Learning the right lessons: myths and realities of resource estimates at Busang
The salting scam at Busang offers an opportunity to improve resource estimation practice, but only if the community of resource estimation specialists correctly understands what actually happened. In the 10 years since Busang was exposed as a gigantic fraud, many of the facts of the geology and resource estimation work on the project have become confounded with myths and mistaken assumptions. The blurring of myth and reality makes it harder to extract the right lessons from this failed project and to develop improved practices that might help avoid a repetition of historical mistakes.
This paper takes a look at much of the popular wisdom surrounding resource estimation issues at Busang, separates myth from reality, and points to specific resource estimation procedures and practices that might be improved. It addresses QA/QC of assays, geological modelling, identification of outliers and erratic values, grade interpolation and resource classification, using actual data and documents from the Busang project to explore what was actually done, what warnings signs were missed and how the technical work that was being done during the Busang exploration program might have been improved.
Busang, Outliers, QA/QC, Resource estimates