Glossary


Definitions for the language of the gold mining industry

Shale

Sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of mud or silt.

Shear or shearing

The deformation of rocks by lateral movement along innumerable parallel planes, generally resulting from pressure and producing such metamorphic structures as cleavage and schistosity.

Shear zone

A zone in which shearing has occurred on a large scale.

Sheave

A large, grooved wheel in the top of a headframe over which the hoisting rope passes.

Shoot

A concentration of mineral values; that part of a vein or zone carrying values of ore grade.

Shrinkage stoping

A stoping method which uses part of the broken ore as a working platform and as support for the walls of the stope.

Siderite

Iron carbonate, which when pure, contains 48.2% iron; must be roasted to drive off carbon dioxide before it can be used in a blast furnace. Roasted product is called sinter.

Silica

Silicon dioxide. Quartz is a common example.

Siliceous

A rock containing an abundance of quartz.

Sill

An intrusive sheet of igneous rock of roughly uniform thickness that has been forced between the bedding planes of existing rock.

Silt

Muddy deposits of fine sediment usually found on the bottoms of lakes.

Skarn

Name for the metamorphic rocks surrounding an igneous intrusive where it comes in contact with a limestone or dolostone formation.

Skip

A self-dumping bucket used in a shaft for hoisting ore or rock.

Slag

The vitreous mass separated from the fused metals in the smelting process.

Slash

The process of blasting rock from the side of an underground opening to widen the opening.

Slate

A metamorphic rock; the metamorphic equivalent of shale.

Slickenside

The striated, polished surface of a fault caused by one wall rubbing against the other.

Sludge

Rock cuttings from a diamond drill hole, sometimes used for assaying.

Sphalerite

A zinc sulphide mineral; the most common ore mineral of zinc.

Station

An enlargement of a shaft made for the storage and handling of equipment and for driving drifts at that elevation.

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