Geostatistics has long been used in mining applications for grade control and the assessment of recoverable reserves. Grade control is important because the decisions are final. Long term and medium term estimates are interim as the decision of what is ore and waste could always change; however, the decisions made during grade control are irrevocable.
Early in development there are drillhole data where the samples relate to a very small mass (kilograms), yet the scale of relevance for technical and economic evaluation is quite a bit larger (1000s of tonnes). An important goal is to predict the distribution of uncertainty of selective mining units (SMUs) before any large scale data are available. The SMU size would be chosen carefully considering the mining equipment, the data that will be available at the time of mining, visual control on mining (good visual control means a smaller SMU), mining practice and the nature of the mineralization. A larger SMU size is conservative, that is, the recoverable reserve estimates will have more variability (dilution and lost ore) within the SMU estimated grades. The focus of these lessons is on these, and other, mining applications.
- Checking Continuous Variable Realizations - Mining
- Change of Support and the Volume Variance Relation
- Calculation of High Resolution Data Spacing Models