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Jargon Busting: Mining

Posted by: Fay Solomon

The Mining industry is a sector of the working world that has, buried within its core, a rich centre of initialisms, complex words, and phrases that are often unknown outside of Mining Spheres. Here are ten that are well worth knowing if you're thinking of infiltrating the Mining industry. 

D.S.O. Direct Shipping Ores, also known as natural ores, are often ores containing very high quantities of the composite materials. For example, direct shipping iron ore will often be composed of at least 60% of hematite or magnetite. These ores can be fed directly into iron-making blast furnaces. 

O.E.M. An O.E.M. is an Original Equipment Manufacturer - a company that makes some portion of its business from producing parts and equipment that might be marketed by another manufacturer. Working with an O.E.M. can help mining companies to ensure that the equipment they purchase for their project and their location is bespoke to their needs. In mining, one glove does not fit all sizes.

D.M.R. The Department of Mineral Resources is an often-used name for numerous countries within which mining is conducted. Often, the role of the D.M.R. is to formulate and implement policies that will ensure optimum use of the country's mineral resources. South Africa has a D.M.R., as does the state of North Dakota!

F.I.F.O. Fly-in-fly-out is one of the most commonly found initialisms in the mining industry. Fly-in-fly-out is an employment method for projects based in remote areas. F.I.F.O. involves flying the employee(s) to a site temporarily to fulfil their work contract, rather than the employee having to "up sticks" and relocate their family closer to the project site permanently. The continent of Africa is rich with remote mine sites, and many employees will often be flown in and flown out.  

U/G. A relatively easy one: Underground. Given that many ores and minerals are often beneath the Earth's surface, mines are prone to being constructed underground. The excavation of hard minerals containing metals such as gold, silver, iron, copper, zinc, nickel, tin, and lead can occur underground. The extraction of precious gems and diamonds can involve underground mining techniques, too.

F.F.S. Fatality Free Shifts underscore the importance of ever-evolving health and safety regulations and awareness in and around mines. In a large mine site, a collective million hours of fatality free shifts might only consist of a few months, given the number of people on site. From the gargantuan vehicles to unexpected seismic activity, the dangers of mining are often ever present, and serve to reinforce the need for highly-skilled HSE officers. 

M.A.R.C. Maintenance is a critical component of any project in mining. Poor maintenance of vehicles or equipment can lead to weeks of downtime if replacements must be manufactured and outsourced from hundreds if not thousands of miles away. Companies exist that specialise in Maintenance and Repair Contracts, understanding the importance of keeping a mine's progress on schedule by optimising equipment. 

P.F.S. A Preliminary Feasibility Study is used in due diligence work in order to determine whether or not to proceed with a detailed feasibility study, and to further determine areas within the project that will require more attention. These studies are performed using known unit costs and by also estimating gross dimensions or quantities, once a conceptual or preliminary design of the mine has been completed. 

O/C. Opencast mining, sometimes known as open-pit, is a surface mining technique used to extract rock or minerals from the Earth. Stone-focused opencast mines are generally known as Quarries. Opencast mines will often undertake a detailed rehabilitation process in order to naturalise the land once more. Acid mine drainage and contouring are popular techniques in land rehabilitation. 

E.P.C.M. In mining, Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management is a special form of contracting arrangement for projects. The client will use a contractor who provides management services, often for the whole project, on behalf of the client. The E.P.C.M. contractor is responsible for all design, procurement, and construction work, and ensures the sound and scheduled completion of the project. 

And there you have it! Ten rather unusual mining phrases or initialisms, busted wide open for your convenience!

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