are relatively low in silica and composed mostly of dark-colored minerals.
Batholith
A large mass of igneous rock extending to great depth with its upper portion dome-like in shape. Similar, smaller masses of igneous rocks are known as bosses or plugs.
Bauxite
A rock made up of hydrous aluminum oxides; the most common aluminum ore.
Beam
A bar or straight girder used to support a span of roof between two support props or walls.

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