Kirrin Resources' website and news releases regularly use technical exploration and mining terms which may not be familiar to non-technical readers. Listed below are some brief definitions of some of the more commonly used terms you may see in our material.
Airborne survey - A survey made from an aircraft to obtain photographs, or measure magnetic properties, radioactivity, etc.
Alloy - A compound of two or more metals.
Alluvium - A general term for clay, silt, sand, gravel or similar unconsolidated detrital material deposited during comparatively recent geologic time by a stream or other body of running water as sorted or semi-sorted sediment in the bed of the stream or on its flood plain or delta, or as a cone or fan at the base of a mountain slope.
Andesite - A dark-coloured, fine grained extrusive rock.
Anomalous - A geological feature, especially in the subsurface, distinguished by geological, geophysical, or geochemical means, which is different from the general surroundings and is often of potential economic value.
Anomaly - Any departure from the norm which may indicate the presence of mineralization in the underlying bedrock
Assay - A chemical test performed on a sample of ores or minerals to determine the amount of valuable metals contained therein.
Assay map - Plan view of an area indicating assay values and locations of all samples taken on the property.
Assessment work - The amount of work specified by mining law that must be performed each year in order to retain legal control of exploration or mining claims.
Basement rocks - The underlying or older rock mass. Often refers to rocks of Precambrian age which may be covered by younger rocks.
Base metal - Any non-precious metal (e.g. copper, lead, zinc, nickel, etc.).
Basic rocks - Igneous rocks that are relatively low in silica and composed mostly of dark-coloured minerals.
Bedding - The arrangement of sedimentary rocks in layers.
Biotite - A platy magnesium-iron mica, common in igneous rocks.
Brecciated - Fragmental rocks whose components are angular and, therefore, as distinguished from conglomerates, are not water worn. May be sedimentary or formed by crushing or grinding along faults.
Bulk sample - A large sample of mineralized rock, frequently hundreds of tonnes, selected in such a manner as to be representative of the potential ore body being sampled. Used to determine metallurgical characteristics.
Bullion - Metal formed into bars or ingots.
By-product - A secondary metal or mineral product recovered in the milling process.
Calcite - A common rock forming mineral composed of calcium and carbonate.
Capitalization - A financial term used to describe the value financial markets put on a company. Determined by multiplying the number of outstanding shares of a company by the current stock price.
Caesium magnetometer - A geophysical instrument which measures magnetic field strength in terms of vertical gradient and total field.
Chip sample - A method of sampling a rock exposure whereby a regular series of small chips of rock is broken off along a line across the face.
Chromite - The chief ore mineral of chromium.
Claim - A portion of land held either by a prospector or a mining company. In Canada, the common size is 1,320 ft. (about 400 m) square, or 40 acres (about 16 ha).
Clay - A fine-grained material composed of hydrous aluminium silicates.
Complex ore - An ore containing a number of minerals of economic value. The term often implies that there are metallurgical difficulties in liberating and separating the valuable metals.
Concentrate - A fine, powdery product of the milling process containing a high percentage of valuable metal.
Core - The long cylindrical piece of rock, about an inch in diameter, brought to surface by diamond drilling.
Country rock - Loosely used to describe the general mass of rock adjacent to an ore body. Also known as the host rock.
Crystalline - A mineral particle of any size having the internal structure of a crystal but lacking well-developed crystal faces. Resembling a crystal; clear, transparent, pure.
Cut-off grade -- The grade or concentration of metallic minerals below which the material is considered to be uneconomical to mine and process. A cut-off grade of 20% Fe implies that any material containing less than 20% iron will be uneconomical to mine. If the average mine grade drops below the cut off grade, the mine will operate at a loss.
Development - Underground work carried out for the purpose of opening up a mineral deposit. Includes shaft sinking, crosscutting, drifting and raising, stripping/open pit mining.
Development drilling - drilling to establish accurate estimates of mineral reserves.
Diamond - The hardest known mineral, composed of pure carbon; low-quality diamonds are used to make bits for diamond drilling in rock.
Diamond drill - A rotary type of rock drill that cuts a core of rock that is recovered in long cylindrical sections, two cm or more in diameter.
Disseminated ore - Ore carrying small particles of valuable minerals spread more or less uniformly through the host rock.
Drill - There are various types of drills for exploration such as a diamond drill (produces core) or reverse circulation drill (produces chips). Other types of drills are used in the mining process which do not produce a core, but are used to make circular holes in the rock which are filled with explosives.
Drill-indicated reserves - The size and quality of a potential ore body as suggested by widely spaced drill holes; more work is required before reserves can be classified as probable or proven.
Dyke - A long and relatively thin body of igneous rock that, while in the molten state, intruded a fissure in older rocks.
EM survey - A geophysical survey method which measures the electromagnetic properties of rocks.
Environmental baseline studies -- The environmental monitoring work completed before a production decision is taken on a mining project, examining the existing state of the environment and the potential effects that proposed mining activities will have on the natural surroundings. The studies will include ground water (lakes, streams, rivers etc), wildlife (plants and animals), potential noise levels from construction and mining operations, potential impacts from on-going mining operations such as dust and vibration levels etc.
Epithermal deposit - A hydrothermal mineral deposit, formed within about 1 km of the Earth's surface and in the temperature range 50° - 200° C, consisting of veins and replacement bodies, usually in volcanic or sedimentary rocks, containing precious metals or, more rarely, base metals.
Exploration - Prospecting, sampling, mapping, diamond drilling and other work involved in searching for ore.
Fault - A break in the Earth's crust caused by tectonic forces which have moved the rock on one side with respect to the other.
Feasibility study (bankable feasibility study) -- A detailed engineering study which defines the technical, economic, social and legal viability of a mining project with a high degree of reliability, identifying and quantifying any risks and providing sufficient information to determine whether or not the project should be advanced to the final engineering and construction stage. A bankable feasibility study forms the basis on which banks and other lenders provide the capital necessary to build the mine.
Feldspar - A common silicate mineral that occurs in all rock types and decomposes to form much of the clay in soil, including kaolinite.
Felsic - An igneous rock that has an abundance of light-coloured minerals in the matrix such as quartz, feldspars, feldspathoids and muscovite.
Ferrous - Containing iron
Flow-through shares - Shares in an exploration company that allow the tax deduction or credits for mineral exploration to be passed to the share subscriber.
Gabbro - A dark, coarse-grained igneous rock.
Geiger counter - An instrument used to measure the radioactivity that emanates from certain minerals by means of a Geiger-Mueller tube.
Geochemical - Pertaining to various chemical aspects (e.g. concentration, associations of elements) of natural media such as rock, soil and water.
Geophysical survey - A scientific method of prospecting that measures the physical properties of rock formations. Common properties investigated include magnetism, specific gravity, electrical conductivity and radioactivity.
Geophysics - The use of geophysical techniques to search for mineral deposits. Common geophysical surveys include: magnetic, electromagnetic, induced polarization, resistivity and gravity.
Geothermal - Pertains to the heat of the Earth's interior.
Grab sample - A sample from a rock outcrop that is assayed to determine if valuable elements are contained in the rock. A grab sample will not provide a representative picture of the value of a deposit, only an indication.
Grade - The value of a mineralized deposit. Precious metals are usually expressed as ounces per tonne or grams per tonne. Base metals and uranium are expressed as a percent. Diamond values are expressed as value/carat/hundred tonnes.
g/t - Grams per ton.
HREE - The heavy rare earth elements, being europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium and lutetium.
HREO - The heavy rare earth oxides, the chemical formulation of which are generally accepted as Eu2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3 and Lu2O3 expressed as ppm or weight per cent.
High grade - Rich ore. As a verb, it refers to selective mining of the best ore in a deposit.
Host rock - The rock surrounding an ore deposit.
Hydrometallurgy - The treatment of ore by wet processes, such as leaching, resulting in the solution of a metal and its subsequent recovery.
Hydrothermal - Relating to hot fluids circulating in the earth's crust.
Igneous rocks - Rocks formed by the solidification of molten material from far below the earth's surface.
Intermediate rock - An igneous rock containing 52% to 66% quartz.
Intrusive - A body of igneous rock formed by the consolidation of magma intruded into other rocks, in contrast to lavas, which are extruded upon the surface.
Lithologic - Adjective from 'lithology' - pertaining to rock.
LREE - The light rare earth elements, being lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium and samarium. Promethium is excluded because it does not occur naturally.
LREO - The light rare earth oxides, the chemical formulation of which are generally accepted as La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3 and Sm2O3 expressed in parts per million (ppm) or weight per cent.
Mafic - Igneous rocks composed mostly of dark, iron- and magnesium-rich minerals.
Magma - The molten material deep in the Earth from which rocks are formed.
Magmatic segregation - An ore-forming process whereby valuable minerals are concentrated by settling out of a cooling magma.
Magnetite - Black, magnetic iron ore, an iron oxide.
Metallurgy - The study of extracting metals from their ores.
Metamorphic rocks - Rocks which have undergone a change in texture or composition as the result of heat and/or pressure, e.g. sandstone becomes quartzite.
Minable reserves - Ore reserves that are known to be extractable using a given mining plan.
Mineral - A naturally occurring homogeneous substance having definite physical properties and chemical composition and, if formed under favourable conditions, a definite crystal form.
Mineralization - The presence of minerals of possible economic value; also the process by which concentration of economic minerals occurs.
Mineral reserve - The economically mineable part of a Measured or Indicated mineral resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study. This study must include adequate information on mining, processing, metallurgical, economic and other relevant factors that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction can be justified. A mineral reserve includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined.
Mineral resource - A concentration or occurrence of natural, solid, inorganic or fossilized organic material in or on the Earth's crust in such form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of a mineral resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge.
Net smelter return (NSR) - A royalty payment made by a producer of metals based on gross metal production from the property, less deduction of certain limited costs including smelting, refining, transportation and insurance costs.
NI 43-101 (National Instrument 43-101) - A set of reporting and disclosure standards imposed by regulators on Canadian listed mining and exploration companies that govern how issuers report scientific and technical information about their mineral projects to the public anywhere in the world. It covers oral statements as well as written documents and websites, and it requires that all disclosure be based on advice by a "qualified person".
Open pit - A mine that is entirely on surface. Also referred to as an open-cut or an open-cast mine.
Ore - A mineral or aggregate of minerals which can be commercially mined at a profit.
Ore body - A natural concentration of valuable material that can be extracted and sold at a profit.
Ore Reserves - The calculated tonnage and grade of mineralization which can be extracted profitably; classified as possible, probable and proven according to the level of confidence that can be placed in the data.
Outcrop - An exposure of rock or mineral deposit that can be seen on surface that is not covered by soil or water.
Overburden - The alluvium and rock that must be removed in order to expose an ore deposit.
Overturned - Where the oldest sedimentary rock beds are lying on top of a younger beds.
Oxidation - A chemical reaction caused by exposure to oxygen that results in a change in the chemical composition of a mineral.
Phenocrysts - A term used to denote a relatively large, conspicuous crystal in a porphyritic rock.
Pitchblende - An important uranium ore mineral. It is black in colour, possesses a characteristic greasy lustre and is highly radioactive.
Placer - A deposit of sand and gravel containing valuable minerals such as gold, tin or diamonds.
ppb - Parts per billion.
ppm - Parts per million.
Pre-feasibility study - A preliminary assessment of the economic viability of a deposit which forms the basis for justifying the completion of a more expensive Feasibility Study. A pre-feasibility study summarizes all geological, engineering, environmental, legal and economic information accumulated to date on the project. The Prefeasibility Study should have error limits of ± 25%.
Pseudomorphs - A mineral whose outward crystal form is that of another mineral; it has developed by alteration, substitution, incrustation or paramorphism.
Primary deposits - Valuable minerals deposited during the original period or periods of mineralization, as opposed to those deposited as a result of alteration or weathering.
Private placement - Sale of shares to individuals or corporations outside the normal market, at a negotiated price. It is often used to raise capital for a junior exploration company.
Prospect - A mining property, the value of which has not been determined by exploration.
Pulp - Pulverized or ground ore in solution.
Qualified Person - A qualified person (QP) is defined in NI 43-101 as an individual who is an engineer or geoscientist with at least five years of experience in mineral exploration, mine development or operation or mineral project assessment, or any combination of these; has experience relevant to the subject matter of the mineral project and the technical report; and is a member in good standing of a professional association.
Quartz - Common rock-forming mineral consisting of silicon and oxygen.
Quartzite - A metamorphic rock formed by the transformation of sandstone by heat and pressure.
Radioactivity - The property of spontaneously emitting alpha, beta or gamma rays by the decay of the nuclei of atoms.
Reconnaissance - A preliminary survey of ground.
Recovery - The percentage of valuable metal in the ore that is recovered by metallurgical treatment.
REE - rare earth elements, a collection of seventeen chemical elements in the periodic table, namely scandium, yttrium, and the fifteen lanthanides, being lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium and lutetium. Scandium and yttrium are considered rare earths since they tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and exhibit similar chemical properties.
REO - rare earth oxide, the molecular compound formed by combination of a rare earth element with oxygen.
Reserve - That part of a resource that can be mined at a profit under current or reasonably anticipated economic conditions which are specified. In addition to the information required for a resource estimate, the technical, operating, legal and financial factors must be considered in a reserve estimate.
Reserve (probable) - Portion of a resource for which economic viability has been demonstrated at a confidence level which would justify a commitment of major expenditures.
Reserve (proven) - Portion of a resource for which technical and economic factors have been established at a high confidence level. The term is generally restricted to that part of a reserve which is being developed or mined, or for which there is a detailed mining plan.
Resource calculation - The mathematical or statistical process of calculating or estimating the amount of material in a mineral deposit, using drill hole information in combination with a variety of geological data. Resources are generally quoted in terms of tonnes of rock present which contain a specified grade of metal(s) e.g., 98 million tonnes at 43% iron.
Rhyolite - A group of extrusive igneous rocks, typically porphyritic and commonly exhibiting flow texture, with phenocrysts of quartz and alkali feldspar in a glassy to cryptocrystalline groundmass.
Rock - Any natural combination of minerals; part of the earth's crust.
Run-of-mine - A term used loosely to describe ore of average grade
Sample - A small portion of rock or a mineral deposit taken so that the metal content can be determined by assaying.
Sampling - Selecting a fractional but representative part of a mineral deposit for analysis.
Scaling - The act of removing loose slabs of rock from the back and walls of an underground opening, usually done with a hand-held scaling bar or with a boom-mounted scaling hammer.
Scintillation counter - An instrument used to detect and measure radioactivity by detecting gamma rays; more sensitive than a Geiger counter.
Scoping Study - The first level of engineering study that is performed on a mineral deposit to determine its economic viability. This is usually performed to determine whether the expense of a full pre-feasibility study and later full feasibility study is warranted. Scoping studies may be completed internally by the company or by independent engineers.
Secondary enrichment - Enrichment of a vein or mineral deposit by minerals that have been taken into solution from one part of the vein or adjacent rocks and re-deposited in another.
Sedimentary - A rock or deposit formed by solid fragmental material that originates from weathering of rocks and is transported or deposited by air, water or ice or that accumulates by other natural agents. Examples are limestone, shale and sandstone.
Seismic prospecting - A geophysical method of prospecting, utilizing knowledge of the speed of reflected sound waves in rock.
Silica - Silicon dioxide. Quartz is a common example.
Siliceous - A rock containing an abundance of quartz.
Silicified - A rock that has original minerals replacement by silica or had silica introduced into the matrix.
Staking - The measuring of an area of ground and marking with stakes or posts to establish and acquire mineral rights.
Stockpile - Broken ore heaped on surface, pending treatment or shipment.
Strip Ratio - The ratio of tons of overburden waste material to tons of ore in an open pit mine.
Talus - A heap of broken, coarse rock found at the base of a cliff or mountain.
Trend - The direction, in the horizontal plane, of a linear geological feature, such as an ore zone, measured from true north.
TREO - total rare earth oxides, being the total amount in ppm or weight per cent of LREO plus HREO.
Uraninite - A uranium mineral with a high uranium oxide content. Frequently found in pegmatite dykes.
Uranium - A radioactive, silvery-white, metallic element.
Vein - A fissure, fault or crack in a rock filled by minerals that have travelled upwards from some deep source.
Volcanic rocks - Igneous rocks formed from magma that has flowed out or has been violently ejected from a volcano.
Wall rocks - Rock units on either side of an ore body: the hanging wall and footwall rocks of an ore body.
Waste - Barren rock or mineralized material that is too low in grade to be economically processed.
Zone - An area of distinct mineralization.
Zone of oxidation - The upper portion of an ore body that has been oxidized.
- Stock Info
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- Analyst's Reports and Media Comments
- About Rare Earth Elements
- About Uranium
- SEDAR Filing
- Risk Factors
- Glossary of Exploration and Technical Terms
|29 May 2012:|
Kirrin Resources Reports Q1 2012 Results...
|16 May 2012:|
Kirrin Resources Announces Change in Independent Directors...