Carter Jonas
Carter Jonas

Jargon Buster: Minerals

We've put together a guide to some of the minerals industry jargon for your reference.


Crushed rock, sand or gravel used in the construction industry.  There are two sources of aggregates: - primary and secondary.  Primary aggregates are naturally occurring aggregates, derived from in situ sites such as quarries.  Secondary aggregates are derived from waste materials such as demolition waste and concrete.

The treatment and management of land to bring a restored mineral site to the required standard for future use.

Borrow Pit
Mineral working in close proximity to and solely to provide material for a specific and major construction project.  Often located near new road schemes.

Buffer zone
Is mainly an open, undeveloped area, which lies between dwellings and other sensitive developments to protect them from current or proposed mineral workings.

Back breakage
Separation of fragments behind the quarry face.   

An embankment used to screen a site from view, usually formed of natural material such as soil.

Crushed rock
Hard rock, which usually consists of limestone and granite, is crushed and graded for use as an aggregate.

Development plan
A document prepared by a Local Planning Authority to set out policies and proposals for the use of land in its area

Environmental assessment
A method of evaluating the likely environmental effects of a development.  Also an assessment of how adverse effects might be mitigated.

Environmental statement
A document set out by a developer to assess the environmental effects of a proposed project.


An area of land designated to control urban sprawl and protect the open land around and between urban areas.


The science that deals with subsurface waters.

High Specification Aggregates (HSA)
HSA, due to its high skid-resistant properties, tends to be mainly used for road surfacing.

Material occuring within a body of mineral to be removed which is not required / economic, e.g. clay bands within sand and gravel


A stock of permitted reserves remaining to be worked as identified in a Minerals Local Plan.  This is usually expressed in terms of years.

Land-won aggregates

Primary aggregates excluding marine aggregates.

Low-level restoration
The reinstatement of land without the infilling of waste material.

Marine aggregates
Aggregates dredged from the seabed.

Mineral resource areas
Areas where workable mineral deposits are believed to exist.

Mineral reserves
Mineral deposits that have planning permission for extraction.

Minerals Development Framework (MDF)
MDF, in the future, will replace Minerals Local Plans.

Non-operational quarry
This is where a quarry has planning permission to extract minerals but the quarry is not currently in production.

Material, such as subsoil and earth, which needs to be removed before extracting the mineral deposits beneath.

Planning obligation
Enforceable controlled matters, which go beyond the scope of planning conditions.

Progressive restoration
During mineral extraction, a continuous programme of restoration occurs, in order to minimise the area that is disturbed at any one time.

The process, which returns land, used for mineral extraction to an acceptable environmental state.  This process usually includes works before and after extraction, restoration and aftercare.

Economical workable mineral deposit that has been proven.

Section 106 Agreement
This is a legally binding agreement to secure matters in order for a planning application to be rendered acceptable.

Development, which occurs on or near a land-bearing mineral, which will prevent future workings of the potential mineral workings.


minerals reportMinerals Research Report
Minerals & Waste Management Services

Useful Information

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