Download our PDF of Gold Mining Terms. adit – a horizontal or nearly horizontal underground passage coming to the surface at one end of a mine. alluvial – of or pertaining to alluvium alluvial soil. alluvium – a deposit of sand, mud, etc., formed by flowing water. assay – to analyze (an ore, alloy, etc.) in order to determine the proportion of gold, silver, or other metal in it.The 8 Stages of the Gold Mining Cycle. Gold mining is uncertain, expensive, competitive, and highly intensive. In 2014, the Minerals Council of Australia broke down the typical mining cycle into eight stages. The most expensive stages are 4, 5, and 6. Generative Stage The process of discovering mineable gold deposits.