Mineral Resource estimation: recent advances and current best practice Conference 2020

    Published on September 29th, 2020

    CSA Global congratulates Senior Geologist, Greg White on his recently accepted oral presentation by The Geological Society in London. Greg will present on ‘The Ultimate Validation: Production data and the Mineral Resource Estimate’ at the Mineral Resource Estimation: recent advances and current best practice virtual conference on Monday 19 October, 2020.

    The conference aims to provide a forum for mineral resource estimate practitioners and other interested parties to meet and discuss new developments and advances in mineral resource estimation and reporting.

    Mineral resource estimates are fundamentally required to estimate the quantity and grade of potentially economic and mineable mineral occurrences. However, as the world evolves, and adapts to new challenges such as environmental and social issues, more emphasis than ever is placed on the impact of exploration and mining activities throughout the lifecycle of a project.

    The conference will aim to cover:

    • Exploratory Data Analysis: analysis of geoscience data, including databasing, data quality analysis, utilising ‘big data’, and methods of critical evaluation.
    • Geological modelling: methods and processes used for generating 3D models of geological features, including software advances and comparisons, how to integrate ‘big data’ and busting commonly encountered myths.
    • Geostatistics and grade estimation: methods for estimating tonnage and grade/quality of a mineral deposit, including recent software advances, new techniques and comparisons of techniques in different mineralisation types. Reconciliation between estimates and production, to ground truth models.
    • Mineral resource reporting: methods used for generating mineral resource statements, including methods for demonstrating ‘reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction’ (as defined in international reporting codes), including updates/comparisons of CRIRSCO standards, new environmental, social and governance (ESG) requirements and changes to reporting bodies.

    ABSTRACT

    Prior to production on any mine site, a mineral resource is estimated, and this model is used to make important financial decisions and support life of mine planning. Often the resource model is informed by wide-spaced drill data and, depending on the project, a combination of field mapping, geophysics, trenching results and historical reports. But once these mines go into production a significant amount of additional data is generated, featuring much closer spaced drilling (grade control) as well as detailed production mapping as the ore body becomes further exposed. Using these data in combination with the existing dataset can create a wealth of opportunity to enhance confidence in the resource model through integrating a better understanding of both geological and structural controls; but too often, these opportunities are missed.

    It is a requirement of international mining codes (e.g. NI 43-101, JORC, Samrec) that comparisons be made against production data, and this is a critical and valuable validation tool in our arsenal. But how can we use this information to improve our mineral resource estimates? Often grade control models will be reconciled against the resource model on a periodic basis (monthly, quarterly, and annually) to assess the performance of the long-term model against the mill. These observations are an essential indicator of past performance, and the primary focus should be to determine the ability of an operation to deliver on the tonnage, grade and metal estimates in mineral resources/reserves and not just on optimising the production systems and grade control model.

    Having the grade control model and reconciliation data at the core of decision-making during resource estimation is explored through various examples from global projects. Benchmarking MRE volumes using wide-spaced data against GC volumes using close spaced data, as well as integrating geological trends and short scale structures encountered (and better understood) through mining increases the confidence of the estimate. Assuming no material changes in the character of the mineralisation, the ability to assess the MRE model against the past allows the geologist and engineer to better predict the future.

    ABOUT THE PRESENTER


    Greg White
    Senior Geologist

    Greg is a geologist who has worked in an open pit operation in West Africa for five years. Prior to joining CSA Global, Greg worked in mining geology and resource estimation roles. He was part of the senior management team on Liberia’s first commercial gold mine, taking the project from the DFS stage into production. He has previous exposure to grade control in remote and challenging environments. His responsibilities included the mentoring of junior production staff, management of both diamond and RC drilling campaigns, implementation of mine production and reconciliation systems, resource estimation, in-pit mapping, and drone photogrammetry systems. Since joining CSA Global, Greg has been involved in various Mineral Resource estimates, due diligence and fatal flaw reviews, as well as training and on-site support for an open pit (Au-Ag Epithermal) operation in early production.

    ABOUT THE SESSION CHAIR


    Nerys Walters
    Senior Geologist

    A geologist with over fifteen years’ experience, spanning early stage exploration through to mine site production. Nerys’ skills include 3D implicit and explicit modelling of geology and mineralisation using Micromine and Leapfrog Geo software, drill hole planning for grass roots exploration through to near mine development, site reviews for JORC / NI43-101 compliance, lab audits and Mineral Resource Estimation.

    To register for this event, click here.

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