ABANDON : To cease efforts to produce oil or gas from a well, when it becomes unproductive or unprofitable. This includes plugging of the well in accordance with a program approved by the government authority concerned.
ABSORPTION PLANT : A facility dedicated to removing liquid hydrocarbons and water from natural gas.
ACID MINE WATER : Mine water that contains free sulfuric acid, mainly due to the weathering of iron pyrites.
ADIT : A nearly horizontal passage driven from the surface to the mine workings.
AIR DRILLING : A method of rotary drilling using compressed air.
ANTICLINE : An upward fold or arch of rock strata.
ATTITUDE : Direction and degree of a dip of a structure such as a vein, lode or zone of mineralisation. May be expressed in terms of dip and strike.
BACK : The roof or upper part in any underground mining cavity.
BACK PRESSURE : Pressure formed by the restriction of flow of either liquid or gas.
BACKHILL : Waste material used to support the walls of a stope and provide a working platform after removal of the ore.
BANK CUBIC METRE : A cubic metre of material in-situ.
BARREL (BBL) : 42 US gallons (159 litres).
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.
BASALT : Fine grained, dark-coloured igneous rock. Usually flows over the surface as a lava before consolidating.
BASE METAL : Commercial metal such as copper, lead or zinc. The term was coined to describe a metal “inferior” to precious metals such as gold and silver.
BASEMENT ROCK : The igneous or metamorphic rock found at the bottom of a basin.
BASIN : A depressed region filled with sedimentary rocks.
BATHYMETRY : The science of determining an oceans depth.
BED : A stratum of coal or other sedimentary deposit.
BEDROCK : The firm base rock on which structures are anchored.
BELT CONVEYOR : A looped belt on which materials can be carried and which is generally constructed of flame-resistant material or of reinforced rubber or rubber-like substance.
BELT IDLER : A roller, usually of cylindrical shape, which is supported on a frame and which, in turn, supports or guides a conveyor belt. Idlers are not powered but turn by contact with the moving belt.
BELT TAKE-UP : A belt pulley, generally under a conveyor belt and by the drive pulley, kept under strong tension parallel to the belt line. Its purpose is to automatically compensate for any slack in the belting created by start-up, etc.
BENEFICIATE : Meaning to concentrate or enrich, this term is generally applied to the preparation of iron ore for smelting, through processes such as sintering, magnetic concentration and washing.
BINDER : A streak of impurity in a coal seam.
BIOLOGICAL LEACHING : The recovery of metals from low-grade ores by dissolving them in solution, the dissolution being aided by bacterial action.
BIT : The hardened and strengthened device at the end of a drill rod that transmits the energy of breakage to the rock. The size of the bit determines the size of the hole. A bit may be either detachable from or integral with its supporting drill rod.
BITUMINOUS COAL : A middle rank coal (between subbituminous and anthracite) formed by additional pressure and heat on lignite. Usually has a high Btu value and may be referred to as “soft coal.”
BLACK DAMP : A term generally applied to carbon dioxide. Strictly speaking, it is a mixture of carbon dioxide and nitrogen. It is also applied to an atmosphere depleted of oxygen, rather than having an excess of carbon dioxide.
BLACK OILS : This term generally refers to the darker coloured petrochemical products.
BLASTING AGENT : Any material consisting of a mixture of a fuel and an oxidiser.
BLASTING CAP : A detonator containing a charge of detonating compound, which is ignited by electric current or the spark of a fuse. Used for detonating explosives.
BLASTING CIRCUIT : Electric circuits used to fire electric detonators or to ignite an igniter cord by means of an electric starter.
BLOW-OUT : A sudden or violent escape of gas or oil (and sometimes water) from a drilling well when high pressure gas is encountered and preparation to prevent or to control the escape has not been made.
BOREHOLE : Any deep or long drill-hole, usually associated with a diamond drill.
BOTTOMHOLE : The lowest point of the well bore.
BOX-TYPE MAGAZINE : A small, portable magazine used to store limited quantities of explosives or detonators for short periods of time at locations in the mine which are convenient to the blasting sites at which they will be used.
BREAST : A working face, usually restricted to a stope.
BRIDGE CARRIER : A rubber-tire-mounted mobile conveyor, about 10 meters long, used as an intermediate unit to create a system of articulated conveyors between a mining machine and a room or entry conveyor.
BRIDGE CONVEYOR : A short conveyor hung from the boom of mining or lading machine or haulage system with the other end attached to a receiving bin that dollies along a frame supported by the room or entry conveyor, tailpiece. Thus, as the machine boom moves, the bridge conveyor keeps it in constant connection with the tailpiece.
BROW : A low place in the roof of a mine, giving insufficient headroom.
Btu : British thermal unit. A measure of the energy required to raise the temperature of one pound of water one degree Fahrenheit.
BUMP (OR BURST) : A violent dislocation of the mine workings which is attributed to severe stresses in the rock surrounding the workings.
BY-PRODUCT : A secondary or additional mineral or mineral product.
CALORIFIC VALUE : The quantity of heat that can be liberated from one pound of coal or oil measured in BTU’s.
CAMBRIAN : The earliest period of the Palaeozoic era to which systems of rock may be assigned.
CANOPY : A protective covering of a cab on a mining machine.
CAP ROCK : An impervious rock which may act as a seal so hydrocarbons remain trapped in an underlying or adjacent reservoir.
CARBONATE : Common mineral type consisting of carbonates of calcium, iron and /or magnesium.
CARRIED INTEREST : An arrangement under which an interest in oil and gas rights is assigned inconsideration for the assignee advancing all the funds to develop and operate an oil or gas property.
CHAIN CONVEYOR : A conveyor on which the material is moved along solid pans (troughs) by the action of scraper crossbars attached to powered chains.
CHECK CURTAIN : Sheet of brattice cloth hung across an airway to control the passage of the air current.
CHOCK : Large hydraulic jacks used to support roof in longwall and shortwall mining systems.
CLAIM : An area of land or water used by a prospector or mining company for the purpose of exploration over a period of time. Claims are first staked out and then recorded in the appropriate state Department of Mines. The average size is 16.2 hectares.
COLLAR : The timbering or concrete around the mouth or top of a shaft or winze.
COMMINUTION : The breaking, crushing, or grinding of coal, ore, or rock.
COMPLEX ORE : An ore containing a number of minerals of economic value.
CONCENTRATE : A product containing valuable metal from which most of the waste material in the ore has been eliminated.
CONDENSATE : Liquid hydrocarbons originally in the gaseous phase.
CONGLOMERATE : A sedimentary rock consisting of rounded rock fragments.
CONSORTIUM : A group of companies, not normally related, working together on a particular project.
CONTINENTAL SHELF : The edge of a continent that lies underneath relatively shallow water.
CORE SAMPLE : A cylinder sample generally 1-5″ in diameter drilled out of an area to determine the geologic and chemical analysis of the overburden and coal.
CORROSION : The degradation of metal over an extended period of time.
CRETACEOUS : A geological period from 135 to 65 million years ago.
CROSSCUT : A horizontal opening driven across the course of a vein or structure, or across the strike of the rock formation.
CRUDE ASSAY : A test for determining the quality and consistency of crude oil.
CRUDE OIL : Oil that has been produced from a reservoir.
CUT-OFF : The estimated lowest grade of ore that can be mined and treated profitably.
CUTTINGS : Particles of formation obtained from a well during drilling operations.
CYANIDATION : A method of extracting gold or silver by it in a weak solution of sodium cyanide.
DE-WATER : The process of removing water from a flooded mine.
DEAD WELL : A well that will not flow without artificial assistance.
DEPLETION : The steadily declining amount of ore in a property resulting from production. Minerals are considered a “depleting resource” because once mined, they cannot be replaced.
DEPOSIT : Mineral deposit or ore deposit is used to designate a natural occurrence of a useful mineral, or an ore, in sufficient extent and degree of concentration to invite exploitation.
DERRICK : The pyramid of latticed steel mounted over the bore hole and is used for both drilling and servicing purposes.
DEVELOPMENT : Bringing a mining property to tire stage.
DEVELOPMENT WELL : A well drilled in close proximity to a producing well, which helps determine the limits of an oil or gas reservoir.
DEVONIAN : A geological period from 413 to 362 million years ago.
DIAMOND DRILL : A rotary type of rock drill which cuts by abrasion rather than percussion. The cutting bit is set with diamonds and attached to the end of long hollow rods through which water is pumped to the cutting face.
DIAMONDIFEROUS : Used to describe any rock. Unconsolidated sediment or soil containing diamonds.
DILUTION : A lowering of the grade of ore being mined when waste rock or low-grade ore is included unavoidably in the mined ore.
DIP : The inclination of a geologic structure (bed, vein, fault, etc.) from the horizontal; dip is always measured downwards at right angles to the strike.
DIRECTIONAL DRILLING : A technique where a well is deliberately drilled on an angle to reach a particular resource.
DISCOVERY WELL : The first well drilled to achieve results in a field.
DISSEMINATED ORE : Ore carrying small particles of valuable minerals, spread through the gangue matter.
DRAW-DOWN : The differences between the static formation pressure ane the flowing buttonhole pressure in a specific well.
DREDGING : Raising silt and loose sand in a scoop or via suction. Used for minerals such as alluvial gold and tin.
DRILL STEM TEST (DST) : Used to determine whether or not oil or gas is significant quantities has been encountered during drilling.
DRILLED RESERVES : Oil and natural gas reserves which can be recovered by wells already drilled.
DRY HOLE : A hole drilled that fails to find oil or gas in sufficient quantities to warrant completion as a producer.
DUSTER : A hole drilled that fails to find any oil or gas.
ELECTROLYTIC : A refining process in which impure metal from a smelter is suspended in a cell containing electrolyte liquid
ELECTROMAGNETIC (EM) : Mineral-hunting technique the equipment used introduces electric currents from above the surface, or in the air, into the earth. The electrical activity is measured during and after the currents have passed through rocks deposits. (See “Anomaly”.)
ELUVIAL : Used to describe decomposed rock debris not far removed from the place of formation, which may contain a valuable constituent material as residue.
EXPLORATION DRILLING : Drilling carried out to determine if hydrocarbons are present in the specified area.
EXPLORATION LICENCE : A licence issued by the government giving permission for exploration to be undertaken in a specific area.
EXTRACTION : The process of mining and removal of cal or ore from a mine.
FARM-IN/FARM-OUT : A joint venture or partnership where by an incoming (farm-in) partner earns an interest in a property by funding costs of exploration, while the (farm-out) partner owning the property does not contribute.
FAULT ZONE : A fault, instead of being a single clean fracture, may be a zone hundreds or thousands of feet wide. The fault zone consists of numerous interlacing small faults or a confused zone of gouge, breccia, or mylonite.
FERROUS : Mineral containing iron; “non-ferrous” is a standard term for other minerals.
FIELD : A defined oil or gas producing area containing ore oil or gas pools.
FISSURE : An extensive crack, break or fracture in the rocks.
FLARE : An open flame used to dispose of unwanted gas in a well.
FLOAT : Pieces of vein material or rock which become separated from the main body by weathering processes.
FLOODING : The process of drowning out a well with water.
FLOWING WELL : A well from which oil or water flows without pumping or artificial lifting.
FORMATION DAMAGE (SKIN EFFECT) : Resistance to hydrocarbons into the well bore, caused by drilling or well completion practices.
FRACTURE : A general term for a distinct break in the continuity of a body of rock; it includes faults, joints and non-systematic cracks.
FRIABLE : Easy to break, or crumbling naturally. Descriptive of certain rocks and minerals.
GANGUE : The worthless minerals associated with valuable minerals in an ore deposit.
GAUGING : A method of measuring bulk quantities of liquids.
GEIGER COUNTER : A device used to indicate the presence of radioactive minerals.
GEOCHEMICAL EXPLORATION : An exploration method based on variations in the chemical composition of rocks or soil, or sediment in stream beds.
GEOLOGICAL SURVEY : An exploratory programme directed to the examination of rock sediments obtained via boring or drilling by inspection of surface out croppings.
GLORY HOLE : An open-cut pit or mine in the earth’s surface to reach and mine out an ore deposit with extraction from the bottom level via an adit or underground markings.
GOB : The term applied to that part of the mine from which the coal has been removed and the space more or less filled up with waste. Also, the loose waste in a mine. Also called goaf.
GRAB SAMPLE : A sample taken at random to determine if valuable elements are contained in the rock.
GRAIN : In petrology, that factor of the texture of a rock composed of distinct particles or crystals which depends upon their absolute size.
GROSS VALUE : The theoretical value of ore in the ground, determined simply by applying the assay of metal(s) and the current market price.
GUNITE : A cement applied by spraying to the roof and sides of a mine passage.
HANGING WALL : The wall or rock on the upper or top side of a vein or ore deposit.
HEAD GRADE : The average grade ore fed into the mill.
HOGSBACK : A sharp rise in the floor of a seam.
HORIZON : In geology, any given definite position or interval in the stratigraphic column or the scheme of stratigraphic classification; generally used in a relative sense.
HYDROCARBONS : An organic compound of hydrogen and carbon, including oil, gas and condensate.
IN SITU : In the natural or original position. Applied to a rock, soil, or fossil when occurring in the situation in which it was originally formed or deposited.
INBY : In the direction of the working face.
INCOMPETENT : Applied to strata, a formation, a rock, or a rock structure not combining sufficient firmness and flexibility to transmit a thrust and to lift a load by bending.
INDUCED POLARISATION : Method of geophysical prospecting carried out by passing an electrical current through the ground and measuring the effect of rocks and minerals in its path.
INDUSTRIAL MINERALS : Usually non-metallic minerals used in industry and manufacturing processes in their natural state, through generally with some beneficiation to imposed specifications; examples include asbestos, salt, gravels, building materials, talc and sands.
INTAKE : The passage through which fresh air is drawn or forced into a mine or to a section of a mine.
INTERMEDIATE ROCKS : Igneous rocks containing between 52 and 66 per cent silica, and intermediate in chemical composition between acid and basic rocks.
ISOPACH : A line, on a map, drawn through points of equal thickness of a designated unit. Synonym for isopachous line; isopachyte.
JACKLEG : A percussion drill used for drifting or stopping that is mounted on a telescopic leg which has an extension of about 2.5 m. The leg and machine are hinged so that the drill need not be in the same direction as the leg.
JAW CRUSHER : Machine in which the rock is broken by the action of moving steel jaws.
JIG : An apparatus used in milling to concentrate ore on a screen submerged in water, either by a reciprocating motion of the screen or by the pulsation of water through it.
JOINT VENTURE : An investment undertaken by a group of usually unrelated companies.
KERF : The undercut of a coal face.
KETTLE BOTTOM : A smooth, rounded piece of rock, cylindrical in shape, which may drop out of the roof of a mine without warning. The origin of this feature is thought to be the remains of the stump of a tree that has been replaced by sediments so that the original form has been rather well preserved.
KILLING A WELL : The act of bringing a well under control that is blowing out; also applied to the procedure of circulating water and mud into a completed well before starting operations.
LEACHING : A chemical process used in milling for the extraction of valuable minerals from ore. Also, the natural process by which ground waters dissolve minerals, thus leaving the rock with a smaller proportion of some of the minerals than contained originally.
LENS : An ore body in the form of a convex lens.
LEVEL : The horizontal passages on a working horizon in a mine. It is customary to work mines from a shaft, establishing levels at regular intervals, generally 30 to 46 metres apart. They are numbered in sequence below surface, or named by the depth at which they fie below surface.
LIMESTONE : Carbonate rock.
LITHIC : Pertaining to, or formed of rock.
LITHOLOGY : The character of a rock described in terms of its structure, colour, mineral composition, grain size, and arrangement of its component parts; all those visible features that in the aggregate impart individuality of the rock. Lithology is the basis of correlation in coal mines and commonly is reliable over a distance of a few miles.
LODE : A mineral deposit in solid rock.
LONGWALL MINING : One of three major underground coal mining methods currently in use. Employs a steel plow, or rotation drum, which is pulled mechanically back and forth across a face of coal that is usually several hundred feet long. The loosened coal falls onto a conveyor for removal from the mine.
MANHOLE : A safety hole constructed in the side of a gangway, tunnel, or slope in which miner can be safe from passing locomotives and car. Also called a refuge hole.
MANWAY : An entry used exclusively for personnel to travel form the shaft bottom or drift mouth to the working section; it is always on the intake air side in gassy mines. Also, a small passage at one side or both sides of a breast, used as a travelling way for the miner, and sometimes, as an airway, or chute, or both.
MARGINAL ORE DEPOSITS : Lower grade ore bodies which are close to being uneconomic to mine.
MATTE : The product of a smelter, being metal with some contained sulphur. It must be further refined to obtain the pure metal.
MILL : A plant in which ore is ground and treated for the recovery of valuable metals contained.
MINERAL : A substance which may or may not be of economic value, occurring naturally in the earth. It is homogenous, has a certain chemical makeup and usually appears in crystal or grain form.
MISFIRE : The complete or partial failure of a blasting charge to explode as planned.
MUD CAP : A charge of high explosive fired in contact with the surface of a rock after being covered with a quantity of wet mud, wet earth, or sand, without any borehole being used. Also termed adobe, dobie, and sandblast (illegal in coal mining).
NATURAL FLOW : Refers to the flow of fluids from a well without artificial assistance.
NIP : Device at the end of the trailing cable of a mining machine used for connecting the trailing cable to the trolley wire and ground.
OIL PAYMENT : A right to a portion of oil production in cash or in kind, given in consideration for acquisition of a property, or sold as a means of obtaining financing. Payment is entirely contingent on production.
ON STREAM : Signifies that a pump or pumping station is operating to move oil.
OPEN-CUT/OPEN-PIT : A surface working, open to daylight.
OPERATOR : The person, whether proprietor or lessee, actually operating a mine, oil well or mining lease.
OPTION : A right to have first chance to buy or refuse to buy a property or an asset. In mining, it often refers to a contract covering a mining claim(s).
ORE : Mineral bearing rock that can (or has been) mined and treated.
ORE RESERVE : The tonnage of ore actually available for extraction, or in stock.
OUTBY; OUTBYE : Nearer to the shaft, and hence farther from the working face. Toward the mine entrance. The opposite of inby.
OVERBURDEN : Worthless, unconsolidated surface material such as earth, sand and boulders, covering the rock surface.
PALEOZOIC : An era of geological time between the Pre Cambrian and the Mesozoic.
PASS : An opening in a mine through which ore is delivered from a higher to a lower level.
PAY LIMIT : The grade of ore above which it becomes economical mine.
PERCUSSION DRILLING : A drilling process which involves hammering the drill bit down the hole, while the cuttings are force-_ upwards to the surface.
PERMIAN : A geological period from 290 to 240 million years ago.
PETROLEUM PROVINCE : A region in which a number of oil and gas fields occur in a similar geologic environment.
PLUGGING A WELL : When a well is abandoned it must be plugged to conform with government regulations. This is to ensure no escape can occur from the well.
PRECIOUS METALS : Metals such as gold and silver which are valued for other than ordinary industrial uses. (See “Base Metals’)
PRODUCTION DRILLING : The drilling of wells to bring a new field into active production.
PROSPECT : A structure that has been determined to contain hydrocarbons.
PYRITE : A hard, heavy, shiny, yellow mineral, FeS2 or iron disulfide, generally in cubic crystals. Also called iron pyrites, fool’s gold, sulfur balls. Iron pyrite is the most common sulfide found in coal mines.
QUATERNARY : A geological period dating from about 1.8 million years ago to the present.
RECLAMATION : The restoration of land and environmental values to a surface mine site after the coal is extracted. Reclamation operations are usually underway as soon as the coal has been removed from a mine site. The process includes restoring the land to its approximate original appearance by restoring topsoil and planting native grasses and ground covers.
RECOVERABLE RESERVES : Mineral, oil and natural gas reserves situated in places capable of being produced.
RECOVERY : The amount of mineral separated and recovered in a mill, and expressed as a percentage of that calculated to be the original ore.
REEF : Similar to “Lode”.
RESERVES : These fall into four categories – “proven” (ore that has been blocked out on four sides); “probable” (ore opened on two of three sides); “possible” (ore opened on one side only) and “indicatec” (ore outlined by diamond drilling but which has not been opened by underground work).
RESERVOIR : Porous and permeable rock containing water, oil or gas.
RESPIRABLE DUST : Dust particles 5 microns or less in size.
RIG : The derrick and equipment necessary for drilling operations ora well.
ROASTING : The treatment of ore by heat in order to remove sulphur and arsenic.
ROTARY DRILLING : A hydraulic process whereby a column of drill pipe is rotated, with a rotary drilling bit attached to the bottom of the pipe.
ROYALTY : Amounts of money paid by a company operating a mining property to the actual owner of the mineral rights. The amount may be based on so much per tonne produced or by a percentage of revenue or profits.
RUN-OF-MINE : Used to describe ore of an average grade in a mine
SAMPLING : Cutting a representative part of an ore (or coal) deposit, which should truly represent its average value.
SCRUBBER : Any of several forms of chemical/physical devices that remove sulfur compounds formed during coal combustion. These devices, technically know as flue gas desulfurisation systems, combine the sulfur in gaseous emissions with another chemical medium to form inert “sludge,” which must then be removed for disposal.
SHAFT : A vertical or inclined excavation used for the purpose of opening or servicing a mine.
SHALE : Sedimentary rock formed by the consolidation of mud or silt.
SHOOT : A concentration of mineral values.
SHUT IN : To close valves on a well so it stops producing.
SLAG : The waste product of the process of smelting.
SMELTING : The partial recovery of metal from processed ore.
SPUDDING : Hoisting the drill pipe and allowing it to free-fall so the drill bit strikes the bottom of the well bore with considerable force.
STRATUM : A bed or layer of sediment.
SULPHIDE ZONE : Part of a mineralised deposit in which the original minerals (usually sulphides) have not been altered.
TAILINGS : Material rejected from a mill after the recoverable valuable minerals have been extracted.
TENEMENTS : Large tracts of land granted to mining companies and prospectors by Australian State Governments for general “grass roots” exploration.
TERTIARY : A geological period dating from about 65 to 2 million years ago.
ULTIMATE ANALYSIS : Precise determination, by chemical means, of the elements and compounds in coal.
ULTRABASIC : Igneous rock containing less than 45 per cent silica.
ULTRAMAFIC : Igneous rock composed essentially of iron and magnesium.
VEIN : An opening, fissure or crack in rock containing mineralised material.
VUG : Cavity in a rock.
WASTE : Material too low in grade to be of economic value.
WILDCAT : A well in unproven territory.
WINZE : An underground opening similar to a shaft but not starting at the surface.
ZONE : An area or region which is distinct from the surrounding rock, either because of a difference in the type of structure or because of mineralisation.
ZONE OF OXIDISATION : The upper part of a mineral deposit which has become oxidised.