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Glossary

ADIT: A horizontal or nearly horizontal entrance to a mine, otherwise known as a tunnel.
ARRASTRA: A Spanish word for a circular rock-crushing device usually powered by a mule.
ASSAY: Measuring proportion of gold or silver content in ore.
CLAIM: A legal document stating the boundries of a proposed mining excavation.
DREDGE: A mining process by which sand in a river bed or stream is scooped up from the bottom and minerals are extracted.
FLOAT: Fragments of ore that had broken off a main vein to become buried rock outcropping.
HEADFRAME: The vertical apparatus over a mine shaft that has cables to be lowered down the shaft for the raising and lowering of ore and men.
HIGH GRADING: A method perfected by miners for carrying off rich ore from the mines and selling it themselves.
HYDRAULIC MINING: A process of washing ore from its bed with powerfull jets of water.
JUMPING A CLAIM: A method of taking over a good mining claim after it had already been staked out by someone else.
MILL: A building in which rock is crushed in order to extricate minerals. Mills are usually constructed on the side of hills and are gravity fed. This leads to the stairstep foundations one can usually see.
MOTHER LODE: The main or primary deposit or vein of a given mineral.
NUGGET: A lump of native or pure gold found in deposits and placer mines.
PLACER: A waterborne deposit of sand or gravel containing heavier minerals like gold that have been eroded from their original bedrock and concentrated as small particles that can be washed out.
PLATTING: Planning or mapping a townsite.
SHAFT: A vertical or nearly vertical opening into the Earth's surface.
SLUICE: an inclined trough, usually made of wood, for washing gold ore. The flow of the water is regulated by flood gates.
SMELTER: A building or complex in which material is melted to be separated from impurities.
STAMP MILL: A machine that crushes rock by means of a big heavy stamp that falls on the rock.
TAILINGS: Waste or refuse left after milling is complete, sometimes referred to as waste dumps.
WASTE DUMP: Waste rock that comes out of a mine.
WINZE: A shaft sunk from an adit.

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