Geostatistical resource estimation for the Poura narrow-vein gold deposit

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 97, No. 1077, 2004

D. Roy, S.D. Butt, P.K. Frempong

A case study for the application of a novel geostatistical technique for resource estimation of a narrow steeply dipping, gold-silver mineralized quartz vein deposit is presented. The technique is novel in two respects. First, mineral grades are kriged directly rather via the accumulation method more often applied to vein deposits and, second, a modified 2D ordinary kriging algorithm is used that allows the calculation of a single grade and variance for irregular shaped blocks of varying sizes. The objective of this investigation was to evaluate the suitability of this novel geostatistical technique for resource estimation of the Poura mine deposit and, if appropriate, to lay a firm foundation for future geostatistical work at the mine. The reserve estimation concentrated on the remnant ore blocks and pillars in both underground and surface workings. The data, which was collected in 2D coordinates with grade and vein thickness values, was first analyzed statistically and used to compute experimental semi-variograms. Appropriate semi- variogram models were fitted and various aspects of the estimation technique were evaluated using cross-validation error analysis, with acceptable results. A block kriging computer program called Krige2D was developed to implement the modified 2D kriging algorithm and calculations. Production data were not available to evaluate the computed block resources, but they were compared with a previous resource data determined using an arithmetic approach. The geostatistical technique estimated slightly higher grades but lower overall tonnages as compared to the earlier arithmetic estimates.
Keywords: Geostatistics, Resource estimation, Semi-variogram modelling, Kriging, Poura mine.