Geostatistical Case Studies

Ge0 statistical
Case Studies

edited by

G. MATHERON
and

M. ARMSTRONG
Centre de Geostatistique,
Fontainebleau, France

D. Reidel Publishing Company
A MEMBER OF THE KLUWER ACADEMIC PUBLISHERS GROUP

Dordrecht / Boston / Lancaster / Tokyo
Library of Congress Cataloging in Publi cation Da ta

Geostatistieal case studies.

(Quantitative geology and geosta tisti cs)
Includ es index.
\. Mines and mineral resources-Statistical methods. 2. Geology-
Statistical methods. Matheron , G. (Geo rges) II. Armstrong, M..
1950- Ill. Series_
TN153.G46 1987 662'.1 86-31518
ISBN - 13: 978-94-010-8018-7 e-ISBN :978-94-009-3383-5
001: 10.1007/9 78-94-009-3383-5

Published by D. Reide l Publishing Company,
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All Rights Reserved
© 1987 by D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht, Holland
Softcover reprint ofthe hardcover 1st edition 1987
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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface Vll

J. RIVOIRARD / Computing Variograms on Uranium Data 1

P. CHAUVET / The Comparison Between the Gamma Logs and the Grades
in the Estimation of a Uranium Deposit 23

P. A. DOWD and D. W. MILTON / Geostatistical Estimation of a Section of
the Perseverance Nickel Deposit 39

G. CAPELLO, M. GUARASCIO, A. LIBERTA, L. SALVATO, and G. SANNA /
Multipurpose Geostatistical Modelling of a Bauxite Ore body in
Sardinia 69

L. MOINARD / Application of Kriging to the Mapping of a Reef from
Wireline Logs and Seismic Data; A Case History 93

A. GALLI and G. MEUNIER / Study of a Gas Reservoir Using the External
Drift Method 105

CH. KA VOURINOS / The Grade-Tonnage Curves for a Zinc Mine in France 121

A. ZAUPA REMACRE / Conditioning by the Panel Grade for Recovery
Estimation of Non-Homogeneous Orebodies 135

D. GUIBAL / Recoverable Reserves Estimation at an Australian Gold
Project 149

H. SANS and J. R. BLAISE / Comparing Estimated Uranium Grades with
Production Figures 169

C. DEMANGE, CH. LAJAUNIE, CH. LANTUEJOUL, and 1. RIVOIRARD /
Global Recoverable Reserves: Testing Various Changes of
Support Models on Uranium Data 187

L. DE CHAMBURJ;, CH. DE FOUQUET, and H. FRAISSE / Calculating Ore
Reserves Subject to Mining Constraints, for a Uranium Deposit 209

Index 247
PREFACE

It is now nearly 25 years since the first textbook on
geostatistics ("Traitj de gjostatistique appliquje" by
G. Matheron) appeared in print in 1962. In that time geostatis-
tics has grown from an arcane theory regarded with scepticism by
statisticians and miners alike, to a reputable scientific disci-
pline which is routinely used in the geosciences. In the mining
industry, in particularly, comparisons between predicted reserve
estimates and actual production figures have proved its worth.
Few now doubt its usefulness as a statistical tool in the earth
sciences.

Over the past quarter of a century, many geostatistical
case studies have been published but the vast majority of these
are routine applications of kriging. Our objective with this
volume is to present a series of innovative applications of
geostatistics. These range from a careful variographic analysis
on uranium data, through detailed studies on geologically complex
deposits right up to the latest nonlinear methods applied to
deposits with highly skew data distributions. Applications of new
techniques such as the external drift method for combining well
data with seismic information have also been included.

Throughout the volume the accent has been put on how to
apply geostatistics in practice. Notation has been kept to a
mininmum and mathematical details have been relegated to annexes.
We hope that this will encourage readers to put the more sophis-
ticated techniques into practice in their own fields.

G. MATHERON
M. ARMSTRONG
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA

Jacques RIVOIRARD

Centre de Geostatistique
ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE DES MINES DE PARIS
35 rue Saint-Honorf, 77305 FONTAINEBLEAU, France

ABSTRACT

The objective of this paper is to show how well known the
structure is for a particular uranium deposit. After presenting
the average vertical variogram for all the holes, some of the
individual variograms will be studied and we will show the
influence of a few very rich holes on the overall variogram. This
turns out to be poorly defined. The first order variogram, which
also has been considered, is curiously similar to the usual
variogram, whereas the structure of the translated logarithm
proves to be better known.

1. PRELIMINARY REMARKS ON COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS

Determining the geostatistical structure is often a difficult
task. Basically the objective is to estimate the spatial
integral:

",((h) 1
2l sns _h l Sns
J [z(x+h) - z(x)]2 dx

-h
where z(x) is the regionalised variable, S is its field (or a
part of its field that is supposed to be homogeneous), and S-h is
the field translated by -h.

With a regular grid of measurements, the experimental variogram
is just a discretised approximation of this integral. When no

G. Matheron and M. Arm5lrong (eds.), Geostatis/ira! Case Studies, 1-22.
© ! <)87 by D . Reidel F/lb/islr il/g Olll,,<l" ),.
2 J. RIVOIRARD

regular grid exists, estimating the structure may be hasardous.
But even in the most favourable cases (e.g. variograms along
drillholes), computing the structure is not always easy, and it
can be useful to appreciate how well known the structure is. For
example, when holes in several directions are available, the
differences between directional variograms can be due to
anisotropy (independently from different levels of variability,
due to a proportional effect); but they can also be accidental, f
the structure are badly known.

The objective of this paper is to show how well known the
structure is for a particular uranium deposit. After presenting
the average vertical variogram for all the holes, some of the
individual variograms will be studied and we will show the
influence of a few very rich holes on the overall mean variogram.
The variogram obtained after taking translated logarithms and the
first order variogram will also be considered.

2. THE CASE-STUDY

The data come from a regular grid of 37 uncorrelated vertical
holes, drilled in a part of a stockwerk uranium deposit. Each
hole intersects a small but variable number of randomly oriented
mineralised veins (fig. 1). As there is no correlation between
veins from neighbouring holes, the veins cannot be studied
individually. At this stage, this orebody has to be estimated as
a massive deposit which will be mined in a selective way.

The variable under study is the average radiometric grade of each
1.5m sample (in order to preserve confidentiality these values
have been multiplied by an arbitrary coefficient). The mean m is
1.10, while the variance a 2 is 12.78, and so the ratio aIm is
3.25 (This is independent of the confidentiality coefficient).
The histogram is very skew (fig. 2). The waste passes represent
62% of the total length of the holes. The distribution can not be
considered as lognormal, for a test of lognormality would only
concern 38\ of the values. It is important to note that the
radiometry values for waste passes are subject to errors. They
are all low but differences between the values are not
significant.

3. THE AVERAGE VARIOGRAM AND THE VARIANCES

The average variogram looks quite good (fig. 3). It increases for
the first 8 lags (up to 12 meters); then it reaches a sill which
drops down slowly a bit further on. Then, at about 45 meters, it
drops suddenly indicating that both ends of the holes are
relatively poor.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 3

This variogram is the average of all the individual vertical
variograms. For each hole the average value of 1/2 {z . -z.)2 for
all pairs (z. ,z.) of data [i.e. the average of all the 1 pofnts of
the variogra~, J zero lag included, weighted by the number of
pairs] is equal to the sample variance of this hole. So the
influence of a given hole on the average variogram depends
directly on its variance (and on the number of data, of course,
but this is constant in our case).

As can be seen on the scatter diagram (fig. 4), the variance of a
hole is roughly related to its mean grade. But above all this
figure shows the extreme diversity of the variance values.
Twenty-one values are quite small (less than 3), three are
enormous (147, 69 and 61), some others are still important (18.6,
15.1,14.4, 12.8, 10.6).

The lack of robustness of the variance to "outliers" is well
known. In this case the variance drops from 12.78 to 7.54 (and
then 5.57, 3.90 and 1.88) as the most variable hole (or the most
variable 2, 3 or 8 holes respectively) are removed. This shows
how imprecisely the sample variance (and hence the sill of the
variogram) is known.

In the same way, the holes with the highest variance have a very
great influence on the average variogram. For example, except for
the value of the sill, the average variogram of the 8 most
variable holes is identical to the overall average vertical
variogram (fig. 5).

It is therefore very instructive to look at the individual
structure of each of these eight holes (it is important to note
that their spatial location is not preferential). For the rest of
the article the drillholes have been numbered in decreasing order
of variability.

4. THE INDIVIDUAL VARIOGRAMS OF THE 8 HOLES

The behaviour of some of the individual variograms such as No 3
(fig. 6) is typical. This hole contains one very large value
(50.4) located ten 1.5m lags from the top and 31 lags from the
bottom (see the sample values in the Appendix). Clearly, for the
first 10 points of the variogram, this extreme value is present
in 2 pairs, whereas, from the 11th to 31st points, it occurs in
only one pair, which explains the sudden decrease in the
variogram between the 10th and 11th points, and also between the
31st and 32nd.

It is easy ,to see that, if the n = 42 samples of the hole were
equal to 0.1, except the 11th which were equal to 50.4, the
4 J. RIVOIRARD

variogram (fig. 7) would be:
- hyperbolic l(h) = (50.4 - 0.1)2 /(n-h) for the first 10 lags,
- then, after dropping to half its initial value, it would be
hyperbolic again l(h) = (50.4 - 0.1)2 /2(n-h) the next 22 lags,
before dropping to zero.
So the distances of the sudden drops (as well as the rate of
increases) depend on the position of these values relative to the
ends of the hole.

Drillholes Nos 6 and 2, which contain some following large
values, surrounded by much lower values, have the same general
shape (fig. 8 and 9) . But also, the succession of these large
values is responsible for the continuity given by the first
points of the variogram.

Hole No 8 is very interesting (fig. 10). There are 2 rich
samples, 17.9 and 11.8, 3 lags apart. In addition to the drops
caused by the disappearance of these values, the variogram shows
a hole effect at the 3rd lag, where the difference between the 2
high values (17.9 - 11.8) reduces their enormous influence on the
variogram. Holes Nos 7 and 5 show the same type of behaviour for
similar reasons (hole effects at the 11th lag on fig. 11, and
from the 2nd to the 4th lags on fig. 12). The sudden drop seen in
fig. 13 for hole No 4 is also due to the position of the maximum
value 25.46. The hole effects at the 24th and 10th lags are due
to differences between relatively large values (25.46 - 9.57, and
then 9.57 - 5.00 and 6.67 - 4.54 respectively).

Lastly, hole No 1 (fig. 14) contains a lot of rich samples. Its
structure is rather complex. Nevertheless, both of the most
sudden drops are due to the disappearance of the value 57.94 from
the pairs. Each of these drops is followed by several decreases
due to the rich neighbouring samples. The hole effect at the 4th
lag is due to the difference 57.94 - 42.79.

5. COMPOSITION OF THE AVERAGE STRUCTURE

Except for the value of the sill (and of the variance), we have
seen that the structure is due to the most variable holes. It is
most surpr1s1ng to see that, in spite of the chaotic individual
variograms (increases interrupted by sudden drops, and hole
effects) the average variogram has a reasonably well defined sill
with a range of about 8 lags.

Of course the most variable hole has the dominant role in the
average variogram. It is responsible for the anomally at the 4th
lag (due to a hole effect): see fig. 3 and 14. If this hole is
removed, the variogram still shows a reasonable degree of
COMPUTING V ARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 5

continuity, which is mainly due to hole No 2 (see fig. 9, 15 and
16) .

The sudden drop for large values of h is still evident, even
after the three most variable holes have been removed. This is
because the extremities of the holes are relatively poor. But
this decrease disappears after the 8 most variable holes have
been removed (fig. 18). So the extremities are not without
mineralisation (in which case they should have been eliminated),
but this is not as rich as in the 8 holes.

6. INFLUENCE OF THE RICHEST SAMPLES AND HOLES

In cases like this it is the richest samples that can make an
orebody payable. As they are not preferentialy located, removing
the extreme values because they would perturb the variogram could
be dangerous because the residual structure is likely to be
meaningless.

But the influence of a few holes can be so high, that a real
knowledge of the structure can be based only on their stability.
This is the only way to interpret the evolution of the average
variogram, as the richest holes are removed. We have seen that it
is not very stable. The most stable element is undoubtly the
permanence of a sill between the 10th and 30th lags.

This shows how instable second order statistics such as the
variogram and the variance, are. It suggests testing other
related estimators of spatial structure, for instance the first
order variogram:

'( 1 (h) = - - -
2!SOS_h!
J ! z (x+h) - z (x)! dx
SoS
-h
Unfortunately this turns out to be just as unstable as the
ordinary variogram, and the similarity is so high that the ratio
of these two variograms is nearly constant (fig. 19). This result
is very interesting, for it is a good indication for the mosaic
model (Matheron, 1984), which effectively can give excellent
results for grades distributions in cases like this (Lantuejoul
and al., 1986).

Another way to reduce the influence of the high values without
eliminating them is to take logarithms. Care has then to be taken
not to amplify small differences between low values, which a
gaussian anamorphosis would also do. This danger can be avoided
with the translated logarithm: log(n+z), the translation constant
6 J. RIVOIRARD

a depending roughly on the size order of the values (for instance
their mean m). Here m equals 1.10, and so 10g(1+z) has been
taken. We do not intend to assume that the data are lognormally
distributed; we merely use the lognormal transformation to
highlight the structure of the variogram.

The individual variograms of the logs do not show a better
structure, but they are smoother (compare fig. 14 and 20, 9 and
21 , 6 and 22). The average structure of logs is more stable than
that of the raw variables: fig. 23 to 28.

7. CONCLUSION
The average structure of the raw variable was computed on 37
vertical holes, each 42 x 1.5 = 63 meters long. It appears to be
poorly defined. It is easy to imagine the errors that can be made
(specially on possible anisotropies) when comparing for instance
this structure to the one deduced from some horizontal holes.

The structure of the translated log is more stable, and thus
better known. But this still does not enable us to come back to
the raw structure (which would require strong hypotheses
concerning the bivariate distributions). The point of using logs
is that, in deposits like this, the variations of the logarithms
of the grades are usually more significant on average than for
the raw variable. So variograms of the logs can be used to make
comparisons of structure and then to evaluate anisotropies.
Although non linear transformations can be useful for
understanding the structure of such deposits, the classical
variogram, estimated by one or another way, is still needed to
compute the dispersion variances of selection supports.

REFERENCES

Lantuejoul Ch., Lajaunie Ch. and Rivoirard J. (1986). Global
recoverable reserves: comparing various changes of support on
uranium data. Reidel ed.

Matheron G. (1984). Changement de support en modele mosaique,
Sciences de la Terre, No 20, Nov. 1984.
COMPUTING V ARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 7

o

-10

-40

5 10 15 20 25

Fig. 1 Radiometric grades down a drillhole.
8 1. RIVOIRARD

1.0

0.9

0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.1I

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0. 5. 10. 15. 20.

Fig. 2 Inverse cumulative histogram, or proportion of
values above a cut-off.

ALL

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 3 Average variogram.
COMPUTING V ARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM OAT A 9

150 variance

1 1 1
4 1
B 7 5 3 mean
o 0.5

Fig. 4 Scatter diagram: variance and mean of the samples for
each hole.

8+

60.0

50.0

'!0.0

30.0

20.0

10.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 5 Variogram of holes Nos 1 to 8.
10 J. RIVOIRARD

3

100.

75.0

50.0

25.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 6 Variogram for hole No 3 .

1I

100.

75.0

50.0

25.0

0.0
0.0

Fig.- 7 Variogram of a hole containing a single rich
value.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 11

6

25.0

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 8 Variogram for hole No 6.

2

125.0

100.

75.0

50.0

25.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 9 Variogram for hole No 2.
12 J. RIVOIRARD

8

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 10 Variograrn for hole No 8.

7

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 11 Variograrn for hole No 7.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 13

5

30.0

20.0

10.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 12 Variogram for hole No 5.

l,I0.0

30.0

20.0 ! ----------

10.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 13 Variogram for hole No 4.
14 J. RIVOIRARD

200.

150.

100.

50.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 14 Variogram for hole No 1.

-1

9.0

8.0

7.0

6.0

5.0

lI.0

3.0

2.0

1.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 15 Variogram for all holes except No 1.
COMPUTING V ARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 15

-2

7.0

6.0

5.0

1.1.0

3.0

2.0

1.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 16 Variogram for all holes except Nos 1 and 2.

-3

1.1.0

3.0

2.0

1.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 17 Variogram for all holes except Nos 1 to 3.
16 1. RIVOIRARD

-8

2.5

2.B

1.5

1. B

B.5

B.B
B.B

Fig. 18 Variogram for all holes except Nos 1 to 8.

1-0RO

1. B

B.9
B.8
B.7
B.6
B.5
B.~

B.3
B.2
B.l

B.0
0.B

Fig. 19a Average first-order variogram.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM OAT A 17

2/1-0RD

15.0

5.0

0.0
0.0

Fig. 19b Ratio between 2nd and 1st order variograms.

lL

2.0

1.5

1.0

0.5

0.0
0.0

Fig. 20 Hole No 1: variogram for the translated logs.
18 1. RIVOIRARD

2L

1.5

1.9

9.5

9.9
9.0

Fig. 21 Hole No 2: variogram for the translated logs.

3L

0.9

0.B

0.7

9.6

0.5

0.Q

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.9
9.0

Fig. 22 Hole No 3: variogram for the translated logs.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 19

0.04 variance

2 1

1 1

11
2 1
1 1
11
lneBin
o 0.3

Fig . 23 Scatter diagram: variance and mean of the
translated logs of the samples for each hole .

ALL L

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0.0

Fig. 24 Average variogram of the translated logs for
all 37 holes.
20 J. RIVOJRARD

-lL

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0.0

Fig. 25 Variogram of the translated logs for all holes
except No 1.

-2L

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0.0

Fig. 26 Variogram of the translated logs for all holes
except ~os 1 and 2.
COMPUTING VARIOGRAMS ON URANIUM DATA 21

-3L

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0.0

Fig. 27 Variogram of the translated logs for all holes
except Nos 1 to 3.

-8L

0.20

0.15

0.10

0.05

Fig. 28 Variogram of the translated logs for all holes
except Nos 1 to 8.
22 J. RIVOIRARD

APPENDIX: Sample values of holes Nos 1 to 8.

No 1 No 3 No 4 No 5 No 6 No -; :'10 8
0 . 79 0 . 09 CJ .1 0 0 . 62 1. 13 0 . 08 (3 . 12 0. 1 6
0.19 0 . 09 0 . 94 0 . 52 1 . 32 0 . 08 0 . 12 0 . 16
0.51 0 . 09 0 . 10 0 . 27 2.13 0 . 08 1 .5;:> O. 16
0 . 56 0 . 83 0 . 53 0.35 2.82 0 . 08 0 . 62 0. 18
1 .26 0.16 0 . 10 0.28 0.62 0 . 08 0 . 12 0.42
1.14 0 . 09 0 . 10 0.30 2 . 35 0 . 08 0 . 12 0 . 16
2 . 47 0.09 0 . 97 5 . 46 19 . 17 0 . 08 0 . 12 0 . 16
5 . 86 0 . 82 0 . 56 25 . 46 1 . 81 0.08 0.12 0 . 45
26 . 89 1.14 3 . 16 0. 15 9 . 06 0 . 08 O. 12 0 . 16
24 . 07 6 . 52 5 . 41 0 . 15 10 . 98 0 . 08 0 . 12 0 . 16
20 . 59 0.24 50 . 43 0 . 15 12.05 0 . 08 0.12 0 . 16
10 . 30 0.09 1 1. 1 -; 0 . 15 3 . 66 2 . 10 0 . 12 0 . 16
5 . 31 0.20 0 . 23 0.88 6 . 76 0.98 0.12 0 . 16
57.94 0.09 0 . 20 0 . 99 3 . 37 3 . 53 0 . 12 0 . 16
26 . 04 0 . 09 0.33 0 . 15 0 . 23 9 . 63 0 . 12 0. 16
22 . 34 1 .82 0 . 10 0 . 56 1 . 74 20 . 33 0 .1 2 0. 16
11 . 52 0.09 0.19 0 . 53 0.21 12 . 1 1 0. 12 0. 16
42 . 79 0 . 09 0 . 22 4.51 0.17 4 . 17 0. 12 0. 16
1 . 50 18.07 0 . 20 0 . 15 2.57 1 . 25 0 . 12 2. 17
9 .. 89 38.72 1 . 14 0. 1 5 2 . 68 0.08 0 . 12 0 . 23
2 . 33 27 . 93 1. 04 0 . 15 0 . 92 0 . 69 0 . 94 0 . 16
0 . 67 23.93 0 . 10 5 . 00 1. 94 0.08 5 . 60 0. 16
1 .4 8 5 . 81 0 . 10 4 . 54 0 . 17 0 . 08 0.82 0 . 16
0 . 15 0.65 0 . 10 1 . 64 0. 17 0 . 19 l. 40 0 . 16
0 . 42 0 . 09 0 . 10 0 . 15 0 . 17 0.08 6 . 77 0.26
0 . 82 0 . 09 0 . 10 0 .1 5 0 . 17 0 . 20 18 . 26 3 . 36
1 .4 8 0 . 09 0 .1 0 0 . 15 0 . 17 0.30 11.14 1 . 43
4 . 72 0.09 0 . 10 0 . 15 0.17 0 . 56 4 . 82 5 . 00
6 . 57 0 . 09 0. 10 0 . 15 0 . 17 0 . 69 3 . 98 17 . 8 8
3 . 31 0 . 09 0 . 10 0 . 15 0 . 17 0 . 08 l. 67 1 .79
4 . 13 l. 4 3 0 . 25 3 . 04 0 . 17 0 . 08 l. 42 l. 3 6
1 1 .31 0. 3 2 0 . 10 9. 57 0 .1 7 0 . 08 0 . 23 1 1. 8 4
12 .4 8 0 .0 9 0 . 10 6.67 0 .1 7 0 .0 8 l. 61 1. 7 3
7 . 68 5 . 19 0 . 10 5.95 0 . 17 0 . 08 1. 5 8 0 . 23
12 . 17 l. 74 0. 10 0 . 96 0. 17 0 . 08 l. 96 0 . 53
0 . 59 0 . 09 0 . 10 5 . 66 0.17 0 . 08 3 . 72 0. 16
0 . 15 l. 52 0 . 57 0 . 58 0 .1 7 0 . 08 9. 16 0 . 16
l. 0 4 12 . 2 0 0 . 55 0 . 15 0. 17 0 . 08 3 . 09 0. 1 6
1 . 05 2 . 19 0 . 10 0. 15 0 . 17 0 .08 0 . 49 0. 1 6
1 . 73 1. 28 0 . 10 0 . 15 0.17 0 . 08 0 . 12 0 . 16
1.98 0.2 1 0 . 96 O. 15 0 . 17 0 . 08 0 .1 2 0 . 16
3 . 54 0 . 09 1. 08 0 . 59 0. 17 0 . 71 0 . 12 0 . 16
THE COMPARISON BETWEEN THE GAMMA LOGS AND THE GRADES IN THE
ESTIMATION OF A URANIUM DEPOSIT

Pierre CHAUVET

Centre de Geostatistique, ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE
DES MINES DE PARIS, 35 rue Saint-Honore,
77305 FONTAINEBLEAU, France.

ABSTRACT

This case-study presents two independent estimates of the grades
and the gamma logs for a uranium deposit. The grade-gamma log
scatter diagram for the samples is compared to that obtained for
the kriged block estimates. This example shows the importance of
a quantity which has no physical meaning: the kriged block
average of the gamma logs. Even though the conditions in this
study are exceptionally favourable, it was not possible to
establish a general rule as to when to perform the gamma log-
grade transformation.

1. INTRODUCTION

During one particular case-study on a sedimentary uranium deposit
where an unusually high proportion of drillholes had been
chemically analysed as well as gamma logged, we were able to
study the gamma log to grade transformation. Our aim here is to
present a few observations made during the study. The emphasis
will be placed on answering two questions which are not
unrelated:

- At which stage in a geostatistical case-study should the
transformation be made?

- How is the 'correlation between the gamma logs and the grades
affected by the size of the support and by kriging?
23

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 23-37.
© l <Nil by D . Reidel Publishillg Compa"y.
24 P.CHAUVET

It lS important to note that the conditions for the study are
exceptionally good. All of the drillholes had been at least
partially chemically analysed. So the conditions for recons-
tituting the grades of samples not chemically analysed, from
their gamma logs were very favourable. For example, it was
possible to respect the local statistics (the drillhole
averages). It is clear that it will be difficult to apply the
remarks made here to other cases where the percentage of
drillholes cored and analysed is much lower.

2. THE STEPS OF THE STUDY

2.1. Available data

We have approximately 1 600 samples of one metre gamma log
measures. Among these 1 600 samples, about 500 were chemically
analysed and so it is possible to calculate the gamma log-grade
correlation. As always happens in such cases, these analysed
samples correspond to the supposedly rich areas, and the bias in
the correlation may be quite important.

2.2. Reconstructing the missing grades

One aproach is to assign a grade value to the non-analysed
samples, by means of a correlation curve. These reconstructed
values will later on serve as the basis for a grade estimation,
where the radio gamma logs are then disregarded.

2.3. Two parallel estimations

The gamma logs and the grades can then be kriged independently at
the same time. The geometric conditions are exactly the same. The
initial gamma log values are real measures, but the final result
(kriged gamma logs for blocks) has no physical meaning. In
contrast to this, the mean grade value estimated over a block has
a physical meaning, but the initial values used in kriging are
the result of a preliminary mathematical manipulation.

2.4. Gamma log-grade correlation for kriged blocks

Afterwards, the elementary statistics and the gamma log-grade
correlation over kriged blocks can be compared with the
corresponding results obtained on one metre samples. The
differences observed are due to both the change of support
(passing from metric variables to much larger blocks) and the
smoothing caused by the estimation process (kriging).
ON THE ESTIMATION OF A URANIUM DEPOSIT 25

3. RECONSTRUCTION OF VALUES

3.1. Problem raised

We can choose to transform the sample gamma log values into grade
values from the outset. The advantage of this lies in that all
along the study, we work on variables (grades) with a clear
physical meaning. But the obvious disadvantage is that, should
the transformation be unsatisfactory, the study must be done all
over again.

3.2. Elementary statistics

Because they have a very strong zero effect and a very long
distribution tail, the histograms of the sampled variables are
difficult to present graphically. Hence we can only summarize
statistics through the respective means and variances of the
1 600 gamma logged samples, the 500 analysed samples, and the 500
grade samples. We obtain:

m 0 2 o 1m

Total gamma log (1 600) 1 700 9.10 180%
Gamma log analysed (500) 3 500 12.10 100%
Grades (500) 2.91 13.00 125%

TABLE 1. Means and variances of data.

One drawback for the reconstruction is immediately noticeable:
the sub-population available for the regression reconstruction is
statistically different (bi-modal) from the population to be used
for the gamma log estimation.

Second problem: although the correlation coefficient is 0.87, the
gamma log scatter diagram (Figure 1) is barely usable. It is
rather diffuse, and above all it shows a concavity towards the
high grade values.

A linear regression seems both unstable and unsuitable. Using
such a method is hazardous, since we want to reconstruct 1 100
samples (70% of the total number), mostly low values, for which
the scatter diagram of Figure 1 will have to be extrapolated
toward these low values.
26 P.CHAUVET

In fact, the calculation of this regression applied to the whole
1 600 radioactivity samples led to a high percentage (46%) of
reconstructed negative grades. This method - which draws the
attention to the drawbacks of the sampling method - cannot be
used here. Even if the unsatisfactory values are low, and
therefore economically negligible, the future grade structural
analysis is entirely biased: kriging, and all the more,
conditional simulation, could not be properly performed.

3.3. Taking the logarithms

This operation, common in uranium processing, should not deceive
anyone: the sampling problems described above still remain.
Moreover, nothing justifies the systematic application of the
theoretical formulae derived for the lognormal in this case. In
fact, the histograms of the logarithms are not normally
distributed for either the gamma logs or for the grades. The
correlation coefficient (0,83) of the logarithmic scatter diagram
(Figure 2) is no better than before. However, although still
diffuse, this looks more linear than on Figure 1. Besides, after
examining the data, all samples with low grades and low gamma
logs located at the bottom of the figure can be regarded as
meaningless.

Least square fitting led to a regression line with slope 1.10.
The fact that this value is higher than 1 ensures that the
concavity on Figure will be taken into account. The recons-
truction formula of the value of a one metre sample was:

Log C =c + 1.10 (Log R - r)
where C is the reconstructed value
R is the gamma log of the sample considered
C and r are the respective means of the grades
and gamma logs available on the analysed
samples.

The extremely favourable conditions of this study obviously make
it possible to assess a value for c and r on each drillhole. Thus
the logarithmic mean is locally preserved (i.e. for each drill-
hole). The process ends by scaling the values drillhole by drill-
hole, so that the mean value (algebraic this time) is locally
reconstructed.

The same reconstructed values will be analysed structurally and
kriged. The criticisms made in Section 3.2. also apply here, but
this time we can be sure that no reconstructed value will be
negative. These values have a mean at 1.35, a variance of 7, and
a relative standard variation of 195%. It is difficult to show
their ~ histograms for the reasons described in the previous
section. The respective histograms of the gamma logs and the
ON THE ESTIMATION OF A URANIUM DEPOSIT 27

reconstructed values for the whole 1 600 samples are given on
Figures 3 and 4.

It can be noted that, even in logarithms, these histograms are
bimodal. It is then obvious that modelling the distributions is
hazardous. One might wonder whether this bimodality is an
artefact due to the transformation process where the values are
concerned. The high value population is almost exclusively
composed of reconstructed values. But, since this bimodality
appears even· more clearly on the 1 600 gamma log values, it must
be concluded that it is a fundamental property of the deposit.
This draws our attention all the more to the sampling problems.
In this study, the gamma log-grade transformation formula has
been used, in more than two thirds of the cases, in extrapolation
towards the low values.

4. PARALLEL ESTIMATIONS

4.1. Preliminary remarks

Because of the existence of two populations with different
statistical characteristics, more care has to be taken in
structural analysis and kriging. In the example studied here,
these two populations appear to be mixed in space, so we cannot
separate them and work only on the high values, since this would
cause the geometry of the domain under study to become chaotic,
and would generate unacceptable border effects.

Of course, the spatial structure of the low-value reconstructed
grades cannot be expected to be very accurate, since these values
result from an extrapolation process. If we do not want the low
values to have too strong an influence on the structural
analysis, we should work on algebraic values instead of
logarithms. Besides, kriging the logarithms would raise the
problem of converting the final results back to the natural
scale. Since the variables are obviously not lognormal, this
would create difficulties.

Note: Studying one of the two variables would be enough, should
we decide to krige the logarithms. The logarithms of the gamma
logs and the reconstructed values are linearly related. The
structural analyses would be identical (up to a multiplicative
factor) and the kriging weights would be the same. On the other
hand, working on untransformed values necessitates two parallel
studies. The two variables are non-linearly related, and no
theoretical formula exists that would allow us to deduce one
kriging from the other without important simplifying and
additional hypotheses.
28 P.CHAUVET

4.2. Structural analyses and kriging

The geometrical conditions of the study are strictly identical
for both variables. Except for that, the two approaches are
independent.

As an example, a sum of three spherical models, plus a nugget
effect was proposed for the two vertical variograms. The ranges
for the gamma log models are 5, 25 and 50 m, with distributions
corresponding to the overall variance of 26.9, 61.3 and 3.2%
(nugget effect: 8.6%). The corresponding results fo~ the grades
are: 3.7, 18 and 40 m, and 25.3,45.1 and 21.2% (nugget effect:
8.4%). (It should be remembered that these last 7 numbers would
have been identical to the previous 7 ones if the variables had
been linearly related).

In a 3-D model, the same type of anisotropy is taken for both
variables; but this is also more the evidence of a problem in
describing the geometry of the deposit, than of a fundamental
similarity in the structure of the two variables.

The kriged units are 10 x 20 x 5 m blocks (this last dimension
along the vertical. Note that we have 1 m data). 380 blocks were
estimated. The kriging neighbourhood was large: up to 11 kriging
weights (which is a lot) representing up to 75 data (which is
enormous). But we should take into account the small size of the
kriging units with regard to the sampling mesh: the number of
kriging weights actually used is obviously smaller than 11.
Lastly, care was taken to avoid local overestimates at the
deposit's edge. Except for that, both krigings were easily
performed.

5. GAMMA LOG-GRADE CORRELATION OF KRIGED BLOCKS

5.1. Elementary statistics

The results for the 380 kriged blocks are summed up below:

m 02 olm

Gamma log 3 200 0<2.210 0<46%
Grade 2.56 0<1.2 0<43%

Table 2.
The decrease of the mean value (gamma log 8%, grade 12%) with
respect to the sample statistics given in Table 2 is mainly due
to the edge effect. The change in the size of the variances, due
ON THE ESTIMATION OF A URANIUM DEPOSIT 29

to both the support effect and the smoothing effect of kriging,
is more usual: the gamma log variance is divided by 5.5, and the
grade variance by 11.

The histograms (Figure 5 for the kriged gamma logs, Figure 6 for
the grades) clearly show this two-fold effect. Both histograms
are unimodal, and their skewness is barely noticeable. The
comparison with Figures 3 and 4 for the sample logarithm, is
spectacular. Comparing these figures demonstrates once more how
dangerous it would be to confuse samples and selection units.

5.2. Consequences on the gamma log-grade correlation

Figure 7 is less classic than the two preceding ones. The scatter
diagram between the estimated gamma logs and the estimated grades
has been constructed for the 380 kriged blocks.

Note that while the kriged values possess a clear physical
meaning, the "gamma log blocks" do not. These are just the
results of a specific calculation process applied to gamma log
values actually measured on the field.

Although they only represent intermediate calculations, these
quantities possess a double advantage:

1) They are easily obtained. In any uranium deposit, the
most important data are of course the gamma log values.
2) They are remarkably well correlated with the economic-
ally worthwhile quantity, that is the estimated block
value, although the latter is, as a rule, either
inaccessible directly because of the lack of grade
values, or quite uncertain due to the grade reconstruc-
tion process.

This second point is possibly the newest aspect of this study.
The correlation coefficient (0.98) is exceptional. Moreover the
scatter diagram is considerably extended, but is not diffuse as
in Figure 1. A linear regression model is this time quite
applicable. Undoubtedly, a simple rule of proportionality between
estimated block grades and gamma logs could be used.

6. CONCLUSIONS

1) The remarkable homogenization by kriging of two
sample populations shows that there would be no sense in using
the present results to simulate an accurate selection. This is
particularly true for the proposed example, since the kriging
unit is small with respect to the sampling mesh. The smoothing
30 P. CHAUVET

effect on the estimated blocks located farthest from the data is
probably exaggerated. So the results should be completed by
examining the kriging variance.

2) In practice, it will generally not be possible to
make a good estimate of the values, due to the lack of
information. We will just be able to predict that for the kriged
blocks, the correlation between gamma logs and grades should be
excellent, although there is no way of knowing i t. For large
deposits however, the results obtained on already exploited areas
could be used to model this correlation on other zones. This
method would be safer and more economical than periodically
updating the correlation between samples . It is
safer because the correlation is much better
more economical since it is not necessary to start the
structural analysis-kriging process allover again to
apply it.

3) This last remark leads to parametrization. Starting
from gamma log kriging, done once and for all, various grade
estimations can be proposed, according to the parameters
describing the correlation.

4) Another advantage of this "linearization" is to
avoid taking the logarithms. But in the case of very skew
distributions, care should be taken not to use too rough a
kriging. If such were the case, the smoothing effect of kriging
would be excessive, and Figure 7 would only show the remarkable
correlation of two artefacts!

5) The question of when to reconstruct the grades has
not been answered. However, the previous remarks suggest that
whenever possible, we should attempt to generalize the approach
presented in this study, using grades actually estimated.
Emphasis should be laid again on the necessity of analysing the
samples or drillholes in poor zones.

6) Obviously the correlation for kriged blocks
essentially depends on the block size. It will be all the better,
and therefore easier to make, if the blocks are bigger.

To conclude, we may wish to have the opportunity of completing
the observations of this study on other orebodies . It would be
most interesting to elaborate a methodology that would allow the
gamma log-grade transformation to be performed as the last step
of the study. This would avoid working on erroneous quantities
difficult to be taken into account, and thereby lead to
questioning the whole study. The only ·psychological" obstacle
left would be to have to work on "gamma log deposits".
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Figure 7
GEOST A TISTICAL ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OF THE
PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT

P.A. Dowd

Senior Lecturer and Consultant Geostatistician
Department of Mining and Mineral Engineering,
The University of Leeds, U.K.

and

D.W. Milton

Resident Geologist, Agnew Mining Co. Pty. Ltd.
now Senior Mine Geologist, BP Minerals Australia,
Adelaide

ABSTRACT

This is a case study illustrating the application of geostatistics
to a vein-type nickel deposit. Data are defined in relation to the
structural aspects of the geology of the deposit and variograms are
calculated for thickness and nickel accumulation. Variogram models are
validated by the back estimation technique.

A shape preserving spline surface is fitted to the mid-points of
drill hole intersections with the orebody and this surface is used to
control sUbsequent estimation. Various drilling densities are evaluated,
global reserves are calculated and orebody shape and location are
estimated on various horizontal planes. Geostatistical estimates of
reserves and ore body shape are compared with the known orebody in a
mined area.

Keywords: accumulation, kriging, nickel, spline surface, thickness, vein.

39

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 39-67.
© 1<J87 by D. Reidel Publish ing Compuny.
40 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

1. INTRODUCTION

This is a case study illustrating the application of geostatistics
to a vein-type nickel deposi t. In such applications geological structure
and structurally controlled estimation are of over-riding importance.

To preserve confidentiality, all grade, specific gravity and
tonnage values have been multiplied by factors; this renders meaningless
and economic inference or interpretation of the results.

1.1 The Orebody

The Perserverance nickel orebody consists of two styles of nickel
sulphide mineralisation associated with Archaean ultramafic rocks,
contained within a steeply west-dipping sequence of amphibolite grade,
metamorphosed sediments and volcanic rocks. A sheet-like, vein style,
massive sulphide, conformable with the metasediments extends several
kilometres north from the steeply south-plunging, disseminated
mineralisation (Figure 1). This disseminated mineralisation lays on the
northwest flank of the locally swollen, regionally extensive, ultramafic
unit.

The Kieth-Kilkenny Lineament, a regional fault, passes about
800 metres to the east and parallel to the strike of the ultramafic. This
fault, locally known as the Perserverance Fault, has been a major
contributor to brittle deformation within the orebodies and their
environs. The fault forms the eastern boundary of a shallow, northerly
plunging synform which is intruded by late-stage granitic, pegmatitic and
dolerite rocks.

The massive sulphide, referred to as the lA, contributes a major
portion of the nickel production at the Agnew Nickel Mine. It is
considered to have been deposited at the base of a thin lava-like flow
and has some irregularities in thickness. The sulphides have been "re-
distributed" by the effects of high temperature metamorphism, folding
and faulting. Consequently, very abrupt changes in thickness and grade
can occur.

A detailed study of the No.3 Stope district where cut and fill
mining of the lA massive sulphide has taken place was undertaken.
Detailed mapping and sampling of each face was available along with a
wide spaced pattern of diamond drill core information. Figure 2
illustrates the variability of the vein.

The objectives of the study were:

i) to determine global ore reserves within the study area;
ii) to define an optimal drilling density;
ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OFTHE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 41

FIGURE 1
42 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

iii) to provide estimates of orebody shape and location suitable for
planning purposes and to compare these estimates with the
known orebody in the mined area.

3 STOPE
1394 L IFT

LEGENO
• MASSIVE SULPHIDE I M$U I

E3 SERPENTINITE AfTER OUNITE WOS}

Q METASEOIMENT

FIGURE 2

1.2 Variables Used In the Study

The major problem in this study is not to predict grade values
but to estimate the location and shape of the orebody.

The variables used are ore body width (or thickness) at recorded
locations and grade accumulation (grade of intersection x width of
intersection) at recorded locations. Thickness estimates are used to
estimate the locations of the footwall and hangingwall of the orebody as
well as the contained tonnage.

Grade estimates can be obtained in an approximate manner by
dividing the estimated accumulation by the estimated thickness. Note
that this is an approximation and that grade estimates can be obtained in
this manner only under certain restrictive conditions. In other words,
the relationship:

accumulation
grade =
thickness
ESTIMATION OF A SECfION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 43

which holds for the data does not necessarily hold for estimated values.

estimated accumulation
estimated grade = estimated thickness

The most important of the restrictive conditions under which the
relationship for estimated grades can be accepted are:

thickness estimates are sufficiently accurate (relative error less
than 1; ideally, significantly less than 1)
accumulation and thickness estimates are made from the same
data configuration.

In practice, these conditions are only important for individual
block values. In this study, the only areas in which the first condition is
not met are those in which thicknesses are estimated to be signi ficantly
less than 1 metre. In these cases the estimated grade is set equal to the
estimated accumulation. There are very few estimates for which this is
necessary and in any case thicknesses of this order are less than any
practical mineable width.

For consistent grade estimates the second condition must be
met: it is essential that exactly the same samples are used for a given
thickness estimate and the corresponding accumulation estimate. As
some recorded locations have been measured but not sampled this
requirement will not be met automatically and some modification is
necessary. The simplest measure is to eliminate all intersections which
do not have both grade and width values recorded. However, this would
remove approximately fifty thickness values from the data set and give
less reliable estimates of width and location of footwall and hangingwall.
In addition, many samples have two or more orebody intersections with
only one intersection sampled.

The solution adopted in this study was to set missing grade
values equal to the average grade of all recorded nickel samples (7.03%
Ni). Variogram models for accumulation were verified with and without
this modification; thickness variogram models and estimations are
unaffected by the modification.

An anomaly may occur in the range of estimated grade values.
Although all estimated accumulations and all estimated thicknesses will
lie within the range of the observed minimum and maximum values, this
does not imply that all estimated grade values will lie between the
observed minimum and maximum grades.

1.3 Data

For this study all intersections were converted to east-west
horizontal widths and width was defined as the intersection across the
44 P. A. DOWD AND D . W. MILTON

total orebody.

Although the footwall and hangingwall of the orebody are sharply
defined geological contacts, there is a certain amount of internal waste
as shown in the plan sketch in Figure 3.

o MASSiVE SULPHIOE

o Ul.TRAMAFIC ROcKIWASTE'

L:J MET ASEDIMEN TS

FIGURE 3

In such cases accumulations can be based on minimum mineable
widths and on a "carry" principle whereby internal waste is included as
part of the orebody if ore on either side of it is of sufficient grade to
carry the total intersection above a specified cut-off value. For
example, in Figure 3, depending on how the criterion is applied, either
AB and CD together must be of sufficient grade to carry BC or AB and
CD individually must be of sufficient grade to carry BC; in the latter
case, the better of AB and CD is selected if BC cannot be carried.

An alternative method is to include all total intersections (e.g.
AD) without applying the carry principle, estimate the footwall and
hangingwall locations and then estimate grade inside the estimated
boundaries using equal size, composited core grades and the
corresponding variogram model; this method, described in Dowd and
Scott (1986), and Dowd (1986), allows internal waste to be discriminated.

Hole intersection lengths were converted to equivalent, east-
west borizontal widths using the formula:
ESTIMATION OF A SECfION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 45

Isin y cot an B-cos( 8 - cjJ )cos y I
C = H* Sin 8
where:
C is converted east-west horizontal width
H is original orebody intersection width
8 is the orebody dip direction measured clockwise from
north (e.g. west is 270 0 )
B is the orebody dip e.g.:
i) BOoW is specified as dip direction 270 0 dip 80 0
ii) BooE is specified as dip direction 90 0 dip 80 0
cjJ is the bearing of the drill hole measured clockwise from
north
y dip of the drill hole specified using the same convention
as the orebody dip i.e. direction is assumed to be
downwards. For example, a hole with a bearing of 90 0
(i.e. due east) and a dip of +10 0 (indicating a hole drilled
upwards) is specified as
cjJ 270 0 (90 0 + 180 0 )
y = 10 0
A hole with a bearing of 90 0 and a dip of -10 0 (indicating
a hole drilled downwards) is specified as:
cjJ = 90 0
y = 10 0

1.4 Statistics

The nickel grades of the ore body intersections are average
grades of the volumes of material contained in each sample. As all the
volumes are different (samples taken over di fferent lengths) statistics
other than the mean have no real meaning (statistics should all relate to
samples taken over the same volume). Statistics of these nickel grades
are presented solely for interest.

A histogram of the nickel grades (excluding all missing values set
equal to the average sample grade) of the east-west horizontal widths is
shown in Figure 4; statistics are summarised in Table 1.

Total number of samples 310

mean 7.30%

median 7.78%

variance

range of values: 0.0% to 11.62%

Table 1
Statistics of nickel grades of orebody intersections
46 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

is
A histogr am of the east-w est ~oriz.ontal interse ction widths
shown in Figure 5; statist ics are summa rised In Table 2.

40

30

20

'0

NICKEL GRADE

FIGUR E 4 : Histog ram of Nickel Grades of orebod y interse ctions

r-
l-
40
t-
-
I-

30

r---r--
l-

20
t-
r-

'0 l- t-
,

THICKNESSE S
CthodJ
ns
FIGUR E 5 : Histog ram of orebod y thickn ess at measu red locatio
ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 47

Total number of samples 361

mean 3.90 m

median 3.37 m

variance 7.00 m 2

range of values: 0.0 m to 13.68 m

Table 2
Statistics of east-west horizontal intersection widths

A histogram of the east-west horizontal intersection
accumulations (width x grade) is shown in Figure 6; statistics are
summarised in Table 3.

-
-
-
-
40

-
30
I---

20

n
10

ACCUMULATION

FIGURE 6 : Histogram of Nickel accumulations at sample locations
48 P. A . DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

Total number of samples 310

mean 28.65 m%

median 26.00 m%

variance 326.61 (m%)2

range of values: 0.00 m% to 95.51 m%

Table 3
Statistics of east-west horizontal accumulations

2. VARIOGRAM CALCULA nON AND ANAL YSIS

Variograms of widths and accumulations were calculated in
various strike-dip planes; best results were obtained with a strike of 15 0
east of north and a dip of 80 0 W.

The aim of calculating variograms is to quantify the geological
factors which affect the accuracy of estimates. The variogram
parameters which quantify these factors are:

"nugget" variance, Co, or variance due to random or small scale
structure
structural variance, C. Total variance is Co + C.
ranges of influence in the two principal directions; usually the
directions corresponding to the principal directions of the
orebody: along the strike-plunge axis and down dip.

As the maximum vertical distance over which samples are
recorded is 25 metres, very few points can be calculated for down dip
variograms. In addition, the number of values available for variogram
calculation in this direction make these variograms far less reliable than
those calculated in the general strike-plunge direction.

2.1 Varia grams for Thickness

Variograms for thickness in the down dip and strike-plunge
directions are shown in Figure 7.

The variogram in the strike-plunge direction is a good example
of the spherical model with parameters given in Table 4.
ESTIMATION OF A SECfION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 49

o 0
o
o o

o
o
o 0
o

o STR1KE PUJNGE

I DOWN DIP
o
- - MODEL

10 20 40 .0 70 so 90 100 110 120

DISTANCES Iml

Figure 7 : Variograms for Thickness

1.0 (ml
c = 6.0 (m)2

range (a) = 30 metres

Table 4
Parameters of spherical model fitted to thickness
variogram in strike-plunge direction

It is more difficult to interpret the variogram in the down dip
direction and there are far fewer points available for model fitting.
However, the available points indicate a shorter range structure. The
points in Figure 7, together with the model validation procedure
described below, indicated a spherical model with the parameters given
in Table 5.
50 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

== 1.0 (ml

c == 6.0 (m)2

range (a) == 15 m

Table 5
Parameters of spherical model fitted to thickness
variogram in down dip direction

2.2 Variograms for Accumulations

Variograms for nickel accumulations are shown in Figure 8.

The same general comments apply as were made for the
thickness variograms. In fact, there is a remarkable similarity between
the shapes of the variograms in Figures 7 and 8. This is not surprising as
the correlation coefficient between thickness and accumulation is 0.83.

The parameters of the spherical models fitted to the
accumulation variograms are given in Table 6.

== 90.0 (m%)2

c = 240.0 (mOlal

range (down dip) 15 m

range (strike-plunge) 30 m

Table 6

Parameters of spherical model fitted to accumulation
variograms in Figure 8

2.3 Model Validation

Models were validated using the back estimation technique with
varying amounts of data removed.

Each data value is removed, in turn, together with all other data
within a specified radius or volume and the variogram model is used to
estimate the value removed. The volume removed can be altered so as
to test the model with a range of di fferent sample configurations.
Parameters that have an effect on the results are the variogram
parameters, the specified dip, strike and plunge of the orebody, the
search volume within which samples are selected for any given
estimation and the sample configuration.
ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OFTHE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 51

o o
o
o
o o
o o
o o

o STRIKE 15-E OF", PLUNGE O·

I. DIP eo·w
_ MODEL

100

'0

10 20 30 40 '0 60 70 eo 90 100 liD 120
DISTANCE 1m I

Figure 8 : Variograms for Accumulations

2.3.1 Thickness

Results for thickness estimations using the model in Tables 4 and
5 for 1 m and for 8 m of data removed are shown in Figures 9 and 10
respectively.

Each plotted point in Figures 9 and 10 represents the average
value of the actual (true) thickness for increments of 0.75 m in the
estimated values. For example, the first point indicates that there are
14 estimated thickness values between 0.75 m and 1.50 m and the
average of the corresponding true values is 1.87 m. For conditionally
unbiased estimates, all plotted points should lie on the 45 0 line; the least
squares regression of the actual values on the estimated values provides
an approximate assessment of how well conditional unbiasedness is
satisfied. The other factors in Figures 9 and 10 assess other aspects of
the performance of the model.

Naturally, as more data are removed, all factors deteriorate but,
overall, the model performs well with the exception that the mean
kriging variance slightly underestimates the mean squared error. This
model gives the best combination of all the factors summarised in
Figures 9 and 10. which are used to assess models. There is no significant
52 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

o
12.0 5
SHOOT1A :Thickness
I m DATA REMOVED o
5
10.5

5
9.0 a

7.5
SPHERICAL MODEL

\I
19 a Co r1.0m2
o C1 16.0m 2
23
6.0 o at IIS,30m

DIP I SOow STRIKE I 15° PLUNGE' 0°

o MEAN I ACTUAL-ESTIMATEI .96
3.
I
4.5 55 MEAN (ACTUAL- ESTIMATE) '-.0034
MEAN {ACTUAL-ESTIMATEl 2 • 3.28
MEliN KRIGING VARIANCE I 2.87
N"' OF VALUES ESTIMATED 353
3.0 55
o I

49
a
LEAST SOUARES REGRESSION Of ACTUAL ON EST
46 ACTUAL I 0.11 + 0.96' EST.
14
o o
9:S% CONFIDENCE LIMITS ON SLOPE
1.5 ( 0.86,1.06 J
COFlRELAT10N COEFFICIENT I .11

1.5 3.0 4.5 6.0 7.5 9.0 10.5 12.0
ESTIMATED

Figure 9 Average values of actual thickness for increments of
0,75 m in the estimated thickness, 1 m of data removed
10.5

9.0

6
o

7.5
SPHERICAL MODEL

Co 11.0 m 2
C, 16.0m 2
6.0
11 a 130m, 15m
o
6
0 DIP • 80° w· STRIKE' 15 0 E PLUNGE I 0°

4.5 60' 0
38
MEAN tACTUAL-ESTIMATE) I 1.21
MEAN (ACTUAL-ESTIMATE) I -0.03
MEAN (ACTUAl.-ESTIMATE1 2 4.98
MEAN KRIGING VARIANCE 4.52
0
3.0 13 58 NO OF VALUES ESTIMATED 353
0

26 LEAST SQUARES REGRESSION OF ACTUAL ON EST
0
ACTUAL I .50 + 0.83' EST.
95% CONFIDENCE LIMITS QN SLOPE
1.5
( .6a • . 96 I
CORRELATION COEFFICIENT I .53

1.5 3.0 4.5 6.0 7.5 9.0 10.5
ESTIMATED

Figure 10 Average values of actual thickness for increments of
0,75 m in the estimated thickness. 8 m of data removed
ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 53

deterioration in the results shown in Figure 10 with up to 15 m of data
removed.

2.3.2 Accumulations

Results for accumulation estimates using the model in Table 6
are summarised in Figures 11 and 12. Similar comments apply to these
results which indicate that the model is adequate for the purposes of
estimation. Again, there is no significant deterioration in the results in
Figure 12 with up to 15 m of the data removed.

3. OPTIMUM DRILLING OR SAMPLE DENSITIES

Optimum drilling densities can be defined in many ways
depending upon the criterion used for optimality.

One way is to define an acceptable accuracy for the definition of
reserves and then to determine the minimum amount of drilling required
to achieve this accuracy.

Reserves, for the purpose of this section, will be taken to mean
the total tonnage and average grade of all ore contained within the
volume of the orebody used in this study without any selection or
possibility of mining implied. The volume of the orebody used is that
contained within a strike length of 325 m over a vertical distance of 25
m (2.5 metres above and below the highest and lowest stope lift plans
respectively).

There are two factors which contribute to the accuracy of ore
reserves as estimated from a given drilling or sampling density:

the variability of the mineralisation as quantified by the
variogram models of thickness and grade accumulation.
the surface estimation error incurred by inferring the ore body
outline on the strike-dip plane from a limited number of
intersections with the orebody.

These two factors are quantified by estimation variances (kriging
and geometric) which purport to be the variances of the respective
errors of estimation. The standard way of using these variances is to
assume a normal distribution of errors and quote 95% confidence limits.
In reality, the asumptions about the estimation variances for individual
estimates are at best doubtful and in most cases difficult, or impossible,
to verify. However, estimation variances are good measures of the
overall reliability of global estimates and in other cases provide good
relative indices of reliability.
54 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

70

9 _ N9 OF VALUES
12
60 o 0 - AVERAGE VALUES

27

50
SPHERICAl. MODEL

o Co • 90 {m%)2
51
" I 240(mDk)2
40 a, '15m,30m
84
o
STRIKE 15' PLUNGE I 00

MEAN I ACTUAL-ESTIMATE I 16.10
30
MEAN (ACrUAL- [511MA1£1 1-0.027
73 MEAN (4CTUAL-ESTIMATEI 2 177.19
o
I

MEAN KRICiING VARI ANCE 1 169 .86
tj9 OF VALUES ESTIMATED "306
20
54
o LEAST SQUARES REGRESSION OF ACTUAL ON EST
ACTUAL I 0 .71 + 0 .961 EST
95% CONFIDENCE LIMITS ON SLOPE
10 (0.83, 1.08)

CORRELAlION COEFFICIENT 0 .65

10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80
ESTIMATEO

Figure 11 Average values of actual accumulations for increments
of 10 m% in the estimated accumulations.
1 m of data removed
70

9 _ N9 OF VALUES
60 0 - AVER AGE VALUES

9
o
26
50 o
SPHERICAL MODEL

o Co I 90 (m%)2
55 c, I 240 (m%)2
40
3, I lsm,30m

OIP'SOOW STRIKE 15' PLUNGE I 0°
1
Il
30 MEAN I ACTUAL-ESTIMATE I I 7.30
90 MEAN (ACTUAL-ESTIMATE) 1 -0.14
MEAN (ACTUAL-ESTIM ATEI 2 I 262.05
MEAN KRIGING VARIANCE '254.13
39
20 0 Nfl OF VALUES ESTIMATED • 306

LEAST SOUAAES RECiRESSION OF ACTUAL ON EST
ACTUAL 14.01 + 0.15 I EST.
95% CONFIDENCE LIMITS ON SLOPE
10
( .58 . . 93)
COARELATION COEFFICIENT • • 45

10 20 30 40 50 60 70
ESTIMATED

Figure 12 Average values of actual accumulations for
increments of 10m% in the estimated accumulations.
8 m of data removed.
ESTIMATION OF A SECfION OFTHE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 55

Although referred to as "95% confidence limits" in this study,
the numbers are subject to the quali fication expressed above.

3.1 Surface Estimation Error

Figure 13 shows a drilling or sampling grid in the strike-dip plane
of the orebody.
--------------------~~ Nl

n I

I
- r--- r-- r---

I I

I

I-----

-
Figure 13 : Drilling Grid

Three thing& are required to estimate the tonnage of reserves (t):

the surface area of the orebody, s
the average thickness of the orebody, h
the average specific gravity of the are, d

t=sxhxd

The estimated area of the reserves is equal to the size of the
drilling/sampling grid multiplied by the number of grid rectangles within
which the orebody is intersected. The accuracy of this estimate can be
obtained from the formula for the relative estimation variance of the
surface:

2 N2
a
s
---z-
s
+000605*)
56 P. A. DOWD AND D. W.MILTON

where:

N1 and NZ are equal to the number of grid rectangle sides around
the perimeter of the mineralised surface parallel to directions 1
and Z respectively with NZ > NH only grid rectangles which
contain an intersection are counted, i.e. only those which make
up the mineralised surface

n is the total number of intersections

0 2 is the estimation variance of the surface area s.
s
Assuming a normal distribution of estimation errors, relative
95% confidence limits for the surface area estimation are given by :
o
s
+ 1.96 x S
In this study, it is assumed that the mineralised surface is a
distorted rectangular surface following the local strike, dip and plunge
and measuring 3Z5 m (along strike) and Z5 m (down dip) as shown
schematically in Figure 14.

Figure 14 : Regular drilling grid on median plane through orebody

In this case, NZ and N1 are, respectively, the number of grid
rectangles in the strike-plunge and down dip directions. The surface is
obtained by fitting a shape-preserving, spline surface to the mid-points
of known orebody intersections as described in Section 5 and in Dowd
(1986). For example, for a grid of 10 m x 10 m:

NZ = 33
N1 = 3
n = 99
ESTIMATION OF A SECfION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 57

and
0 2 2
~
s
ggz
1 3
[6 + 0.0605
33
x - 3- ]

::: 0.002292

and the relative estimation error is

+ 1.96 x 0.002292 ::: + 0.0938

or + 9.4% of the estimated surface area of 8125 m 2, i.e. 8125 m 2 +
762- m 2 .

3.2 Estimation Error for Tonnage

The relative estimation variance for the total tonnage of
reserves is given by:

o 2
s
-Z-
s

2As no data were available for specific gravity calculations the
term ~ was taken as zero and all tonnages were calculated using a
standard average specifi~ gravity. [Note: If specific gravities of samples
are available the term -Jz can be calculated by dividing the statistical
variance of the sample specific gravities by the square of their mean
specific gravity]. The relative estimation variance is thus:

The relative estimation variance for the average thickness of the
orebody is obtained by first calculating the variance of extending the
thickness of a central sample to its grid square as shown in Figure 15.
Values of variance are tabulated for variograms with Co ::: 0 and C ::: 1; a
graph is shown in Figure 16.

To obtain the variance of the error incurred in extending the
thickness of a central sample to a grid rectangle measuring 10 m along
strike and 10 m down dip for a variogram with parameters given in
Tables 4 and 5:
58 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

H---_

I
.4
. ----

o L

'-----_J
Figure 15 Central Sample in rectangular panel

H/a
Figure 16 : Extension variance of a central sample in a
rectangular panel (~, ~) for a spherical model
variogram with Co =aO and C = 1 and a is the range
ESTIMATION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 59

divide each side of the grid rectangle by the range in that
direction:

10 10
30 = 0.33 ; 15 = 0.67

from the graph, read the value corresponding to L/ a = 0.33 and
H/a = 0.67 (or vice versa: graph is symmetrical). The value is
0.200.

the value obtained for the specified variogram is

1.0 + 6.0 x 0.200 = 2.20

This extension variance is the same for each grid rectangle. The
mean extension variance is obtained from:

where Si is the surface area of grid rectangle i. As the surface areas are
all equal this reduces to:

n s 2 0h2
2 2
n s
or

3.3 Estimation Error for T otaI Quantity of Metal

The quantity of metal, q, is the product of the area, s, of the
reserves and the average accumulation, a, and the specific gravity, d:

q=sxaxd

The relative variance of the total quantity of metal is given by:
2 2 2 2
°q
--z-
a
a
s
-Z- + -Z +
a ad

2
q a s 7
a
where+ is the relative variance of the error of estimation of the
a
60 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

2
average accumulation. The value of 0 a is obtained in an identical
manner to O~ this time using the parameters of the variogram model for
the accumulations given in Table 6.
2
The value of ~ is again taken as zero.
d
3.4 Estimation Error for Mean Grade

The average grade, g, of the orebody is obtained by dividing the
estimated average accumulation by the estimated average thickness:

a
9 = 11

The relative estimation variance of the grade is given by:

0 2
+~
9
where r is the correlation coefficient between thickness and
accumulation; in this case r = 0.8285.

3.5 Results

The relative estimation errors for various drilling or sampling
densities are given in Table 7.

As an aid to interpreting the figures in Table 7, consider the
followinp example. Assuming a surface area (in the strike-dip plane) of
8125 m and an estimated average thickness of 3.90 m, the volume of
the study zone is 31688 m 2 • A specific gravity of 4.21 gives a total
tonnage of 133,400 tonnes. For a drilling grid of 20 m x 5 m the relative
estimation error on the tonnage is 9.4% i.e.

133,400 tonnes .:: 12,500 tonnes

Assuming an estimated average accumulation of 28.65 m% the
estimated quantity of metal is:

8125 x 0.2865 x 4.21 = 9,800 tonnes of metal

For a drilling grid of 20 m x 5 m the relative estimation error on
the quantity of metal is 10.0%, i.e.
DEPOSIT
ESTIMA TION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEV ERANCE NICKEL 61

46 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

is
A histogr am of the east-w est horizo ntal interse ction widths
shown in Figure 5; statist ics are summa rised in Table 2.

40

30

20

10

NICKEL GRADE

FIGUR E 4 : Histog ram of Nickel Grades of orebod y interse ctions

,.
l-
40
f-
,.
I-

30

~

r---
20
I-
-
10 l- f-

THICKNESSE S
D-h-n~
ns
FIGUR E 5 : Histog ram of orebod y thickn ess at measu red locatio
62 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

9,800 tonnes.:!:. 980 tonnes

Assuming an estimated mean accumulation of 28.65 m% and an
estimated mean thickness of 3.90 m the estimated mean grade is:
28.65 = 7.35%
3.90

The relative estimation error on the grade for a drilling grid of
20 m x 5 m is 9.1 %, i.e.

7.35%.:!:. 0.67% say, 7.4%.:!:. 0.7%

Clearly, from Table 7, the critical grid direction is down dip (or
vertical).

4. GLOBAL RESERVE ESTIMATES

Calculations similar to those described above can be applied to
the actual data for this study.

In these calculations actual locations are used rather than the
centres of ideal sampling grids and grid rectangles have been kriged from
the available data using the variogram models given in Tables 4, 5 and 6.

The results are summarised in table 8.

Estimate 95% Confidence Limits

Surface Area 8100m 2 + 350m 2
Mean Thickness 3.95m -:; 0.07m
133,000 t
-
Tonnage of ore .:!:. 6,200 t
Mean Accumulation 27.40m% + 0.50m%
Tonnage of Metal 9,250 t + 430 t
Grade 6.95%
-
-+ 0.15%
Table 8
Ore Reserves estimates for Study Area: Shoot 1A

The errors quoted in Table 8 indicate that the average grade,
total tonnage and average width of the orebody can be determined with a
very acceptable accuracy. Further sampling on any reasonable scale
would not significantly reduce these errors (assuming of course that the
addi tional data did not alter the geological and geostatistical
interpretation of the orebody).
ESTIMA TION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 63

It is important, however, to distinguish between such global, in
situ, estimates and local planning estimates. The global estimates
quoted above refer to the entire study area as a single mass and do not
give any indication of the variability of grade and thickness that may be
encountered on a mining scale.

4.1 Comparison with Production Figures

Production figures were obtained from the detailed face mapping
after mining. The known orebody outline was digitised from 1:500 stope
Ii ft plans at approximately 4 m vertical intervals. The frustum method
was used to calculate volumes which were weighted by local speci fic
gravities, estimated from face samples and drill core data, to obtain ore
tonnage. The same data were used to estimate the grade within the
digitised outline. The only figure which can be accepted strictly as
"reality" is the orebody volume obtained from the digitised plans;
however, the corresponding ore tonnage should be reasonably accurate.
The grade obtained from the digitised outline is a polygonal type
estimate.

A comparison of the geostatistics estimates and the production
figures is given in Table 9. It is a characteristic of unconstrained
geostatistical estimation to tend to over-estimate ore tonnes and under-
estimate grade. The geometrical constraints inherent in the method
used here have minimised this tendency.

Production Geostatistics % Ditt. Relative
Figures Estimates Confidence
Limits on
Estimates

Ore tonnes 123,000 t 133,000 t +8.1% + 4.7%
-
Grade 7,59% 6.95% -8.4% +
-
2.2%
Metal tonnes 9,340 t 9,250 t -1.0% + 4.6%
-
Table 9
Comparison of Production Figures and Geostatistics Estimates,
using production figures as the standard

The di fference in the ore tonnage figures can be explained
mostly by:

more accurate delineation of internal waste by the digitised
orebody outline

use of an average specific gravity for the geostatistics estimates
and local speci fic gravities for the production figures.
64 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

5. PLANNING ESTIMATES

For all estimates in these types of orebodies, there is a problem
additional to estimating thickness and grade: estimating the location at
which thickness and accumulation estimates are to be made. Consider
the example shown in Figure 17 which shows a stope Ii ft (horizontal
plane) on which the footwall and hangingwall of the orebody are to be
estimated. A grid interval can be specified in the north (or strike)
direction; this fixes the y co-ordinate for each estimate. The z co-
ordinate is fixed by the stope Ii ft speci fied. The easting (x co-ordinate)
of each location at which an estimate is to be made is, however,
unknown. To obtain the easting, the location of the footwall and
hangingwall for the specified y and z co-ordinates must be known; but
these locations cannot be estimated until the easting is known.

The method used in this study is described in detail in Dowd
(1986). Essentially, a spline surface is fitted to the mid-points of the
converted, east-west horizontal orebody widths. The surface is a shape-
preserving, quadratic spline fitted with the aid of first triangulating the
points on the average strike-dip plane.

The required easting (x) co-ordinate is given by the point on the
fi tted surface at the specified northing (y) and vertical (z) co-ordinates;
thickness and accumulation are then estimated at this location. Each
location can be plotted together with the estimated thickness to give the
estimated orebody shape and location as illustrated in Figure 18.

The cross indicates the estimated location of the mid-point of
the orebody i.e. the location determined by interpolating the fitted
spline surface.

The horizontal line indicates the kriged thickness at the location
marked by the cross. The footwall and hangingwall locations are
obtained by joining the extremities of the thickness estimates.

The numbers above the crosses indicate the estimated grade over
the width of the orebody.

A typical comparison of the kriged results and "reality" (face
mapping in a mined area) is shown in Figure 19. Thicknesses were kriged
at 2m intervals in the north-south direction. Whilst the actual orebody
outline is more erratic than the kriged outline there is, nevertheless,
good general agreement between the two shapes.

These outlines can be produced for any speci fied plan, cross-
section or oblique section and, combined with a simple graphics package,
are an invaluable aid in mine planning.
ESTIMA TION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVERANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 65

~ ....;O;~~----:- intersections

mid points of
orebody

spec if ied gr id
in northing (y) ~
direction

Figure 17 Stope Lift with Orebody Intersections

____--ESTIMATED MID POINT
OF OREBODY

ESTIMATED GRADE

Figure 18 I]lustration of Kriged Orebody Outline and Grade
66 P. A. DOWD AND D. W. MILTON

I
N

j :- I I
~,
- - - - - FACE MAP PING \

L~ i
. . ' I ,\--;--!
'e, I
I i: \

/:

i 7
,'----*---+;

I
I

Figure 19 Kriged Orebody Boundaries and Face Mapped
Boundaries on Plan
ESTIMA TION OF A SECTION OF THE PERSEVE RANCE NICKEL DEPOSIT 67

6.0 CONCLUSIONS

This case study demonstrates the importance of geological
controls in the geostatistical estimation of veins and stratigraphic
orebodies in general.

The kriged global reserves and kriged orebody outlines are
estimates made from relatively sparse data and, as such, will never
coincide with reality. However, the important criteria for assessing the
techniques and results presented here are:

the performance of these techniques compared with that of
other techniques

the ability of the techniques to provide accurate, practical
results in a form suitable for planning.

The techniques used here also provide the basis for a powerful,
interactive graphics approach to mine planning in underground orebodies.
Cross-sections, plans and oblique sections can be generated by the
combination of kriging and spline surface fitting; these can then be
plotted as in Figure 19 or displayed on a graphics terminal to provide a
basis for stope design or simply a sectional or three-dimensional view of
the orebody.

7.0 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors gratefully acknowledge the permission of Agnew
Mining Company Pty Limited to publish this case study. The production
figures were compiled by C.P. Hartley.

8.0 REFERENCES

Dowd, P .A. (1986) - "Geometrical and Geological Controls in
Geostatistical Estimation and Orebody Modelling" 19th
APCOM. Pensylvannia State University, April 1986. Pub.
A.I.M.E. pp.81-94.

Dowd, P.A. and Scott, I.R. (1986) - "Geostatistics in the
Stratigraphic Orebodies at Mt. Isa" - Proceedings of the 13th
Commonwealth Mining and Metallurgical Congress, Singapore,
May 1986, Vol. 1 - Geology. pp 27-36. Pub. Australasian
Insti tute of Mining and Metallurgy, Melbourne, Australia.
MULTIPURPOSE GEOSTATISTICAL MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN
SARDINIA

G. CAPELLO (*), M. GUARASCIO (**), A. LIBERTA (*),
L: SALVATO (*), G. SANNA (***)
* MINING ITALIANA, Via Vinicio Cortese 48, ROMA, Italy
** UNIVERSITY OF TRIESTE, Italy
*** PROGEMISA S.P.A., via 29 Novembre 56, CAGLIARI,
Sardinia, Italy

ABSTRACT

Geostatistics was used to model the Olmedo bauxite deposit in
Sardinia, and to calculate the characterized in-situ reserves and
the mineable reserves. Care was taken to incorporate and model the
available geological information including the karsism.

1. INTRODUCTION

It is well known that the reliability of the technical and
economic components of a design depends to a great extent on the
reliability of both the basic data and the hypotheses adopted. In
the special case of a m~n~ng project, all design choices and
subsequent estimates of foreseeable technical and economic results
are based on the hypotheses formulated regarding the character-
istics of the orebody.

Basically, it is a question of building a spatial-behaviour model
for each characteristic of the orebody (e.g. thicknesses, grades,
lithologies, mechanical characteristics, etc.) that may have an
appreciable effect on the design choices and/or on the future
economic results. It is, therefore, clear that the representa-
tivity of the models, i.e. their faithfulness in describing the
real behaviour of the studied orebody, depends essentially on:
- the quantity and the quality of the available data and/or
information;
- the unbiasedness and adequacy of the information-processing
procedures adopted for building the models themselves.
69

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatisticai Case Studies, 69-92.
© 1987 by D. Reidel Publish ing Compa"y.
70 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

This article describes and discusses the data, the procedures and
the models that were adopted for the study of the bauxite orebody
at Olmedo in Sardinia (Italy). The first concrete results of this
phase of work was an evaluation of in situ reserves and a
technical zoning of the orebody.

2. BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE NURRA BAUXITE BASIN

Figure shows that Olmedo orebody covers a small sector of the
Nurra area of northwestern Sardinia where there is a bauxite
formation. The pos1t10n of the latter on the stratigraphic
column, i.e. between the lower and the upper cretaceous eras, is
the most important guide for prospection work.

Geologically, the Nurra basin is characterized by the presence of
an almost complete stratigraphic series extending from the
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 71

paleozoic era to the more recent deposits which belong to the
quaternary era (Figure 2). The permo-trias continental detrital
series lies discordantly on a metamorphic base modified by wide
scale folding phenomena. The cretaceous layers present the
carbonatic sediments typical of coastal lagoons (purbeckian
facies). Altered material subsequently accumulated on the
paleosurface formed by emersion of the series and their evolution
created the bauxitic formation. The significant marine ingression
occurred at the end of this process of bauxitization.

The subsequent post-mesozoic and pre-oligocenic tectonics are
characterized by mild folding (at times more marked or with
faulted zones), with the axis being oriented N60 E. The folding
phenomenon belongs to the ejective category, with both synclines
and anticlines.
The structures generated by the folding phenomenon were in turn
displaced by several systems of faults of a distensive nature and
oriented more or less NE and NS. As a result of this
stratigraphic and structural evolution, the upper cretaceous
outcrops, or is presumed to lie just under the more recent
deposits over an area of at least 200 sq. km of the Nurra area
(Figure 3).

In particular, an area of 79 sq. km is characterized by outcrops
or zones that can easily be reconstructed by interpolation. A
large number of these have been confirmed by drillhole data. For
the rema~n~ng 121 sq. km, the orebody lies under the quaternary
layers or carbonatic deposits belonging to the tertiary age and
can be reconstructed by extrapolating. Under the upper cretac-
eous, the presence of the bauxite formation and its depositing
features are strongly conditioned by footwall lithotypes
generally 1 to 4 m wide, with a maximum width of 17 m having been
identified in connection with the morphology of karstic caves
which it filled. The Olmedo orebody is therefore structured as a
monocline, tending to close as a syncline to the NE.

Intensive detailed prospection covering a zone of about 4 sq. km
was carried out near olmedo, where the bauxite bank outcrops over
a distance of about 4 km, oriented approximately N65 E. The
inclination of dipping, oriented towards the SE, averages out at
10·-15· but may attain peaks of 25· locally.

The dominant footwall lithotype consists of alternating marls,
marly limestones and nodular limestones in a purbeckian facies
and of oolitic limestones. At the limits of the project area,
e.g. in the Brunestica zone and near Olmedo town, coniacian
limestones suggest a probable upper paleolithic origin, where the
bauxite layers can be expected to be less wide or found in
irregular karstic cavities.
72 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

OliATERNARY

MIOCENE

OLI GO-MIOCENE

uPPER SANTONIAN
SANTONIAN
UPPER CONIACIAN
FORM ,~ TI ON
BARREMIAN
UPPER VALANGINIAN
LO~ER VALANGIN I AN

JURESE

Mining Ihllenu S.p.A.

Figure 1.
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 73

~ PEOROSEDOU

~HANGING WALL OF THE
~BAUXITF. FORMATION

~BAUXIIE OUICRAPS

~FOOTWALL OF THE
~BAUXITE FORMATION

Mlnln It.llene S.p.A.

Figure 3.
74 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

The structural framework described above indicates that the
bauxite horizon in the project area can be schematically
presented as consisting in an inclined surface with a mild
anticlinal arch.

The area can be divided into three distinct zones. The first one
is slightly inclined and highly irregular with throws of up to
90 m. It represents the western leg of the anticline. The second
one, which is also irregular with a high frequency of faults but
a maximum throw of 20 m, is the outcropping area. The third zone
is more regular, with throws of less than 5 m at distances of a
few hundreds of meters. It covers the largest part of the total
area and includes the hinge and the eastern side of the
anticline.

Tables 1 and 2 illustrate the ranges of variation and the
averages of the main elements analysed in the orebody for
different lithotypes. Statistical analysis was performed only on
the drillholes that were valid for estimating the quality.

TABLE 1.
Statistical parameters, lithotype thicknesses.

Minimum Maximum Average
Lithotypes
(m) (m) (m)

Conglomeratic bauxite 0.00 2.26 0.16
Compact bauxite 0.00 4.49 1.35
Clayey bauxite 0.00 3.07 0.29

TABLE 2.
Average statistical parameters.

Thickness
(m) Si0 2 % A1 2 0 3 %

Whole orebody 1.80 11. 71 59.42
Conglomeratic bauxite 0.16 19.59 52.93
Compact bauxite 1.35 9.48 63.90
Clayey bauxite 0.29 17.65 42.35
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 75

3. DESCRIPTION OF THE PROSPECTING WORK AND DATA ORGANIZATION

The initial geological survey of the Nurra area, where Upper
Cretacious outcrops had been found, provided encouraging
information regarding the possibility of this geological horizon
also being present under the vulcanites. Given the considerable
size of the area (24 sq. km), it was decided to explore a smaller
zone measuring 7.5 sq. km by means of a systematic campaign of
drilling on a square grid with 400 m sides. About 70 additional
holes were drilled in the remaining area in order to define the
structural characteristics and the continuity of the formation
better.

A grid of vertical holes located along the strike of the bank was
preferred in view of the regular stratiform nature of the
deposit, characterized by small inclinations and the apparent
absence of periodicity and anisotropy. The 400 m grid was
considered adequate for the purpose of covering a relatively
large area since the number of holes required to obtain the
necessary general information in a short period of time was not
unreasonably high and involved costs in keeping with the high
level of uncertainty of initial exploration.

Sampling work began in the fall of 1979, with a series of
destruction corings with a bottom hammer. This permitted a quick
reconstruction of the stratigraphy and of the behaviour of the
bank as well as the design of the optimal drilling system
subsequently adopted for sampling the deposit. In a subsequent
phase, the work involved systematic sampling of the 7.5 sq. km.
area on this grid, again using core-destruction drilling down to
near the hanging wall of the bauxite but changing to continuous
core boring through the deposit to the footwall layer.

In 1981-82, exploration continued on a tighter grid of 200 m and
at times even going down to 100 m in order to define in greater
detail the displacements that had been brought to light by
analyses of the partial results from the first campaign and to
calibrate an optimal grid for the detailed estimation of the
explored part of the orebody.

The drilling data were integrated by means of stream samples
taken from old underground drifts and from trenches dug in the
outcropping areas.

During 1982 and 1983, drilling on a 100m grid was performed on an
area of 4 sq. km. Chemical and mineralogical analyses (fluores-
cence and X-diffractometer) were carried out for a number of
elements (AI 2 0 3 , Si0 2 , Fe 2 0 3 , Ti0 2 , CaO, and organic and
inorganic C) as well as for the following minerals: bohemite,
kaolinite, montmorillonite, illite, chlorite, calcite, geothite,
76 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

hematite, anatase, rutile, titanite and quartz. In constructing
the samples, the lithotypes observed along the widths were
distinguished and further subdivided into sections of 25-30 cm.

In 1983, additional destructive drilling was carried out to
verify and improve the details of the geometrical model of the
orebody that had been constructed on the basis of the results of
the drilling. The models that were built provided a fully
determined numerical basis for every point in space, although the
degree of reliability inevitably varied due to scarcity of data
for some of the blocks. This made it possible to make
tridimensional representations and the latter provided the basis
for the design phase.

The typology of information available as at 31/12/83 is presented
in Table 3.

TABLE 3.
Typology of information available as at 31/12/83.

VALIDITY C CD D SF CN AF FA TR TOTAL

Valid Quality (Bx) 130 3 3 0 0 0 2 0 138
Analyzed 109 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 109
Sampled 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 7
Negative 14 3 3 0 0 0 2 0 22
Not-valid quality 41 6 27 36 49 54 0 5 218
Analyzed 7 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 9
Valid layer width 144 5 28 0 48 0 2 5 232
Valid formation width 155 5 22 0 8 0 2 5 197
Valid hanging wall level 151 7 29 36 49 54 2 5 333
Valid footwall level 17 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1
Total 171 9 30 36 49 54 2 5 356

C Destructive drilling of overburden and core boring
in bauxite bank
D Destructive drilling only
CD Drilling initially planned as mixed but performed
by destruction drilling only
SF = Dummy drillholes created for values sampled in
mining drifts
CN = Channel samples taken in mining drifts
AF = Samples taken from outcrops
FA = Computed outcrop samples
TR Trenches
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 77

NB: Data on additional drillholes are still being processed and
preliminary results tend to confirm the average values of the
study.

The GEOVAL procedure developed by MINING ITALIANA is an appli-
cation of the theory of linear geostatistics, integrating it with
methods for handling of sampling data and with graphical outputs
of the different phases. Each package is further subdivided into
modules for individual operations, providing a flexible structure
that can be adapted to a wide range of different problems.

4. STRUCTURAL MODEL OF THE OREBODY

Information from the following sources was used to build the
structural model of the orebody:
- stratigraphic levels as they could be read from the cores;
stratigraphic drilling logs;
aerophotogrammetric survey of surface morphology;
topographic survey of drilling locations;
detailed geological and structural survey of the Olmedo
area and of accessible mlnlng drifts, with particular
attention being paid to the bauxite outcrops found by
ground pacing;
general geological and structural survey of the Nurra
basin.

The procedure adopted for constructing the structural model is
the result of a compromise between the following factors:
- rigourous respect of the procedures for estimatirtg and
recognizing anomalies;
- integration of quaritified data with qualitative data that
cannot easily be quantified, concerning the type of the
deformations and displacements considered to be constraints
for the model;
compatibility with the more realistic hypotheses concerning
typology and sequence of tectonic events.

Slope analysis, which was performed using statistical methodo-
logies, allowed us to identify the zones of disturbance and to
subdivide the orebody into homogeneous zones. During this phase,
anomalies of different degrees were interpreted in the light of
structural assumptions based on available geological knowledge
acquired either experimentally or assumed. This made it possible
to rough out a base model delimiting the form of the orebody,
both in general terms and in terms of discontinuity.

The work proceeded with a quantitative definition of the model
using non-stationary variographic analysis, i.e. the study of
phenomena that are structurally complex and normally charac-
78 G. CAPELLO ET AL

terized by a trend. This made it possible to recognize a second-
order trend in the behaviour of the hanging wall of the bauxite
formation and to determine the parameters required to interpolate
it by means of point, non-stationary IRF-k on a 25m grid. The
elevation of orebody hanging wall has a polynomial covariance
model.

Besides verifying the qualitative and, above all, the quantita-
tive suitability of the hypotheses adopted, the construction of
the base model made it possible to estimate a studied variable
even for those zones where a low density of informatiop and the
very subdivision of the orebody i,.'~ homogeneous zones had
reduced the available data to insufficient levels for further
variographic structural analysis and the corresponding esti-
mation. For this, a phenomenology was assumed, consisting of two
distinct tectonic events, namely folding and disjoining. In this
sense, the preliminary base model that had been obtained using
kriged values as interpolators was assumed to represent the
hanging wall of the bauxite formation after the first phase. The
displacements were then interpreted and defined through statis-
tical analysis of the deviations, for the known points, between
the values of the base model and the experimental values. Their
subsequent application to the above-mentioned model allowed us to
define the final model of the behaviour of the hanging wall of
the bauxite formation.

5. LITHOSTRATIGRAPHIC MODEL OF THE BAUXITE LAYER

In the Olmedo area, the average thickness of the bauxite
formation is 2.6 m (Figure 4), and variations in thickness along
the length of the deposit can be considered to be regular. The
zones of maximum thickness (up to about 5 m) are lined up fairly
regularly along the strike which may correspond to early folding
of the footwall formation. The thickness varies considerably
because of the presence of karst cavities filled with bauxite.

The clay footwall, which has an average thickness of about 4 em,
is found in the zones of oriented accumulation which are concen-
trated in the northern and western sectors of the study area. It
is practically absent in the zones with a limestone footwall
belonging to the Upper Valanginian era (Figure 5).

The experimental variograms for thickness were calculated in the
plane of the deposit, from the drillhole data. The directional
semi-variograms were calculated. For all cases, the spherical
models were fitted. The local estimates of the thickness were
obtained by stationary kriging, with drillhole selection using a
dynamic estimating envelope. The form and extension of this
envelope depends on the local geometry of the sampling data.
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 79

---- ~

c
o

- g<>

---,-_ _ , _ _____+ _ --,-_ ----l----_---.--_--+-_-,-__ +-_..------------l
OD~" 000 " 008'£ 009[: OO t t DOlt 0901: OOBt OiJt~ OO ~ , OOll. J'[.IO ~
80 G.CAPELLO ETAL.
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 81

The widths of both the bauxite layer and the clay footwall were
determined using data from all drillholes, including those for
which there was no information on bauxite grades and oretypes.
This was done in order to reduce the estimation error with regard
to the footwall clays which are a strongly penalizing character-
istic for future mining operations. Where the density of
available information was considered to be insufficient, block
models of the stratigraphic thickness of the bauxite formation
were constructed using geostatistical procedures integrated with
inverse distance weighting.
Model estimates of formation and stratum thicknesses were
computed independently by kriging. The model of footwall-clay
thickness was computed on the basis of the difference between the
preceding two models, maintaining stratigraphic consistency.

The mineralogical composition of the Nurra bauxites is character-
ized essentially by the presence of aluminium of the monohydrate
type in the form of bohemite.

On marly and marly-limestone footwalls belonging to the
Purbeckian facies, which represents two-thirds of the total study
area, the bauxite formation presents the following charac-
teristics from bottom to top :
- 10-150 em of bauxite clays: this facies corresponds to a
very early stage of the bauxitization process;
- 10-80 em of clayey bauxite: the transition from the
preceding facies is gradual even though it occurs in the
space of a few centimeters; the Si0 2 grades vary from 12 to
15%;
- 50-400 cm of compact bauxite, with a fine oolitic-pisolitic
fabric; the Si0 2 grades vary from 1 to 12%.
- 0-50 cm of pseudo-conglomeratic bauxite derived from
re-elaboration of the underlying facies; the Si0 2 grade
varies from 8 to 20\.

6. MODEL OF HANGING WALL KARSISM

Being able to forecast the probability of karstic phenemona of a
certain intensity and of a certain extension in a given area has
a direct influence on the criteria to be adopted in scheduling
the drifting and/or m1n1ng works as well as in estimating the
inaccessible fractions of area and hence the non-recoverable
reserves. A tapa-probabilistic model was developed for this.
Each point of the bauxite formation was classified according to
the probability of more or less intense hanging wall karsism.

The data used to construct the model for forecasting the presence
of hanging-wall karsism are the result of interpretative readings
82 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

of the cores by geologists. Suitably coded, this information is
stored in the mine's data bank (Figure 6). Table 3 shows the
system for coding the intensity of karsism while Table 4 shows
the reliability classes. The reliability is evaluated by
calculating the proportion of the number of drillholes available
to the maximum (9) available in a complete grid.

TABLE 3.
Coding of intensity of karsism.

INTENSITY CLASS CODE

Not present (nil) 0.0
Weak 0.4
Average 0.7
Strong (high) 1.0

TABLE 4.
Reliability Classes

RELIABILITY CLASSES RATIO OF n/R

Low 0 - 0.25
Average 0.25 - 0.75
High 0.75 - 1.00

7. IN SITU AND MINEABLE RESERVES

The term "in situ reserves" is used to indicate the tonnages of
ore that correspond to the volume computed by integrating the
thicknesses of the bauxite layer over the entire explored area.
Thickness is here understood in the lithostratigraphic, undeter-
mined sense, i.e. based on a cutoff grade for Si0 2 . No reductions
have been made to take account of lack of recovery due to
geometry of mining operations or inability to mine near faults or
areas reserved for infrastructure.

The term "characterized reserves" is used to designate the
fraction of the entire volume within the established quality
specifications. In this case, the parameters are the thicknesses
at given cutoff grades for Si0 2 . These values are determined on
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 83

..
52
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84 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

the basis of the geometrical and economic constraints imposed by
the design.

Finally, the term "mineable reserves" is used when the parts that
cannot be mined have been subtracted from the "reserves condi-
tioned by quality and thickness", i.e. zones near the faults,
zones reserved for the infrastructure or zones that must be
abandoned due to geometrical constraints of the different mining
methods. The term "mineable reserves' also takes account of the
fact that a certain rate of dilution will occur during mining,
when the quality of run-of-mine ore will be lowered during the
processes of selection and extraction.

As the Olmedo orebody is a two-dimensional deposit, the reserve
estimates are associated with estimates of thickness (determined
by a cutoff grade in % Si0 2 ) and the corresponding accumulations
(product of grades x thickness). The data used for estimating in
situ reserves are those obtained from drill holes that provided
complete and reliable information on widths and the distribution
of grades along the bauxite stratum. For each of these, the
behaviour of the silica and the alumina was modelled on the basis
of the grades obtained from cores.

Grade-tonnage models and convex analysis were then used to
simulate the effects of a series of cuttings in the footwall of
the bauxite stratum, including elimination of the bauxite rich in
Si0 2 at the bottom. This operation is justified by the real
possibility of making the same selection during mining. The
vertical zoning of the bauxite layer and the possibility of
selecting part of the thickness of the panel wherever the requi-
rements concerning quality of run-of-mine ore are not met, led to
the adoption of a dual characterization, applying a series of
cutoffs for Si0 2 grade for the footwall and for the panels of the
estimated models.

For the global characterization, the quality of the orebody was
estimated for five different cutoffs (10, 12, 14, 20 and 100%)
for Si0 2 grade, layer thickness and accumulations of Si0 2 and
Al 2 0 3 ·
The size of the estimating panels (50 x 50 sq. m) and the differ-
entiated estimates of the layer for the various cutoffs were
based on the results of the lithostratigraphic and grade-tonnage
models of the ore-bearing formation and the distributions in the
plane of the drillholes. The results of the evaluations of the
bauxite stratum are shown in Figures 7, 8 and 9. These show the
distribution of reserves according to the following parameters:

average thickness of the bauxite bank in terms of blocks
measuring 50 x 50 sq. m (cutoff at 20% Si0 2 );
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 85

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250 500 750 1000 1 2~~ :500 1750 2000 2250 2500 2750 JOOO J2S0 3500 J7S0 i OOO ~ 250 4500 . 750

Figure 9. 00
-.]
88 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

- average grade in Si0 2 of the bauxite bank in terms of
blocks measuring 50 x 50 sq. m (cutoff at 20% Si0 2 );

- average grade in A1 2 0 3 of the bauxite bank in terms of
blocks measuring 50 x 50 sq. m (cutoff at 20% Si0 2 ).

The characteristics of the in situ reserves are presented below.
- In situ reserves 30.9 Mtonnes
- Average thickness 1 .81 m
- Average grade in Si0 2 11 .8 %
- Average grade in A1 20 3 59.6 %

Table 5 shows the characterized reserves at various cutoff grades
for Si0 2 in the footwall for thicknesses over 1.3m for the zones
to be mined by underground methods. These figures must be reduced
by about 3% to take account of the effects of karstic and erosive
phenomena.

TABLE 5.
Characterized reserves (Si0 2 cutoff at footwall and thickness).

Cutoff Thickness Si0 2 Al 20 3 Reserves
(%) (m) ('o) ('o) (Mt)

20 2.14 8.7 62.7 24.4
14 1. 99 7.5 63.9 20.1
12 1. 88 6.9 64.7 17 .2
10 1.65 6.5 64.6 15. 1

Figure 10 gives an overview of the reserves. It shows the curves
of average Si0 2 grade against tonnage for the part of the layer
that is characterized by a given cutoff Si0 2 grade for the clayey
footwall bauxites. The curves show how the reserves diminish when
the panels (50 x 50 sq.m) with a high silica grade are elimi-
nated. This represents a horizontal selection of the layer.

In particular, if the strategy of not mining ore with more than
20% Si0 2 and of selecting the blocks with an estimated grade of
less than 20\ Si0 2 and a thickness of over 1.3 m (for underground
mining) was adopted, (This decision corresponds to systematically
abandoning the poorest part of the ·clayey bauxite" ore-types)
the following values were then obtained for the reserves:
MODELLING OF A BA UXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 89

o
'" ...o o
90 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

- Characterized in situ reserves 24.4 Mtonnes
- Average thickness 2.4 M
- Average grade in Si0 2 8.7 %
- Average grade 1n A1 20 3 62.7 %

These results obtained led to the decision to divide the orebody
into three distinct zones on the basis of technical and economic
considerations. The first zone covers the outcrops, while the
second one refers to the part with a more regular structure and
the third one to the more disrupted part. This subdivision is a
result of the analysis of the suitability of various mining
methods: open-pit for the first zone and underground mining using
mechanized systems for the other two. Each zone is, therefore,
characterized by different recovery rates which take account of
factors such as:
- karstic phenomena;
- presence of faults or other disruptions;
- protecting masses for the infrastructures;
characteristics that are an inherent part of the m1n1ng
method (e.g. minimum thickness of 1.3 m for underground
mining) .

8. CONCLUSION

In conclusion, the project mining strategy determined the
following mineable reserves:

- mineable reserves of crude ore 20.0 Mtonnes
- average thickness 2.14 m
- average grade in Si0 2 9.0 %

"
- average grade 1n A1 2 0 3 62.0

The grades in Si0 2 and A1 2 0 3 were then modified to take account
of dilution. Table 6 presents the detailed results for each zone.
Zone 1 was subdivided into 4 distinct 5ubzones. Recoveries for
the first two zones are estimated at 95\ and 85%, respectively,
with the average being 87%. The predicted recovery rate for zone
3 is 75%. The allowance of 3% for karstic and erosive phenomena
has already been made.
MODELLING OF A BAUXITE OREBODY IN SARDINIA 91

TABLE 6.
Mineable reserves.

Reserves Si0 2 Al 2 0 3 Thickness Surface
Ktonn % % m ha

ZONE 1
A 593. 7.4 65.9 1. 85 12.5
B 720. 6.9 64.1 1. 81 15.5
C 829. 10.8 55.9 2.44 13.3
0 1188. 8.5 64.7 2.47 18.7
-- --
TOTAL ( 1 ) 3330. 8.5 62.6 2.16 60

ZONE 2 9674. 8.2 63.6 2.17 194.3
-- --
TOTAL ( 1+2) 13004. 8.3 63.3 2.17 254.3

ZONE 3 7123. 9.4 61.8 2.1 167.5
-- --
TOTAL 20127. 8.7 62.8 2.14 421.8

REFERENCES

BRUNO R., GUARASCIO M., RASPA G., 1979, "Preliminary geostatis-
tical analysis of the Sotiros deposit", Note GEOSTAT N' 21.

DUBRULE 0., 1981, "Krigeage et Splines en Cartographie Automa-
tique" (Kriging and splines in computer-aided mapping), These
de Docteur-Ingenieur, ENSMP, Paris.

GUARASCIO M., 1974, ·Valutazione dei giacimenti minerari:
l'approcio geostatistico" (The evaluation of orebodies: the
geostatistical approach), Industria Mineraria.

GUARASCIO M., 1975, "Improving the uranium deposits estimations
(The Novazza case)", Advanced geostatistics in the mining
industry, Proceedings NATO ASI, "GEOSTAT 75", Rome, Italy.

JOURNEL A., 1977, Geostatistique Miniere (Mining geostatistics),
Vol. and 2, Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.
92 G. CAPELLO ET AL.

MATHERON G., 1971, "The theory of regionalized variables and its
applications", Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.

MATHERON G., 1975, "Le parametrage technique des reserves",
Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau, France.

MATHERON G., 1978, "L'estimation globale des reserves recupe-
rabIes" , Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF FROM WIRELINE
LOGS AND SEISMIC DATA; A CASE HISTORY

Laurent Moinard

Schlumberger Well Services

ABSTRACT

Maps constructed from seismic data represent subsurface structures in terms of two-way
transit time. Wireline logs provide depth of formation tops at well locations. The best
representation of a subsurface horizon should combine both measurements. Kriging is an
ideal tool for merging seismic and log data.

This case history describes the mapping of a reef in north Texas. Seismic data include
three common depth point (COP) lines and a large number of single-fold records. Wireline
logs, including a vertical seismic profile (VSP), are available in II wells .

The first step is the geostatistical analysis of seismic data. The empirical semivariogram
is drawn from several hundred shot points, and a theoretical model is fitted. This
semivariogram is used to construct a time grid.

In the second step, wireline logs are correlated to the seismic sections with the help of
the VSP data. A time-depth relationship is established and applied to the time grid to yield
a "drift" for the kriging of the depth data. The final output is a depth grid used to generate
a contour map.

INTRODUCTION

Geologic structures are often mapped from well log data available in very few wells. When
this is done by hand, the geologist usually supplements the log data with his a-priori knowledge
(or prejudices) of the formation under study.

Computer-generated structure maps based on few well data are fraught with problems .
First, large areas are'not covered by any data point. This leads to uncertainty in the inter-
polated values, and the shape of the interpolated structure depends heavily on the location
93

G, Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 93-103,
© 1987 by D, Reidel /'"blislrillg
Oll/plllly,
94 L. MOl NARD

of the data points. Second, the interpolation method is arbitrarily selected. It does not reflect
the degree of continuity of the parameter interpolated or the density of data points in a
given area.

Unlike well log data, seismic data often provide a good areal coverage of the area under
study. However, seismic sections also suffer from limitations. First, the vertical axis of a
seismic section is scaled in time, not depth. Second, the vertical resolution of seismic
measurements is much worse than that of well logs, and it is sometimes difficult to match
seismic reflectors and geologic boundaries without ambiguity.

This paper shows how depth data from a small number of well logs and time data from
seismic sections can be combined to obtain a detailed structure map. We will assume that
the reader is familiar with the theory of geostatistics. After reviewing the log al}d seismic
data we will show how they were combined to determine the geometry of a reef in north Texas.

GEOPHYSICAL DATA

The area of study is located in Throckmorton County, Texas. The formations of interest
are the Caddo and Mississippi limestones, which are hydrocarbon-producing formations
at depths of 4,000 and 4,600 feet, respectively. The Caddo lime is about 400 feet thick. It
is overlain by the Smithwick shale, which is also several hundred feet thick. The Smithwick-
Caddo boundary is an excellent seismic reflector that can be identified easily throughout
the area.

The buildup of reefs on the Mississippi lime creates structural traps in both formations.
The purpose of the study was therefore to provide an accurate structure map of the top
of the Caddo limestone to delineate the extent of one reef.

The area covered by the study is shown in figure I. It covers about 10,000 feet in the
east-west direction and 8,000 feet in the north-south direction. Locations of data points are
shown on the figure. Eleven wells, labeled 1 through II, are shown as dots. The diamonds
correspond to three six-fold COP seismic lines, labeled A, B, and C. The crosses are single-
fold or "conventional" seismic records.

A
NOrlh

" .? .
,8
9
'.

B.. .... :: :~.. ": ./2. :.'.: ....,:,-.::.:
10' •

'.
. II ·
C· .......: .. '.' . .' :: ... '.' .. : ...... :'::'.

Fig. 1 -Locations of data points
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF 95

Wireline Logs

The most accurate data available in the area are well logs. Logs are geophysical
measurements performed with instruments lowered in the wellbore at the end of a wireline.
Rock parameters measured in wells 1 through 8 include:

• Resistivity and "spontaneous potential,"
• Hydrogen index,
• Bulk density,
• Photoelectric capture cross section,
• Acoustic velocity, and
• Gamma ray.

Measurements are made everyone-half foot.
The depth is measured on the wire line with
a calibrated wheel and is corrected for cable
stretch and tool buoyancy. Depth accuracy
is usually better than one foot at the depth of
the formations under study.

The measurements listed above are analyzed
with computer programs to derive rock
parameters more meaningful to geologists and
reservoir engineers: mineral composition,
porosity, and water saturation. An example of
a computed log in well 2 is shown on figure
2. The curves displayed are:

Fig, 2-Computed log ana lys is on Well 2
96 L. MOINARD

• Left-hand track: porosity analysis

The left curve is the effective porosity; i.e., the fraction of bulk rock volume filled
with movable fluids (water and oil). It is scaled from 0% to 25OJo, right to left. The
area to the right of the curve corresponds to the pore volume. It is divided into two
areas, black and white, which correspond to oil and water volumes, respectively.

• Right-hand track: volumetric analysis

The right track is divided into five areas whose width correspond to fractions of rock
constituents at any given depth. From left to right, they are:

1. Clay fraction, shaded with short horizontal lines,
2. Quartz fraction, shaded with coarse dots,
3. Calcite fraction, shaded with bricks,
4. Bound water fraction (water chemically bound to clay), shaded with fine dots, and
5. Pore volume, no shading.

Wells 9, 10, and 11 are older and have only resistivity and spontaneous potential logs.
This limited logging suite does not lend itself to detailed volumetric analysis, but formation
tops can still be picked accurately.

Log measurements have a good vertical resolution and can be used for accurate forma-
tion evaluation. Their main limitation is that their depth of investigation extends, at most,
only a few feet away from the wellbore.

Seismic Data

Three types of seismic data were available in the field: over 100 single-fold records, three
CDP lines, and one VSP in well 2.

Single-Fold Records

The crosses on figure 1 correspond to single-fold seismic records. For each record, a seismic
source is detonated at the location indicated on the map. Geophones deployed a short distance
away from the shot location record the amplitude of the seismic waves reflected by subsur-
face formation boundaries. Since only one shot is recorded for any subsurface reflection
point, no processing is done, and reflectors are picked from the analog records. This is ac-
ceptable because the reflector being mapped is very strong and continuous throughout the
area. The method is simple, and with a spacing of 800 to 1,000 feet between shot points
it can provide good areal .coverage at low cost.

Common Depth Point Records

The diamonds correspond to a more sophisticated seismic survey. An array of geophones
is depleyed along a long straight line. The distance between geophone groups is fairly short
(220 feet). A seismic source is successively detonated at each location and the amplitude
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF 97

of reflected waves is recorded each time by all geophones. The records can then be sorted
and combined in such a manner that several records correspond to the same subsurface reflec-
tion point, but different source-geophones spacings (hence the name common depth point,
or COP).

Stacking the common depth point records improves signal-to-noise ratio and eliminates
near-surface multiple reflections. The seismic lines used in this study are six-fold COP. This
means that each trace was obtained by combining six different source-receiver offsets. Line
B is shown on figure 3. The horizontal axis is distance along the line. Shot point numbers
are referenced on the top. The vertical axis is two-way time, or the time it takes a seismic
wave to go down to a reflector and bounce back up to the sl,!rface. For each trace, the horizon-
tal displacement is the amplitude of the geophone vibration. Positive amplitudes are shaded
in black to make correlation from trace to trace easier.

Fig. 3 -Seismic Section B

The dark bands of high amplitude indicate strong seismic reflectors; that is, boundaries
between formations of high acoustic impedance contrast. The seismic lines provide a con-
tinuous lateral coverage of the formation tops, but two limitations are obvious:

• The vertical axis is time, not depth;
• The frequency of the seismic signal is low (less than 100 Hz). The wavelength at the
depth of interest is over 100 feet and the vertical resolution is poor.

Vertical Seismic Profile

Well 2 is located only 150 feet from seismic line B, near shot point 18. To help correlate
seismic events (in time) to formation tops (in depth) a vertical seismic profile (VSP) was
recorded in this well.

With this technique, a seismic source is detonated on the surface near the wellbore, and
the whole seismic wave train is recorded by a geophone lowered into the well on the wireline.
The procedure is repeated with the geophone anchored at depths varied in 100-foot in-
crements, from the bottom of the well up to the surface.
98 L MOINARD

This measurement offers three advantages:

• The depth of the geophone and the time it takes the seismic impulse to arrive there
are known: an accurate time-depth relationship can be established.

• Unlike with surface seismic, the downgoing wave train is recorded as well as the upgo-
ing wave train. This allows us to develop deconvolution operators to process the seismic
signal.

• The geophone is downhole, near the reflectors of interest. The seismic signal travels
only one-half the distance it does with surface seismic records and crosses the high at-
tenuation weathered layer only once. The signal is much less attenuated and has a higher
frequency content; therefore, it has a better vertical resolution.

The final result of the VSP processing is a high-resolution seismic trace, which is the ideal
seismic response at the well location. This trace can be easily correlated with the CDP line
in the vicinity of the well.

As mentioned above, the acoustic velocity of the formation was measured everyone-half
foot with wireline logs. Using this continuous velocity measurement, the log analysis displayed
on figure 2 with a linear depth scale can be rescaled and displayed with a linear time· scale.
The measured depths have also been shifted to seismic reference datum (SRD). This display
is shown on figure 4, together with the processed VSP trace (replicated seven times to enhance
reflectors). All seismic events on the CDP line can be correlated, through the VSP, with
geologic boundaries. For instance, the strong reflector at 0.726 seconds is the top of the
Caddo limestone.

Fig. 4 -Time-scaled log analysis with VSP data
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF 99

Two-way times to the top of the Caddo limestone were picked on all traces of the CPO
lines and on the single-fold records.

GEOSTATISTICAL ANALYSIS OF SEISMIC DATA

The first step of the study was the geostatistical analysis of the seismic data. A digital
data file was built, containing for each shot location the coordinates x and y and the two-
way time to the Caddo limestone, read from the seismic sections and the single-fold records.

The empirical semivariogram of the time residuals was computed from 238 data points
(28,203 pairs). The regional drift used for this analysis is a plane fitted through the data
points by least squares. This semivariogram is shown on figure 5, where the horizontal axis
is distance in feet and the vertical axis is the half mean square difference in square seconds.
The pairs are grouped according to the distance between points. The width of the first distance
class is 125 feet; the width for all others is 250 feet. In addition to distance, the pairs are
also subdivided into four orientation classes: E-W, NE-SW, N-S, NW-SE. Five curves are
shown. Each of the dashed lines corresponds to one orientation, and the solid line is the
mean semivariogram, where all orientations are combined.

~; .-----------------------,

,""."

DIR!:C11 :l
• - "[J'I>.~ ( ...
... - I: 50!
• - NC-Slol
" ~ .N-S
o ~ _ _ _ _~_ __ ~
~
~ - .NW · 5[
~_~~~

,
Fig. 5 -Directional semivariograms of time residuals

Three important features can be noticed:

1. The range is clearly defined, about 3,000 feet.

2. All curves overlay up to a distance of 1,000 feet. This indicates isotropy up to this
distance. Between 1,000 and 3,000 feet, there is a slight amount of inisotropy. Beyond
3,000 feet anisotropy becomes much stronger. Since seismic data coverage is fairly dense,
few points will be extrapolated very far. We can therefore safely assume that the spatial
variations are isotropic and use the mean semivariogram.

3. At a distance of about 5,000 feet, there is a large difference between the northeast-
100 L. MOINARD

southwest semivariogram and the northwest-southeast semivariogram. At about 7,000
feet, all curves become close together again.

Several a-priori conclusions can be derived from the shape of the semivariogram and the
knowledge of geological structures found in the area.

At distances shorter than the range, the northeast-southwest semivariogram is somewhat
lower than the other ones. We will therefore expect more continuity in that direction. The
sharp decrease in the northwest-southeast semivariogram at 4,500 feet implies that pairs of
points 4,500 apart span the whole structure. It is also probable that a similar structure may
be located 4,000 to 5,000 feet away in the southeast or northwest direction. We can therefore
expect a structure that is about 4,000 to 5,000 feet across and elongated in the northeast-
southwest direction.

For more clarity, the mean semivariogram of time residuals has been redrawn on figure
6, where only distance classes having more than 100 pairs are plotted. As before, the horizon-
tal axis is distance in feet, and the vertical axis is one-half the mean squared differences

0r
in square seconds.
~; .-----------------------~

.
,;

"'~~

~

:
.I
Fig. 6 -Mean semivariogram of time residuals

The dotted line is the analytical model fitted on the empirical data. It uses the following
parameters:

• Nugget effect: 1 millisecond squared,
• Range: 2,800 feet,
• Sill: 28 milliseconds squared, and
• Shape: "spherical."

The nugget effect is unusually small. This is a consequence of the smooth shape of the
reflector as shown on figure 3. The formation is very continuous, and there are no faults
in the area of interest. The range - 2,800 feet - is consistent with the size of structures
encollntered in that area. The "spherical" shape of the semivariogram is a frequent occur-
rence with seismic data.
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF 101

Using the time data shown on figure 1, the semivariogram described above, and a linear
drift, time data were interpolated at each node of a regular grid covering the area of in-
terest. The grid mesh size was 200 feet in each direction. A contour map drawn from this
grid is shown on figure 7. The contour interval is 2 milliseconds.

Fig. 7 -Two-way time to top of Caddo

The main structure is located in the center of the map. It is oriented roughly northeast-
southwest, as was inferred from the analysis of the directional semivariograms. A second
structure is visible to the southeast, about 5,000 feet away. This confirms what was inferred
from the periodicity of the northwest-southeast directional semivariogram.

In addition to the grid nodes, time was interpolated at the locations of wells which did
not have borehole time measurements. This interpolation will be used in the next phase,
where time is converted to depth.

STRUCTURE MAP
The subsea depth of the Caddo lime is known at 11 points only (the well locations). With
11 points, there are too few pairs (55) to compute an empirical semivariogram from the
data. Without external information, an interpolation method to compute a grid would have
to be chosen arbitrarily. Figure 8 is a contour map drawn from these 11 points, using a
spline interpolation routine. It shows a single massive structure in the right half of the area
studies.

Fig. 8 -Top of Caddo from well data only
102 L. MOINARD

Since the seismic data offer a better areal coverage than the well data, one would like
to use these data to help the interpolation of formation tops. To link these two data sets,
we need some correlation between time and depth.

In all wells, in addition to depth, we have a measure of the two-way time from the seismic
reference datum (SRD) to the Caddo top. This time was either measured directly in the
borehole with VSP or "check shots" or interpolated from nearby seismic shotpoints as shown
above.

In universal kriging, the drift is taken into account by introducing n drift functions, which
are functions of the x and y coordinates. These are usually monomials, of degree 0, 1, and
2; i.e., xo, xl, yl, x 2, xy, and y2. In matrix form, this amounts to adding n lines and col-
umns to the matrix of covariances and n dimensions to the vector of the kriging weights.

Since time is now known at all grid nodes and at the locations of the data points, func-
tions of time can be used for drift, instead of functions of x and y. The method has been
incorporated in the "BLUPACK" program and is virtually transparent to the user.

Several conceptual problems are associated with the method. First, the variance of the
time estimation error at the grid nodes is assumed equal to zero. From a practical stand-
point, this can be ignored. The seismic data have a much denser areal coverage than the
well data; so, at any point, the time variance is usually much smaller than the variance of
the depth estimation error and can be safely assumed to be negligible.

The most serious difficulty is obtaining the variogram of depth residuals. No serious
statistical inference can be drawn from 11 points: one can hardly compute a valid mean,
let alone a variance. Besides, times were not measured but interpolated to most well loca-
tions, thereby making the time-depth relationship weaker.

For lack of a better model, we assumed a depth semivariogram similar to the time
semivariogram, which is well defined: "spherical" shape and 2,800-foot range. The nugget
effect was set to zero to force the contours to honor the data points. The value of the sill
is the only weak point. It was set equal to the variance of the 11 depth residuals and is therefore
probably pessimistic. This last number controls the variance of the estimation error; conse-
quently, we will not be able to rely too heavily on the absolute value of the computed estima-
tion error, but relative values between grid points should still be usable.

The depth grid was computed using this semivariogram and a linear function of time for
the drift.

The contour map drawn from the depth grid is shown on figure 9. It differs greatly from
the map computed from depth data only. The shape now follows that of the time map,
since the drift is a linear function of time. In the vicinity of the well locations, however,
it departs from the time map and matches measured depths of those locations.

One of the conditions of the kriging estimator is to minimize the variance of the estima-
tion error. This variance is therefore computed at each grid point. Figure 10 is a contour
map of the standard deviation of the depth estimation error. It provides a good measure-
ment of the uncertainty of the depth computation. The standard deviation is between 10
and 20 feet for most of the area of interest except near the wells. These values seem high,
APPLICATION OF KRIGING TO THE MAPPING OF A REEF 103

but as mentioned above, they are controlled by an ill-defined parameter: the variance of
the depth residuals. However, finding a formation top to feet too high or too low in a new
well is an everyday occurrence in the oil patch, and these numbers may well be valid after all.

Fig. 9 -Top of Caddo from all data Fig. 10-Standard deviation of the estimation error

CONCLUSIONS

The universal kriging interpolation method can be used to generate an accurate contour
map using both seismic data and wireline log data when only a few wells have been drilled.

It makes best use of the wide areal coverage of seismIc measurements and the good depth
resolution provided by wireline logs, especially when time and depth are accurately correlated
by a vertical seismic profile. In addition to the case reviewed here, this method has been
applied successfully to several other structures from Michigan to south Texas.

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

The author thanks Tom Roach III of Ashtola Oil Co., who agreed to release these data
for publication; ,Lennart Tier, who interpreted the seismic data; Rose Barnstead, who pro-
cessed the VSP data; and Pierre Delfiner, who developed the external drift method describ-
ed in the paper and provided timely advice and recommendations while this study was car-
ried out.

REFERENCES

P. Delfiner, J. P. Delhomme, and J. Pelissier-Combescure: "Application of Geostatistical
Analysis to the Evaluation of Petroleum Reservoirs with Well Logs," paper presented at
the 1983 SPWLA Annual Logging Symposium, June 27-30.

Milton B. Dobrin: "Introduction to Geophysical Prospecting," McGraw Hill, 1976.

Bob A. Hardage: "Vertical Seismic Profiling," Geophysical Press, 1983.
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD

Alain GALLI, Centre de Geostatistique, ECOLE NATIONALE
SUPERIEURE DES MINES DE PARIS, Fontainebleau, France.

Gilbert MEUNIER, GAZ DE FRANCE, Paris, France.

ABSTRACT

This paper shows how the external drift method can be used to
combine data from seismic campaigns, which are numerous but
inaccurate, with that from a small number of wells, to give more
accurate contour maps and also to model faults. The successive
improvements made in the maps as more information became
available will be stressed, together with the economic
consequences of this.

1. INTRODUCTION

Since 1968 the French Gas Company (Gaz de France) has been
storing natural gas in an anticlinal structure at Contres-Chemery
which is situated 30 km south of Blois (in the Loire Valley). The
surface area ~s about 30 km2, and the top of the structure is
80 m above the level of the closure. Its shape is rather
complicated; in particular it has two domes. At the western end,
it is limited by a vertical fault with a throw of up to 40 m.

The gas is stored inside the upper Triassic sandstone which lies
1100 m below the surface. The main reservoir R2 is 40 m in
thickness and is overlain by 10 to 12 m of variegated clay.
Several interbedded sandstones (R1) in which gas is not stored,
are followed by thick series containing clays, dolomites and
limestones at the base of the Jurassic sequence.

At the end of 1981, the Chemery reservoir which was the largest
~n France, was thought to have a capacity of 4.5 billion m3 .
105

C. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Ceostatistical Case Studies, 105-119.
© l <Nil by D. Reidel Publishing Company.
106 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

However injection tests showed that the gas moved preferentially
westward toward the outer zone. This meant that in order to avoid
leakages, only 3.5 billion m3 of gas could e ffectively be stored.

The preferential migration was due to several factors:

(1) The petro-physical characteristics of the reservoir are
better in the center and the west compared to the northern and
eastern parts.

(2) The clay interbedding (of variable size and thickness)
prevents gas from filling up the lower layers completely.

(3) The presence of the fault in the west allows the gas to
penetrate the lower layers there.

The solutions adopted in the first instance were:

(1) To carry out a new geostatistical study of the outer zones
using the available information from the wells and the different
seismic campaigns.

(2) To inject gas preferentially 1n the deeper layers in the
center and along the eastern edge.

(3) To set up a hydraulic barrier by injecting water under
pressure down the western wells in order to stop the gas from
migrating. Two wells on the SE corner were to be used to extract
water when necessary.

2. OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY

This case study shows how additional information can be incor-
porated, and how two types of information (data from wells and
from seismic campaigns) were combined so as to improve the
estimates obtained in the NW part of the reservoir.

The zone under study is a rectangle 9 x 8 km. Four sets of data
were available.

(1) an initial seismic campaign containing 1358 sample points
over a very large area,

(2) 76 wells where the depth to the top of the reservoir had been
measured,

(3) 3 extra wells which had been drilled on the western side to
create the hydraulic barrier, (see Figure 1) and
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD 107

(4) a second, more recent seismic campaign designed to clarify
the closure in the NW corner (164 points).

......

...

. ..
.... ....._-'.........
.
...... -
..

Figure 1. 79 wells plus the two faults. The wells numbered from
1 to 10 were used to compare the different kriging
estimators. Nos 4, 2, 5 are the 3 extra wells.

For each seismic campaign, we had the return times. Figure
shows the location of the wells; Figures 2 and 3 show the measure
points for the two seismic campaigns. Only two major faults (N-S
and E-W) exist in the area. The other smaller faults were not
digitized for this study. The first seismic campaign did not show
up the EW fault. The discovery of this EW fault was the major
improvement that resulted from the new campaign.

Before presenting the steps in the study, we shall briefly
describe the external drift method which was used to combine the
seismic information and the well data.

3. THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD

When several correlated variables have been measured at various
points in the same area, it is natural to use them all to
estimate the values of one of them. The first method provided by
!O8 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

.....
- ...

-~

..
..; .. .......... -

-: -,... .. .....

--.. -- ..
Figure 2. The first seismic campalgn. Only one fault was found .

-...
.....
.. :t.

Figure 3. The second seismic campaign with the newly discovered
EW fault.
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD 109

geostatistics for doing this is cokriging. However it is seldom
used in practice because of the difficulty of inferring the
cross-covariances and of finding a suitable kriging neigh-
bourhood.

Another geostatistical technique for incorporating data from
other variables is the external drift method. This is not new. It
was proposed by Matheron in the 1970's and has been used by
Delhomme (1979) in the original study on the Chemery reservoir
for G.D.F. and by Delfiner (1983). The technique has also been
used to model faults (Marechal, 1984).

The external drift method is most commonly applied to variables
that measure the same phenomenon in different ways e.g. the depth
of a geological horizon measured by wells and by seismic
campaigns. The well data are accurate but scarce, and only cover
a small area. The seismic data give the overall shape of the
reservoir with poor local precision. Scaling problems arise due
to the difficulty in measuring the velocity of propagation.
Instead of using polynomial functions to characterize the drift
of the reservoir, we use the shape as given by the seismic data
as an external drift when we krige the well data. A detailed
description is given in the Appendix.

4. THE STEPS IN THE STUDY

The location of both faults was taken into account throughout the
structural analysis except where specifically mentioned. The
faults were considered as barriers. The EW fault was only taken
into account in the last part of the study when the data from the
second seismic campaign-which revealed its presence, was used.

The data were clearly not stationary (and this was confirmed by
the structural analysis), so we used I.R.F-k. See Matheron (1973)
and Galli and Renard (1986) for details on I.R.F-k. The problem
was to determine the degree k of the drift and the generalized
covariance which accurately represents the data. The automatic
fitting procedure RECO in the program BLUEPACK was used for this.

4.1. First Seismic Study

Minimum Value 647 ms
Maximum Value 845 ms
Variance 1332 ms 2
Standard Deviation 36.5 ms
Mean Value 715.3 ms

The degree of the drift was k =1 (i.e. locally linear) and the
generalized covariance was:
110 A. GALLI AND G . MEUNIER

K(h) = - 0.095 Ihl + 0.25 x 10- 4 h 2 log h

(The second covariance term is a 'spline' covariance). A 16 point
neighbourhood was used . The map obtained by llsing this model to
krige the first set of seismic data is given Figure 4 .

Figure 4. The contour map obtained by kriging the first seismic
campaign, which will be used as the external drift
function later .

The model was then tested by cross-validation. Points are dropped
out one by one, and their value is kriged as if they were
unknown. The difference between the kriged value and the true
value is then calculated . In this case the mean square error was
5.1 ms, which compares favourably with the standard deviation of
the data (36 . 5 ms).

It is important to note that when the value at points on a
seismic profile is estimated, there are always lots of
neighbouring points and so the cross-validation errors are always
lower than for isolated points.

4.2 The Well Data

Minimum Value 965 m
Maximum Value 1095 m
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD III

Variance 1080 m2
Standard Deviation 32.8 m
Mean Value 1011 m

The structural analysis of the well data gave a linear drift
(k=1) with generalized covariance

K(h) = 0.3 h 2 log h

Because of the presence of the faults, a 6 point neighbourhood
was used.

The experimental standard deviation for the cross-validation was
about 13 m. When judging this, it is important to realize that
one of the largest errors (38 m) occurs at point No 10 which lies
to the west of the NS fault line (Figure 1). So when it was
re-estimated, only the points on the western edge of the
reservoir could be used.

4.3. Using the Seismic Data as an External Drift

The structural analysis and the cross-validation tests were then
carried out on the well data using the seismic information as an
external drift. This illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of
this technique quite clearly.

Firstly, the experimental standard error drops from 13 m to
9.2 m. The anomaly near the NS fault is much better estimated
(the error is less than 20 m now), but the errors still range
from 10 to 27 m in the central area where there is a lot of data.
This shows that although the external drift gives the overall
shape of the reservoir, it does not help a great deal in densely
sampled areas. This may be due to several factors. Local
variations in the velocity may exist between the centre and the
deeper edge areas. Alternatively for interbedded or lenticular
reservoirs, the depth to the first sand level in one well can be
quite different to that in an adjacent one because of the type of
reservoir. However on the contour map of the seismic information
(Figure 4), we can see that there is only one dome (instead of
two) in the central part.

There is one other interesting application for the external drift
method. The throw of the faults has been taken into account in
the kriged map obtained from the seismic data, which leads to the
idea of kriging the well data without including the faults as
such but using the seismic map as the external drift. If this
were done, it would be possible to increase the kriging
neighbourhood or to work with a unique neighbourhood. It is
interesting to note that in this case the best results for the
cross-validation were obtained using a unique neighbourhood.
112 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

Figure 5 presents the kriged contour map obtained using just the
well data in a pseudo-unique neighbourhood (Renard and Yancey,
1984), while Figure 6 presents the kriged contour map obtained
using the well data in a unique neighbourhood with the original
seismic information as external drift. The fault was taken into
account by means of the seismic drift.

Up till this point we have used cross validation to test the
quality of a model because if using the seismic information in
the form of an external drift improves the quality of the fit
when it is re-estimated, then the additional information is
worthwhile. The criterion used to judge whether the fit was
better was the mean square error. This choice can be criticized
since it is not robust against outliers. However a very large
value means a very poor fit in the neighbourhood around that
particular point, and if the point happens to lie on the
boundary, the closure of the reservoir is not well known. So it
is important to note the spatial location of the errors too.

In our case the problem of accurately defining the closure of the
reservoir in the northwest sector is particularly important. So
we will have a closer look at the errors in this area. To
simplify the discussion, we have numbered the points from 1
through to 10. Points 2, 4 and 5 are the new wells.

Although Figure shows the two faults, only the NS fault has
been used in calculations up to this point. The EW fault was
first introduced together with the data from the second seismic
campaign. We now present this step.

4.4. Second Seismic Campaign

Minimum value 635 ms
Maximum value 705 ms
Variance 206 ms 2
Standard deviation 14.3 ms
Mean value 677 ms

The second seismic campaign was carried out to clarify the shape
of the reservoir in the northwest zone (Figure 7). Secondly if we
compare this figure with Figure 4, we see that the values
obtained from the second campaign are lower than for the
preceding one. Since these new values are considered to be more
reliable than the earlier ones where the second fault was not
even apparent, a new model of the whole seismic is required.

This model should have the same shape as the second seismic
campaign in the northwest zone, but should be like the initial
modeL elsewhere. This type of problem is a typical case of when
to use the external drift method. However because much of the map
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD 113

Figure 5. The kriged contour map obtained using the data from 76
wells in a pseudo-unique neighbourhood (a 6 point neighbourhood).

Figure 6. The kriged contour map obtained using the data from 76
wells with the seismic information as the external drift (unique
neighbourhood)
... :
114 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

Figure 7. The contour map obtained from the second seismic
campaign.

Figure 8. The external drift model which incorporates the
information from both seismic campaigns.
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD 115

must be obtained by extrapolating, we should use the pseudo-
unique neighbourhood. But in the current version of BLUEPACK, the
external drift option cannot be used with the pseudo-unique
neighbourhood. This will be rectified in the forthcoming version.
So we had to krige the data from the second campaign using the
first seismic information as the external drift in several steps.
Although the results are reasonably good (Figure 8), they could
still be improved.

4.5. Final Step

The three estimates of the northwest zone can now be compared.
These were obtained respectively using:

- the only 79 wells plus the two faults

- the 79 wells with the first seismic data as the external drift
i.e. with only one fault, (Figure 9),

- the 79 wells with the new model obtained the second seismic
campaign shown in Figure 8 as the external drift (Figure 10).

The differences between the estimates and the actual values at
the ten wells shown on Figure 1 were calculated. The corres-
ponding standard deviations were 14.7 m, 12.8 m and 7.5 m. Since
our objective is to determine the closure it is interesting to
look at some of the wells (Nos 2, 3, 4 and 5) more closely. These
are presented in Table 1.

TABLE 1.
Differences between 3 kriged values and the actual values.

First Second Third
Well No Difference Difference Difference

2 - 7.0 m - 5.9 m - 8.1 m
3 8.7 m 9.0 m 4.9 m
4 - 15.0 m - 13.0 m - 6.8 m
5 3.8 m - 4.0 m 3.3 m

From this it is clear that the new model of the seismic
information describes the shape of the reservoir in this area
where the closure is a problem, better than the other two
(especially for the criticals wells Nos 3 and 4).
116 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

Figure 9. Kriged contour map obtained using data from all wells,
with the first seismic campaign as the external drift.

Figure 10.
Kriged contour map obtained using data from all 79 wells,
with the combined seismic map (Fig. 8) as the external drift.
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT METHOD 117

Figure 11. Same contour map as for Figure 10, except for:
- shading at 45·, zones where the kriging standard
deviation is between 10m and 15m,
- vertical shading, where the kriging standard
deviation exceeds 15m.

5. CONCLUSION

The interpretation of the structure that was made at the end of
1981 (Figure 6) shows the closure at the western edge at the
level of approximately 1055 m below sea level. This has been
criticized . The three wells drilled later on in order to inject
water and to control this, showed that the levels in this area
were from about 5 m to 18 m lower than had been expected; so it
was decided not to set up the hydraulic barrier as had been
planned earlier. The contour map made at this time (Figure 9)
shows that the levels in the west where gas could escape are more
likely to be about 1065 m below sea level, but there is no way of
being certain about this.

Since a slight change in the level here would significantly
change the capacity of the reservoir, an additional seismic
campaigm was undertaken in this area in 1982. (Figure 3). This
showed that the northern edge of the Chemery reservoir is cut off
by a fault and on the southern side of this, the ground has
subsided . This suggests that the level of the closure is probably
118 A. GALLI AND G. MEUNIER

between 1067 and 1070 m below sea level (Figure 10 and 11), which
means that as a result of the additional studies, the capacity of
the reservoir is now estimated to be more than 5 billion m3
instead of merely 3.5 billion m3 .

REFERENCES

Delfiner, P., Delhomme J.P . , Pelissier Combescure J. (1983):
Application of Geostatistical Analysis to the Evaluation of
Petroleum Reservoirs with Well Logs, 24th Annual Login
Symposium Calgary, Canada.

Delhomme, J. P. , ( 1979): Etude de la geometrie du reservoir de
Chemery, Internal Report, Centre d'Informatique Geologique,
Ecole des Mines de Paris, Fontainebleau.

Galli, A., Renard, D. (1986): BLUEPACK Geostatistical Background,
Internal Report, Centre de Geostatistique, Ecole des Mines de
Paris, Fontainebleau.

Mallet, J.L., (1984): Automatic contouring with the GEOL system.
Descriptions of commands INT and MAP. Internal Report, CIS!
Petrole Service, France.

Marechal, A. , (1984) : Kriging Seismic Data in Presence of Faults,
Proc. NATO ASI "Geostatistics for Natural Resources Charac-
terization", ed G. Verly, Reidel, Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 271-
294.
Matheron, G. (1973): The Intrinsic Random Functions and their
Applications, Adv. Appl. Prob . 2 pp. 439-468.

Renard, D. (1984): Smoothing Discontinuities when Extrapolating
using Moving Neighbourhoods, Proc. NATO ASI "Geostatistics for
Natural Resources Characterization", ed G. Verly, Reidel,
Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 679-690.

BLUEPACK-3D Manual, Centre de Geostistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.

MAP Manual, Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.

All the estimates were obtained using the program BLUEPACK-3D,
Release 4.1. The maps were obtained using the program MAP.
STUDY OF A GAS RESERVOIR USING THE EXTERNAL DRIFT MET HOD 119

APPENDIX

In non - stationary geostatistics, the drift (or trend) is usually
modelled using polynomials denoted by f£(x). Mathematical and
practical considerations help us choose these . The corresponding
kriging system is

[ 'A. K.. + [ ~£f£(xj) K· j 1, ... ,n
1 1J JX
1 £
[ 'A 1. f£(x.)
1
= f£(x) £ 1, ... ,m
i

The second set of equations, called the universality conditions,
can be interpreted as follows. Suppose that Z(x) exactly
coincides with one of the drift functions f£(x) . Then Z(x) =
f£(x) at all points. Consequently, by imposing the universality
conditions on the estimator Z*(x) = [ 'A Z , then
a a
Z* (x) ['A Z(X)
a a
[ \1. f£(x a )
f£(x) (because of the universality conditions)
Z (x) .

So the kriging estimator is exactly the same as Z(x) at all
points; that is, the kriging interpolator is exact for the drift
functions. Similarly if we replace the polynomial drift functions
by another set of local shape functions S(x), that seem more
appropriate, then the kriging estimator obtained in this way,
will also be exactly identical to the shape function at all
points, provided that the variable Z(x) coincides with this shape
function. The new kriging system is

[ A, K, , + 1: ~QSQ(Xj)
1 1J
K,
JX
j = 1, .. ,n
i £

1: A.SQ(X,)
1 1 SQ(x) Q = 1, .. , L
i

where S2(x) is the square of S 1 (x) ( etc.
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE

Ch. KAVOURINOS

C.M.G.M., Ecole Nationale Superieure des Techniques
Industrielles et des Mines d'Ales,
6 avenue de Clavieres, 30107 ALES, France.

ABSTRACT

The selection of mining blocks is rarely performed on their true
grades but on estimators from their blastholes. This paper shows
the influence of the number of analysed blastholes and of the
quality of this sampling, on both predicted and recovered
results.

1. DESCRIPTION OF THE GEOLOGY AND THE MINING METHOD

1.1. The Esperance Sector

Three sectors within the Pb-Zn-Ag mine at the Malines (France)
are currently mInIng sulphide deposits related to karstic
phenomena superimposed on late hercynian fracturation. This
case-study was made on one of these three sectors (the Esperance
sector) which is at present In the reconnaissance phase of
development.

It consists of a paleozoic dolomitic bedrock which is highly
fractured, and has been covered over by black triasic shales. The
fractures are oriented in two principal directions (40' Nand
110' N). The development of the mineralisation was caused by the
flow of fluids through this fracture network resulting in
fissured ore, dissolution cavities, karstic refilling, etc. This
has led to an orebody with structures ranging from a decimetric
scale up to a scale of about one hundred metres.
121

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 121-133.
© l <Nil by D. Reidel Publishing Company.
122 CH. KA VOURINOS

The reconnaissance work consists of development headings at the
base of the mineralisation at 30 to 50 m intervals, together with
cored underground drillholes drilled up into the orebody. The
objective of this work is to locate the orebody, and to determine
its size and shape. This information will then be used to define
the areas to be mined.

The mining selection unit in the galeries is an ore block 3 m
hi(jh, 5 m 10nq and 2.5 m deep. The information available for
evaluating its grade comes from the blastholc~. Blocks arc
selected for treatment if the estimated qrade is above the
cut off grade.

The objective of this ('asc'study, which was part of a doctoratc
thesis (Kavourinos, 1985), was to study the influence of the
number of blast holes used to estimate the block grade and the
quality of the samplinq on the production figures.

1.2. The Available Information.

Several types of data were used in this case-study:

- Underground drillholes, ranging in direction from sub-
horizontal to sub-vertical. Most of the cored sections
were 1 m in length but in a few cases their length ranged
from 1.5 m up to 3 m.

- For each of 24 selection blocks we had between 9 and 20
blastholes (2.5 m lonq) which had been sampled and
analysed individually.

- For a total of 271 blocks, we had the estimated grade
obtained, as is usual at this mine, from a single analysis
of the mud from 12 of its blastholes.

The average grades for the underground drillholes and the
blastholes were almost identical (3.74% Zn), and can thus be
considered as being representative of the area. In this area, the
zinc variogram is composed of two structures, one with a range of
1 m and the other of 6 m.

The grades from the blastholes In the 24 blocks were used to
model the grade distribution in this area. The other types of
data were used to check the change of support model used and to
test for sampling problems.
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 123

2. MODELLING THE DISTRIBUTION OF BLOCK GRADES

2.1. The Distribution of the Samples

The first step in modelling the distributions of block grades and
of their estimator is to fit a model to the blast hole distribu-
tion. This is obtained by fitting a model to the empirical
distribution of the sample grades by using an expansion in terms
of Hermite polynomials (Matheron, 1978).

with this in mind, we first weighted the distribution of the 353
blastholes contained in the 24 blocks by the number of blastholes
per block (which varied between 9 and 20) to take account of the
irregular sampling density. The 353 weighted sample grades were
then ranked to obtain the experimental blastholes grade
distribution. A model using 30 Hermite polynomials was then
fitted to this (Figure 1).

1.0

o.~

0.8

0.1

0.6

o.S

0.'

O.J

0.2

0.1

O.
z
0 10 12 16 18 20

Figure 1 . The ~xperimental blasthole cumulative distribution (1)
and the fitted model obtained using 30 Hermite
polynomials (2).
124 CH. KA VOURINOS

2.2. The change of support.

The discretized gaussian model (Matheron, 1978) was used for
changing the support. In order to test the appropriateness of
this model in our case, we compared the predicted figures given
by the model with the figures for two known distributions.

We compared the predicted curves of Q(T) (the recovered metal
expressed as a function of the are recovered T), Q(z) (the metal
expressed as a function of the cut-off grade Z) and T(z) (the are
as a function of the cut-off grade) with those obtained experi-
mentally from the available data. Both are and metal are
expressed as percentages of the totals. The data used for this
test were of two types:
- The cores from the underground drillholes. (To take
account of the change of support, we regrouped sets of 12
consecutive cores from each drillhole).
- The estimated grades of 271 mining blocks obtained by
averaging the 12 blastholes in it.

Figure 2 shows the comparison between the three sets of observed
and predicted curves for (a) the regrouped cores from the
underground holes and (b) the estimated block grades. The close
agreement between the observed curves and the predicted ones
confirms the change of support model used. Having checked this,
the model will then be used to predict the recoverable reserves
as a function of the estimator used for the selection blocks.

3. FINDING THE OPTIMAL ESTIMATOR

3.1. Three Estimators

The layouts of the blast holes for three estimators which use the
average grade from 1, 4 and 12 blastholes (respectively) are
shown In Figure 3. The objective of comparing these three esti-
mators is to evaluate the influence of the number of blastholes
on the quality of the estimator.

3.2. The Information Effect.

The objective is to evaluate how much metal will be lost by
selecting the blocks for mining on the basis of the three
estimators described earlier. We calculated the loss relative to
the recovery in the ideal case where the true grades of blocks
are all known. The loss is due to selection errors: rich blocks
estimated as being poor and so not recovered, and poor blocks
estimated as being rich and so being recovered.
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 125

10.
"Xl
.. a
'"
0

.. ..
,.
'"
.. ..
,. ,.
'" '"
'" '"
I. 20

\0

. '" .. ..
I.

I. 20
'" '" I
,. .. ,. I.
'"
T
\00 •• /0
'" ... •
,. 100

..
100

..
100


..
0

..
.
..'" '"
,.
..
lO

.0

'" '"
I. ,.
I. I.
l
2
I. •• , I. I' "
'2
"
• b

..
..
..
..
,.
'" '" ..
'"
JO

I.
'"
•f I •
2
2
•• ,, ••
•• "
I.
"

Figure 2. Grade-tonnage curves: predicted (continuous line)
versus experimental (dotted line) .
a regrouped cores from the underground holes
b : estimated block grades.
126 CH. KA VOURINOS

,---------------------------- ---~

E
Il')

.--------------~--~

I 2.50m 2.50 m
I I

1 m 3 00 m

• •
E

• •

5m
1.5m
0.25m

r-
• • • • -

E. 1
I 0E E
-f--
• • • •d Il')
0
q
rC')
E
I I
'---
• • • •
-------- --'----

Figure 3. Layout of blastholes for the three estimators.
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 127

1

O. 19 . 213. 9 . 49 . 50. 613. -I e . 80 . 90 . :1313 .
100 . I 100.
I

913 . 90.

80. 813 .

70 . 76 .

60 . 613 .

a 50 . 50 .

40 . 40.

31'1 . 39.

29 . 29 .

Ie. 10 .

9.

T

Figure 4. Metal recovered with a selection made on (from top to
bottom) :
- the real grade (continuous line)
- the estimated grade obtained using:
12 blastholes (dotted lines)
4 blastholes (dashes)
1 blasthole (dot-dash)

N' of blastholes used

1 4 12

Average grade
5 .1 1 5.41 5.55
obtained

Average grade
5.62 5.62 5.62
(ideal case)

Loss of metal
9 . 07 3.73 1 .24
as % of ideal

Table 1. Loss of metal when 40% of total tonnage lS recovered.
128 CH. KA VOURINOS

Figure 4 shows the relationship between the quantity of metal
recovered and the quantity of are recovered when the selection is
made on
- the real grades
- the estimated grades obtained using 1r 4 or 12 blastholes.

The loss of metal clearly decreases as the number of blastholes
used increases. Table 1 shows Lhe 10s5 of metal (expressed as a
percentage) corresponding to the different estimators r for the
case where the recovered tonnage is 40% of the total tonnage.
(This is the recovery for the mine studied).

3.3. The Effect of Support Size.

Figure 5 shows the predicted curve for the quantity of metal
recovered as a function of the recovered tonnage for the three
estimators r and also the curve for the ideal case where the
selection is made on the true grades.

Comparing the predicted curves with the ideal one r we see two
different phenomena:

1) For the estimators based on 1 or 4 blasthole grades r the
predictions are above the quantity of metal for the ideal case.
For example r when 40% of the total tonnage is recovered r the
predicted average grades for the estimators based on 1 and 4
blastholes r are 7.11% and 5.98% respectivelYr compared to 5.62%
In the ideal case.

2) For the estimator based on 12 blastholes r the predicted
recovered metal quantities are almost the same as for the ideal
case. This estimator is accurate in this respect (see Table 2).

From this r we see that using the predicted grades as a reference
for judging the performance of the miners is only meaningful for
the estimator based on 12 blastholes. In the other cases r it
leads to a systematic overestimation of the quantity of metal
that could be recovered.

4. THE INFLUENCE OF THE QUALITY OF THE SAMPLING ON THE PRODUCTION
FIGURES

4.1. The Sampling Procedure for the Blastholes.

In the Esperance sector of the miner the block grades are
estimated by analysing the grade of the 12 blastholes shown in
Figure 3. The sampling procedure is as follows:
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 129

e. e . se . 60 . 70 . B0 . 90 . ! 00 .
:013 . le 0 .
I I

S0 . ,- 90 .
/
/
60 . / 60 .
/
/ /

70 . /
/
70 .
/ /
/
/ /
/

60 . I I
I 60 .
I
I I
I
I I
50 .
Q 50. I ':l
I I

40 . 40 .

3 0. 30 .

20 . 20 .

10 . 10 .

13 ' 0.
O.
1 0. 20 . 30 . 4.0 . 50 .

T

Figure 5. Predicted metal with a selection made on (from top to
bottom) :
- 1 blasthole (dot-dash)
- the average of 4 blastholes (dashes), and
- one on top of each other, the average of 12 blast-
holes and the real block grade.

N° OF BLASTHOLES USED

1 4 12

Average grade 7.11 5.98 5.60
predicted

Average grade 5.62 5.62
(ideal case) 5.62

Loss of metal
26.50 6.40 -0.35
as \ of ideal

Table 2. Differences between the predictions based on an
estimator and the ideal case when 40% of the total
tonnage is recovered.
130 CH. KA VOURINOS

the drilling mud from each blaslhole was collected in a
container that prevents any contact between the sample and
either the face or the ground,

- the mud was then homogenized manually and a sample taken,

- after this has been done for all 12 holes, the samples
were mixed together to give an overall sample,

- this overall sample was sent to the laboratory for
analysis. This gives the estimated grade of the block.

The sampling procedure eliminates any chances of systematic
error. This was also confirmed by the production figures for the
271 blocks mined during the 8 months period that this procedure
was used. They had an average grade of 3.74\ compared to an
overall average of 3.76\ for the whole of the section. The fact
that no systematic sampling errors were detected in the esti-
mation of these blocks made it possible to use the geostatistical
model to evaluate the size of the errors made when predicting the
recoverable reserves.

4.2. The Influence of Sampling Errors on the Production Results.

We can now go on to compare the estimator Z*V obtained by mixing
the mud from 12 blastholes which we will call the "mine esti-
mator" (this effectively averages the sampling errors made in
each of the holes) with the estimators obtained by averaging the
results from each of 4 (or 12) blastholes. These two estimators
will be dendted by Z*4 and Z*12 respectively.
Figure 6 shows the relationship between the quantity of metal
recovered and the ore recovered, for each of these three
estimators. It is clear that the loss of metal is less for Z*12
(and also for Z*4) than for Z*V.

Table 3 gives the numerical results when 40\ of the total tonnage
is recovered.

Figure 7 shows the predicted quantity of metal Q(T) as a function
of the percentage of the total tonnage recovered for the two
estimators Z*v· and Z*12 and also for the ideal case.

Table 4 shows the average grade for the ideal case, the predicted
average grade for Z*v and Z*1 for the case where 40\ of the
total tonnage is recovered, an~ also the relative difference
between the predicted grade and the one for the ideal case.
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 131

1-
O. 10. 2 . 30. '10. 5 0. 60 . " :3. ee. 90. : 00 .
: 00. I 10 .

91L 90 .

eo. 80.

I 70.

60. 6 .

0 50 . 50.

0 . 40 .

30.

20. 20 .

10. 10 .

~
80 . ge . 100 .
0.

T

Figure 6. Metal recovered with a selection made on (from top to
bottom) :
- the real grade Zv
- the estimator
212
- the estimator Z*
4
- the mine estimator Z*
V

*
Zv
*
Z4 *
Z12
Average grade
obtained 5.25 5.41 5.55

Average grade
5.62 5.62 5.62
(ideal case)

Loss of metal 6.58 3.73 1.24
as \ of ideal

Table 3. Loss ~f meal for the three estimators Z*v' Z*4' Z*12
when 40% of total tonnage is recovered.
132 CH. KA VOURINOS

! . 20 . 30. l in. 5 . 6 90. t 00.
! e. -r-- -r t 0

~
r~-~
,.-,:'--;
....-:
90. /. 9
/.
,/
,/
80. ,/ B
,/
,/
7 ,/ 70.
,/
/
se . / s .
/
513. / 513. 0
/
/
e. /
/
30.
/, 30.
/,
/;
20 . 20.
h
!" . 10 .

0.
'0 . 10.213.30.40 . 50 .

T

Figure 7. Predicted metal:
- upper (one on top of each other) selection on Z*4 and on Z*
V
- lower (again superimposed) slection on Z*12 and on ZV'

Zv*
*
Z12
Average grade
obtained 5 . 97 5.60

Average grade
(ideal case) 5 . 62 5.62

Relative difference 6.23 - 0.35

Table 4. Relative differences between the predicted grade and
that in the ideal case (for the case where 40\ of
total tonnage is recovered).
THE GRADE-TONNAGE CURVES FOR A ZINC MINE IN FRANCE 133

We can see that even though the sampling errors are not
systematic, they nevertheless cause the recovered metal quantity
to be overestimated. This is what causes the increase in the
differences between the predicted average grade (Table 4) and the
average grade obtained (Table 3).

CONCLUSION

We have seen that using the blasthole data to estimate the mining
block grades leads to an overestimation of the recoverable
reserves even when there is no systematic sampling error. In
selective mining operations where there is commonly a marked
difference between the predicted metal recovery and the
production results, we should first see whether the difference is
due to this phenomenon before looking to other causes related to
the mining method (e.g. mixing, dilution, loss etc.).

In addition to this, the selection process based on an estimator
of the block grade leads to a loss of metal in comparison with
what could be obtained ideally if all the true grades were known.
This loss is directly related to both the quantity and the
quality of the data used. So it is clear that good sampling is of
fundamental importance to selective mining operations because
poor sampling leads to a serious drop in metal recovery and can
also mislead the miners as to their capacity to mine selectively.

REFERENCES

KAVOURINOS Ch. (1985): Estimation de la teneur des volees par
echantillonnage des boues de foration. Influence de la qualite
de l'echantillonnage sur les resultats d'exploitation. Dr.-
Ing. Thesis, Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines de Paris.

MATHERON G. (1978): L'estimation globale des reserves
recuperables. Centre de Geostatistique, Fontainebleau.
CONDITIONING BY THE PANEL GRADE FOR RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF
NON-HOMOGENEOUS OREBODIES

Armando ZAUPA REMACRE

ESCOLA DE MINAS
35400 OURO PRETO MG
Brasil

ABSTRACT

There are several methods of estimating local recoverable
reserves which can be used when the data are dense relative to
the geostatistical structure. It is shown that the weight
assigned to the mean in a simple kriging of the panel to be
estimated can be used to judge whether the data are dense enough.
For panels where the data are not dense enough, the results given
by most non-linear methods are strongly attracted toward the
overall mean, which is unsatisfactory unless the deposit is
globally stationary.

One way of overcoming this disadvantage when one wants to
estimate panel grades is to add universality conditions, but this
is not appropriate when estimating the distribution of block
grades inside a panei-. In this case the estimated panel grade can
be used to condition the block grade distribution.

INTRODUCTION

Up till now, a major limitation to the use of non-linear methods
of estimating local recoverable reserves has been the problem of
how to handle non-homogeneous orebodies. Confronted by this
problem, Parker, Journel and Dixon (1979) used a locally fitted
model based on the local conservation of lognormality. No change
of support was involved. Another case-study was presented by
Guibal and Remacre (1984) who studied a non-homogeneous deposit,
where the density of the sampling grid relative to the geostatis-
tical structure was such that the overall mean grade of the
135

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 135-148.
© 1<)87 by D. Reidel Pllb/i.,"i"g Comp""y.
136 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

deposit did not affect the local estimates. This certainly
lessened the estimation problems.

In more difficult studies where the range of the variogram
structure is about the same order of magnitude as the sampling
grid size, the panels in zones where the data are rich tend to be
estimated as being poorer, and vice versa for panels in poorer
zones. So before applying any non-linear methods requiring strict
stationarity we need a criterion for deciding whether they can
reasonably be applied in a particular case. We will show that the
kriging weight assigned to the mean can be helpful in this
regard.

In this case-study on a porphyry copper deposit several problems
which commonly arise when estimating recoverable reserves using
data on a fairly wide grid were encountered. These are treated in
detail in Remacre (1984). In this article we shall concentrate on
one particular aspect of the study: that of the finding an
estimation method suitable for handling non-homogeneous deposits.

IMPORTANCE OF THE KRIGING WEIGHT ASSIGNED TO THE MEAN
The two main methods used for estimating local recoverable
reserves are the mUltigaussian method (MG) and disjunctive
kriging (OK). (See Marechal (1984) for a comprehensive review of
these techniques). Several simplifications to the multigaussian
method were proposed by Guibal and Remacre (1984) and by David
and Marcotte (1985).

Both of these involve simple kriging (i.e. kriging with a known
mean). This is equivalent to a linear regression on the
variables. For example if the average grade Z(V) of a panel is
being estimated from the data Zi (i ~ 1, 2 , ... ) in the
neighbourhood, then the estimator is

Z(V) *

where m is the (known) overall mean, and Am is the kriging weight
assigned to the mean. When data are sparse relative to the
variogram structure, the value of Am increases and consequently
the panel estimate is drawn toward the mean value m. So the mean
takes on a local significance as well as a global one. This is
one of the consequences of the hypothesis of stationarity .

If the deposit is not homogeneous, this hypothesis may be too
strong. A universality condition [A 1 = 1 can be introduced,
which leads to ordinary kriging (or kriging with an unknown
mean). In this case we would only need local stationarity. The
resulting estimator is a weighted average of the data in the
neighbourhood.
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 137

DESCRIPTION OF THE DATA

The deposit contains 180 drillholes including 96 vertical ones
going right through it (about 900m). About 50 drillholes inclined
at between 45' and 60' were also available but these were not as
long as the others. A further 30 other inclined holes had also
been drilled in the upper part of the deposit.

It is important to note that the drillhole density used to prove
up the reserves is not constant throughout the deposit. There are
fewer in the poorer outer area compared to the richer central
zone. This is because the viability of the mining project is
heavily dependent on the rich part. This preferential drilling
grid makes the estimation more difficult. The data had to be
weighted (or declusterized) to obtain a representative histogram.

STRUCTURAL ANALYSIS

A detailed account of the structural analysis for this deposit is
given in Guibal and Touffait (1979). The authors observed a
slight vertical drift for the first few benches, which seems to
be due to the presence of the overburden and also to the
non-homogeneity which is typical of porphyry copper deposits.

As far as the variograms are concerned, the results were typical.
The vertical direction is very well known while the horizontal is
virtually unknown. Figure 1 shows how difficult it is to get a
good fit. Under these difficult conditions which are nevertheless
common in practice, considerable effort is required to find
appropriate estimation methods.

THE ESTIMATION METHOD
The objective here is to estimate the recoverable reserves for
panels 150m X 150m. They are, up to a factor which is the total
tonnage of the panel:
- the ore tonnage T, proportion of selection blocks above the
cut-off grade,
- the corresponding quantity of metal Q (equal to the panel
grade for a nul cut-off).
Since the range of the fitted variogram model was only 120
metres, which is small relative to the size of the panels, we can
ask ourselves how estimation methods based on the hypothesis of
stationarity will behave, particularly when the non-homogeneity
is taken into account.
138 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

1, Be
------------- ------=~~
-~-~-~-~~~~-~-~~

.. .. ~... ' . ~

.-.
. - .. -
- '

...

1i! .25

.•
e . a~ .~.--------~~------>h~------~,.~.,.-----~h-~ ____~h-~____~.

Figure 1. Horizontal and vertical variograms of the gaussian
transformed variable. The 3-~ model is the sum of:
- an exponential with a sill of 0.67, a horizontal
range of 20m, and a vertical one of 40m, plus
- a second exponential with a sill of 0.33, a hori-
zontal range of 120m and a vertical one of 600m.

As far as the distribution of the grades is concerned, all the
information that we have comes from the drillholes. No other
information is available to allow us to test the estimates of the
recoverable reserves.
However the recovered metal corresponding to a cut-off grade of
zero is just the average grade of the panel. So we can cross-
check by comparing the recoverable metal at a zero cut-off grade
with estimated panel grade obtained by ordinary kriging. This
latter estimate is not necessarily better than the preceding one
and so cannot be taken as a reference in the same way as
production figures can. But because of the universality condition
used in ordinary kriging it requires only local stationarity and
so is better suited to non-homogeneous deposits. This is why it
is interesting to compare the results obtained using it with
those given by stationary non-linear methods (in this case
disjunctive kriging).

Figure 2 shows the scatter diagram of the OK estimates against
the ones obtained using ordinary kriging. The strong attraction
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 139

, .2-;OKI--=___________--j

,
$ 81381291 2 25
.
1 ')
7 1111 1
~ '9'" '2 1 3
"'" 71!1012 22'2,'1 "7111 '2 , I
'!IiliU518192lilil 13 5 '2 C
'lZliIli2aOZll8 It • S 3 3
""a3l3 2382!i2118 ....
1l2.:n~It'3Jl'HIII. '] '2 '2 1
J.lloltS i '*""' 11 112 1" '2
5"SaOL.llIZI I Z
I 12!1$]eS l!l21!1 1~1 . 'I I I I
a , 7"573IZ e2~ l J ! I ].
, eIl52 1Ztnl22'1 ell" 5 '2 .,
S1I11222ltJIIUZ7\Il ' ., '2'" 1
I 5 I 2 •
\1~2222!12'3 ' 2!il~12 I
I 11 2311 72 121Z"l 12: • '2
I 2 '2 '2 2
12192'2.13212115 • <M '2 I I
171 2 1 111 ' 111 1 I '" e ,
.t " " ' 1113322
II I 1 5 1 '2 ;;: '2 I
I 5 '2 )
2 ,

ill • • -.
j j

I . • 1. 2

Figure 2. Grade estimates of all panels: scatter diagram of DK
against OK. In the inset map, the regression OK/OK
compared to the 45° line.
140 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

toward the mean is obvious from the cloud of points and from the
regression shown in the inset map. It has been shown (Matheron,
1970) that ordinary kriging can be obtained from simple kriging
by replacing the known mean in the simple kriging estimator by
its local kriged estimator. This eliminates the attraction toward
the mean. This effect is more marked in cases where the kriging
weight assigned to the mean is higher; that is, when the data are
relatively sparse compared to the variogram structure.
Table shows that these weights were in fact high. So it is
interesting to study how the regression of the DK estimator on
the ordinary kriging one varies as a function of Am (Figures 3
and 4). The attraction toward the mean is much more marked for
those panels with a large value of Am. In other words the kriging
weight assigned to the mean can be used as a criterion for
judging whether it is advisable to use stationary non-linear
techniques for the panel in question.

Am ('!o) Nb of panels

< 0.2 108
0.2 - 0.3 458
0.3 - 0.4 774
0.4 - 0.5 765
0.5 - 0.6 620
0.6 ~ 532

Table 1. Number of panels as a function of the weight of the
mean.

These comparisons have been made using disjunctive kriging but
the same is also true for the other stationary non-linear
methods. (See Guibal and Remacre (1984), and Remacre (1984)).
From this we can see that:

(1) non-linear methods of estimating recoverable reserves are
suitable provided that the available data are sufficiently
dense compared to the variogram structure,

(2) A suitable criterion for judging whether the data are dense
enough is the kriging weight assigned to the mean in simple
kriging.
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 141

. . ,
,,

S 7\'
,
..
I

, •
., t
,
2
,
,

1 :2 1 It 2 'l Z
~ 81 L
s e .., L ]
]12' 1 5 Z
21' ill. 2 1 2
l11 8 5 t
I "17
-tlZ''3 1.4
'4 14'. e '4 ) lot
'Hi , , 1 2 I
.3 15 15 .l 1 l 2' 2
1 ":i! '4
l <l: 1 I 2
I J I,j, S , l L
1 !Ii !II 1 1 2

, "
••
,
"

OK
o .•
.---------_ .. -._-- ---._-_.-_._--- ... _ ... - - ----
..
,

Figure 4. Scatter diagram (OK vs OK) and regression OK/OK for
the panels (17% of total) where ~m ~ 0.5.
142 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

l.C-; DK
~..~-~--------------~

,
I I

"
ttl2:
J •
15: 1t I l :z 2:
22'S 7 5 • '4 ;Z l
" 511!1 LSI 3 7 'l
I II 92;'\ 2'\ i,I L3 l C 2
lIZt _ 2I5tIolL'!. , 2'
01!5221511 7 1 1 ,
I ''1''''2 101 2~ i!I !Ii
81 111 21.1:.12 l ... 1:5 L 1 I
I 01 !5191Loi jI Z Z ~'L
5 LilLI \9\'" 6 1& I 2
11' .... 222L~
J L 11;2: 3. \ 717 !i
121'2:310 .3 5 I 2 t
"?'ZI!iII ' . 2 '2
J Llil S '" e 1 \

" L

i . i-I
__ ot<
I . • I.'

Figure 3. Scatter diagram (DK vs OK) and regression DK/OK for
panels (35% of total) where Am ~ 0.5.
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 143

THE APPROACH PROPOSED: UNIFORM CONDITIONING

Having now established a criterion for deciding whether
stationary non-linear techniques would be suitable for estimating
the recoverable reserves in a given panel we now have to decide
which method to use in the remalnlng cases. We want the method
chosen to be locally unbiased no matter what the local mean is.

When using ordinary linear kriging the universality condition
guarantees this. But this only works because the data (the sample
grades) and the grade to be estimated have the same mean, even
locally. So if the data are considered as having a point support,
universality conditions can be used to achieve the desired
results provided that the variable to be estimated has a point
support itself or is a regularization of one. In particular,
universality conditions can be used in DK to estimate the average
panel grade as it is the average of the point grades. This
involves linear kriging of the Hermite polynomials corresponding
to the gaussian equivalents of the point support variable.

However this is no longer the case when estimating recoverable
reserves where we need a linear estimate of the Hermite
polynomials associated with the gaussian equivalents for the
blocks. Clearly there is no reason for the local mean for the
point support variable to be the same as that for the blocks, and
so there is no single mean which could be filtered out using a
universality condition. Consequently a different approach is
required when estimating recoverable reserves.

We shall now present a method called "uniform conditioning",
which gets around this ~ifficulty. The idea is to choose a grade
estimator which only requires local stationarity, and to deduce
the recovery functions from this.

In order to solve more difficult problems one often has to make
more restrictive hypotheses. In this case we assume that the
change of support model is applicable up to supports as large as
panels. We also use the discretized gaussian model proposed by
Matheron (1976). The blocks v are considered as being randomly
located inside their panel V. Let

~ be the gaussian anamorphosis function for the samples,

~ 1]. be the gaussian anamorphosis function for the blocks,

~R be the gaussian anamorphosis function for the panels.

Let YV and Y be the gaussian equivalents associated with the
grade Z(V) of Y the panel, and with the grade Z(v) of a random
block. Their correlation coefficient is p = R/r.
144 A. ZAUPA REM ACRE

Since Z{V) (and hence Y ) is considered as being known, Y has a
normal distribution wi~h a mean of pY V and a variance gf s2 =
1 - p2. So the conditional expectations of the tonnage T{z ) and
the metal quantity Q{z ) can easily be deduced from this inCterms
of the gaussian equlvalent y of the cut-off grade z . (The
mathematical formulae are given ln the Appendix.) It is al~o easy
to verify that the estimated metal recovery corresponding to a
zero cut-off grade is equal to the injected grade of the panel.

We now present a review of the steps involved in estimating the
recoverable reserves using Uniform Conditioning.

STEP 1 Estimate the grade Z{V) of the panel using a method
that only requires local stationarity.

STEP 2 Calculate the gaussian anamorphosis function of the
experimental data (and the corresponding Hermite
polynomial coefficients ~n ).
STEP 3 Carry out the change of support for the blocks:
- Calculate the variance of Z{v) from the variogram
of Z{x)
- Determine the coefficient r from the formula:

Var{Z{v)) = n
[(~nr )2
1
- Calculate the coefficients of the block
anamorphosis:
n
~nr

STEP 4 Repeat the same procedure to obtain R for the
panels.

STEP 5 Calculate the gaussian equivalents YV of the grades
of the conditioning panels:
YV = 41;1 (Z{V))

STEP 6 Calculate the gaussian equivalents y corresponding
to the cut-off grades z for the bloc~s.
c
STEP 7 £valuate the corresponding recoverable ore tonnage
and metal tonnage.

This method was applied to the porphyry copper deposit described
earlier. The conditioning grades of the panels were obtained by
disjunctive kriging on a point support with universality
conditions. As the reality was unknown, these recovery estimates
were - compared with those obtained using a method requiring
stationarity - in this case DR.
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 145

The comparisons were made in three zones (poor, average and
rich), which correspond to the first 10 benches, the following 10
benches, and the bottom 10 benches respectively. The results are
presented in Figures 5, 6 and 7. For a zero cut-off grade, we can
be sure that the metal quantity obtained by this new method will
be equal to the injected panel grade. Moreover for other cut-off
grades we can see that the values obtained are not so strongly
attracted toward the mean as are those for DK. So it does give
better results from this point of view.

,. Q
I. ge
\
\
\
\
\
0.75 \
\
\
\
\
\

0.511 ,,
,
'" "
'" '"
11.25 --- --- -- ""
"

--==:::::::::::::::.. .... -
II. ell L__________~~________====~===::::;~;;-~-~-~~~~ - - - - - zc
II. lie 9.25 11.511 B.75 I. B"
Figure 5. Poor zone.

,. Q
I. lie
~
~
\
\
\
\
11.75 \
\
\
\

'" , \
11.511 '" '"
'" '"
'" '"
--- --- -- ""
11.25

11.1111 '--__________- L__________---L____________..L...-__________-.J zc
11.1111 11.25 8.58 8.75 1.lIe

Figure 6. Average zone.
146 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

p g
I. 00
" .... ....
....
....
....
....
0.75 ....
....
....
....
....
....
... ...
0.50 r----_ ....

0.25

0.00 '--_ _ _ _ _-'--_ _ _ _ _...L-_ _ _ _ _--L.._ _ _ _ _.....l zc
0.00 0.25 0.50 0.75 1.00

Figure 7. Rich zone.

UPPER: proportion of blocks above the cut-off:

- dash: disjunctive kriging
- continuous line: uniform conditioning
by the panel grade

LOWER: quantity of metal above the cut-off.

CONCLUSION
Conditioning the distribution of block grades by the panel grade
makes it possible to estimate local recoverable reserves without
having them attracted toward the overall mean value. So this
method is better suited to non-homogeneous deposits.
One disadvantage of this approach is that two panels with the
same grade will forcibly have the same estimated recoverable
reserves, even though the sample data in their areas have quite
different distributions. It would theoretically be possible,
although more complex, to use the panel grade and the neighbour-
ing data as the conditioning variables (instead of just the panel
grade as at present). However this improvement would probably be
too ambitious in cases like this one where the data are sparse
compared to the variogram structure.
RECOVERY ESTIMATION OF NON-HOMEGENEOUS OREBODIES 147

REFERENCES

DAVID M. and MARCOTTE D. (1985): The bi-gaussian approach: a
simple method for recovery estimation, Mathematical Geology,
Vol. 17, No 6.

GUIBAL D., REMACRE A. (1984): Local estimation of recoverable
reserves: comparing various methods with the reality of a
porphyry copper deposit. NATO ASI-TAHOE, D. Reidel Pub. Co.,
pp. 435-448.

GUIBAL D. and TOUFFAIT Y. (1979): Structural analysis of CC,
Centre de Geostatistique, Fontainebleau.

MARECHAL A. (1984): Recovery estimation: a review of models and
methods. NATO ASI-TAHOE, Reidel Pub. Co, p. 385.

MATHERON G. (1970): La theorie des variables regionalisees et ses
applications. Les Cahiers de Morphologie Mathematique.
Fascicule 5. Centre de Geostatistique, Fontainebleau.

MATHERON G. (1976): Forecasting block grade distributions: the
transfer functions. "Geostat 75", NATO ASI, Rome, pp. 237-251.

PARKER H.M., JOURNEL A., DIXON W. (1979): The use of conditional
lognormal probability distribution for the estimation of
open-pit ore reserves in a strata-bound Uranium deposit - A
case study. Proc. 16th APCOM, 1979, pp. 133-148.

REMACRE A. . Z. (1984): L'estimation du recuperable local, Ie
conditionnement uniforme. Dr.-Ing. Thesis, Ecole Nationale
Superieure des Mines de Paris.
148 A. ZAUPA REMACRE

APPENDIX

Ore tonnage:

T(z )
c P [Z(v) ~ Zc I Z(V)]
P[Y v ~ y
c
I YV]
y - r YV
= 1 - G( c )
s
with G cumulative density function of the standard normal N(O,1).

Quantity of metal:

QI,c} • J" °rlYv} qlYvlY.} d Yv
Yc
where g(YvIY v ) is the density function of Yv given Yv .
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT

Daniel GUIBAL

SIROMINES
Level 5, 156 Pacific Highway, St. Leonards NSW 2000
Australie

ABSTRACT

This paper describes the application of nonlinear geostatistical
techniques to the estimation of the recoverable reserves in an
Australian gold project. In the first phase of the study, only
the global recoverable reserves could be evaluated. The
generalized permanency of the distribution model was used for the
change of support. When more data became available, the local
recoverable reserves could be calculated using 'uniform
conditioning' .
NOTE: For proprietary reasons, the grades and tonnages have been
modified, and the geology of the deposit is not described in
detail. Emphasis is put on the methodology to be followed for
this type of study.

1. INTRODUCTION
The geostatistical study of this Australian gold deposit has
closely followed the evolution of the drilling ; at an early
stage, where only 45 holes were available, and the geological
model was not well established (making the definition of the
tonnage extremely difficult), a simple evaluation of the global
recoverable reserves was performed. After completion of the
drilling campaign (112 drill holes), a much better understanding
of the geology of the deposit and a better representativity of
the sampling allowed for a local estimation of the recoverable
reserves.

149

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.) , Geostatistical Case Studies, 149-168.
© 1<)87 by D. Reidel !>lIblis!r i/lg OIllP"" ),·
150 D. GUIBAL

This step by step approach is an essential part of geostatistics.
At any stage, great care must be taken to ensure the adequacy of
the relation between the goal of a study (local or global
reserves) and the amount of data available (these of course
include both quantitative data, i.e. assay values and qualitative
data, i.e. the knowledge of the geology). The goal (hence the
geostatistical technique to be used) has to be governed by the
data available.

2. THE GEOLOGY OF THE DEPOSIT

The essential feature of the deposit is a large anticlinal
structure trending NW, with limbs dipping rather steeply.
Extensive faulting has taken place during the latter stages of
folding, with faults essentially parallel to the axial plane.
Quartz reefs have developed progressively during the folding and
faulting stages. The mineralization, which extends well down the
anticline limbs is often found along the faults, in association
with the quartz reefs. Gold is also associated with disseminated
sulphides in the sediments. The upper part of the deposit has
been oxidized.
Most drill holes are inclined towards the axis of the anticline.
A typical stylized EW section is represented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. Stylized E-W cross section.
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 151

3. GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES AT AN EARLY STAGE OF THE
EXPLORATION

Initially, we had assay results from 45 drill holes at an
approximately regular grid of 25 x 50 m. The samples were 1.5 m
long, the geology was not very well understood at this early
stage, and, in particular, the limits of the mineralization were
not precisely defined.

This problem of definition of the limits of the mineralization is
obviously crucial for any meaningful evaluation of the tonnage
(and to a lesser extent for the grade) - there is no geostatis-
tical (or statistical) way of solving this problem. This is
clearly a geological problem. As such, it is likely that the
precision of any evaluation of the tonnage, at this stage, would
be very low (much lower than the corresponding precision of the
estimate of the grade!).

As a consequence of these fundamental uncertainties there was no
point in trying to estimate the local reserves. We set ourselves
a limited goal of evaluating the global recoverable reserves
within a mineralized envelope to be defined by the geologist. It
was expected in particular that the recoverable grades would be
"reasonably" estimated.

Naturally, the main objective of the study of the global
recoverable reserves is to evaluate the effect of the change of
support on the reserves. As the deposit will be mined by
open-pit, a block size v corresponding to the likely selection
units had to be defined. We actually worked with 2 possible
values for v :

v1 = 5 x 3 x 7.5 m
v2 = 10 x 10 x 10 m
The method used for the calculations is the so called
"generalized permanency of the distribution" method : due to G.
Matheron, it is described in Appendix A.

The different steps of the study are as follows

3.1. Statistics on the data

The initial 1.5 m long samples have been composited, by defining
1.5 m high benches. As the oxidized and primary mineralizations
are significantly different, from a metallurgical viewpoint, a
separate analysis has been performed on the two zones.
152 D.GUIBAL

The global statistics are given in Table 1:

TABLE
Global statistics on 1.5 m samples.

Number of Mean grade
Composites (g/t) o/m

Oxidized zone 800 1.04 1 .9

Primary. zone 2100 1.3 2.9

The most important conclusion from these statistics is that the
variability of the grades of the composites as measured by the
ratio o/m is high, especially in the non oxidized zone. This is,
of course, related to the skewness of the distribution of the
grades, and the existence of some very high values (higher than
50 gft).

From a statistical point of view, because of this variability we
can expect some problems in determining the variogram.

3.2. Variograms on the composites

Initially, variograms have been calculated along the drill holes
(grouping the drill holes having similar orientations) on the raw
grades. An example of these variograms (primary zone) is given in
Figure 2. A short range structure is apparent (with a range less
than 20m) and a high nugget effect. No structure could be found
in the horizontal variograms.

ofI.D

.-to. 0

5.0

o -f0.0 20.0

Figure 2. Variogram of gold data (primary zone).
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 153

As previously noted, the variability of the grades is very high,
and a few high grades might unduly affect the experimental
variograms, masking the underlying correlations. To eliminate the
influence of the high values, a gaussian anamorphosis was
performed on the composites . The transformation is described in
appendix B.

.... 00

_ • __ .-", __ .... -e ____ ...... __ ... _._ .. e .. -. --_ .. ; , . c:I

0.7'5

0.50

o 20.0 30.0 '+a .o

Figure 3. Variogram of transformed gold data (primary zone).

As a result, all the grades (in both the oxide and primary zones)
have been transformed into gaussian distributed values with mean
O. and variance 1. Then the variograms were recalculated on these
transformed values. The example corresponding to Figure 2 is
shown in Figure 3. It is quite striking to see how much more
clearly the structures can be observed on the gaussian
variograms. No strong anisotropy could be detected. (The
horizontal variograms remained completely erratic). A global
model was then fitted to the gaussian experimental average
variograms. It is shown for the primary zone on Figure 3 (three
sphericals with ranges of 5 m, 40 m and 80 m).

Now, for the change of support technique, we need a model
corresponding to the raw initial composites. In agreement with
the model presented in appendix B, the variogram for the initial
composites can be deduced from the model fitted to the gaussian
variogram ; (the model used implies the hypothesis that the pairs
Ylf.' YX+h of g.aussian transformed values are bigaussian, for any
d1stance h.)
154 D. GUIBAL

3.3. The change of support and the estimation of the global
recoverable reserves
According to the method described in appendix A, the following
calculations are made, for each selection unit v

- Determining ~(v,v), the mean value of the variogram
wi thing the volume v.
- Calculating the expected variance of dispersion of
grades corresponding to the blocks v, within the deposit .
According to Krige's relationship, we have:

D2 (v IG) = D2(OIG) - D2 (Olv)
Hence
D2 (vIG) = variance of the composites - ~(v,v)

- Knowing the anamorphosis function of the composites,
and D2(vIG), the coefficient of change of support r is
calculated.

- The global recoverable reserves are then readily
calculated.
The results are shown in tables 2 and 3 for the primary zone. The
recoverable tonnage is expressed as a percentage of the total
tonnage of the mineralized envelope.

It is quite interesting to compare these results to the
recoverable reserves calculated on the original 1.5 m composites
(Table 4) The essential consequence of the change of support
appears quite clearly : a marked decrease in the mean grade. The
only way to improve the recoverable grade would be to increase
the selectivity, which generally means higher costs.

As a matter of fact, the comparison between the two volumes v 1
and v 2 shows that the smaller volume, allowing a better
selectivity, gives a higher grade.

It is important to keep in mind that, in any case, these
estimated grades represent optima, which are not likely to be
reached, because of the essential influence of the mlnlng
constraints. (The change of support techniques work under the
hypothesis of a free selection, without any constraints). As the
deposit will be mined by open-pit, this hypothesis is of course
not true, so the recovered grade will be lower.
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 155

TABLE 2.
Recoverable reserves for a 10 x 10 x 10m support (primary zone).

Cut-off Recoverable Mean grade
grade tonnage (gft)
(gft)

t1 57% 2.1
t2 36% 2.8
t3 33% 3.1
t4 30% 3.2
t5 21% 3.9
t6 15% 4.7

TABLE 3.
Recoverable reserves for a 5 x 3 x 7.5 m· support (primary zone).

Cut-off Recoverable Mean grade
grade tonnage gft)
(gft)

t1 49% 2.5
t2 32% 3.3
t3 29% 3.6
t4 27% 3.8
t5 19% 4.6
t6 14% 5.6

TABLE 4.
Recoverable reserves calculated on 1.5 m composites
(pr imary zone).

cut-off Recoverable Mean grade
grade tonnage gft)
(gft)

t1 37.9% 3.2
t2 24.2% 4.6
t3 22.3% 4.9
t4 20.3% 5.2
t5 15.4% 6.4
t6 11 .6% 7.8
156 D. GUIBAL

3.4. Precision of the estimation - Comparison with 10m composites

Due to the many hypotheses made in the model, it is difficult to
calculate a sensible value for the precision of the estimation of
the grade. (As far as the tonnage is concerned, at this stage, no
calculation is possible, as has already been mentioned. Errors in
the definition of the envelope can be extremely large).

We used a cross validation technique: building composites
corresponding to 10 m high benches. We deduced from their
histogram a first estimate of the recoverable reserves at this
level of selection. Then, applying the change of support
technique, we calculated a second estimate from 5 m composites.

The discrepancies between the two results were always lower than
10 % for the recoverable tonnages and grades, except for very
high cutoffs (less than 10 % recoverable tonnage), where the
model of change of support is no longer valid.

4. LOCAL RECOVERABLES RESERVES AT THE FEASIBILITY STAGE
At the feasibility stage, assay results from 112 drill holes were
available, on the same grid 25 x 50 m, but much more complete. As
a consequence, the geology of the deposit is better understood. A
reasonable level of homogeneity of the mineralization within the
deposit is expected. This allows us to evaluate the local
Recoverable Reserves for each panel of 25 m x 50 m x 5 m
(corresponding to the grid size and the bench height), the
distribution of grades of selectivity units of 3 m x 8 m x 5 m
has to be estimated. The technique used is the Uniform
Conditioning Method, fully described in [1] and summarized in
appendix C.

The main hypotheses implied by this method (like other nonlinear
methods) are the following :
- The orebody must be, at least locally, homogeneous. In
this gold deposit, as was mentioned before, this assumption is
acceptable.

- The quantities to be estimated (which are the
recoverable tonnages and grades by panel) are related to the
distribution of block grades within the panel. The grade of each
individual block cannot be estimated. (The drillhole grid is too
wide). From a mining viewpoint, this amounts to assuming that the
blocks can be freely selected within the panel. No geometrical
constraints are taken into account. As we have seen before, this
is not realistic for this deposit, which will be mined by open
cut, so the estimated values represent maximal (ideal) values.
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 157

- The last hypothesis is that the true grades of the
blocks will be known when mining (i.e. when the selection takes
place). This is of course wrong: in practice the grade of a
block is only estimated at the moment of the decision (through
the blasthole data). But at the stage of the feasibility study,
the final blasthole pattern (hence the grade control procedure)
1S not precisely known, and is difficult to take into account.
Again, the fact that we ignore this "information effect" means
that the actual recovered reserves will probably be lower than
the estimated recoverable ones.

The different steps of the study are the following

4.1. Statistics on the data
As in the previous study, most of the available samples are 1.5 m
long. As the future mining benches will be 5 m high, composites
corresponding to this height have been created. In agreement with
the geology, four essentially different zones have been studied,
corresponding on one hand to the distinction oxides/primary and
to the separation eastern/western limb on the other hand.
The global statistics are given in table 5.

TABLE 5. Global statistics on 5m bench composites.

Number of Mean grade
composites (g/t) aim

Oxides
Eastern limb 340 1.18 2

Oxides
Western limb 255 0.92 2.2

Primary
Eastern limb 775 1.53 2

Primary
Western limb 495 1. 34 1.9

The variability of the composites as shown by the ratios aim is
high, which again reflects the skewness of the histograms. As a
consequence of this variability, it is apparent that we will need
to calculate the variogram on the transformed data.
4.2. Variography

As expected, the experimental variograms of the raw grades are
158 D. GUIBAL

highly irregular. The transformation into gaussian distributed
values was done without major problem. The variograms of the
gaussian values were then calculated in the four different zones
under study. For each zone, the following directions were taken
into account along strike, down dip, along the drillholes and
east/west.

The results of this careful study of the variograms are in
agreement with the geological interpretation, with a high
continuity down dip (up to 40-60 m) and a lower continuity
perpendicular to the drill holes (20-30 m). As an example the
variograms of the eastern limb in the primary ore are given in
Figure 4 together with the fitted model.

I
I
. ...J
~.O
' ..... ...
.... "
0.75

0 .50

0.25

o -tOO. zoo. aoo.

Figure 4.
Variogram of transformed gold data (primary eastern limb).

4.3. Definiting the parameters for the local recoverable reserves

The size of the selective mining unit defined by the company is
3 x 8 x 5 m. Because this unit is very small compared to the
sampling grid, it is impossible (and meaningless) to estimate the
grade of each individual small block in the deposit. On the other
hand, . as the grid is 25 x 50 m, panels of 25 x 50 x 5 m can be
estimated by kriging with an acceptable level of accuracy.
Unfortunately from a mining point of view, this information is
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 159

not very useful : a panel is too big a unit, and the real level
of selectivity will be much higher (blocks).

Estimating the local recoverable reserves involves finding a
compromise between these two problems. We worked at the level of
a panel, because it does not make sense to try to estimate small
blocks directly, but within each panel, we evaluated the
recoverable reserves corresponding to the small blocks. The
following quantities are estimated within each panel :
- the proportion of blocks with a grade higher than the
cut-off grade : P
c
- the corresponding metal content : Qc

- the mean grade of the recovered reserves : M
c = Qc IP c
Actually, four cut-off grades have been considered in both the
primary and the oxide ore. To take into account the change of
support, the coefficient r of change of support is calculated for
the 4 zones. It varies between 0.8 and 0.85. The estimation
method used, as indicated previously, is Uniform Conditioning;
the practical steps of the calculation are described in the
following paragraphs.

4.4. Kriging of the gaussian transformed values
A block model of 12 x 19 x 40 panels is built. In order to
condition the estimation, these panels were kriged. We
calculated :

Y*K = 1: A.1 Y.1
where y* is the kriged estimate of the panel and y. are the
gaussian ~ata in, the neighbourhood. For the neighbourhoOd, a 3 x
3 x 7 parallelepiped of panels is chosen, and 30 different
weighting factors were used. In each of the 4 zones only data
belonging to the given zone were taken into account.
Theoretically, a simple kriging (without a universality
condition) should be performed. In this study, because of the
lack of homogeneity of the deposit in some zones, we preferred to
impose the condition [A = 1. This did not generate many
numerical or statistical problems.

At the same time, the other quantities required by the Uniform
Conditioning method were calculated ; namely

52 = 1: Aa A~ Pa~
which is the dispersion variance of Y*K' and
160 D. GUIBAL

1: A p n
n
Pkv = 1/N I(a5 avo ) 1

where P kv n represents the average to the power n of the
correlatlon between Y*k/S and the points within the panel.

The quality of the kriging process was found to be good,
especially in the primary areas where more data are available.
Nevertheless since a significant number of panels (15 to 20 %) do
not contain many data, their kriged value was not precise. Most
of these panels'correspond to low grade zones. The calculation of
P k n was made up to n = 6, which is enough to ensure a good
coXvergence of our estimated recovery in most cases.

4.5. Evaluation of the recoverable reserves of each panel

The value of H = P nH (y* (S) was calculated for six Hermite
polynomials. Aftgr t~fs, n th~ "density" corresponding to the
distribution of the small blocks was given by

fr*(y) = g(y) 1: Hn*Hn(y)
rnn!
where g(y) is the standard normal density N(O,1).

From this density, the recoverable reserves are:

P
c r fr*(y) dy

r
Yc

Qc = ¢lr(y) dy
Yc

Mc Qc/Pc

where y = ¢I -1(z ) is the gaussian equivalent of the cut-off
grade ZC (bQt f6r small blocks) and ¢lr(y) is the gaussian
anamorph8sis function related to blocks.

4.6. The results by panel

For most of the panels the results are satisfactory, with the
limitations due to the imprecise definition of the geology
(doubts over some boundaries for example). However, a number of
panels, for which the kriging process was not very good showed
nume~ical problems (negative density or grades). These
instabilities might be also related to the condition L.A. = 1
1 1
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECf 161

used in kriging.

It must be emphasised that the results, for an individual panel,
are not very accurate, and it is strongly recommended to group at
least 4 or 6 of the panels to get more reliable local estimates
of the recoverable reserves.

The quality of the estimates of individual panels could possibly
be improved by modifying the geological criteria used. As a
matter of fact, we used only part of the data for esttmating each
panel (that belonging to the same geological unit). For panels at
the border between the ore zones actually, we have a mixture of
ore types, and it would probably be interesting to estimate these
panels twice, using data from each zone in contact with it. The
final result would then be a weighted average of these two
estimates.
4.7. The global results

By grouping the estimates for all the panels we get the global
results shown in table 6.

TABLE 6. Global recoverable reserves .

cutoff Percentage Mean grade
(gft) recovered (gft)
OXIDIZED ORE
Number of panels t1 45.9 2.0
evaluated: 843
t2 35.8 2.4
Averaged kriged grade
of the panels: 1.04g/t t3 28.4 2.7
t4 22.9 3.1

Cutoff Percentage Mean grade
PRIMARY ORE (g/t) recovered (gft)
Number of panels t1 50.1 2.3
evaluated: 2006
t2 36.2 2.8
Average kriged grade
of the panels: 1.2 g/t t3 29.7 3.1
t4 24.8 3.6

It is difficul:t to evaluate the preC1S10n of these figures which
depend heavily on the many geological and statistical assumptions
162 D. GUIBAL

made during the study. The primary ore is definitely better
estimated than the oxide.

These results have been compared with the reserves calculated by
the geologists (using the sectional method). There is a big
difference in both tonnages and grades, which is easy to explain.

- The geological estimation is based on the 1.5 m
samples, and implicitly assumes that mining will be done at a
very high level of selectivity. As a consequence, a low tonnage
with a high grade is defined. This corresponds more to an
underground mining method than to an open pit.

- Conversely, geostatistics takes into account (although
ideally), the actual selectivity of the mining method. This
implies a drop in grade. On the other hand, the hypothesis of
local homogeneity means that the mineralization is assumed not to
have sharp boundaries. This ensures an increase in tonnage, by
comparison to the geological estimation.

CONCLUSION

This study is a step by step example of the geostatistical
approach to the ore reserves estimation problem. In its second
part, it shows that nonlinear techniques, like Uniform
Conditioning, are now fully operational methods, well suited to
the difficult problem of assessing local recoverable reserves.
Clearly, a strict experimental control must be kept over all the
steps of the method. This is not a mathematical exercise, but the
search for concrete answers to a concrete problem.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

[1] D. Guibal and A. Remacre Local Estimation of the
Recoverable Reserves. Comparing various methods with the
reality on a porphyry copper deposit. Proceedings of 2nd NATO
ASI Sept. 83, D. Reidel, p. 435-448.
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 163

APPENDIX A

ESTIMATION OF THE GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES: 'GENERALIZED
PERMANENCY OF THE DISTRIBUTION' MODEL

From the empirical distribution of the samples, we get an
estimate of their histogram: F(z). This must be representative
of the whole area where the samples have been taken from. It may
be sometimes necessary to weight the samples, especially if they
are not regularly spaced. Then, as is explained in Appendix B, a
gaussian anamorphosis is performed Z = ~(Y). The function 0 is
expressed mathematically by its expansion as a series of n
Hermite polynomial Hi(y).

m 'P.
~(y) I: .2:. H. (y)
i=O i! 1

The polynomials are known, and the coefficients 'P. are determined
experimentally by fitting the curve ~(y) to the1distribution of
the grades z. It can be shown that the mean grade (without
cutoff) of the samples grades is equal to 'P . On the other hand,
the variance of the grades D2(OIG) = 0 2 is g~ven by :

n 'P?
0 2 I: 1
i=1 i!
There is also a relation between the covariance (and the
variogram) defined on the gaussian values, and the covariance
defined on the raw values

m
C (h) = I: Ciy (h)
z i=O . I
1.

where C (h) is the covariance of the raw values, and C (h) is the
covariaHce calculated on the gaussian values. (P~ovided the
bivariate distribution y(x), y(x+h) is bivariate normal). For the
variogram, we get :

'Pf
1 i
. I [1 - (1-1 y (h)) )
1.

Hence, knowing the variogram of the Y values, it is easy to
calculate Y. Then we choose the size of the selection unit v.
The distribUtion F (z) of the grades of these units is, of
course, unknown. IX the generalised permanency model, we assume
164 D.GUIBAL

that Fv(z) can be expanded In Hermite polynomials

n ip.r i
-1 l
zv Fv [G(y») 1: Hi(y)
. I
i=1 l.

where the ip. are the previously calculated coefficients, yare
the values from a gaussian distribution and r is an unknown
coefficient. It is calculated from the variance of the grades for
the units v

D2(vIG)

But D2(vIG) can be computed experimentally using the well known
Krige's relationship

D2(vIG) = D2(OIG) - D2(Olv)
D2(OIG) 0 2 is the variance of the composites, which is known,
and D2(Olv) = ~ (vv), which is the mean value of the variogram ~z
within the voluJe v.

Fv(z) having been estimated, the recoverable reserves for a given
cutoff grade Zc follow from the relations :
Recoverable tonnage :

Tv(zc)= To(1 - Fv(zc»
Quantity of metal recovered :

Mean grade

mv (z c )
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMATION AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 165

APPENDIX B

GAUSSIAN ANAMORPHOSIS

Let Z be the raw variable (the grade, for instance). Whatever
statis~ical distribution Z may have, it is always possible (at
least experimentally) to tra~sform them into another variable Y ,
with a standard normal (gaussian) distribution N(O,1). We have cr :
Z = ~(Y ). The function is called the anamorphosis function and
tR"e trangformation itself from Zcr to Ycr is called anamorphosis.

It is easy to perform the transformation experimentally, as shown
in the following figure :
prcob(Z<z)
prClb(Y<y)
---- -- - - -- - --~. -- --- ------ -----~-..;:.-~-~---------
,
,. "
,, " ,
I
,
I
~ xpi'ri",en\-.a\
hi.~n:s,"

,
I
I
, ---- --------- ----"
,
I
,
" I
, I
,,
I
---- -- ---'-- --- - -- ----- ---- 011
, ,," '" I
... __ ' I

o.

The following two cumulative histograms are represented :
- The cumulative histogram of the gaussian variable Y,
with mean 0 and variance 1. On the vertical axis, we get the
value of Prob (Y < y) = G(y) (probability that Y less than y).

- The experimental cumulative histogram of the real data
z. On the vertical axis we get the value of F(z) = P(Z < z). By
equating F(z) to G(y), we associate with each_yalue z one value y
and we define the anamorphosis function z : F [G(y)].

The lognormal transformation is a particular case of anamor-
phosis, when the distribution F of the experimental data is
lognormal.
166 D. GUIBAL

APPENDIX C

THE UNIFORM CONDITIONING TECHNIQUE

+

ponel V hisr09l'"om of Ul'1i\,"s
v ...,i\'"hin ~he pone I V
5elechon
l::,~ IAn i t-

+

+ +

1. THE PROBLEM

As indicated in the figure, the problem is to estimate the
distribution of the grades of blocks v within a panel V, knowing
only the grades of some composites Z at a grid corresponding to
the size of the panel. Let Y ~enote the gaussian values
corresponding to Z . The anamorphocgis is ell : Z = ell (Y )
a c a Ca'

If we assume that the distribution of the Y is jointly
multigaussian, a general method for solving tffe problem is
"multigaussian kriging". If we consider Y. the gaussian
transform of the grade of a given block v. wi~fiin V, it can be
shown that the best estimator of Yvi is the kriging estimator
[ Aa Y (simple kriging, i.e. without tne condition [A ~ 1, as
we assafue that the ore body is homogeneous). a

Moreover, it is then possible to calculate the density f(y) of
the distribution of the grades Y when v varies within V. This
density is given by v

- Yk(V»)P(dV)
f(y) =
0k(v) 0k(v)
RECOVERABLE RESERVES ESTIMA nON AT AN AUSTRALIAN GOLD PROJECT 167

where 0 (v) is the square root of the kriging variance of Y and
g the ~ensity of the standard normal N(O,1). The major dra~back
of the method is that it requires a separate kriging for each
block within v, which can prove expensive (although some simpli-
fications are possible).

2. THE UNIFORM CONDITIONING METHOD

The basic idea of the uniform conditioning method is to replace
the information represented by the Y by one unique value [ A Y
associated with the panel (krigin~ of the mean grade of fhea
panel). Doing this, we will lose somewhat in precision, but gain
in speed.

Let us consider the following linear combination

LAY
ex ((
Yk =
5

where A are solution of the kriging system
a
LexAexPex~ = 1/N Li pexv .
1

and 52 = Laf3AaAf3Pa13 = variance of the combination L AaYa.

The conditional distribution of Y . knowing Yk can be calculated
easily : Vl

where Pvk is the correlation between Yk and Yv .

Using the development of f into Hermite polynomials,
1/N L Hn(YVi) is estimated by

Hn * =

and

from f*, p* (Recovered tonnage) and Q* (Recovered quantity of
metal) are estimated without problem.
168 D. GUIBAL

The steps in the calculation are :

- Kriging the Ya . In this study, we performed a kriging
with the condition LA = 1 to ensure a better local conditioning.
a
One unavoidable consequence of this choice was some numerical
problems for the panels with low grade and few data values. (See
the paper). Hence we get L AaYa and S.
- Calculation of the correlation between Y .
V1
raised to power n.

P~v= 1/N I( A: Pcrvi ) n

In fact, these quantities are calculated for points (the blocks
will be used only at the last step).
n
- Calculation of H*n = PKvHn(Y k )'
- By dividing the H* by rn we have the value corres-
ponding to the blocks 3 x anx 5 m. The last step 1S then to
calculate the density and the recoverable reserves.
In our study, we limited our development to 6 polynomials which
proved to be sufficient for insuring a good convergence.
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES

H. SANS, J.R. BLAISE

Compagnie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires, France

ABSTRACT

The objective of the study was to compare the estimates of the
recoverable reserves made using the data from the development
drillholes on a 15m x 15m grid with the actual production figures
from a uranium deposit in Saskatchewan, Canada. The grades of
blastholes on a 3m x 3m grid and a conditional simulation which
provided a numerical model of the variability of grades, were
also used. This additional information made it possible to
experimentally check the commonly used geostatistical formulae.

1. INTRODUCTION

One of the most important questions during the preparation of the
project on this uranium deposit has been that of accurately
estimating the recoverable reserves. The main reason for this is
the complexity of the geology which has made it very difficult to
understand and interpret the deposit, from the mining point of
view, in terms of known ore. There were too few development
drillholes to allow us to use the traditional reserve estimation
methods. The results would not have been accurate enough for the
needs of the feasibility study.

So geostatistical techniques were progressively introduced into
the study of the recoverable reserves. This led firstly to the
use of technical reserve parametrage for global and local
estimates. This is described in detail in Sans and Martin (1984).
169

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 169-185.
© 1987 by D . Reidel F/lb/islr illg Company.
170 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

In any reserve estimation method, many hypotheses have to be made
either explicitly or implicitly (e.g. concerning the continuity
of the mineralization, the recoverability of the ore, the choice
of the mining method, the size of the blasting grid etc.). As far
as is possible these should be tested. To do this an experimental
open pit was started and a numerical modelization of the deposit
using the geostatistical technique of conditional simulation was
carried out.

1.1 The Experimental Pit

The objectives in opening up the experimental pit were threefold:

(1) to provide not only an inventory of the material produced but
also a detailed analysis of the data collected so as to
understand the effects of mLnLng on the in-situ reserves. In
addition to characterizing the grade-tonnage curve, we wanted to
find out how selectively it could be mined.

(2) to analyse differences between the grade-tonnage predictions
made using the development drillholes and the production results.
This would provide us with accurate information about the
efficiency of the drilling grid and the practical implications
for mine planning.

(3) to check the properties of the geostatistical models used for
the technical parameterization and the conditional simulation.
The idea was to compare the theoretical results with the
experimental ones so as to test these hypotheses, or at least to
test their applicability to this deposit.

Because of their importance in practice the first two points are
discussed in the following. The theoretical checks mentioned in
the third point have been relegated to an annex.

2. DESCRIPTION OF THE DEPOSIT AND THE EXPLORATION PROGRAM

The deposit considered in this paper is a uranium deposit
situated at Cluff Lake, Saskatchewan. The ore body is currently
being mined by the Cluff Mining Company, by open pit methods. It
occurs entirely wihin the basement gneisses. The principal
control of the mineralization is a tectonic zone with rotated
fault blocks. The main mineralization is found within an
East-West vertical tectonic zone displaced by a series of late N
20E faults. Other mineralizations occur along N 20E fractures in
fresh rocks and in Northeast-Southwest clay fillings. Despite the
extreme complexity on a small scale, the envelope containing the
mineJalization is relatively uniform. See Tona (1985) for details
of the geology.
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES 171

The development work on the orebody was done in three steps.
Firstly 108 vertical holes (both percussion and diamond
drillholes) were drilled from the surface on a nominally
15m x 15m grid to determine the limits of the orebody. At the
northern end the drillhole spacing was 20 x 20m. All this
information was used in the first ore evaluation of the deposit.

After this, underground work were carried out in order to have a
better understanding of the geological structures and of the
relations between the mineralizations and these structures at
depth (- 50m), and also to enable us to proceed with a new ore
reserve evaluation. Three hundred and twenty metres of drift and
cross-cut were constructed and thirty diamond drillholes were
drilled on six sections 30m apart.

In the third phase an experimental pit was mined to test the
possibilities of recovering the thin and irregular minerali-
zations, and to verify the accuracy of the geological interpre-
tation of the mineralizations (e.g. the continuity in the
vertical and horizontal directions) which were the basis of
previous evaluations.

This excavation was about 150m long by 90m wide at the surface,
by 13m deep and was roughly elliplical in shape. Eighteen hundred
blastholes were drilled on a 3m x 3m grid in order to delimit the
orebody. During mining the bench height varied from 3m to 6m to
test the effect of this parameter on the selectivity. The ore
selection criteria were (1) the radiometric survey of the faces
so as to load the trucks as homogeneously as possible, and (2)
the scannin~ of each truck by an automatic scintillometer to
decide whether to send the truck to ore or waste.

3. THE PRODUCTION FIGURES

The production figures for the experimental pit are given in
Table 1, while Table 2 presents the overall characteristics of
the geological reserves. By this we mean the sum of all the
mineralizations found ln the radiometric measurements made on
10cm core sections. The geological reserves correspond to a
selection made on 10cm samples. As expected, the production
figures are under these.

Note: The ore tonnages are given in percentage of the total
tonnage without selection, the uranium grades in Kg/ton ('/,,),
and to ensure confidentiality, the grades have been multiplied by
a coefficient.
172 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

TABLE 1.
Production figures.

Cutoff (0 f .. ) % Ore Metal Grade ( 0 f •• )

1. 45 26.4 1 .78 6.74
1.8 24.1 1. 74 7.23
2.5 19.2 1 .64 8.52

TABLE 2.
Geological reserves.

Cutoff ( 0 f 0 0 ) % Ore Metal Grade (0 f .. )

0.55 24.0 1. 97 8.20
1. 45 16.0 1. 90 11.9
1.8 14.6 1 .87 12.8
2.5 12.3 1 .83 14.8

4. THE EQUIVALENT BLOCK

The objective was to find a block size B with the same grade-
tonnage relation as for the material exploited in the experi-
mental open pit. This block, called the equivalent block, is used
to model the selectivity of the ore so as to be able to go from
the geological in-situ reserves to the recoverable reserves.

The available data allow us to calculate the grade tonnage curves
for the samples or for groups of samples (i.e. for a regulari-
zation of the data). We will then see if we can find a regulari-
zation that has the same characteristics as the production
figures. This is a purely experimental comparison. Then we will
represent this regularization by its equivalent block. It is
important to note that this is a hypothetical block. We do not
have any experimental data corresponding for it.

4.1. Reconstituting 1m long core sections

The first step is to regularize the 10cm core sections into 1m
long ones for the blastholes from the experimental open pit. The
statistics of this population are:
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES 173

Mean: 2. 18' / , ,
No of Samples: 8098
Dispersion variance: 76.6 ('/,,)2

4.2. Statistics for Groups of 4 Points

Two configurations of 4 points located in squares with 3m and 6m
sides respectively were considered. Their average grades were
calculated level by level experimentally. The statistics for
these two populations are given in Table 3.

TABLE 3.
Groups of 4 points.

3 m apart 6 m apart

Cutoff % Ore Metal Grade %0 % Ore Metal Grade %0

1.45 26.3 1 .93 7.32 27.6 1 .84 6.65
1.8 22.5 1 .86 8.30 24.1 1 .78 7.38
2.5 17.5 1. 75 10.0 18.5 1 .66 8.97

We see that the population of average grades for the 6m squares
corresponds quite well with the production figures given in Table
1. So this regularization could be used to describe the change
from the geological to the recoverable reserves. When comparing
the two sets of regrouped points with the 1m regularized
information, the three mean values are very similar but the
dispersion variances are quite different. The ratio of the
variances for 1m sections compared to the 6m apart groups is
0.305, which means that much of the contrast between the 1m
grades found within the deposit is smoothed out by the
regularization procedure.

The statistics for the regularized data ~n 3m and 6m squares is
given below:

3m squares 6m squares

N' of samples 1833 789
Mean grade 2.29% 2.23%
Variance 32.2(%.)2 23.3(%0)2
174 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

Important Note: It would be totally incorrect to deduce from
this, that the optimal grid would be 6m. The 3m grid is an
essential element in the mining process and for the selection of
are in the wider sense of the word. Calculating the grades from
the 6m squares is just a simple way to duplicate the grade-
tonnage curve obtained from the combined mining-selection
procedure.

The conventional profit defined by Matheron (1984) as being
(U metal - Ore x Cutoff Grade), has been calculated for the three
populations for each cutoff. (Table 4). The difference between
the 6m apart group and the production figures is small but
systematically positive, indicating that the production figures
correspond to a variance (that of the future equivalent block)
which is slightly lower than for the 6m squares. We now use the
variogram to determine the equivalent block.

TABLE 4.
Conventional profit.

Cutoff (. / .. ) Production 3 m Groups 6 m Groups

1. 45 1.40 1. 55 1 .44
1.8 1.30 1. 46 1.34
2.5 1.15 1 . 31 1.20

4.3. The Variogram Model Chosen

The fitted variogram model for the 1m long sections was the sum
of two spherical models with ranges of 1.5m and 11.0m and with
sills of 50. and 30. respectively. The geological interpretation
of these two structures is fairly clear. The mineralization is
linked with the fracturing. In the first phase the uranium was
associated with the mylonite. The grades are high but the ore
pockets are small, which explains the short range structure.
Later on the uranium was dispersed into larger almond shaped
pockets with variable ore grades. The size of these pockets
(about 10m) explains the second structure.

This variogram model was used to calculate the reduction in the
dispersion variance for different sized blocks. (Table 5). So we
see that the block size with about 70% variance reduction is
3m x 3m x 4m. This is then the equivalent block B. The grades of
blocks of this size will have nearly the same geostatistical
characteristics as the averages grades of 4 points set 6m apart
and so will match with the grades of the ore mined.
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES 175

TABLE 5.
Reduction in the dispersion variance, going from 1m vertical
samples to 3x3m blocks.

Height of block Reduction

1m 0.626
2m 0.669
3m 0.69
4m 0.709
5m 0.726

Comment: For most metals, the selection block is quite well
defined. It is the block that can be exploited individually and
selected as either ore or waste. For example the mining block
described by Kavourinos (1987, in this volume). In principle the
smaller the support of this block is, the better the selectivity
is. But this also depends on how accurately the block grades are
estimated. From the point of recovery, making the selection on
poorly known small blocks may be equivalent to a selection on
perfectly known larger blocks.

However in most uranium mines, the selection process is not
simply a free selection of blocks above the cutoff, even if this
representation is convenient for making predictions. So the
concept of an equivalent block is more complex in this case than
the selection block for metallic mines. The selection criteria
are more difficult to formulate. In addition to the grades
themselves, many other factors come into play; for example the
geometric constraints related to the shape of the mineralized
sections and to the size of the mining machinery, the sampling
procedure (radiometric measurements made at the mining face), the
size of the blasting grid, and the scintillometric scanning of
trucks.

The equivalent block is simply a convenient way of regrouping the
effect of all these factors on the final recoverable reserves.
This is why it is important. Knowing its exact size or shape is
of little importance. All that really counts are its geostatis-
tical characteristics. Since it is better to have a more
plausible shape and size, we prefer a 3m x 3m x 4m block to the
sets of 4 points 6m apart.
176 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

5. COMPARING THE PREDICTIONS FROM THE 15m GRID WITH REALITY

5.1. Predictions from the 15m Grid.

The local recoverable reserves were calculated for 20m x 20m x 6m
panels for two different cutoffs (1.8·/ •• and 2.5'/ •• ) and for
two selectivity hypotheses - a high selectivity hypothesis where
the selection is made on 2.5m x 2.5m x 3m blocks and a low
selectivity one where the selection is made on the kriged grades
of 3m x 3m.x 3m blocks. The predictions and the production
figures given in Table 6 show that the actual results exceed both
sets of predictions.

TABLE 6.
Predictions of recoverable reserves using the 15 m
development grid, for the experimental MCO .

Cutoff • / • 0 % Ore Metal Grade • / 0 •

1 .8 20.5 1. 45 7.08
High Selectivity
2.5 15.6 1. 35 8.63

1 .8 21 . 1 1. 28 6.07
Low Selectivity
2.5 15.7 1.17 7.43

Now the actual selectivity, as represented by the variance of the
equivalent block, fits neatly within the range of selectivity
given by the two hypotheses. So it is interesting to see whether
the differences between the predicted reserves and the production
figures may be due simply to random error linked to the 15m grid.

5.2. The Blastholes in the pit

To test this hypothesis, we used the data from the 3m grid from
the experimental open pit for the comparison. The effect of
making selections based on 1.5m long sections on a 15m grid can
be compared directly with the same figures for the 3m grid. The
15m grid can be seen to give much less favourable results (Tables
7 and 8, and Figure 1).

We then tried to construct several different 15m sampling grids
from the 3m grid data in order to estimate the experimental
fluctuations directly, but the 3m grid is too incomplete for
that. So we had to restrict ourselves to using a smaller sized
grid (9m x 12m). six of these can be obtained by moving the
origin. There are important differences between these, which are
due to the extreme skewness of the distribution and to the
smallness of the structure. (Figure 2). This suggests that a
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES 177

different location for the 15m grid could have led to estimates
that were closer to the reality, or considerably exceeded it.

TABLE 7.
1.5 m samples from the 15 m development grid .

Cutoff • I .. \ Ore Metal Grade ./ ..
0 . 55 25 . 6 1. 24 4.86
1. 45 16.4 1. 16 7.10
1 .8 15.4 1. 14 7 . 42
2.5 11.7 1. 06 9 .08

TABLE 8.
1.5 m samples from the 3 m block grid .

Cutoff ./ .. \ Ore Metal Grade ./ ..
0.55 27 . 9 1. 97 7.05
1.45 18.6 1. 88 10 . 1
1 .8 16.1 1.84 11. 5
2.5 12.6 1 .77 14 . 0

Geological reserves
,.0
(3 m blasthole grid)
~.
". 1 . 5 msamples
,/'/ (3 m blasthole grid)


• J

Figure 1. Grade as a function of cutoff.
178 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

.. 0

.0

m grid I
.. "
m grid.d


Figure 2. Grade as a function of cutoff for 1.5m samples. The
dotted line represents the fluctuations observed with
a 9 x 12 m2 grid of blastholes.

5.3. The Conditional Simulation
In order to simulate the future exploitation, a numerical model
of the deposit was set up using the conditional simulation method
applied to the data from the development drillholes. This
contained the simulated grades of the blastholes on a 1.5m grid.
This large set of regularly spaced data made it possible to study
the fluctuations in the values for different sized grids by
varying the origin of the grid. This was carried out on the part
of the deposit corresponding to the experimental open pit. Three
grid sizes were studied:
- 4 sets of data on a 3x3m grid,
- 16 sets on a 6x6m grid,
- 48 sets on a 9x12m grid.

with the 15m x 15 m grids the edge effects were too marked. The
number of drillholes taken into consideration would depend too
heavily on the origin chosen.

The variables studied were the grade and the metal of 1.5m long
sections of core corresponding to two cutoffs, 1.8 'f" and 2.5
'f". The most important results were:

(1) For the 3m grid, despite its fineness, there was still
cons.iderable variability among the values. The grades ranged from
10.3 to 11.8 for the 1.8 'f" cutoff, while they varied from 11.7
to 13.7 for the 2.5 'f" cutoff.
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PROD UCTION FIG URES 179

(2) For the 6m grid, the relative standard deviation for the
grades is 15%, whereas it is 11% for the ore tonnage .

(3) For the 9m x 12m grid, the results are similar to the
experimental data as far as the dispersion between the results is
concerned. The relative standard deviation is 25% for the grade
and the metal for the 1.8'/ •• cutoff, and is slightly higher for
the higher cutoff.

From this we can deduce that the relative standard deviation
would be about 35% to 40% for the 15m x 15m grid since there
would be half as many drillholes.

5 . 4. Calculating the theoretical precision of the grades before
any selection is made.

The variogram of the grades is used for this . The zone where the
grades are to be estimated is divided into panels, and the
estimation variance is calculated by dividing the basic extension
variance for a drillhole by the number of these panels. This
simple method is only approximate if the grid size is large
compared to the variogram range, but it nevertheless gives an
order of magnitude estimate .

For the relative standard deviations, we obtained

- 5% for the 3m x 3m grid
- 12% for the 6m x 6m grid
- 20% for the 9m x 12m grid.

These results are consistent with the preceding ones. They show
that the different sized development grids have random errors
associated with them. The order of magnitude of their variance
can be calculated. It increases with grid size but decreases as
the size of the zone studied increases .

5.4. The Differences between the Grade-Tonnage Curves

We have seen that the predicted recoverable reserves in the pit
were below the actual production figures. But considering how
large the difference between the 1. 5m samples on the 15m
development grid and the 3m blasthole grid, it is rather
surpr~s~ng that the difference is not even larger (Figures 3 and
4) . Moreover despite the larger support, the predictions are even
higher than for the 1.5m samples in the drillholes.

In fact, these holes were particularly poor within the
experimental pit. The richest mineralizations that were missed
here happened to ' lie just underneath the pit, where the grade was
found to be three times higher. As the experimental pit is a
180 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

_ - --. 3 m blasthole grid
. . .-. e -
.--
(1 . 5 m samples)
..0.... 0 Production figures
0·'

.0 High selectivity predictions
0"
o Low selectivity predictions
o.. ~ " 15 m drillhole grid
~~ (1 . 5 m sampl~~)
-4 . 0 "

O~.I~ ~'
CI

Figure 3.
.. ~
'----=-=--
.
20,.
Metal as a function of percentage ore .
'3ot.

................
,
................
~ ...........
1.~
"'-e 3 m blasthole grid
0, (1 . 5 m samples)
' 1).

····0 Production figures
~ o.
1.0
~.,,0. ... '. '0 High selec t ivi t y predictions
A~ Low selectivity predic t ions
15 m d rillhole gr i d
(l. 5 m samples )

"S

. Figure 4.
.. .
Conventional profit versus cutoff.
,
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCfION FIGURES 181

rather small volume, these rich grades had a weight of 15% in the
kriging of the service variables that was used for the
predictions. There is no simple direct way of evaluating their
influence, since the distribution of the grades for the whole
deposit influences service variables calculations. But it is
clear from the grade-tonnage curves (Figures 3 and 4) that the
estimation method has partly corrected the particularly poor
grades of the holes within the pit. There is still a difference
which has to be considered as primarily being a random error due
to the lack of precision of the 15m grid. This error is local
which means that the validity of the prediction for the whole
mine is not brought into question.

6. CONSEQUENCES

These essentially concern what should be done to exploit the
deposit in the best way; that is, so as to obtain a satisfactory
metal recovery at the lowest cost.

6.1. The Metal Recovery

The 3m grid of blastholes is indispensable in order to accurately
delimit the ore and waste zones and to minimize the dilution.

The 15m grid of surface drillholes is quite inadequate for
planning the annual production, and even more so for short term
planning. As an example of this, the production objective (of 450
tons of uranium at 7'/ •• ) is only known with a relative precision
(10) of 11.5%.

This lack of precision leads to:
(1) a risk of not meeting production objectives
(2) a non-optimal blasting layout
(3) changing the mining parameters from time to time.

All of these repercussions lead to a less efficient recovery of
the reserves.

Infill drilling of the 15m grid would double the number of holes
available for estimating the reserves and would reduce the
standard deviation to 8.1% instead of 11.5%.

Halving the drillhole spacing means quadrupling the number of
drillholes. The relative standard deviation would then be 5.7%
which provides a satisfactory range for the estimates of the
metal. So the best grid for annual planning is therefore 7.5m.
182 H. SANSANDJ. R. BLAISE

6.2. Minimizing the Cost per Ton

The other advantage of using a 7.5m grid is that the waste zones
would be much more clearly defined, which would help in
optimizing the layout of the blastholes. This would contribute to
improving the mining method and thus lower the cost per ton.

In order to be quite objective the advantages of using a 7.5m
grid should be assessed by comparing the extra cost involved in
drilling more holes with the increased revenue. In fact drilling
the 7.5m grid for the annual production would only cost the
equivalent of about 1 Uton.

7 CONCLUSIONS

This study shows that geostatistical methods provide a satis-
factory way of characterizing the grade-tonnage curve for this
type of deposit. In particular they make it possible to go from
the geological in-situ reserves to the recoverable reserves.
Secondly they can be of help in explaining short and middle term
fluctuations in the grades and the tonnages that are seen during
production. For example it has been shown that the 7.5m
development grid is much better suited to annual production
planning than the 15m one.

REFERENCES

Kavourinos Ch., 1987: The Grade-Tonnage Curves for a Zinc Mine in
France, Geostatistical Case-Studies, Reidel & Co . , Dordrecht,
Holland.

Matheron, G. 1984: The Selectivity of the Distributions and the
Second Principle of Geostatistics, in the NATO ASI "Geostatis-
tics for Natural Resource Characterization", ed. G. Verly,
Reidel & Co, Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 421-434 .

Sans, H. & Martin, V. 1984: Technical Parametrization of Uranium
Reserves to be Mined", in the NATO ASI "Geostatistics for
Natural Resources Characterization", ed. G. Verly, Reidel &
Co, Dordrecht, Holland, pp. 1071-1086.

Tona, S. et al., 1985: Geology and Mineralization in the
Carlswell Structure: A General Approach, in "The Carlswell
Uranium Deposits, Sasketechewan", ed. Laine, R., Alonso, D.,
and Svab, M., Geological Assoc. Canada, Special Paper N' 29
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGUR ES 183

APPENDIX

One of the objectives in this study was to test some of the
theoretical results given by geostatistics to see how well they
worked in practice. They concerned the regularized variogram, the
dispersion variance, the various estimation variances and the
change of support .

When the 1 . 5m samples were regularized into 3m composites, the
mean stayed the same and the variance and the distribution were
found to be close to those given by geostatistics. In such cases
the geostatistical formulae work well. As it is impossible to
present all the results here, we would rather present an example
where the theoretical and the experimental variances are not in
close agreement and try to see why.

A.1. The Extension Variance

This formula gives the variance of the error made when using the
average grade over the volume v to estimate the average grade of
V. (The error is assumed to be zero on average) .

(a) Results

In this case the mean grade of each 15m x 15m x 1m panels V to be
estimated was obtained by averaging all its blasthole samples and
the estimator v was the central blasthole grade. We were able to
calculate the differences between these two grades (i.e. the
estimation error) experimentally and compare them with the
theoretical results obtained using the formula:

a 2 ext = 2~(v,V) - ~(V,V) - ~(v , v)

The mean of the 219 errors calculated was 1.44'/" and the
variance was (114'/,,)2, which gives a mean square error of 116
(,/ ' , )2 . This has to be compared to the theoretical extension
variance of 67.8('/,,)2; the theoretical mean is, of course,
zero .

(b) Interpreting the Results

To get these figures into perspective we present the statistics
for two sets of 1m long samples. The mean of the 8098 values for
the pilot open pit was 2 . 17 while that of the 219 values used in
the tests was 3 . 75 . The variances were 76 . 6 and 144 respectively.
From this it is clear that the 219 values are not representative
of the pilot opeh pit. Their mean and variance are much larger .
184 H. SANS AND J. R. BLAISE

A different choice for the origin of the sets would have given
different results. In fact the theoretical formulae would
correspond to the results for all possible choices.

A.2. The Proportional Effect

For a given support size, the differences between the variances
for different sets of data are often related to differences
between their mean values. In general the variance increases with
the mean, but the exact relation between the two is not known a
priori. It lS important to determine it because of its influence
on local estimation variances, for example.

When the service variables were kriged using the data from the
15m grid, the proportional effect was used to scale the
estimation variance since it is clear that the higher the local
mean is, the less precise the estimates are.

We will now see what sort of relationship there is between the
mean and the variance for grades. The test was carried out using
the 1m long samples on the 3m grid. The mean and the variance of
the grades within 15m x 15m x 1m panels were calculated for all
panels containing at least 20 sample grades. Figure A1 shows the
scatter diagram of variance against mean on a bilogarithmic
scale. The slope of the regression line was 2.167. So although
the proportional effect is quite pronounced, it is not exactly
lognormal (or else the slope would have been 2.0).

/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
/
• .A

...
•• .J14:"

..../.., .:~
. J~'::»
.
/. ....
.?!.~
..:,~(.
yo ......
/.,","
/
/
/
/
/
Me

Figure A1. Proportional effect on a bilogarithmic scale, for 1m
samples within 15 x 15 x 1 m3 panels.
COMPARING ESTIMATED URANIUM GRADES WITH PRODUCTION FIGURES 185

This example refers to 1m samples within a 15m x 15m x 1m panel.
If a different support size or a different sized zone had been
chosen, the relationship would have been different, and there is
no simple way of predicting it.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors would like to thank AMOK Ltd, particularly Mr J. P.
Slama for the kind permission given in publishing this paper.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES: TESTING VARIOUS CHANGES OF SUPPORT
MODELS ON URANIUM DATA.

C. DEMANGE (*), Ch. LAJAUNIE (**), Ch. LANTUEJOUL (**),
J. RIVOIRARD (**)

* COGEMA, Velizy-Villacoublay, France.
** Centre de Geostatistique, ECOLE NATIONALE SUPERIEURE
DES MINES DE PARIS, 77305 Fontainebleau, France.

ABSTRACT

A model is needed to estimate the distribution of selection
blocks (and then the recoverable reserves) from the distribution
of samples. Four models (gaussian, gamma, negative binomial,
mosaic) have been tested on skewly distributed uranium data. They
gave satisfactory results for the global estimates of the
recoverable reserves. The slight differences between the models
were due to the differences between the hypotheses for the four
models.

INTRODUCTION

The in-situ resources of a deposit cannot usually be mined out
completely. Technical as well as economic constraints make it
necessary to select only a fraction of these resources. This
defines the recoverable reserves. The selectivity is closely
related to the size of the "selection support" - that is the
minimal volume of material that can be selected.

When recoverable reserves are to be estimated from systematic
reconnaissance data, the available data correspond to very small
supports (for instance cores). These are often very poor or very
rich, and can give the illusion of an easy separation between ore
and waste. Si.nce the miners exploit blocks and not cores, the
grade distribution of the selection blocks has to be estimated
from that of the cores.
187

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatistical Case Studies, 187-208.
© l <Nil by D. Reidel Publishing Company.
188 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

This estimation is said to be global when it refers to the whole
deposit. A model for changing the support on the grade distribu-
tion has then to be used. It is said to be local when it refers
to part of the deposit: panels for instance. In this case, the
distribution model of blocks has to be "conditioned" by the
samples in the neighbourhood of the panel.

One model often used for determining the block grade distribution
from the point support one is the discretized gaussian model
(Matheron (1978)). It is based on a transformation of grades into
a gaussian variable, and on the assumption of bivariate normality
of the pairs after transformation. These hypotheses, which cannot
be entirely tested, are of course not neutral on the results.

Moreover, when local estimates are made, a gaussian value has to
be given to each sample. This poses problems when many sample
values are equal (for instance 50% of zero values).

Other hypotheses can be made on the pairs of grades, which lead
to other models. The more relevant the model, the better the
results.

This article examines the results of changes of support made
using the gaussian, gamma, negative binomial and mosaic models
for a uranium deposit. First we look at the underlying hypothesis
as they appear in the fundamental Cartier's relation, which will
be given explicitly for the gaussian case. Then we will indicate
the condition under which this work has been made. Afterwards we
will show the results given by the various models. Some
theoretical points about these models will be give~ in the
Appendices.

1. CARTIER'S RELATION - THE GAUSSIAN CASE

The change of support model, which enables us to deduce the grade
distribution of blocks V from the distribution of the grades Z(v)
of samples v (which is known), must satisfy Cartier's relation:

E(Z(y)lz(v)) = Z(V)

which states that, given a block V with grade Z(V), the grade of
a sample~, randomly located in V, has to be equal on average to
the grade of v.

So the difference between the gaussian, the gamma, the negative
binomial, and the mosaic models comes from the bivariate
hypothesis that is made on the pairs (Z(~),Z(V)).
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES l~

In the gaussian model, these pairs are supposed to be bivariate
normal, after the variables have been transformed into normal
variables . These transformations can be logarithmic, if one
assumes that the grades are lognormally distributed; or, more
generally, gaussian anamorphosis functions can be used.

The grade distribution of samples ltv) (which is known) is then
perfectly defined by its gaussian anamorphosis function ~ (known
again), which satisfies:

ltv) = ~(yv)

where y 1S a standard normal variable associated to the samples.
In the V same way, the grade distribution of blocks Z(V) will be
completely determined by its anamorphosis function ~v :

ltV) = ~v(yv)

where Yv 1S the standard normal variable associated to the
blocks. As the pairs (Yy'Y V ) are supposed bivariate normal, ~v is
then given by Cartier's relation:

~V(y) = E[~(Yy)IYv = y]

If 9 denotes the standard normal density , then this can be
rewritten as :

~V(Y) = f +00

-00
~(ry+{1-r2u) g(u) du

The correlation r between Yy and yV is chosen to ensure that the
variance of ltv) = ~v(Yv) satisfies:

Var ltV) = Var ltv) - lv(V,V)

which is known from the variogram model for the samples.

2. THE CASE STUDY

The case-study has been made on a uranium deposit containing 54
vertical drillholes each with forty-two 1.5 m sections (i.e . a
total of 2 268 sample grades) . The point is to estimate the
distribution of selection blocks from the distribution of these
samples. Clearly both have the same mean but,as the grades are
less dispersed as the support increases, these distributions are
characterized by their dispersion variance (which is given by
linear geostatistics).
190 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

The real block distribution is not available, and so cannot be
used as a reference to test the various change of support models.
As the data are very regularly located (regular grid of constant
hole length), it was possible to regularize the 1.5 m samples of
a given hole, into three 14 x 1.5 m regularized data. (The number
14 is chosen so that these regularized data can be used as if
they were selection blocks. The dispersion variances are of the
same Size order). Then the tests can be summarized in the
following way: from the sample distribution, each model gives an
estimate for the regularized data distribution, these were then
compared to their real distribution.

Let us now have a look at the elementary statistics. The average
grade m is 0.81, the sample variance a 2 is 9.0, and the regular-
ized data variance is 2.32. As the grades have been multiplied by
an arbitrary coefficient in order to preserve confidentiality,
the significant numbers are:
- the coefficients of variation aim:
3.7 for samples
1.88 for regularized data
- and, above all, the variance reduction when going ~rom
samples to "blocks": (9 - 2.3)/9 == 74%.

Lastly, there are 70% of waste sample values (which are coded
arbitrarily between 0 and 0.2).

3. RESULTS AND COMPARISON

The point is to estimate the distribution of "blocks" (here
regularized data) from the experimental distribution of samples,
and to compare the results with the experimental distribution of
blocks.

It is more convenient, as well as more useful, to compare grade-
tonnage type curves rather than simple histograms:

- selected tonnage T as a function of the cut-off grade z
(represented by the proportion of values above z ) c
c
- selected metal Q as a function of z (i.e. metal contained
c
in the values above zc)

- "conventional profit" 8(z ) = Q(z ) - z T(z)
c c c c
- lastly the metal Q as a function of the tonnage T.

For a given value of T, Q decreases as the support increases, and
for a given z , 8 also decreases as the support increases (which
is the point of this conventional profit).
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 191

Moreover it is convenient to express T as a fraction of the total
tonnage, and Q and B as fractions of the total quantity of metal,
in order to compare the degree of selectivity between different
deposits, or parts of the deposit.

Figure shows the results of the gaussian and gamma models
superimposed on the experimental results, for each of these
curves. Similarly, Figures 2 and 3 present the results
corresponding to the negative binomial and the gaussian models,
and the mosaic and the gaussian models respectively.

The choice of the parameters for the gamma, negative binomial and
mosaic models is explained in the appendices.

The gaussian model gives satisfactory results as does the
negative binomial one. The gamma model gives slightly better
results on high grades, whereas the mosaic model proves to be
excellent overall. This probably stems from the "mosaic"
structure of the deposit, where waste passes and variably
mineralized passes can be found alternatively.

CONCLUSION

All four models tested here (gaussian, gamma negative binomial,
mosaic) gave quite satisfactory results when estimating global
recoverable reserves under difficult conditions (i.e. for a skew
distribution). The differences between experimental and estimated
curves are very small. In practice, one would expect larger
differences that would come from the definition and the variance
of the selection support.

The differences that were observed between the models come from
the hypothesis relative to each of them. It will be interesting
to study the behaviour of these models for local estimation.
192 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

EXPERIMENTAL
GAUSSIAN
GAMMA

- .. - .. -
4. 5. 6. 7. B. 9. 13.

Figure 1a. Gamma model - Tonnage.

Q Yo
1.3
EXPERIMENTAL
3.9 GAUSSIAN
GAMMA
0.B

0.7 "\

0.6

0.5

0.4

0.3

0.2
.....:-...:- ... :-...:- •..-::- ...-::- ...-::- '.-:-.'-
0.1

0.0
0. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. B. 9. 10.
"

Figure 1b . Gamma model - Quantity of metal.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 193

g %
1.B

B.S

B.8

8.7

B.8

80'S

....
B.3

______ EXP"ftlHENTAL
8.2
GAUSSIAN
___ ___ OAt4KA

B.1

B.8 T X
8.1 8.1 B.2 8.'3 8.14 8.5 8.8 8.7 8.8 8.8 1.8

Figure 1c. Gamma model - Quantity of metal versus selected
tonnage.
B %
1.B EXPERIMENTAL

B. 9 GAUSSIAN
GAMMA
B.8

B.7

B.6

0.5

0.4

B.3

B.2

B.l

0.B
0. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Figure 1d. Gamma model - Conventional profit versus cut-off
grade.
194 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

T eZl
1.0 Experiment.al

Gau •• ian
0.9
~ Nagat.lve binomial
0.B

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.14

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0 Z
0. 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. B. 9. 10.

Figure 2a. Negative binomial model - Tonnage.
Q eZl
1.0
Experiment.al

0.9 Geu • • tan

N.ga~iv. binomial
0.B

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.14

0.3

0.2

0.1

B.0 Z
0. 1. 2. 3. 14. 5. 6. 7. B. 9• 10.

.Figure 2b. Negative binomial model - Quantity of metal.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 195

Q(T)
1.9

9.9

1.8

1.7

1.&

1.5

....
I.~

1.2
•••••• 0 ...... 10"

1.1

8.9 L-__ ~ __ ~ ____L -__ ~ __ ~ ____ ~ __ ~ __ ~ ____ ~ __ ~ T

a.8 9.1 8.2 a.~ 9." 8.5 8.& 8.7 a.& 8.8 1.8

Figure 2c. Negative binomial model - Quantity of metal versus
selected tonnage.
B (Z)
1.0 Experiment-al
Gau • • tan
0.9
Negat-ive binomial
0.8

0.7

0.6

0.5

0.~

0.3

0.2

0.1

0.0
0. 1. 2. 3. ~. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Figure 2d. Negative binomial model - Conventional profit
versus cut-off grade.
Figure 3a. Mosaic model - Selected tonnage.

Q Yo
loB EXPERIMENTAL

B.9 GAUSSIAN
I..
MOSAIC
B.B

B.7 .:-
B.6

0.5

B.'I

0.3

0.2 ". " .
:
.. .. .:."'::'.: ......
B.l
'- ...

0.B :z
B. 1. 2. 3. 'I. 5. 6. 7. B. 9. 1 B.

Figure 3b. Mosaic model - Quantity of metal.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 197

APPENDIX A - THE GAMMA MODEL

1. THE GAMMA DENSITY FUNCTION

A random variable Y is said to have a gamma distribution if its
probability density function 1S

-Y a-I (y > 0)
ga{Y) = e Y
r (a)
where a is a positive parameter, and r(a) is the gamma function

ria) f +00

o
e- Y ya-I dy

used as norming constant.

Depending on the a value, the gamma density can take various
shapes (cf. Figure 4). If a < 1, 9 is a monotonic decreasing
function, unbounded at the origin. ~f a > 1, 9 is bell-shaped
and comes closer and closer to a gaussian densi~y function as a
increases. In the intermediate case a = I, g1 is exponential.

2.8

1.S

1.8

8.5

1. 2. s. ~. s. 8. 7. 8. 8. 18.

Figure 4. Various possible shapes for the gamma density function.
198 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

"
Q
1.8

a.9

0.8

a.7

8.8

0.5

o.q /, '

a.3

______ EXf'IEIUJ1ENTAL
a.2
GRUSSIAN
_._._. "OSRIC
0.1

8.8 T X
8.8 8.1 B.2 8.3 8.... 8.S 8.8 8 .. 7 8.8 8.8 t.8

Figure 3c. Mosaic model - Quantity of metal versus selected
tonnage.

B Yo
loB EXf'.ER 1 MENTAL

B.9 GAUSSIAN
MOSAIC
B.8

B.7

B.6

B.5

B.4.

B.3

B.2

B.l
-- ... - .... - ..... _- ...-
B.B
B. 1. 2. 3. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. lB.
"

Figure 3d. Mosaic model - Conventional profit versus cut-off
grade.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 199

The gamma density function has moments of all orders. In particu-
lar E(Y) = cx and Var(Y) = cx.

In order to manipulate functions of a gamma variable, it is
convenient to use an expansion of them into a basis of
polynomials that are orthonormal for 9 . The normalized Laguerre
polynomial of degree n can be definca using Rodrigues' formula
(Sze(ji:i, 1939)

cx
Q (y)
n

2. THE GAMMA ISOFACTORIAL MODEL

Now we consider Z(v) = ~(Y ) and Z(V) = ~v(Yv), where Yv and Y v
have the gamma density vfunctions 9 and 9 ,. The gamma
isofactorial model is based upon thg follow1ng hypothesis
(Matheron, 1984): if ~ stands for a sample uniformly located
within the block v, the bivariate density fry Y) is bigamma:
~' V
+00 ,
= >.:: 1'n C (cx,cx') Qa.(x) Qcx ( )
f(x,y)
n n n y go. (x) gOo' (y)
n=O
where 0 , l' < 1, and where
~:n) r (a)
~ r (a.+n) r (a.)
Starting from this hypothesis, a relationship between ~ and ~'
can be easily obtained, as follows. Cartier's formula

E {Z(~)lz(v)} = Z(V)

can be rewritten

E {~(Yy)IYv) = lj)v(Y v )

Now, we expand the two anamorphosis functions into Laguerre
polynomials,

+00
a.'
and ~V = L ~'n Qn
n=O
and observe that these polynomials are interchangeable
200 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

so that we deduce
, n ,
Ip =1' C(a,a ) 1jl (n 0, 1, 2, . . )
n n n

3. CHOICE OF THE PARAMETERS

Three parameters must be assessed: the s ample parameter a, the
block parameter a' and the coefficient 1'.

In principle, u can be chosen arbitrarily. In practi ce however,
it is preferable to choose a so as to preserve some salient
structural features of the sample distribution. In the present
case, we have decided to preserve the percentage of waste grades
P {Z(v)<0.2} = 0.7 . Of course, this criterion is only meaningful
provided that y 'and Z(v) have the same mean. This is the reason
why we have iXtroduced a multiplicative constant b and have
required

E {b Y }
v
= E{Z(v)) = 0.810

P (b Y v < 0.2) = p{Z(v) < 0.2) 0.7

So, we obtain a = 0 . 115.
The assessment of a' and r is not so easy . Indeed only two block
statistics are available. These are the mean value E{Z(V)) =
E{Z(v)} = 0.81 and the variance Var{Z(V)} = Va1'{Z(v)} -
1 (V,V) = 2.323. But the first one is taken into account directly
b~ Cartier's relation, Furthermore, there are several constraints
upon a I:

~) if
n ~ 1, the correlation coefficient between QU(y ) ~nd
QU (Y v )
is rnCn(a,a'). To have it less than 1 for any n, w~ must
necessarily take a' ~ a.

ii) because of the relation between the two anamorphosis func -
tions, a/ and r must satisfy:

+00 +00
Val' {Z(V)} L 1jl'2 = L l'2n C2(a a') 1jl2
n n' n
n=1 n=1
and thus

L C2(a,a') 1jl2 ~ Var (Z(V)}
n n
n=1
But C (a,a') is a decreasing function of a/. As a consequence,
this ~nequality can only hold if a' is smaller than a certain
value ; say a max ' In the present case, a max = 0.431.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 201

To sum up, any cr' such that cr ~ cr' ~ crmax is possible. As soon as
cr' has been fixed, the formula
+00
Var {Z(V}} = [ ~'2
n
n=1

imposes r . Of course, the choice of cr' is not without consequen-
ces. As it is shown on Figure 5, the value cr' = cr
best results. How can we interpret it? max gives the

Q X
loB

B.9

./
./
B. 8
./

/
/
B.7
./
./
B.8 ./

B.5

.. ~

B.~

.. . . . . f'OlNT DRTA
B.2
------ BLOCK DATA
_0_"_ 0 GAMMA

".\

".B T X
8.8 8.\ 8.2 8.~ B.~ 8.S 8.8 8.7 8.8 8.9 1.8

Figure 5. Comparing the quantity of metal/selected tonnage curves
for different parameter values of the gamma model.

The experimental proportion of waste blocks is P {Z(V} < 0 . 2}
0.432, which corresponds to cr' = 0.403, a value close to cr ,
although somewhat different. Thus maintaining the proportiofta~f
waste blocks is not a suitable criterion for the choice of cr'. On
the other hand, we have seen that cr' ~ cr, which simply expresses
the fact that the block distribution is closer to a gaussian
distribution than the sample one. Let band b' the two
multiplicative constants such that
202 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

A simple way to satisfy this inequality 1S to require the
preservation of the variance ratios

Var {b Y } Var (Z(v)}
v
Var {b'Y V } Var (Z(V)}

which gives a' = 0.455 > a . So, a possible interpretation is
that the chosen value a ~g~responds to the gamma isofactorial
model that best respectsm~~e variance ratio.
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 203

APPENDIX B - THE NEGATIVE BINOMIAL MODEL

Discrete models are a priori well suited to modelling phenomena
with a marked spike at the origin. The trade off is the necessity
to discretize the continuous part of the distribution.

Here we study the binomial negative model, which is in some
respects the discrete counterpart of the gamma model.

1. NEGATIVE BINOMIAL DISTRIBUTION

The negative binomial model depends upon two parameters, p = l-q
and u:
i
u r(u+i) L
p [I=i] = P. = q
1 . I
r(u) 1.
The set of orthogonal polynomials with respect to P., noted
1
Hn(i), and normalized by the condition Hn(O) = 1:

E [H (1) H ( I ) ] = I: H (i) H (i) P. = 6 . r(u) n!
n min m 1 nm r(u+n) pn
can easily be calculated from the following relationship

n Hn _ 1 (i) + [iq - pU - n(p+l)] Hn(i) + p(u+n) Hn +1(i) 0
Ho(i) = H_ 1 (i) = 0 (conventional)

Since this set is complete, any function of I, with finite
variance can be expressed as an (infinite) sum of Hn (I) :

~(I) = I: l/ln Hn (I)
n
E [~(I)2] < +00 =>
pn r(u+n)
l/ln = I: ~(i) Hn (i) P.1
i n! r(u)

2. MODEL OF SAMPLE GRADES

The first step is to choose the parameters of the negative
binomial model associated with the sample support. We need two
conditions. The first one will obviously be given by the
percentage of waste samples P . The second one could be that the
experimental and the theoretigal distributions are "as alike" as
possible. One simple choice is:
204 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

Our experience is that, once the first condition is met,
estimates of global recoverable reserves are remarkably
insensitive with respect to this choice.

The second step is to determine a transformation from sample
grade z to a positive integer value i and vice versa. The
ex
transforgation cannot in essence be one to one; so we need two
non decreasing functions:

elz ) [ i 1
ex z. <z <z
1 1-1 ex 1
Ij):N-+R+ Z Ij)li)

such that the distributions are as close as possible:
elZ) 2; I
Z 2; Ij) II)

and such that the discretisation error lS minimized:
"small".
The last step in the procedure is to calculate the expansion of Ij)
in term of H :
n
Ij)li) = [ ~n Hn li )

An empirical and satisfactory solution has been found to this
problem.

3. THE CHANGE OF SUPPORT MODEL

One keypoint In the estimation of global, as well as local
recoverable reserves, is the bivariate isofactorial model,
associated with the pair, sample v, randomly located within a
bloc V. In Matheron (1983), the general form of negative binomial
isofactorial models with polynomial factors is given. Here we
shall restrict ourselves to the following particular model, which
we have found to be the best to date:

i) Pv Pv = p independent of the support size

ii) U v > uv
vV v V
HV (i) HnV ( J.)
iii) wij = wi Wj [ T
n n
n
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 205

rlu +n) p n
v
with T
n
rlu v) n l

I
iv) Ij!V Ij!v =
n n Ij!n

Z{,)
Ijlv 11 ) L Ij!n HVli)
n
n
Hence the anamorphosis:
ZIV) = Ijlv l j ) =L Ij!n HnVIJ)
n

The parameter Uv is chosen from the variance relationship:

02 =L ~/1j!2
n n
n=1 rlu v +n-l) p

The properties of this model are the following:
- it satisfies Cartier's relationship,

- the grade associated with the zero value of the integer
variable is preserved:

(in other words, the waste remains waste, which is a safe
condi tion) ,

the distribution converges towards normality when the size
of support increases (and 0v ~ 0).

4. RESULTS
The model associated with the point values is

wV = 0.7 p = 0.9072 u O. 15.
a v
The polynomial expansion was limited to the first twenty terms:

Zlv) ~ Ijl II) =L $ HVII)
v n~20 n n

Fifty-five classes were retained (no sample values correspond to
i>54). The fitted distribution model had the following character-
istics:
= 0.812 = 0.638
f( f(
m S
(Selectivity for samples = 0.645)
206 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

(A reduction of variance was bound to happen because of the
grouping). The discretisation error: E = z-~oC(z} was:

02 = 6 x 10- 3 E = 0.9
E max
The block model, whose grade-tonnage curves are shown in Figure
2, is given by:

U v = 0.51,8 0.5072 (0.535 for grouped samples)
GLOBAL RECOVERABLE RESERVES 207

APPENDIX C - THE MOSAIC MODEL

The mosaic model for the change of support has been introduced by
Matheron in 1984. In contrast to the gaussian or gamma model, it
does not depend on some specific type of distribution.

Let l(v} ~(Y) and l(V} = ~1(yV}. The mosaic model requires the
cumulative di~tribution functions F and G of Yv and Yv to be
related by
(1 - Cl) F(y}
G(y}
- Cl F(y}

where Cl is the variance reduction
Var (l(V})
1 - Cl =
Var (l(v)}

Moreover, if ~ is a randomly located sample within v, the
bivariate distribution of (Yyl Yv ) is

H(dx,dy) = [1-Cl F(y)] G(dy) 6y (dx) + Cl 1x <y F(dx) G(dy)

In particular, in the mosaic model, we always have Y ~ YV . From
Cartier's relation ~

E (l(~}ll(V}) = l(V}
we derive a formula between the two anamorphosis functions ~ and
~'

J
y-
~I(y} = ~(y) [1 - Cl F(y}1 + Cl ~(x) F(dx}
o
The standardized selectivity curves displayed on Figure 3 have
been obtained by taking for F the cumulative empirical
distribution of l(v}.
208 C. DEMANGE ET AL.

REFERENCES

LANTUEJOUL Ch. and RIVOIRARD J. (1984): Une methode de determina-
tion d'anamorphose, Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontaine-
bleau.

MATHERON G. (1978): L'estimation globalc des reservcs rccupcra-
bles, Centre de Geostatistiquc, ENSMP, Fontainebleau.

MATHERON G. (1983): Modeles isofactoriels et changement de
support, Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau.

MATHERON G. (1984): Isofactorial models and change of support, in
Geostatistics for Natural Resources Characterization, Reidel.

MATHERON G. (1984): Changement de ::;upport en modele mosaique,
Sciences de la Terre n· 20.

SZEGO G. (1939); Orthogonal polynomials, American Mathematical
Society.
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS, FOR A
URANIUM DEPOSIT

L. de CHAMBURE(*), Ch. de FOUQUET(**), H. FRAISSE(***)

* T6TAL COMPAGNIE MINIERE, Paris, France
** Centre de Geostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France
*** TOTAL COMPAGNIE MINIERE FRANCE, Bertholene, France

ABSTRACT

The uranium deposit at Bertholene in SE France has a diffuse
mineralization which is divided into fairly distinct ore pockets.
Two of these zones have been studied:
- Orebody B which is being mined by cut and fill
- An open pit above the 715 m level.

The recoverable reserves for Orebody B were calculated by
applying geometrical constraints due to the mining method to a
numerical model of the orebody. This model had been made in a two
step procedure of first using indicator functions, then
introducing the grades. This makes it possible to reconstitute
the overall structure of mineralized veins inside a waste matrix;
but the details of the individual veins in the model do not
correspond to the reality. The reserves were then compared to the
production figures for the whole orebody and level by level.

Inside the open pit, a 3D geostatistical model of the grades was
set up directly and was used to reconstitute various sizes of
selection blocks. The overall results obtained were compared to
those given by the discretized gaussian model. In a more
restricted zone, the geostatistical predictions were compared
with the production figures.

1. INTRODUCTION

The Bertholene uranium deposit run by Total Compagnie Miniere
(France), started underground mining in 1982. The open-pit was
209

G. Matheron and M. Armstrong (eds.), Geostatisticai Case Studies. 209--246.
© 1<)87 by D. Reidel Fllblishi" g Comp""y.
210 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

opened the following year. The mine currently produces 70 tonnes
of uranium metal per year and employs 56 people on site.

Since its discovery in 1959, several reconnaissance campaigns
have been carried out as the price of uranium fluctuated. These
highlighted the complexity of the deposit and the difficulties of
evaluating it, before preliminary underground work started in
1977.
In the first part of this article, we shall try to highlight the
important points in the feasibility studies that preceded the
opening of the mine, rather than glvlng a more detailed
presentation of the sequence of steps. In the second and third
sections we will show how downstream geostatistics can help the
mlnlng company to schedule and run its underground and open-pit
operations.

2. GENERAL PRESENTATION
2.1. Description of the Geology

The Bertholene deposit which is situated on the northern part of
the metamorphic Levezou complex (Figure 1), is surrounded by
orthogneiss. It lies several hundred meters on the southern side
of a large east-west fault (the Palanges fault) with a throw of
several hundred meters. Except for this major fault, the
tectonics of the area is dominated by two other transverse
thrusts in the directions N 140 and N 160, which date from the
late hercyian era. Two other subvertical faults oriented N 60 and
N 20, which are only visible underground, delimit the deposit
along its eastern and western edges respectively.

The deposit is essentially a small, fairly low grade fissural-
type deposit. The mineralization consists of vanadates in the
oxydized zone and of coffinite in the reduced zone. The latter is
in equilibrium. The ore is mainly located in open fractures and
has only diffused a few centimeters into the surrounding rock. It
is basically controlled by two factors; the tectonics and the
succession of mineralogical transformations. The ore was
principally transported by the subvertical N 30 - N 40 fractures.
Its extension in the vertical direction was limited by a series
of flat structures inclined at between 0 and 40 degrees, which
are lithostructural discontinuities that block, dislodge or cut
the orebodies. The longitudinal extension is about 200 m.

The thickness and the grade of the orebodies are controlled by
the number and the openness of the fractures which range from
isolated open fractures to stockwerk mineralization in the
surrounding rock. In the upper levels there are lots of fairly
CALCULA TING ORE RESERVES SUBJECf TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 211

distinct orebodies; lower down at the 650-680 level which has
already been mined underground, there are two main orebodies
(Figure 2). Orebody B is 150 m long and 2 to 3 m thick; orebody F
is 70 m long and 10 m thick. Both dip slightly to the east.

Sedimet\~ory
Gronir
p.u~ettO-limo<eil1 crywllil'lc ~rle.
RI./teno-limol./~i\'l sc.hish>sc
Cevenole cry.l-allil1e b.lI-
Ce\ley,o\e schis'rof.e bell-

Figure 1. Geological environment of the Bertholene deposit.

2.2. Estimating the In-situ Reserves

After some initial surface exploration work including cored
drillholes in the early sixties, the first in-situ ore reserves
were calculated using traditional methods but the geological
model was poorly defined. The rise in the uranium prices led to
the opening of preliminary mining work in the rich central part
of the deposlt at level 740, which was then followed up by a
series of underground percussion holes.
212 L. DE CHAMBUREET AL.

figure 2. Mineralization at the 680 level.

These showed that the mineralization lies in the subvertical
structures, which made it difficult to correlate mineralized
sections in the vertical drillholes. As it was difficult to
interpret the mineralization and hence quantify the reserves, an
initial estimation was made using linear kriging of the two
service variables (thickness and accumulation) on 10 x 10 x 10 m3
blocks.

After an additional reconnaissance campaign, a pilot open-pit was
opened up in 1979/80 and a second geostatistical ore reserve
estimation was carried out by the BRGM (Lefeuvre et al., 1980).
This gave a first estimate of the in-situ reserves and made it
possible to follow the vertical evolution of the grades and the
metal quantities. But it did not solve two fundamental problems:
- ~ the precise location of the ore,
- the relationship between the in-situ reserves and the
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 213

recoverable reserves (the support effect and the information
effect) .

It became clear that two types of exploitation could be envisaged
for this deposit: an open-pit for the orebodies above the level
of the valley (680 m) and an underground mine for the lower
levels (Figure 3).

Figure 3. Layout of drillholes.

2.3. The Traditional Approach to Ore Reserve Estimation and Mine
Planning

(a) The Underground Mine

Since it was difficult to draw the shape of the orebodies from
the information available from the above ground drillholes, in
1980 it was decided to carry out underground reconnaissance work
to quantify the reserves in one level of the future underground
exploi tation. .. The basic working hypothesis was to have a 30 m
distance between levels. As usual with uranium, parallel drives
214 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

and some cross-cuts were constructed. From these, percussion
holes were drilled in a fan shape every 20 m along the
underground workings. Between 1980 and 1981, 2 673 m of drive
were built and 22 824 m of percussion holes and 232 m of cored
underground holes were drilled.

This detailed reconnaissance campaign made it possible
- to draw the orebodies and locate them in space,
- to estimate the in-situ reserves,
- to estimate the mlnlng reserves calculated by fixing a
minimal width of opening along the underground workings and
also by fixing the dilution factor by experience.
- to choose a selective mlnlng method (cut and fill with
mechanical backfilling of 3 m high slices).

In 1982 when the underground exploitation started up, the
economic feasibilty of the operation had not yet been proved.
Today the 680/650 level has been completely mined out. The
comparison between the production figures and the predictions was
quite satisfactory, and the exploitability of this level of the
deposit has also been proved.

(b) The Open-Pit Mine

The problem of locating the orebodies is less acute for the open-
pit than for the underground mine. For open-pits, particularly
deep ones like Bertholene, the problem is to determine the
overall envelope containing the final pit. We already know that
geostatistics is not ideally suited to handling such complex
deposits as this one where there are problems defining the edge
of the deposit.

Consequently after a deterministic approach had been used to
delimit the mineralized zone (which was possible after the
underground workings had been opened up), it was possible to
choose the shape of the final pit. By varying the values of the
main technical and economic parameters and using linear
programming techniques, we were then able to optimize the pit
contour. The pit contour finally chosen was one that is fairly
robust against variations in the parameter values particularly as
far as the recovery function is concerned (i.e. the relationship
between the in-situ reserves and the mining reserves).

Before starting the geostatistical study of the recoverable
reserves, two additional types of information became available:
- the tests from the mine section opened up along the
drillholes as had been tried in 1981 (Labrot et al., 1981)
- the results from the pilot open-pit established in the upper
weathered levels.
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 215

Because of production constraints, it was necessary to extract
ore as rapidly as possible at the same time as preparing the
final pit project. So in 1983/4 a 320 KT mini-pit was opened up.
This corresponds to phase 1 described in Section 3.

Given the variability of the mineralization (both the grade and
the geometry) and of the topography, sequencing the mining
operations is an important part of the project - particularly the
need to keep stripping in advance of mining.

Lastly it is interesting to note that the project served as a
test case for a research group composed of the CGMM (Ecole des
Mines, Fontainebleau), IMGM (Ecole des Mines, Ales) and Total
Compagnie Miniere, and thus allowed them to develop a computer
package for simulating the sequence of mining operations in an
open-pit. From this point of view, some studies which are
normally done manually were repeated automatically (e.g.
designing the sequence of mining operations to take account of
certain constraints such as the number of benches, the slope
etc.). Modelling the deposit numerically made it possible to
tackle complex problems like simulating the functioning of the
m1n1ng machines in the pit given the technical characteristics of
the machines and the exploitation method (Deraisme et al., 1985).
This use of a numerical model of the deposit will not be
presented here (Deraisme et al., 1985).

2.4. Brief Review of the Geostatistical Method Used to Obtain the
Numerical Model

The three technical mining parameters which have a marked
influence on the recoverable reserves and which are taken into
account by geostatistics are the support of the selection blocks,
the density of the information and the geometric constraints
(Deraisme (1978), Dumay (1981), de Fouquet (1985». Non-linear
geostatistical methods involving gaussian anamorphosis can be
used to solve the first two of these problems (i.e. to find the
global recoverable reserves). A method for reproducing the
spatial variability of a regionalized variable was developed in
the seventies. It is called conditional simulations and is
designed :
- to reproduce the variability of the experimental data (same
histogram, same variogram, same correlations between
variables)
- to respect the data values at sample points.
So it is possible to produce an image of the reality.

The six main steps involved are
- Statistical analysis (histogram)
- Gaussian anamorphosis and the support correction
- Structural analysis of the gaussian equivalents
216 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

Non-conditional simulation of the gaussian equivalents
- Conditioning the simulation to pass through the data
- Back-transforming to the real scale.

Before any model can be established, two important choices have
to be made:
- Choosing the variable to model (in our case either the
grades or their indicators functions)
Choosing the support size for the model. This depends on the
quality and the density of the information available at the
end of the exploration campaign and determines the further
use of the model.

3. STUDY OF THE UNDERGROUND RESERVES
3.1. Constructing the Numerical Model of Orebody B

(a) Choosing the mineralized envelope.

Since the mineralization was controlled mainly by the tectonics,
the orebodies which constitute the deposit can be considered to
be independent of one another as far as their shape and grade are
concerned. In order to avoid diluting the ore with the
surrounding waste, the boundaries of the orebody were defined by
drawing a conservative outline on each of the horizontal
sections (at a scale of 1:200) that were provided by the
geologists every 5 m (Figure 2). The envelope defined in this way
is included in a zone 250m x 60m x 40m deep and contains 2,161
data values.

The gamma logs were converted into the equivalent chemical grades
using the gamma log-grade correlation for 1 m long sections. This
length was chosen as a compromise between the need to provide a
detailed description of the fluctuations in the grades (i.e. the
variability of the mineralization at short distances) and the
impossibility of dividing the gamma logs into very short sections
which would destroy the scatter diagram because of the
disequilibrium between the gamma logs and the grades, and because
of the edge effect of the measuring device. As well as this, the
mining method (cut and fill) involves two different selections.
After blasting, loads of 2 tonnes (i.e. about 1 cu.m.) of
material are tested. This means simulating 1 cU.m. blocks, which
is compatible with the 1 m length used for the gamma log-grade
correlation. Given the type of mineralization, the reconnaissance
was made mainly using horizontal drillholes (Figure 4).
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 217

(b) Choice of the Variables.

The histogram of the grades is typical of uranium deposits.
(Figure 5). There are lots of very low grades near the geological
background value (many of which are identical). At the geological
cutoff, 16% of the samples are mineralized. The grades are highly
variable. The coefficient of variation aim is 3.63, which
indicates that there are a few very rich samples. We know that
this type of distribution usually has a proportional effect,
which was effectively the case here.

(290)

'268) Etz3)
A"eI"Q~ Q~\e.
00) of r"\'e m-'VlerQhzed ~ruc.h.l..e",
SurfaCe· Holes

Figure 4. Orientation of the drillholes.

Since the mineralization essentially consists of a few very rich
values lying in small veins, the non-homogeneity of the deposit
(at the scale of m~n~ng method) can be taken into account by
using indicator functions (which show the presence or absence of
ore) rather than the grades themselves. This presupposes that the
variability results from the existence of several phases. So we
first simulate the spatial repartition of these phases and then
the variability of the grades within these. This means assuming
that the grade distribution is homogeneous within these and that
the distribution of the phases is statistically stationary
throughout the deposit. This technique effectively helps to
reproduce the grade-waste interfaces (Isaaks, 1984).
218 L. D E C H A MBURE E T AL.

Figure 5 . Histogram of the logs of the grades for Orebody B.
It also makes it possible to reproduce the geometric character-
istics of the mineralization (i.e. the slope and the size which
are shown by the anisotropies of the indicator variogram).
Lastly, this overcomes the problem caused by having large numbers
of very low grades at the ends of the drillholes which are due to
the method used to transcribe the values .

Tests made on the variograms of the raw grade data clearly
indicated that these were too chaotic to be useful for simulating
the deposit (Rivoirard, 1984). Three variables were defined on
the drillholes:

I300(x) = 1 if Z(x) ~ 300 and = 0 else
TMIN(x) = Z(x) if Z(x) ~ 300
TSTE(x) = Z(x) if Z(x) < 300

The Gutoff at 300 ppm was used in the geological study just for
defining the waste-ore limits. It is below the cutoff grade that
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 219

could be used for mining. So as far as the ore is concerned, we
will only be interested in the first two variables, and as far as
the waste is concerned, will limit ourselves to reproducing the
histogram and not the variograms, since waste is of no economic
interest.
3.2. Variograms for the Indicators and for the Ore.

The variograms can be calculated in two ways: along the
drillholes (irrespective of direction) and by directional
classes. The second method is preferable when the deviations are
significant, which was the case here. It also helps in under-
standing the vertical continuity of the mineralization. As a
check, the variogram models fitted to the directional variograms
were then compared to those for down hole ones, for both
indicators and for the ore.
The ranges of the indicator variograms (Figure 6) in the vertical
plane lie on an ellipse with its principal axis in the direction
80 E along the dip of the mineralisation. A variogram model
consisting of the sum of 2 sphericals was fitted to the experi-
mental variograms. The sill was found from the proportion p of
mineralized ore: 0 2 = p(1-p).

So ~(h) = 0.07 5ph (3.6m, 1.7m, 2.5m) + 0.065 Sph (40m, 10m, 10m)

The short range along the length of orebody B is not certain,
because the samples are in rings about 10 or 20 m apart.

The ore variogram was calculated from 343 mineralized data. Its
highly erratic form was due to the limited number of values per
angular class, and to the effect of the destructuration at high
cutoffs (Matheron, 1982). The combined effect of these two
factors poses important methodological problems because the
influence of the the high values is preponderant in uranium and
only these grades are retained.

Nevertheless, the method is justified since the indicator
function is much better structured at high cutoffs than the
grades are. The structure of the high grades which cause the
variability, is more difficult to assess directly from the grade
variogram than indirectly from the indicator variogram and the
ore variogram.

The histogram of ore grades is highly skew as was that for the
raw grades. Tests indicated a slight proportional effect. The
sill of the variogram was fitted to match the variance of the
data used. The fitted variogram model was

~(h) = C x Sph (25m, 1.5m, 5m)
220 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

j
~, j i
·
>
,....1:" ., ..,'
,, .
: ... , ,1\" ,'," , ·
·"" ',
.,,~ I, .,,
. ,, ,,
,~

, ,..\-~ I ,, .., I ,
, ,, .
I
./0\'" 'i•
"

'""
~~,

.
f .-~

'! "!' - - - ; ' r-:;
, "
\'
~,
i J \'
\
.~

o 20 20

a) Vertical direction. b) Horizontal direction,
perpendicular to the
longitudinal extension.
f'
,, \
,./
'.'
- - - - - -
..'
~--"'J':""''-----

110

c) Azimuth 310. Inclination 160.

Figure 6. Fitting the indicator variogram.

3.3. Construction of the Model for 1 x 1 x 1 m3 Blocks.

(a) For The Indicator Functions

As has been indicated, a single conditioning zone was chosen to
ensure that the histogram and the variogram of the conditioning
data values were the same as for the data being modelled. Given
the irregular layout of the data, the value of p was calculated
for the samples (0.159) and also by kriging (0.163). The slight
increase in the second value is because only the data inside the
conditioning zone were used, which leads to a slight over-
estimation along the edges.
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 221

When the variable to be estimated is not quite stationary (as is
the case for orebody B), one possibility is to simulate a larger
zone, then restrict the model to the zone actually required. This
approach clearly requires more computer memory and so was not
used in the case. An approximate solution which was adopted here,
is to distinguish between the edge zone and the center when
back-transforming the gaussian equivalents of the proportion
mineralized (i.e. p = 0.203 for the center, p = 0.105 along the
edges). The gaussian equivalents are then given by p = 1-G(a),
where G(.) is the cumulative density function. The block
anamorphosis function is then

z = (ry - a )
G ~~2
This could provoque local inconsistencies (i.e. Y1 ( Y2 but P1 >
P2). However in this case this occurred in a negligible number of
blocks. The discretized gaussian model was used for this
modelization. The coefficient of change of support was r = 0.98,
which is almost 1.0.

This approach is classic. The only problem was to condition the
model, because the indicator function is not bijective. This can
be overcome by using the gaussian equivalents corresponding to
the raw grade data. Clearly one must check that the experimental
covariance calculated from this is compatible with the one given
by the formula:
00 1\12
C(h) =[ n pn(h)
1 n!
p(h) depends on the cutoff grade used to define the indicators,
whereas the experimental variogram of the gaussian equivalents
for the raw data does not. Figure 7 shows that the two were
compatible.

Remark: It is intuitively clear that using the gaussian
equivalents of the grades to condition the mineralized proportion
presupposes that the higher the block grade, the higher the
proportion of ore. The gaussian equivalents obtained by ordering
high grades are taken as the same as those obtained by ordering
to proportion of ore.

(b) For the Ore.

since the ranges for the ore variograms are small compared to the
size of the blocks, the change of support is lower than for the
indicators (here r = 0.882). This means that there is a big drop
in the variance going from the samples (6.3 x 10 7 ) to the blocks
(4.3x10 6 ).
222 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

- - - - - - - - -;.. - - - - - -.- - --
./-' /\ /\.
•1 , \ ,. '... l
\ " ;
I, '.'J
"
1\ .'\ l' I ' ,
I \._-'\,' \ ,. \.

Ii 'V II
. ~

{'

r
a) Vertical b) Horizontal

Figure 7. Comparing the experimental variogram of the point
support gaussians with that given by the model.

The comparison between the experimental variogram for the
conditioned gaussian equivalents and the corresponding model
deduced from the covariance of the raw data is not very good.
This is because of difficulties analysing a limited number of
highly variable scattered data (Figure 8).

: 'I
, ,
,
/,
-- :_\._------- ~ - ~-- -"- -----
.:,
I \

,', , I,

-t. -\.. ---? ---7----
\

- - -/-",~,,+:,-,_:_,+, -- --- ~- ~\~.----.


• \
\,
\\ "
,. ~
,
~,II
,
I ~\
\.'
/
.,,, \
. ,
, '"
~
,
,' .' \\ ~

-
\ ~

" ~.
.~

a) Vertical b) Horizontal

Figure 8. Comparing the experimental variogram of the point
support gaussians with that given by the model.

Because of the lack of data in their neighbourhood, 7.2\ of the
blocks could not be kriged to condition the model of orebody.
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 223

(c) For the Waste.

We start out from the gaussian conditional simulation of the
proportion of ore, and construct a lognormal variable with a mean
of 40 and a variance of 3 000. Any values above 300 ppm are then
set to this value.

(d) Combining these to Obtain the Grades

The final block grades are given by the formula:

Z = T(ore) x p + T(waste) x (1-p)

where T(ore) and T(waste) are the ore and waste grades after
transformation back to the real scale. The results are presented
in Table 1 and on Figure 9.

TABLE 1.
Statistics of the orebody.

BLOCKS (203 900) SAMPLES (2 161)

Mineralized Grade
Grade Proportion Indicator

Mean 299 0.163 322. 0.159
Variance 0.9 10 6 0.110 1.37 10 6 0.133
Maximum 24 980 1 19 558 1

The elongated shape of the deposit and its dip are evident. The
model also reproduces the sudden variations in grades at short
distances. The limitations of the model are that the small number
of conditioning data (about 1 sample per 100 blocks), can lead to
anomalies particularly along the edges of the deposit, and
secondly the absence of information at short distances along
orebody B.

3.4. Calculating the Reserves for a Cut and Fill Method

In order to estimate the reserves that would actually be
recovered using a cut and fill method, we need the values of
certain technical parameters (Deraisme et al., 1982). These are
not always easy to quantify (e.g. the dilution factor, the gamma
log-grade correlation for loads). So these were set to apparently
realistic values and then the sensitivity of the model to
variations in these values was tested. After the study had been
completed, the production figures started to become available
from the mine. So it was possible to check the values chosen
earlier.
~

x'( . . " ...

, , , ~.:
' ~x ~~~: !t'1"', .~·:::: , :: l .'
.. ::~;;;,;,t: ~ ... _ .. :::: fIll" .... .+.".
:~::~: ~ , ..:.:\1T.;..;.:
.)\. : .:............ ," ~::: : ~:x" :..:~IZ: , ... ' :~:
, . :~ · ··~!r::::::::::::::::.: ::::::::
, I

"
" ';iitij"."~"n"'···
,'." ' .~ +H'~i~'t
' ' +',x'Jti::::"""'"
. .• ~ ...... , I
.•. ~ , ·xx -t.); " x .•+ttu,;: :•.. . .
t t • • •~ 1 1
... ·x •. ~~" ~ :'.:, ,+~:: :1~::":.': • :.::: .~::::::
· ·<~:::L:::::···~r · ·~ .. ·· · ··1 .... !.+++ .. ~ . , ++. I I
:++ . . ...
. ., ... . .
~i~ ~ :~:; ~1.j±~~;::::!: ~;:: . +. I '
I ' " • • . ••
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., '~:'.~~~=.
~::: :::::: ~:: ~ ~t::;: ~ ~~~+~~iifft~::: ~
r
otTl
()
:r:
>
~
OJ
c:
Figure 9. ;>:l
tTl
Detail of a horizontal section of the geostatistical model - 1 m blocks. 3 ..,tTl
>
r
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 225

(a) Calculating the Reserves Subject to Size Constraints

The mining reserves must take account of the minimal possible
opening for the stopes and for the waste left in place. The
mining method can be described (roughly) in the following way:
- horizontal levels 3 m high are mined,
- the minimal size for the stopes and for the blocks of waste
left in-situ is 1,80 m high by 2 m wide,
- 1n the ore, because of the sampling method, the minimal
advance is. of 5 m, even though the length blasted each time is
only 2 m.

The first selection was made on blocks of 5m x 1m x 3m. We then
assume that knowing the radiometric values of the blastholes
would allow us to estimate the grades of the selection blocks
without error. So the model ignores the information effect
because it works with the real grades instead of just estimates
of them.

After blasting, a second selection is made on loads of 2 tonnes.
By reducing the support back to 1 cu.m. we over-estimate the
effect of the support slightly. Since we have no information
about the errors made when loading the ore, we only assume that
the second selection is also error free. So we have chosen the
most favourable possible case, particularly as far as the
correlation between the gamma logs and the grades is concerned.
These hypotheses will be made more realistic later.

3.5. The Results

In order to maintain confidentiality, all the values are given
relative to a selection with no constraints, made on 1 cu.m.
blocks at a cutoff grade of 800 ppm. This selectivity which could
clearly never be attained in practice, corresponds to the total
ore in-situ (Figure 10). The working hypotheses made at the
outset are:
(1) an underground cutoff of 800 ppm,
(2) a m1n1mum size for stopes of 5 m,
(3) the dilution factor and the recovery factor are taken into by
the average ore recovery (i.e. 1.0) and the metal recovery
(0.9) .
(4) the selection after blasting is made either for individual
elementary blocks or for groups of 3 vertically superposed
blocks.

The results for the 30 m slice considered are presented in
Table 2.
N
N
0-

. . . . ..... .... . .....
.. . ... . . .... .. .
iy::a:aX ~ y : ... V . ::ue .
I I : : .. :
d+<Ii
~u~ : : ::~ : :i ~ ::: : :: : :: : .. I
l
' IX:::: : : :.: i~ ::
.: ..... .
:9;;::1.: ..
. . I .. . . . . . J •
rillri~~~~: : :~ri : :;~f~±tll~HL~
---*- v.*.
: : ::: i ;: i :::::~~:::::
.tII....!iIIr..*-_*-JIIiuII!. **-_ 'VV . .. • _ ...L • • • I v.!..

~ ~ : I :::::::: : :::::::::
~miiir~ .': .+ .... .............. .
.. .. ... . . . . . . . .

. +... : ... . . .. ...... . . .. ... . ...... ...... .
r
tJ
tT1
n
::r:
>
3::
to
c:
Figure 10. ~
tT1
Outlines for a cut and fill exploitation. -l
Horizontal section of 3 rn 3 blocks. >
r
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 227

TABLE 2.
Comparing the reserves for a free selection
with those subject to constraints.

Without constraints With constraints

1x1x3 1x1x1 1x1x3 1x1x1

Ore 81.4 59.4 72.5 55.0
Metal 72.7 72.3 66.3 66.4
Grade 89.3 121.2 91.5 120.8
Material moved/ore 1. 16 1. 59 1.26 1 .66

In this table, the material moved = ore + waste.
The volume given is that selected after blasting.

We see directly from the table that even with no constraints,
going from an initial selection on 1 x 1 x 1 m3 blocks to
5 x 1 x 3 m3 blocks leads to a serious loss of metal. The second
selection made above ground removes the low grade ore, and so the
ratio of material moved to ore is higher for 1 cu.m. blocks than
for 3 cu.m. ones. The same applies to the grades. These
selections have a marked influence, either with or without
constraints.

When geometric constraints are applied, the tonnage of metal
recovered and also the ore tonnage decrease. The average grade
and the proportion of waste moved remain roughly the same. About
8% of the metal is lost compared to a selection with no
constraints but when the effect of the size of the support is
taken into account. The combined effect of these two factors
leads to a loss of 34% of the metal compared to the in-situ
reserves.

(al Sensitivity to the Size of the Support of the First Selection
Unit

We shall now study the sensitivity of the first selection to the
size of the support and to the geometric continuity of the
stopes. These two factors are confounded here because the first
selection is made on blocks which are grouped together in the
direction of continuity of the stopes. This method gives an
overall impression of the information effect, in that before
blasting we only have an estimate of the grade of panels whose
thickness is equal to the distance between levels and whose depth
is equal to the thickness of a blasting unit. We do not have
detailed estimates of the grades of 1 x 1 x 1 m3 blocks. We
assume that the panel grades are perfectly known.
228 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

In addition to 5 m blocks, we also tested 3 m blocks and 10 m
ones. Table 3 gives the recovery factors for these two block
sizes and so indicates the sensitivity of the method to the size
of the first selection unit.

We see that when there are no constraints, increasing the support
size usually leads to a decrease in the metal recovery and also
in the ore tonnage. So the average grade after the second
selection varies little. However when geometric constraints are
imposed, changing the m1n1mum size of stopes from 3 m to 5 m
leads to a clear drop in the metal recovery and also in the ore
recovery, but the average grade remains the same. The proportion
of waste also remains about the same. If the minimum size of
stopes is increased to 10 m, we see that the recovery factors
still remain roughly the same, which shows that they are not much
influenced by this. However the quantity of waste to be moved
increases substantially. In other words, when the mining follows
the continuity of the mineralization very closely, the first
selection is of primordial importance. The second selection
becomes more important when mining follows the mineralization
less closely.

TABLE 3.
Sensitivity of the reserves after the first selection,
to the support size.

WITHOUT CONSTRAINTS WITH CONSTRAINTS

1x1x3 1x1x1 1x1x3 1x1x1

CONTINUITY 3 m

Ore 88.57 63.56 82.94 61.77
Metal 76.49 76.00 72.92 72.85
Grade 86.34 119.6 87.94 117.9
Mat. moved/ore 1 . 11 1. 54 1.23 1.65

CONTINUITY 10 m

Ore 72.7 54.8 71.2 54.3
Metal 67.0 67.0 65.0 65.3
Grade 92.1 122.2 91.3 120.2
Mat. moved/Ore 1. 26 1. 67 1. 33 1. 74
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 229

(b) Sensitivity to the Underground Cutoff Grade

We now see how sensitive the recovery is to the underground
cutoff grade. In contrast to the above ground cutoff, the
underground cutoff is not well defined. It varies considerably
from one stope to another because of the geometry of the
mineralization, the distance to the haulage road etc.

Table 4 shows the recovery factors for 1 x 1 x 3 m3 blocks and
also for 1 x 1 x 1 m3 ones corresponding to a cutoff of 1,000 ppm
(instead of 800 ppm as was done earlier).

TABLE 4.
Sensitivity at the underground cutoff of 1 000 ppm.

1 * 1 * 3 1 * 1 11: 1

Ore 57.59 44.28
Metal 60.00 59.99
Grade 104.1 135.2
Material moved/ore 1. 19 1.55

There is a clear decrease in the metal recovery and in the ore
recovered. As well as this the average grade increases. The
quantity of waste handled drops too. The results are very
sensitive to the underground cutoff which, as has been noted,
varies considerably from stope to stope.

(c) Sensitivity to the Volume of the Loads

We shall now study the sensitivity of the recovery to the size of
the loads. We now assume that after blasting, ore is selected for
treatment by measuring the radioactivity of 2 cu. m. loads. The
information effect will be taken into account this time by using
the estimated grade of the load obtained by adding a random error
to the true grade. Table 5 shows the recovery factors corres-
ponding to 2 cu.m. blocks.

TABLE 5.
Sensitivity of reserves to the scoop bucket size.

1 * 2 * 1

Ore 64.9
Metal 66.3
Grade 102.1
Material moved/ore 1. 40
230 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

We see that the metal recovery varies little but that the tonnage
increases markedly, which leads to a drop in the average grade.
Since the total tonnage is constant, the quantity moved decreases
and so the ratio of material moved improves.

3.6. Comparison with the Production Figures

This is always difficult because:
- the model for Orebody B does not correspond exactly with
zone exploited,
- the cutoff grade varies from stope to stope,
- the shape of the stopes is not a multiple of 1 cU.m.
blocks,
- the estimation errors have not been calculated experimen-
tally, and have not been taken into account in the simulations,
- the dilution is difficult to evaluate. In previous
simulations, the average values of these (1.0 and 0.90) were
used. So we can obtain these coefficients using simple models as
was done in case 2 shown in Table 6.

The two simulations compared with the actual production figures
were made:

(1) assuming an underground cutoff of 800 ppm, a minimum stope
width of 3 m, a block size of 3 cU.m. and taking the average
values for the metal recovery and the ore recovery.

(2) taking the same parameter values, but simulating the
dilution to obtain an ore recovery of 0.98 and a metal recovery
of 0.94.

Table 6 gives the recovery factors as percentages of the actual
production figures.

TABLE 6.
Results of the simulation and real global production.

CASE 1 CASE 2

Ore 95.8 94.2
Metal 89.5 93.8
Grade 93.5 99.6

Overall the results are quite satisfactory. Although the second
simulation was carried out on loads of a little less than 1
cU.m., the production figures are closer to those for the
simulation with 2 cU.m. loads. This might indicate that a lot of
dilution occurs during the blasting phase and during the loading,
CALCULA TING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 231

leading to a less efficient selection than had been expected. It
might also be due to the information effect or to a low grade-
gamma log correlation for the loads.

When the results are studied level by level, they are much less
satisfactory (case 2). The effect of the conditioning is very low
because of the small number of data values available compared to
the number of blocks to be modelled. The fluctuations of the
simulation around the real value are significant, particularly
along the edges of the deposit. In addition to this the small
variogram range along orebody B direction is not well known. As
was seen earlier (cf Table 7), the results of the simulation are
very sensitive to the minimum size of the stopes compared to the
range of the structures.

TABLE 7.
Comparison with actual production figures, level by level.

LEVEL 1 2 3 4 5

METAL 28.5 20.5 46.0 70.3 122.2
GRADE 64.1 79.0 74.8 76.4 120.6

LEVEL 6 7 8 9 10

METAL 176.9 156.5 141.3 35.1 102.2
GRADE 127.2 126.3 96.3 77 .2 59.8

4. STUDY OF THE OPEN-PIT RESERVES

4.1. Choosing the Support Size and the Zone to be Simulated

Given the shape of the final pit in terms of 10 x 10 x 10 m3
blocks, we chose to simulate the zone going from the level 725 m
to 785 m (i. e. 5 to 10 mining benches) because of its spatial
continuity and because the variables are stationary here. (The
surface zone lS poorer). The zone used to condition the
simulation is an open-pit containing the final pit. See Figure
11.

The uranium grade was simulated for 2 x 2 x 1 m3 blocks. The
height of 1 m was chosen because the shovels excavate a 1 m high
slice, and also because the grades were available for 1m long
sections. This makes it possible to reconstitute benches of
variables hei~ht, in this case 3 m or 6 m. It would have been
possible to simulate 1 x 1 x 1 m3 blocks instead of 2 x 2 x 1 m3
232 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

blocks. The first corresponds to the size of the loads, whereas
the second approaches the drilling grid used for blasting. This
is important if the blasthole grades are to be taken into
account. Secondly these can be considered as being the equivalent
of 10 ton truck loads, or can be reconstituted into 20 ton loads.
This seemed fine enough for the simulation. In practice the
selection is made by measuring the radioactivity of truckloads.

J - ~ ... • y • .~.

-.
7 •••

7 ....

70.

7_.

..
" -. I ••• 'n. -. ."..
Figure 11. YZ cross section of the final pit.

So the model contains 175,750 blocks each 2 x 2 x 1 m3 , which are
arranged into 10 x 10 x 1 m3 panels.

4.2. Structural Analysis

The samples are the reconstituted grades corresponding to the
gamma logs of 1m long drillhole sections. The variogram
calculation is not easy because the grade distribution is highly
skew. (The coefficient of variation o/m is above 2.). So we
find three problems:

(1) There is a large proportion of zeros at the origin which are
due to pockets of waste mixed in with the ore.

(2) There are a few extremely high values which can be considered
as anomalous and which have a strong influence on the experi-
mental variogram. We shall come back to these when we consider
eliminating the values.

(3) The sample points are spread irregularly throughout the zone.
Some zones (usually rich ones) have been preferentially sampled
and some directions have been undersampled.
n
>
Figure 12. ... Ie •• •_.e ... h
Influence of transformations on the highest values of grades c:
~
..........
(example: Initial population of 11014 data (ZC), with 25 values> ' .......... ::l
10 000 ppm, successively modified) z
Cl
o
:;0
Notations: 480 ~~~ trl
B : proportion of removed or modified data (n/NO) '-...,;::
-" ......-- " :;0
-.....;~............... 1'•. 2 trl
L.... - ............. en
mR and 02R : mean and variance of removed or modified population. 4'10 trl
~(. -.i-··· :;0
t •.e., ...._- <
.. trl
r.•....o-i" en
VJ
METHOD 1 REMOVED DATA c:IJ:j
"-
trl
HI. re.ov.d da~a
1 8 q
Mean of the new population m'. 1-8 In - 1-8 mR H2. no~oD.~ dllu~IO"{r~ .• -l
o
I , , I." e;
0' 2 o ~ ~ z
Variance - 1 [0 2 - 8 0 2 - - 8 (m - m) 2]
1-8 R 1-8 R Z
Cl
n
o
METHOD 2 HOMOGENEOUS DILUTION z

All values over Zs (which successively take all values of ~
data> 10 000) are transformed according to: Z
~
\
z ---> z' = Zs + p(z - zS) \
---",-,_.-. f' = .5
with 0 ~ p < 1 a dilution factor. Then .•~- ....'-----.----..-------.~ ...
-.-,. ~--:~
...
m' m - 8(1 - p) (m R zs) rc.O'i~o . ~
0'2 02 + (m2 - m'2) - 8 p2(m 2 + 02 )
R R
N
.... W
W
234 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

The preferential sampling grid led us to weight the raw data
before calculating the histogram to be used in the gaussian
anamorphosis so as to avoid biasing the model used to estimate
the global recoverable reserves. Weighting the histogram which
also tends to diminish the influence of the high values cannot be
applied directly during the structural analysis.

In practice the extremely high values lead to instabilities and
to a lack of robustness in the variogram calculations. Several
techniques were used to measure the influence of these values.

(1) Removing the values above a certain level (in this case
10,000 ppm). This affected 37 out of the 25,000 values.' Later the
largest 4 values were removed. This procedure is not a good one
since the variogram structure is due, to a large extent, to the
presence of these high values, and when they are removed the
variogram ranges are artificially lengthened. A second possibilty
is to cut these values back to an interval around the cutoff
value (e.g. uniformly distributed from 10,000 ppm to 12,000 ppm).
See Figure 12. It is also important to note the influence of
these values on the dispersion variance as well as the
variograms.

(2) Another method for handling skew data is by transforming
them. The tranformation must be one to one (e.g. logarithmic,
gaussian anamorphosis etc.). In this case the translated log
transformation (Y = log(Z + a» was used. The histogram of the
logs is shown on Figure 13. This transformation is particularly
helpful for determining whether the data are anisotropic but
cannot be used to determine the structure of the raw variable.
See Figure 14 .

• -40 .-to

.06 .05

4.

Figure 13.
Histograms of translated logarithms: log(a + grade) (Data of ZC).
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 235

,\
'noY'll:ontoU)' l \
/1'\ /. \ i',
I . ' I . ,~ ... I '\ ,
\ AZ FI

--
I -' ..J. \'/~I \_~/. ,.8
\ ... -'/-

20

Model ",(h) .03 Sph (3.5,3.5,17) + .02 Sph (10,20,25)

Figure 14.
Variogram of translated logarithm (LTEN: log (500 + grade),
calculated for inclined slices.

The structural analysis was carried out on several groups of
samples above the 715 m level. The first set (denoted by SMM)
consisted of those within the zone where the reserves are to be
estimated. These include a set of vertical drillholes outside the
mineralization which caused the variogram sill to be lower than
the variance. See Figure 15. This could later lead to incorrectly
choose a variogram model with zonal anisotropy.

The second set of samples (called ZC) consists of those within
the zone used to condition the simulation which lies inside the
first zone. The basic statistics for these two sets are given in
Table 8. The second set clearly contains less waste than the
first.
The drillholes inside the first zone were grouped into 4
direction classes.

As for the underground study (Section 3), we first calculated the
variograms down the holes for each direction class for the grades
of the 1 m sections then for several other variables such as the
translated logs, the indicator functions corresponding to the
cutoff grade 300 ppm, the ore, the waste. However it turned out
that the only really representative ones are the vertical
jrillholes. The variograms for the horizontal drillholes have a
nole effect due to the presence of a succession of mineralized
lenses followed by waste. However it was possible to detect a
structure with a range of about 2.5 to 3 m, which is related to
the variability of the ore inside the mineralized sections.
N
W

""

TABLE 8 .
Elementary statistics on grades of 1 m samples, for the main selections,
and influence of weighting methods.

KEY Nb. of varianc~6 variance
mean m
data 0 2 x 10 coeff. aim

I : data above 715 28 692 262. .902 3.62

SMM : data inside the
25 252 295. 1.014 3.41
mineralized matrix (26x40)

ZC : conditioning zone 11 014 499. 1. 83 2.62
(+ KWS: kriging weights sum) 417. 1.17 2.59

ZS : simulated zone 9 683 545. 2.04 2.62
(+ KWS) 438. 1.25 2.55

FOD3 : data inside PHASE 3 1 669 520. 2.82 3.23 r
(+ KWS weighting) 420 . 1.44 2.86 tJ
tn
(+ pannel weighting) 445. 1. 21 2.86 n
(+ pannel weighting and 413. 0.91 2.31 :r:
>-
cutting down over 2 000) 3::
t:O
- c:
:>;l
tn
tn
>-l
>-
r
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 237

ND 0: 18022 I
m 177 . 5 ND 2129 f
0:
0:

02 0: 4 . 11 10 5 m 253 . 6
04 .00
02 0: . 91 lOG

.. .J..
.
--..
-'
I

" .' ,
2.0

.
O.lIO
~
. .../ .......... . , I

.t.o "~"'''''-4':'.'"",\•.J.........!

10- 5 . y(h)o: 2 . 5 X Sph(2.80m) 10- 6 . y (h)o: . 8 x Sph( 2 . 80m)
+ . 8xSph(l2m) .l. + . l xSph(7m) ..R.
20 o -to . 20. 30 .

Vertical drillholes (340) Horizontal drillholes (34) Dir. N310'E

Figure 15. Variograms of the grade calculated along the
drillholes, grouped by directions (without selection zone: SMM).

The overall variogram model was fitted to the variograms
calculated for inclined slices. It is important to distinguish
between the models corresponding to the first and the second
zones. In the second case, the anisotropy in the vertical
direction is less significant. The model corresponding to this
was subsequently used when calculating the variogram of the
gaussian equivalents and also the variances for the various block
sizes.

4.3. Gaussian Anamorphosis

As the turning band method was going to be used for the
simulation, the data within the conditioning zone have to be
transformed into their gaussian equivalents. A Hermite polynomial
expansion containing 30 terms was used to represent the transfor-
mation. In order to take account of the non-homogeneity of the
samples, each was weighted py the sum of the (ordinary) kriging
weights for the set of panels in its neighbourhood. The advantage
of this method is that it takes account of the structure. Other
weighting methods (such as the inverse of the number of samples
in the panel) could be envisaged. The means and variances
obtained using this weighting method were lower than before
because this downweights rich zones (Table 8). The sill of the
variogram in .the model used for change of support is taken to be
equal to this new variance (1.8 x 106 ppm 2 ).
238 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

We have to calculate two anamorphosis functions:
- firstly, for the samples of the conditioning zone,
- secondly, for the blocks of the simulated zone.
The gaussian equivalents from the first anamorphosis function
will be used in the kriging; while the second ones will be used
to invert the gaussian equivalents of the blocks given by the
simulation.

The variogram for the gaussian equivalents for the 2 x 2 x 1
blocks was fitted by the sum of two gaussian models. See Figure
16.

~.O ¥

!i

Figure 16. Variogram model for the simulated variable Y :
gaussian equivalent of brocks (2 x 2 x 1 m3 ). v
Model: -y(h) = .4 gau (2m) + .6 gau (5.5,7,11)
(gau = gaussian model: -y(h) = c(1 - e -(h/a)2 )

4.4. Using the Numerical Model

(a) Study of the Overall Recoverable Reserves for Different
Support Sizes

The average grade of the 2 x 2 x 1 m3 blocks was simulated. This
made it possible to obtain the grade of selection blocks which
are ~ultiples of this size, by averaging the grades within them.
We are interested in the distributions of these grades. Their
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 239

experimental histograms are presented for the interval from 0 to
4,000 ppm in intervals of 100 ppm. These can be calculated for
the whole of the zone simulated, or level by level, or within a
pit inside this zone. The grade tonnage curves can then be
calculated.

(b) Comparing the Results of the Simulation with those from the
Bigaussian Model

The bigaussian model was used to make the change of support. In
this case the resulting block distribution depends on:
- the distribution of the samples in the zone, given by its
anamorphosis function, and
- the variance of the blocks, which is calculated from the
variogram model.

The appropriateness of the bigaussian model can also be tested by
comparing the grade tonnage curves obtained from the model and by
grouping blocks in the simulation. The curve showing the tonnage
of ore recovered as a function of the cutoff grade (Figure 17)
shows the similarity between the two distributions as well as the
lack of sensitivity to support size. However the curves showing
the metal recovery as a function of the cutoff grade clearly show
that the difference between the two models becomes significant as
the support size increases.

4.5. Comparison with the Production Figures

We have the production figures for part of the open-pit. These
consist of the histogram of the grades of 16 ton truckloads,
measured as they passed under a radiometric scanner. The
histogram was divided into 13 classes of unequal length from 150
ppm to 2,000 ppm, plus those above 2,000 ppm. The number of loads
below 150 ppm (waste) is unknown.

For each class we know the number of truckloads and hence the ore
tonnage and the metal tonnage. In order to be able to compare the
grade-tonnage curves with the simulation without giving the
actual figures, we present the figures as percentages of the
total (ore or metal as the case may be) for the zone. As well as
this the percentage for the first (waste) class has been set to
the value 1 - T(zc) = 35%, given by the curve for a 4 x 2 x 1 m3
support. The corresponding metal quantity can be deduced from the
average grade for the zone.

In order to restrict the comparisons to the production figures,
the steps involved were: (1) digitalize the limits of each bench;
(2) build up a 20 matrix for the 2 x 2 x 1 blocks showing the pit
surface (production zone), and similarly for the 10 x 10 x 1
blocks, (3) calculate the excavation indicator function for the
240 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

v 2x4x3 m3
J5 C - ;
v 2x4xl m3

- - -- _._--_ . .- .- - - -
T",

v 4x4xl m3
I
i
v '" 4x4xl m3
oc t i
I i
f I
I
I

t
-' "' -_. :./ocr,- - - - . . . -=-·-·=
-· ··~--:-Z~,.,~

<0 0

50 -
50 -
v 4x4x3 m3
v 4x4x3 m3

Z'G

Figure 17. Cutoff tonnage relations inside the simulated zone
(ZS). Modelled distribution by a bigaussian change of
support (continuous lines) and by average of simulated
blocks (dotted lines).
n
Q ( ..00,,_\ Figure 18. >-
40.' ") t-
Cutoff grade - tonnage relationship n
. . »>-•• >••.
~-­ c
inside the exploited zone. ~
.... / 9' Dotted line: Simulation (2x2x1, 4x2x1 ::l
z
ICIO .... / '7 and 4x4x3 m3 blocks). Continuous line: Q
.... / :I" production. o
:;0
,:: ,' / tr1
.. / r :;0
tr1
/,' 'I [/)
tr1
aoo ,:/ 'I :;0
:' 1 '/
Q(T) -<
:t tr1
[/)
[/)
!:'/ C
;'/1
:11 tIl
'--<
tr1
100
q...,
o
...{ Q s::
r T. Z
0 ·r .1I .... ~ Z
Q
n
o
\~~\. z
~"<-" ~Z
Q (z c ) ...,
[/)
~ '<-~.,,'. . '.
~ :\,
T(z c ) ', ...
:Zoo
. ' .... ,
"
" ....
.... ,
' .... , 'IT"=2,,2><1.
-100 ""'" 'I1"=4xZ)li.

~ ...........
[ . ........ ""'-
Zc '"
;!::
o
.
6"00
~ '.....-.s
"000
zc i_ :Zooo o '00 .....,.. "600 :ZCCo
242 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

10 x 10 x 1 m3 panels (the value 1S set to 1 for panels to be
mined, and 0 otherwise), and then (4) retain only those samples
and simulated blocks contained in panels to be exploited.

The corresponding grade - tonnage curves for the production
(Figure 18) fit in between those for the various support sizes,
except that they are slightly worse than just for the support
effect. The equivalent mining support mentioned by Sans (1987)
applies in this case. Although the ore recovery curve T(zc} leads
to an equivalent mining support in agreement with the tonnage of
the trucks, the metal recovery Q(zc} suggests a larger equivalent
support. So there is a loss of selectivity probably due to
dilution, but might also be due to an information effect related
to the way the grades are measured (i.e. to problems with the
radioactivity-grade correlation).

4.6. Reconstructing the Mining Units

We are now interested in four recovery variables (the indicator
function, the recovery function, the average grade and the grade
recovered at a particular cutoff). To define these we consider
two support sizes corresponding to selection units v and mining
units V. The latter correspond to one of the mining activities
(e.g. the drilling grid, the blasting, or the loading). They are
multiples of the selection units.

The four variables can now be defined as a function of the cutoff
grade zc. For each selection unit v in mining unit V, we have:

Indicator Function: I (zc) 1 if Z (v) > zc
o otherwise

Recovery Function: FR (zc) proportion of selection units
above cutoff zc

Average grade: ZUP

Recovered grade: ZR (zc) = average grade of selection units
above cutoff zc

Clearly ZR (zc) > zc and ZR (zc) > ZUP. In this case these
recovery functions were calculated for m1n1ng units of
8 x 8 x 3 m3 and for a cutoff grade of 300 ppm. Three different
support sizes were considered for the selection units. They were
(1) 2 x 2 x 1 m3 , (2) 2 x 4 x 1 m3 and (3) 4 x 2 x 1 m3 . In all
three cases the cutoff grade for selection units was set at 400
ppm.

The results for the recovery functions are presented in the form
of their cumulative histogram and their scatter diagram of the
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 243

recovery against the grades (Figure 19). To show how structured
these variables are, we have plotted them (Figure 20) and have
calculated their variograms. These clearly show that the ore
pockets are about 20 to 30 m in size.

Figure 19. Cumulative histograms of recovery functions.

4.7. Using this to Evaluate Projects

These two variables make it possible to evaluate a m1n1ng project
(whose shape is expressed in terms of a grid of mining units) by
calculating the total tonnage, ore tonnage, metal tonnage, the
average grade, the stripping ratio, etc. for each bench. In this
way we can test its sensitivity to the support size and also to
the first cutoff grade. The principal limitations to this sort of
calculations are due to the underlying hypotheses:

(1) The position of the work faces is not taken into account and
so some ore blocks lying in waste areas would in reality be
treated as waste and not as ore.

(2) There is no way of separating ores of different qualities
inside the same m1n1ng unit. These would normally be stocked
separately. They can only be treated globally.

(3) The dilution is not taken into account, except possibly via
overall empirical coefficients.
Figure 20. t
s s. i 21.1, 1 9 2,
384 . 39 4. Recovery function on 8x8x3 m3 panels
Le'3e..,~ :
V for cutoff 300 ppm and v = 2x4xl m3
/ / , RF).2
ij/,/: RF>.?"
~ : RF >' 75

l(h)

I
I
.4t ,""'--4
,,,.,,,
21 2 . 212 . ,;
.. ,
~'
.,.'
.,~-....,
.-
.~ ... ~
.,',

/ r
tl
trl
n
::c
'2. 120,. >-
So 19~ .
0' ::t; io 30 n(nV 2:
til
C
~
(a) Map of level 766-769. (b) Variogram on the simulated zone
~
along x. >-
r
CALCULATING ORE RESERVES SUBJECT TO MINING CONSTRAINTS 245

These restrictions are handled by programs designed to simulate
the exploitation.

5. CONCLUSION
(a) positive results

Despite the extreme variability of the mineralization, geostat-
istics provides satisfactory estimates of the global recoverable
reserves which can be used for medium term planning of the open
cast mine.
Indicator functions can be used in a two stage procedure for
modelling multi-fissured deposits. In the first step, the
geometry of the orebody is modelled using indicator functions,
then the grades are modeiled inside the orebodies. This procedure
requires a good knowledge of the mineralization, which may in the
future lead to a new type of exploration procedure: drilling
along the strike of the mineralization much in the same way as
drives are put inside orebodies.
(b) Limitations and future developments

Even though the predictions obtained were globally satisfactory,
they are not accurate enough for local short term planning - but
then, this was not their objective. A second shortcoming is that
the techniques described here require the use of fairly large
computers and considerable data preparation. So before they could
be used routinely by mining companies, four types of improvements
are needed.
- A more accurate way of modelling the geometric details of
the orebody is required. In addition to statistical and geostat-
istical information, it should take acount of the geology, the
tectonics etc.
- Techniques for applying geometric constraints should be
made more flexible, so as to be suitable for several different
exploitation methods, and also for 3D spaces.

- A method for updating these mathematical models is needed,
50 as to be able to input new production and exploration data
without time consuming calculations.

- In order to use these techniques on the mine-site, a
micro-computer version of the programs is required.
246 L. DE CHAMBURE ET AL.

REFERENCES

DERAISME J. et al., 1985: Vers une simulation d'exploitation a
ciel ouvert. Industrie Minerale, Les Techniques, Dec. 1985.

DERAISME J., 1978: Simulation sur modele de gisement de processus
mlnlers et min~ralurgiques. Doctoral thesis, ENSMP, Fontaine-
bleau, France.

DERAISME J., de FOUQUET Ch., FRAISSE H., 1982: Geostatistical
orebody model for computer optimization of profits from
different underground mining methods, APCOM 1982, London.

DUMAY R., 1981: Simulations d'exploitations minieres sur modeles
g~ostatistiques de gisement. Doctoral thesis, ENSMP,
Fontainebleau, France.

de FOUQUET Ch., 1985: L'estimation des r~serves r~cup~r~es sur
modele g~ostatistique de gisements non-homogenes. Doctoral
thesis, ENSMP, Fontainebleau, France.

ISAAKS E., 1984: Indicator Simulation: Application to the
Simulation of a high grade uranium mineralization. ASI,
Geostatistics for Natural Resources Characterization, Reidel
Co., Dordrecht, Holland.

JOURNEL A., 1974: Simulations conditionnelles. Theorie et
pratique. Doctoral thesis, ENSMP, Fontainebleau, France.

LABROT J.C. et al., 1981: Evaluation des r~serves minieres,
application au cas d'un gisement multifissure d'uranium Ben
Lohmond (Australie). Industrie Min~rale, Congres de Metz.

LEFEUVRE E. et al., 1980: Exemples d'application de la g~ostatis­
tique a I 'uranium. 26eme Congres G~ologique International,
Paris, Juillet 1980.

MATHERON G., 1982: La destructuration des hautes teneurs et Ie
krigeage des indicatrices. Centre de G~ostatistique, ENSMP,
Fontainebleau, France.

RIVOIRARD J., 1984: Calcul de variogrammes sur des donn~es
d'Uranium. Centre de G~ostatistique, ENSMP, Fontainebleau,
France.

SANS H., BLAISE J.R., 1987: Geostatistical Case Studies, Reidel
Co., Dordrecht, Holland.
INDEX

anamorphosis 5, 154, 165, 199, 200, 205, 207, equivalent block 172, 174
215,221,234,237 external drift 105, !O7, Ill, ll2, 113, ll4
anamorphosis, gamma 189 faults !OS, 106, !O7, 108, 109, Ill, ll2, ll3
anamorphosis, gaussian 143, 144, 189 footwall 71, 78, 81, 84, 88
back estimation 50 free selection 154, 227
bauxite 69,70,71,78,81,84,88 gamma logged grade 23, 24
bigaussian 239, 240 gamma logs 23,24,25,26,30,216,223,225,231,
blast 225, 227, 229, 232, 242 232
blast holes 121,122,123,124,126,128,129,130, gas 105, 106, 117
133,169,176, 178, 179, 180, 181, 182, 183 gaussian anamorphosis 153, 160, 163, 165
Carter's relation 188, 199, 200, 205, 207 gaussian equivalents 215,216,221,222,237,238
change of support 24, 122, 124, 144, 149, lSI, generalized covariance 109, III
153, 154, 156, 159, 183, 187, 188, 190,204, geometric constraints 215, 227, 228
221, 237 geometrical constraints 63, 84, 156
characterized reserves 82, 88 global 218
chemically analysed grade 23, 24 global recoverable 149, lSI, 154, 161, 163
closure liS gold 149, 150, 152, 158
co kriging 109 grade-tonnage 84, 170, 172, 174, 179, 181, 190,
conditional simulation 169, 170, 178,215,223 206
conditionally unbiased 51 grade-tonnage curves 121, 125, 239, 242
conventional profit 174, 180 hanging wall 78, 81
convex analysis 84 Hermite polynomials 123, 143, 144, 160, 163,
cross-validation 110, 156 164, 237
cut and fill 209, 214, 223 IRF-k 78
cut offs 82, 84, 88, 217, 219, 225, 230, 234, 235, in-situ reserves 69, 70, 82, 88, 90, 172, 182, 2ll,
242, 243 212, 207
deposit, porphyry copper 136, 137, 144 indicator functions 209,216,217,221,239
deposit, uranium 1,23, 187 information effect 157, 213, 227, 242
deposit, zinc 121 interpolate 93,94,101,102,103
destructuration 219 inverse distance weighting 81
development holes 178 isofactorial 199, 204
diluting, dilution 84, 90, 216, 225, 230, 242, 243 karsism 69, 81, 82, 90
discretized gaussian model 124, 143, 188, 209, karstic 71, 88, 90
215,221,234,237 kast 78
distribution, gamma 187, 188, 190, 198,207 kriging, disjunctive O.K. 136, 138, 140, 144
distribution, gaussian 187, 188, 190,207 kriging, multigaussian M.G. 136, 135, 136, 143
distribution, negative binomial 187, 188, 190 kriging, ordinary 136, 138, 140, 143
downstream geostatistics 210 kriging, sample 135, 136, 140
drift 109, Ill, ll9 kriging, universal 102, 103
drillhole 177 Laguerre polynomial 199
effect, support 128 local recoverable 149,156,158, 159

247
248 INDEX

logarithm 5, 6, 26, 189 Rodrigues' formula 199
logarithm, translated I, 5 sampling 121, 122, 128, 130, 133
logarithms 218, 234, 235 seismic 105,106,107,108, 109,110, Ill, 112
lognormal 189, 223 seismic data 93, 94, 96, 97, 99, 102, 103
lognormality 2, 135 selection blocks 215
mapping 93 service variables 212
mineable reserves 69, 84, 90 simulate 29
minimum mineable width 44 slope analyses 77
mining constraints 209 spline 39, 56, 64, 101, 110
missing values 43 stationarity 143
mosaic model 5, 188, 191,207 stationary 207, 221, 231
multigaussian 166 stockwork 2, 210
neighbourhood III, 112 support effect 225, 227
nickel 39, 40, 43, 46, 47 tectonics 71, 78
non linear 215 translated 1, 5
non-homogeneity 217, 237 translated log 6
non-homogeneous 135, 136, 137, 146 turning bands 237
non-stationary 77 underground 75,88,90,209,210,213,214,216,
nonlinear 149, 156 229, 235
openpit90,51, 154, 162, 170, 172, 176, 178,209, uniform conditioning 143, 144, 149, 156, 159,
210,212,213,214,215,231,239 162, 166, 167
optimal drilling 75 uniformly distributed 234
optimal grid 75, 174 universality 119, 135, 136, 137, 143, 144
optimum drilling densities 53 universility condition 143, 159
outlines 3 uranium23,30, 169, 170, 171, 174,209,210,211,
overestimation 128, 133 213, 217, 219, 231
oxidized (mineralization) 151, 157, 161 variogram, first order 2, 5
permanency of distribution 149, 151, 163 vein-Iype 39, 40
pit 170, 171, 176, 179 water saturation 95
porosity 95, 96 wells 93, 94, 95, 97, 98,102,103,105,106,107,
preferential sampling 234 109, 110, Ill, 112
primary (mineralization) 151, 152, wireline logs 93, 94, 95, 97, 98
155,157,158,161 zinc 121,122
production figures 63, 169, 171, 173, 174, 176,
180,209,223,230,231,239
proportional effect 184, 219
proportional effect, lognormal 184
radiometric 225, 239
radiomet,ric grade 2
radiometry 2
recoverable reserves 124,133,137,149,151,154,
156, 169, 175, 176, 182209,213,215,234
recoverable reserves, global 169 , 187, 191 , 204
recoverable reserves, local 135, 136, 146, 169
recovery function 213, 228, 229, 242, 243
reef 93, 94
regularization 173
rehabity classes 82
reservoir 105, 106, 107, 112
robustness 3

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