A Two-Dimensional Computer-Modeling Approach for Narrow-Vein Deposits

Hammond, Anthony D.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 9
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1998
INTRODUCTION A two-dimensional approach for modeling narrow-vein deposits using the TECHBASE® software was implemented at Sunshine Mining for its use in the evaluation of mineral properties. This 2-D approach prevents the overestimation of high-grade tons typically associated with the use of fixed 3-D blocks and reduces the size of the model in computer memory. The method consists of constructing a two-dimensional model oriented along the average plane of the mineralized structure. This approach works well for single, multiple and intersecting veins with the condition that each vein is roughly planar with variation in dip or strike less than 30" in order to maintain a reasonable resolution in the process of projecting data onto a plane (Figure 1). Also, a precise identification of the hanging-wall and foot-wall location is critical in ensuring an accurate representation of the vein. By using various modeling techniques, the two-dimensional model estimates metal content, thickness, tonnage, economic and dilution parameters which will be ultimately used in the identification of minable reserves. The following is a generic description of the steps involved in modeling a steeply dipping vein. DATA ENTRY A typical project database consists of drillhole coordinates, survey information, assay data and any other quantitative or qualitative data. This database can be created inside the software or imported from any spreadsheet. TECHBASE® utilizes the concept of "fields" and "records" (columns and rows) for storing data. The use of "calculated fields" enables the user to expand on the manipulation of the database with minimum memory requirements. Another important feature of TECHBASE® is the ability to replicate the structure and format of the "tables" for its use in another project and the capability of running a series of repetitive tasks by means of batch and "runlog" files.
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