Practical issues of geostatistical reserve estimation in the mining industry

CIM Bulletin, Vol. 88, No. 993, 1995

Guocheng Pan, Independence Mining Company, Englewood, Colorado, United States

Geostatistics has been widely accepted as a standard tool for reserve estimation and mine planning. Kriging has been adopted as the best estimator of grade. Although many discussions have been conducted in the use ofkriging in the mining industry, insufficient attention has been given to solutions for over-smoothing. This effect has been frequently encountered in many mines. The so-called over-smearing refers to two facts: (1) over-reduction of grade variabilities and (2) over-estimation of low-grade ore tonnages. This study attempts to link over-smoothing effects with several other practical aspects in kriging. These include the weight independence of data values, variogram modeling, and search strategy used in estimation. All solutions recommended here are suited for precious metal deposits (e.g. gold) in open-pit mining.
Mots Clés: Reserve estimation, Kriging, Variogram modeling, Search architecture, Smearing.