What verb can I use to say that a mine produces ore? The ore is not produced at the mine site, however, so I need a word for describing the whole operation (excavation, processing, etc.).

The operation I want to describe is the following. The ore is excavated and processed to some degree (simple processes to separate valuable minerals from the gangue, comminution) on site.

Is there a verb that describes the generic operation of a mine?

Excavation sounds a bit too specific to me, but as I am a non-native, that might be a wrong impression.

  • 3
    It's not clear what you're asking: of course the ore is produced (= excavated or mined) at the location of the mine, but it may be processed elsewhere. There is no single word that would be automatically understood to encompass both the mining and the processing without additional explanation.
    – Erik Kowal
    May 6, 2014 at 8:58
  • The removal of the ore from its natural position in the earth can be termed mining or extraction. The concentration of the metal components of the ore through melting, fusing, and chemical alteration comes under the general term smelting.
    – Sven Yargs
    May 6, 2014 at 16:49

4 Answers 4


It's a bit unclear what you're asking, but if I were to assume you meant a mine that from which ore is actually being extracted, versus one from which no ore is being extracted, you would use the word "working". I realize that this is not a verb, which is what you're asking for, but I don't think a verb would work in this case.

  • a working mine is a mine from which ore is currently being extracted
  • a non-working mine would normally be referred to as disused.

A number of my ancestors were active in prospecting and mining in Northern California during and after the Gold Rush. When I was 9 years old, my father and mother took me on a trip to visit one of my great uncles who actually had a gold mine on his property, literally in his backyard. But because of the low-price of gold at that time ($35 per ounce) the mine was not worth working, and so it was blocked off -- it was a disused mine.


Consider yield.

to give forth or produce by a natural process or in return for cultivation.

"Utah mine yields ore."


Mining: is a general term used for the operation described.

  • The process or business of extracting ore or minerals from the ground.

A prolific mine yields an abundance of ore.

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