Optimal control of mining dilution and metal losses requires quality of delineation, estimation and mining practice.

CIM Vancouver 2002
Abstract Optimal control of mining dilution and metal losses requires quality management of delineation, estimation and mining practice.

Stefan Planeta, Departement of Mining, Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Laval University, Québec, QC.
Robert Marchand, Cambior Inc., Val d'Or. Québec.
Marcel Vallée, Géoconseil Marcel Vallée Inc, Québec, QC.
Jacek Paraszczak, Department of Mining , Metallurgical and Material Engineering, Laval University, Québec, QC.


In the past ten years, improvements in pre-blasting control of ore limits and post-mining surveys of stope contours have provided much improved feedback on actual mining limits relative to earlier planning, particular in large stopes. During this period comparative efforts to improve ore delineation and optimise reserve estimation practice have not followed suit, however. In a recent symposium on mining practice in vein deposits, most papers discussed ore dilution and recovery without reference to the geological information network supporting the determination of ore limits nor to the inherent error(s) accompanying such determinations. Particularly in gold and other mineralization accompanied by nugget effects, the total variance of the sampling/ assaying process can seriously handicap ore delineation, with consequences on both dilution and metal recovery factors. Significant variations in the definitions of dilution in various mining operations compound this problem and betray the lack of industry standards. This paper will review past and current definitions of mining dilution and metal losses, in order to propose an integrated nomenclature apt to provide more information and feedback for continuous improvement of delineation, estimation, mining efficiency and profitability. An overview of cost and profit optimization perspectives will also be presented.



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