15101 S. Cheney Spokane Road, Cheney, WA 99004, US

(509) 235-4955

Welcome to Wyoming Mines

Glossary of Terms

Arsenopyrite: A silver-colored metallic mineral composed of arsenic, sulfur, and iron


Breccia: A clastic rock composed of angular, broken rock fragments held together by a finer-grained matrix


Craton: A part of the earth’s crust that has attained stability and has been little deformed for a prolonged period.


Diatreme: A breccia-filled volcanic pipe formed by a gaseous explosion


Galena: A mineral composed of lead and sulfur


g/t: grams per metric tonne (2204 pounds). There are 1 million grams in a metric tonne, thus g/t is the same as ppm (parts per million).


Greenhouse Effect: The process by which radiation from a planet's atmosphere warms the planet's surface.


Hydrothermal Fluids: Hot fluids from within the earth. Typically, those fluids transport minute amounts of metals in solution. If those metals can become concentrated enough, ore deposits may form. 


Igneous: A rock formed by cooling of molten material.


Intrusive: A rock formed by the emplacement of magma.


Kimberlite: An igneous rock from which the majority of diamonds are produced.


Listwanite: A carbonatized and locally silicified rock containing bright green chromium-bearing micas. It is derived from the alteration of serpentine or dolomite. It is commonly associated with gold deposits.


Mafic: An igneous rock composed of one or more dark-colored ferromagnesian minerals.


Magma: Molten rock generated within the earth


Palinspastic Reconstruction: A study that involves the movement of large bodies of rock that have been transported a long distance through faulting back to their original position prior to that faulting. 


Pelitic Gneiss: A metamorphic rock derived from metamorphism of a fine-grained aluminous sedimentary rock. 


PGE: Platinum Group elements. These consist primarily of platinum, palladium, gold, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium, and iridium. Those elements occur together because of their similar chemical characteristics.


Porphyry Deposit: A low-grade, disseminated metallic deposit that is hosted by igneous rocks.


Pyrite: Fools gold, an iron sulfide mineral


Rift: A major break in the earth’s crust, which often releases metal-rich hydrothermal fluids and/or molten rock.


Ruby Silver: A common term for 2 red silver sulfide minerals, proustite and pyrargyrite.


Sphalerite: A zinc-rich sulfide mineral


Stratigraphy: The science and study of stratified rocks.


Sulfide: Any mineral containing a large amount of sulfur combined with various metallic elements.


Ultramafic: An igneous rock composed primarily of mafic minerals.


VMS: Volcanogenic Massive Sulfide, a sulfide mineral occurrence that forms on the seafloor at nearly the same time as the sediments are being deposited.


Xenolith: An exotic rock fragment found within igneous rocks