Direct Volume Estimation - a Geostatistical Technique for Mine Planning and Grade Control
Gone are the days of averaging block (grid) estimates within a mine planning unit to obtain approximate and incomplete grade estimates!
Lynx's new Direct Volume Estimation provides geostatistically accurate and complete grade estimates for realistic, practical geology and mining shapes without any requirement for intermediate block representation.
An advantage of geostatistical estimation is its consideration of the size and geometry of the volume for which the estimate is produced ... unfortunately conventional block volumes are of limited usefulness in a mining context. Direct Volume Estimation is an extension of the conventional technique for volume estimation of blocks. Based on our existing volume modeling technology, we have developed techniques for efficient representation of any irregular 3D shape, or intersection of shapes, by an appropriate set of discrete points that can be incorporated into the kriging equations. We have also enhanced the integrated GSLIB geostatistical libraries within LYNX to accomodate the new techniques. The advantages for mine planning and grade control applications, for surface and underground mining, are the following.
A geostatistically accurate estimate of grade is obtained directly for any mining volume or intersection of mining and geological volumes ... the approximations of block estimation are eliminated
Each grade estimate includes a geostatistically accurate measure of the range and confidence associated with the estimation volume and the available samples ... this is unobtainable with conventional block estimation.
Grade control application efficiencies are achieved by elimination of conventional block estimation; accurate grade estimates are determined directly for practical mining shapes based on available production samples.
Direct Volume Estimation is currently implemented, tested and proven within LYNX for practical applications in mine planning and grade control ... and will be available with LYNX 4.7 to be released in March. For detailed information on the theory and application of Direct Volume Estimation download file direct01.zip (Microsoft Word 6.0, compressed).