Ore reserves — the four Cs

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 87, No. 979, 1994

O. Owens and W.P. Armstrong Cominco Exploration, Vancouver, British Columbia

The process of arriving at the size and grade of: (a) a newly-discovered body of mineralization, (b) a potential ore resource, (c) an orebody proposed for mining, or (d) the ore reserves in a mine, requires fundamental geological, and geometrical determinations as well as physical and chemical analyses. This paper outlines geological and geometrical features considered critical, in the authors' experience, in realistic reserve determination. These are discussed under the headings "The Four Cs". They include the Character, type or nature of the mineralization; the Continuity of various types of mineralization in the deposit; various key concerns in the Calculation besides the mathematics; and the Classification section which refers to basic considerations in classifying a mineral estimate. It is suggested that the responsibility for the calculation of a Resource or Reserve should be that of a geologist experienced in the ore type under review. Further, it should be the responsibility of the board of directors of the company owning the deposit to ensure that a sufficiently experienced person is chosen to carry out the process.
Keywords: Ore reserve estimation, Geology, Mineralization.