Importance of Geological Modelling to Mineral Resources Estimation

CIM Montreal 2015
Jeremy Vincent (Capstone Mining Corp.)
The overall quality of any mineral resources estimate is a function of the following key factors: valid input data; a geological interpretation that appropriately represents lithological, structural, and geometallurgical domains; estimated grades using an appropriate technique that has taken into account the underlying grade distribution, spatial variability/anisotropy and volume-variance relationships; and a resource classification strategy that fully takes into account uncertainty with respect to each of the aforementioned factors.

Tantamount to high-quality input data is the geological interpretation, which has traditionally represented the bulk of the effort and time put into a mineral resources estimate. The advent of implicit modelling techniques over the past decade has vastly reduced the time cost attributed to this phase of the work, however, caution must be exercised not to give in to the temptation of skipping ahead to other phases of the work without first subjecting it to thorough validation tests. The remaining work to refine domaining and to understand spatial relationships and anisotropy are made much simpler with a robust geological model. Failure to properly represent geology may lead to inaccurate estimations of tonnage and contained metal, which could subsequently lead to inappropriate financial evaluations that put the company and its investors at undue risk.
Keywords: resources, modelling, estimation, classification
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