Geostatistical Modelling of the Hilton and Mount Isa Lead-Zinc Orebodies, Mount Isa, Australia
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1993
Geostatistics - a tool used by geologists and mine planning engineers to estimate grades and rapidly evaluate alternative mining strategies has reached an advanced stage of development for the silver-lead-zinc orebodies at Isa and Hilton Mines. Geostatistics has been used for over a decade in the massive copper orebodies but the stratiform lead-zinc orebodies are much more complex and provided a completely different set of challenges. Recent increases in computer processing speed and power provided by the Integrated Mine Planning System (IMPS) has aided the development of the geostatistics package. Also the formation of a project team and the subsequent in-house development which has drawn together the expertise of geologists, engineers and system analysts has contributed significantly to the success of the project.The most important feature of any approach to modelling the lead-zinc orebodies is that the kriging search must consider estimate and sample points according to their positions relative to bedding surfaces. By transforming co-ordinates as perpendicular offsets from a plane representing the local strike and dip, it is possible to elongate the ellipsoidal influence to parallel bedding. By interactively modelling surfaces using CAD facilities and then specifying these surfaces as 'hard' or 'soft' boundaries, the geologist has complete control over the kriging process.