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Absolute
  A measure having as its zero point or base the complete absence of the entity being measured.
 
Absolute pressure
  The pressure above zero absolute, i.e., the sum of atmospheric and gauge pressure.  In vacuum related work it is usually expressed in millimeters, or inches, of mercury.
 
Acceptance sampling
  A statistical quality control method that seeks to determine the quality of a product by sampling a small portion of it.  It does not assure that 100 percent of the product is acceptable, but reduces the likelihood of acceptance of a defective product.
 
Accumulator
  A container in which fluid (generally nitrogen) is stored under pressure as a source of fluid power.
 
Acid mine drainage
  Acidic run off water from waste dump and mill tailings ponds containing sulphide minerals. Acidity can promote the solubilization of heavy metal contaminants and must be treated before release into the natural environment.
 
Acid mine water
  Natural seepage of moisture through the ground that reacts with iron pyrites which eventually accumulates within a mine as water containing free sulphuric acid.
 
Acid rock drainage
  Acidic run off water from waste dump and mill tailings ponds containing sulphide minerals. Acidity can promote the solubilization of heavy metal contaminants and must be treated before release into the natural environment.
 
Acidic rocks
  Most often refers to an igneous rock carrying a high proportion of silica (>65%).
 
Acre (a)
  A unit of area used in English-speaking countries, equal to 4,840 square yards (0.405 hectares).
 
Active workings
  Areas inside a mine where miners actively work or travel. These areas are well ventilated and undergo continuous safety and health inspections.
 
Actuator
  A device for converting pneumatic or hydraulic energy into mechanical energy.  A motor or cylinder.
 
Adhesive
  A substance capable of holding materials together by surface attachment. It is a general term and includes cements, mucilage, and paste, as well as glue.
 
Adit
  A type of entrance into a hill (mine) which is horizontal or nearly horizontal.
 
Aerial Magnetometer
  An instrument (magnetometer) housed in an aircraft or towed behind it which measures the earth's magnetic field.
 
Aerial Survey
  A survey made from an aircraft with the purpose of taking photographs or measuring magnetic properties, radioactivity, etc.
 
Aeromagnetic Survey
  A geophysical survey method to measure the strength of the earth magnetic field using a magnetometer aboard or towed behind an aircraft.
 
After damp
  The gas resulting from an explosion of coal dust or fire damp in a mine. Nearly always contains dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide.
 
Ag
  Symbol for the element Silver.
 
Agglomeration
  A process used to bind or cement crushed/ground rock particles together into larger pieces like pellets, which are easier to handle.
 
Alloy
  A mixture of two or more pure metals. Creates a metal with new qualities and properties.
 
Alluvial gold
  Small particles (gold dust) or even nuggets, which are usually found on riverbeds or close to the surface when erosion or weathering has exposed deposits.
 
Amalgamation
  The process of extraction alluvial gold using mercury to form an amalgan.
 
Amplifier
  A device for amplifying the error signal sufficiently to cause actuation of the stroke control.  Several types of servo amplifiers are used at the present time: electronic (DC, AC, phase sensitive, and magnetic) and mechanical.
 
Amplitude of sound
  The loudness of a sound.
 
Analog
  A continuous range of numbers or values.
 
ANFO
  Acronym for ammonium nitrate and fuel oil, a mixture used as a blasting agent in many mines.
 
Angle of repose
  The maximum angle measured in degrees at which a granular material retains its slope.
 
Anisotropic
  Exhibiting different properties when measured along different axes.  In general, fibrous materials such as wood are anisotropic.
 
Annular area
  A ring shaped area - often refers to the net effective area of the rod side of a cylinder piston, i.e., the piston area minus the cross-sectional area of the rod.
 
Anode
  A rectangular metal plate used in the electrolytic process of mineral refining.
 
Anomaly
  A departure from normal conditions which could indicate the presence of mineralization in the underlying bedrock.
 
Assay
  The process of testing samples of ores or minerals to determine the amount and purity of valuable metals contained within.
 
Atmospheric pressure
  Pressure exerted by the atmosphere at any specific location.  (Sea level pressure is approximately 14.7 pounds per square inch absolute.)
 
Attrition
  The size reduction or loss of materials through friction and abrasion.
 
Au
  Symbol for the element Gold.
 
Auger
  Rotating screw device used to bore, break and transport the material. Often used in coal mining with horizontal or slightly pitched seams.
 
Autoclave
  Cylindrical vessel used to subject materials to high pressure and temperature. Used at mines using hydrometallurgy mineral processing techniques.
 
Autogenous grinding
  Autogenous grinding involves the use of coarse ore particles as media. The predominant grinding mechanism is attrition (very little grinding is by impact).
 
Automation
  The process of controlling industrial production processes by computers or programmable logic-controllers (PLC) with a minimum of human involvement
 
Axial force
  A push (compression) or pull (tension) acting along the length of a member, expressed in kilonewtons (pounds).
 
Axial stress
  The axial force acting at a point along the length of a member divided by the cross-sectional area of a member, expressed in kilopascals (pounds per square inch).
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