Industry Glossary

Industry Glossary

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Term Definition
Acid deposition or acid rain
Refers loosely to a mixture of wet and dry deposition (deposited material) from the atmosphere containing higher than normal amount of nitric and sulfuric acids. The precursors or chemical forerunners of acid rain formation result from both natural sources, such as volcanoes and decaying vegetation, and man-made sources, primarily emissions of sulfur and nitrogen oxides resulting from fossil fuel combustion.
Acid mine drainage
Acidic run-off water from mine waste dumps and mill tailings ponds containing sulphide minerals. Also refers to ground water pumped to surface from mines.
Acidic precipitation
Snow and rain that have a low pH, caused by sulphur dioxide and nitric oxide gases from industrial activity released into the atmosphere.
Acidic rocks
Igneous rock carrying a high (greater than 65%) proportion of silica.
Active workings
Any place in a mine where miners are normally required to work or travel and which are ventilated and inspected regularly.
Adit
A nearly horizontal passage from the surface by which a mine is entered and dewatered. A blind horizontal opening into a mountain, with only one entrance.
Advance
Mining in the same direction, or order of sequence; first mining as distinguished from retreat.
Aerial magnetometer
An instrument used to measure magnetic field strength from an airplane.
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.
Air split
The division of a current of air into two or more parts.
Airborne survey
A survey made from an aircraft to obtain photographs, or measure magnetic properties, radioactivity, etc.
Airway
Any passage through which air is carried. Also known as an air course.
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)
Alpha meter
An instrument used to measure positively charged particles emitted by radioactive materials.
Alpha ray
A positively charged particle emitted by certain radioactive materials.
Alteration
Any physical or chemical change in a rock or mineral subsequent to its formation. Milder and more localized than metamorphism.

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