Dictionary

Alloy

Substance with metallic properties and which is composed of two or more chemical elements of which at least one is a metal.

Anode

Electrode where oxidation takes place, connected during electrolysis to the positive polarity of the current source.

Base metals

The main industrial, non-ferrous metals (excluding precious metals and minor metals) notably copper, lead, zinc, nickel and primary aluminium.

Blast air

Air blown into a furnace to raise the temperature.

Cathode

Electrode where reduction takes places. Connected, during electrolysis, to the negative polarity of the current source.

Charging/blasting

Charging is performed nowadays by a special charging truck that 'manufactures' the explosive on site in the drill hole using several components, in order to improve safety. Electronic fuses are connected to the charges and then detonated via shot-firing cables.

Complex ore

Ore that contains several metals, e.g. copper, zinc, lead, gold and silver.

Concentrate

The product that results from the separation out of the valuable minerals in an ore from those with no economic value.

Drilling

Performed using technically advanced machines and a 3D coordinates system in order to achieve the greatest possible precision. The coordinates mean that the operator knows exactly how to drill to achieve the best possible results.

Electrolysis

Electromechanical process during which a chemical reaction is caused by the application of externally supplied electrical energy. A reduction (e.g. precipitation of metal) occurs at the negative electrode – the cathode, while an oxidation occurs at the positive electrode – the anode.

Exploration

Searching for ore. It could be either in the field or in and in the vicinity of an existing mine. Methods used include geophysical measurements, sampling and drilling.

Flotation

Separation out of different types of mineral by making them float up to the surface as foam, with the aid of air bubbles.

Geophysical measuring

Method of discovering ore deposits by measuring the weight, magnetic field and electrical conductivity of rock types. Examples of the latter include Boliden's own very successful method, EM34.

Grinding

The first stage in the milling process in which the different types of ore are separated out. Boliden uses so-called autogenous grinding, whereby the ore "mills itself" in large grinders, with the larger stones breaking up the smaller ones. Separating out different types of mineral grain, such as zinc and copper, from each other, through grinding is an important step.

Kaldo technology

Process for producing lead and recycling copper and precious metals from electronic scrap.

Leaching

Removal, extraction, of one or more component parts from a solid material through a chemical reaction using a leaching agent added to the extraction liquid.

LME

The London Metal Exchange: the international market where non-ferrous metals are bought and sold. Trading on the LME is used as the basis for the daily pricing of metals worldwide. The LME also maintains warehouse stocks of the metals traded.

Mapping

Description of rock types and outcrop areas of interest from an exploration viewpoint. Performed using source data such as aerial photographs and special maps. The data gathered is saved in databases for subsequent processing and interpretation.

Matte

An intermediate product during the production of copper, comprising a sulphide melt which is then converted into metal through the oxidation of sulphur, using air or oxygen. The matte produced during lead production at Bergsöe is a residual product, primarily comprising iron and sulphur.

Metal ashes

Pulverised slag from metal foundries and brass manufacturers.

Metal prices

In the main, long-term price forecasts are utilised when calculating ore reserves, and are an expression of the anticipated average prices over the forthcoming business cycle.

Metal premium

The price agreed in advance, over and above the LME price, and paid by customers, for specifically adapted metal that is supplied to them.

Mine design

Mine design is an important factor in achieving an optimised mining process. At this stage, the entire system is planned, from production and infrastructure to logistics and ore transport systems. The design is also important in identifying the best and most efficient mining method.

Mineral resources

A mineral resource is a concentration of minerals in the bedrock that may become commercially extractable. Divided into Inferred mineral resources (geology and grade continuity cannot be confirmed and the basic technical data consists of reasonable assumption), Indicated mineral resource (information is too sparse to confirm continuity, but provides, together with geoscientific interpretations, a reasonable idea) and Measured mineral resource (sufficient to confirm geology and grade continuity, permitting mining plans to be drawn up).

Mineral reserves

Mineral reserves are those parts of a mineral resource that can be mined and processed in accordance with the company's demands on profitability. In this context, waste rock dilution, pillar offset and process recoveries, among other things, are taken into account.

Open pit

A method of mining mineral deposits located near the surface which involves stripping the overburden to expose the ore and excavating and transporting the ore on the surface.

Ore losses

Depending on the mining method used, the ore's geometry and other technical factors, some ore may have to be left unextracted. Based on the information available when the calculations were made, all the ore reserve calculations have taken these factors into account.

Oxide

Chemical compound of oxygen and one or more elements.

Precious metals

Rare, high-value metals such as gold, silver, platinum and palladium.

Refining

Process refining or basic purification of different raw materials or products. Refining entails separation processes during which undesirable components are removed from different mixtures, yielding a concentrated or pure product.

Roasting

A high temperature process that converts concentrates into oxides.

Scaling

Important processes in mines used to eliminate the risk of rock falls from walls and roofs. Loose stones are levered out and the rock is then reinforced using long steel bolts and wires set into the wall. The roof is often also sprayed with shotcrete.

Secondary raw materials

Various types of materials from which metals can be recovered, e.g. electronic and other types of scrap metal, metal ashes, slag, dust, and scrap lead batteries.

Slag

A product generated during different types of metallurgical reactions and which primarily comprises oxides.

Smelter and electronic refinery

A plant in which metal raw materials are processed to separate metals from impurities by means of high-temperature reactions and electrochemical processes.

Smelting material

Raw materials for smelters, primarily comprising metal concentrate, but also including scrap, ashes and other recyclable materials.

Treatment and refining charges (TC/RC)

The remuneration received by a smelter for processing smelting material and extracting metals.

Waste rock dilution

Mining usually incurs some waste rock dilution that varies depending on the mining method, the ore's geometry and other geological factors. Waste rock dilution is taken into account in all ore reserve calculations.