Any physical or chemical change in a rock or mineral subsequent to its formation. Areas of rock and/or mineral alteration are commonly associated with base and precious metal or mineral deposits and are often larger than the orebody itself.


Any deviation from the norm (generally an increase in value) which may indicate the presence of mineralization in the underlying rock.


A chemical test performed on a rock, soil or vegetation sample to determine the amount of valuable metals contained within.

Base metal

Any non-precious metal (eg. copper, lead zinc, nickel etc.).


A copper ore mineral composed of copper, iron and sulphur.

Deformation zone

A term used to describe a change in the attitude, shape or volume of a rock layer after its formation. Generally related to stress applied to the rocks resulting in folding, fracturing and faulting.


An area where gold or other metal has been found.

Diamond drilling

A means by which hollow steel rods with a diamond bit attached are driven into solid rock by a high speed rotary motion. A cylindrical core of rock is recovered for the purpose of obtaining geological, metallurgical or analytical information.


Prospecting, sampling, mapping, diamond drilling and other work involved in searching for ore.

Feasibility Study

A comprehensive study undertaken to determine the economic feasibility of a project; the conclusion will determine if a production decision can be made and is used for financing arrangements.

Felsic rock

Fine-grained, light-coloured volcanic rock containing quartz and feldspars.


The land area that is disturbed through the construction and operation of a mine.


The rock on the underside of a vein or ore horizon.

Geochemical anomaly

An abnormally high concentration of a particular element over a certain area, reflecting a potential metallic source. Commonly detected in parts per million (ppm) for base metals and parts per billion (ppb) for precious metals.

Geochemical sampling

A method used to detect concealed bodies of metallic ores by means of chemical techniques. Samples of rock, soil or plant matter are gathered from a predefined area and sent to an analytical chemical laboratory to be measured for metal or mineral content.

Geophysical survey

A method used to determine the physical parameters of rock formations for the purpose of detecting a potential metallic source. Common properties measured include magnetism, specific gravity and electrical conductivity.

Good standing

A term used to describe the status of mineral claims with respect to government assessment requirements; meaning free and clear of all work and/or monetary holding requirements.

Greenstone belt

An area underlain by metamorphosed volcanic and sedimentary rocks, usually within the continental shield.

Hanging Wall

The rock overlying the vein or ore horizon.


Rich ore; the best ore in a deposit.


Relating to very hot fluids circulating in the Earth's crust.

Induced Polarization (IP)

A method of ground geophysical surveying employing an electrical current to determine indications of mineralization.

Iron formation

A chemical sedimentary rock containing iron-rich minerals formed in a marine environment.


A processing facility where ore is finely ground and thereafter undergoes physical or chemical treatment to extract valuable metals.


Sorts the ore by size, crushes the rock and extracts the gold.

Mine trend

Is defined by a number of ore bodies aligned along a particular rock formation or structure.

Mineral resource

Mineralization for which tonnage and grades of elements of interest are known by drilling and sampling without the economic and engineering knowledge necessary to demonstrate economic viability.


Net Smelter Return. A royalty or share of net revenues generated from the sale of metals produced by a mine.

Open Pit

A mine where the minerals are mined entirely from surface.


Rock that contains a mineral or a concentration of minerals and/or metals, which can be mined at a profit.

Ore Body

A sufficiently large amount of mineral and rock that can be mined economically.


The vertical angle a linear geological feature makes with the horizontal plane.


A term used to describe the texture of an igneous rock in which relatively large mineral crystals, called phenocrysts, are set in a fine grained matrix.

Precious metal

Any metal considered to be of high value such as gold, silver, platinum, palladium etc.


A fine-grained felsic volcanic rock with a similar composition to granite.


A zinc ore mineral, commonly found in volcanic massive sulphide deposits and composed of zinc, iron and sulphur.


A network of veins often having the appearance of lattice – generally feeders to an overlying ore body.


A sequence of layered rocks; often used to describe a particular rock formation associated with a specific area.


A rock composed of fine volcanic ash.

VMS deposits

Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide deposit or volcanic-hosted massive sulphide deposit refers to a significant accumulation of sulphide minerals containing important quantities of base and/or precious metals, hosted within volcanic rocks.