Assay laboratory
A laboratory in which the proportions of metal in ores or concentrates are determined using analytical techniques


Material used to replace soil and earth removed during mining operations

Bacterial leaching / bio-oxidation
The use of bacteria to oxidise sulphide minerals


Carbon-in-leach (CIL) process
A modification of the CIP process whereby carbon is added directly into the slurry during leaching as opposed to CIP where carbon is added after leaching is complete

Carbon-in-pulp (CIP) process
A process used to recover dissolved gold from a cyanide leach slurry. Coarse activated carbon particles are moved counter-current to the slurry, absorbing the gold as it passes through the circuit. Loaded carbon is removed from the slurry by screening. The gold is recovered from the loaded carbon by stripping in a caustic cyanide solution followed by electrolysis or by zinc precipitation.

A measure of the average cost of producing an ounce of gold, calculated by dividing the total working costs (excluding corporate administration) in a period by the total gold production over the same period. Working costs represent total operating costs less royalties and depreciation. In determining the cash-cost of different elements of the operations, production overheads are allocated on a pro-rata basis.

Material that has been processed to increase the content of the contained metal or mineral relative to the contained waste.

A mine working which is driven horizontally and at right angles to an adit, drift or level.

Cut-off grade
The lowest grade of the mineralised material considered economic to extract; used in the calculation of the ore reserves in a given deposit.

Cyanide leaching
The extraction of a precious metal from an ore by its dissolution in a cyanide solution


Decline shaft
An inclined shaft

Diamond drilling (core drilling)
A drilling method whereby the rock is cut with a diamond bit, usually to extract cores.

Waste which is commingled with ore in the mining process

Unrefined alloy consisting predominantly of gold with lesser quantities of silver and base metals.

A horizontal tunnel driven along, or parallel to, the strike of the orebody, for the extraction or exploration of ore.


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A recovery process by which valuable minerals are separated from waste to produce a concentrate. Selected minerals are induced to become attached to air bubbles and to float.

The underlying side of a fault, an orebody, or mine workings

Forward sales
The sale of a commodity for delivery at a specified future date and price, usually at a premium to the spot price.


Geochemical sampling
Samples of soils, stream sediments or rock chips taken to ensure the quantities of trace and minor elements.

The relative quality or percentage of ore metal content.


Heap leaching
A low-cost technique for extracting metals from ore by percolating leaching solutions through heaps of ore placed on impervious pads. Generally used on low-grade ores.


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The comminution of the ore, although the term has come to cover the broad range of machinery inside the treatment plant where gold is separated from the ore.

Mine call factor
The ratio of the grade of material received at the mill to the grade of ore calculated by sampling in stopes

Mineral resources :
Measured mineral resources
have been calculated for tonnage or volume from dimensions revealed in outcrops, pits, trenches, drill holes, or mine workings, and supported by other appropriate exploration techniques. The sites used for inspection sampling and measuring must be so spaced that the geological character, continuity, grades, and nature of the material are so well defined that the physical character, size, shape, quality and mineral content can be established with a high degree of certainty.
Indicated mineral resources is that portion of a mineral resource for which quantity and quality can only be estimated with a lower degree of certainty than for a measured mineral resource. The sites used for inspection, sampling and measurement are too widely or inappropriately spaced to enable the mineral or its continuity to be defined or its grade throughout to be established.

Mineralised zone
Any mass of rock in which minerals, at least one of which has commercial value, occur


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Open pit/open cut
Surface mining in which the ore is extracted from a pit.

Material that contains one or more minerals, at least one of which has commercial value and which can be recovered at a profit.

A continuous well defined mass of material of suficient ore content to make extraction economically feasible.

The portion of a mineral deposit within which sulphide materials have been oxidised, usually by surface weathering processes.


Removal of overburden in advance of beginning operations to remove ore in an open pit operation.

A mineral deposit with insufficient data available on mineralisation to determine if it is economically recoverable, but warranting further investigation.

Prospecting licence
An area for which permission to explore has been granted.


A mineral compaound of silicon and oxygen; may transparent to white-coloured.


The final stage of metal production in which remaining impurities are removed from the molten material by introducing air and fluxes. The impurities are removed as gases or as slag.

Refractory ore
Any ore that does not respond to conventional mineral processing (cyanidation) to produce acceptable product recoveries without an intermediate step to adress its refractory attributes (usually some form of oxidation).

Reserves : Proven reserves
Those measured mineral resources of which detailed technical and economic studies have demonstrated that extraction can be justified at the time of determination and under specific conditions.

Reserves : Probable reserves
Those measured and/or indicated mineral resources which are not yet “proven” but of which detailed technical and economic studies have demonstrated that extraction can be justified at the time of determination and under specific conditions.

Reverse circulation drilling
A drilling method employing double walled drill rods. The drilling fluid (usually water) is pushed down the shaft around the rods and the cuttings are blown up the middle.


Taking small pieces of rock at intervals along exposed mineralisation to determine mineral content.

A mine-working (usually vertical) used to transport miners, supplies or equipment.

Spot price
The current price of a metal for immediate delivery

The underground excavation from which ore is extracted.

Strike length
The horizontal distance along the direction that a structural surface takes as it intersects the horizontal.

The process of removing overburden to expose ore.

Stripping ratio
The ratio of overburden and segregable waste to ore in an open pit operation.

A mineral characterised by the linkages of sulphur with a metal or semi-metal, iron sulphide. Also a zone in which sulphide minerals occur


The waste material from ore after the economically recoverable metals and minerals have been extracted. Changes in the metal prices and improvements in technology can sometimes make the tailings economic to reprocess at a later stage.

Transition zone
A zone containing a mixture of oxide and sulphide material, usually lying between the oxide and sulphide zones.

Making elongated open-air excavations for the purposes of mapping and sampling


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Rock lacking sufficient grade and/or other characteristics of ore to be commercially exploited.

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Yield/recovered grade
The actual grade of ore realised after the mining and treatment process.

Shaun Bakamoso

Greetings. I'm Shaun Bakamoso, and I'm thrilled to be your guide through the dynamic world of business news in South Africa here at mbendi.co.za. With a passion for staying informed and a keen interest in the ever-evolving landscape of business, I've dedicated myself to providing you with timely, insightful, and comprehensive coverage of the latest developments impacting the South African economy. bakamoso@gmail.com / Instagram