ESTIMATION OF BULK DENSITY FOR MINERAL RESOURCE REPORTING

World Mining Congress
Mineral resource statements are reported as tonnage and grades. While great care is placed on generating a reliable estimation of grade, the determination of bulk density for resource estimation is often overlooked. Often mineral resource statements are prepared using a simple average value of bulk density. While a simple average estimate of bulk density can be appropriate for some deposit types, an over simplistic estimation of bulk density can result in serious errors in tonnage estimates and consequently to an over or under estimation of metal content. The construction of a reliable bulk density model requires an adequate bulk density database in order to develop a good understanding of the variability of bulk density with grade and geology. A reliable bulk density database is also essential in determining the appropriate modeling technique to minimize the errors in mineral resource statements caused by incorrect bulk density determinations. This paper summarizes bulk density measuring techniques and draws on examples from various deposit types examining the basic principles of bulk density modeling and domain construction for each deposit type. Examples are presented of simple bulk density domains and more complex grade variable bulk density domains with a discussion of best approaches for minimizing errors in density estimation.
Keywords: bulk density; Density; Grade; Estimation; Deposits; Mineral resources; Data; Reports; metals;
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