Mineral resource estimation is the process of finding out the grade and the ore tonnage of a geological deposit. There are various ways in which this can be done. Different situations and scenarios like grade variability, geological geometry, ore boundaries and of course your deadline and budget will depict which method will be used.
Different Steps of Resource Estimation.
The process starts by creating the database to specific standards and validations. Next a section for testing is plotted off and a model is created and analyzed using mining software.
An orebody model is the basis of the resource estimation, an existing drill hole and its surrounding surface ground is extensively analyzed before the model is created. The model is created using specialised 3D modeling software.
The composites are used to create block models, measured by the grade of ore in the rock. There are 3 different block model estimation methods.
The nearest neighbour method
This method uses sample points on the block, grade values are assigned to the blocks nearest sample result. The results are then used to create a Voronoi Diagram depicting the different grades. There are many benefits of using the neighbour method, it is easy to understand and read and generally quick to produce.
Inverse distance weighting method
This method starts with values that are already known and working from that to evaluate the averages of the sample data collected. The closer to the point of the sample the more it will influence the result. This methods’ calculations are simple, flexible and effective.
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