Metrology in Mineral Exploration

APCOM 2009
Ed Merks,
Abstract The objective of metrology in mineral exploration is to derive unbiased confidence limits for masses of metals contained in reserves and resources. Sets of test results for gold and silver determined in pairs of interleaved bulk samples give unbiased confidence limits for the central value of each metal. The same sets of test results show how to verify spatial dependence by applying Fisher’s F-test to the variance of a set and the first variance term of the ordered set. A significant degree of spatial dependence gives a higher degree of precision for the central values of gold and silver. Plotting variance terms of an ordered set against the variance of the set and its lower limits of asymmetric 99% and 95% confidence ranges gives a sampling variogram. Sampling variograms put in plain view where spatial dependence in sampling units or sample spaces dissipates into randomness. The application of statistical methods to test results for sets of ordered core samples within boreholes, and for sets of ordered ore volumes within profiles, plays an important role in defining reserves and resources.
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