Discussion - Performance evaluation of indicator kriging in a gold deposit - by Y.C. Kim, P.K. Medhi, and I.S. Roditis Technical Papers, MINING ENGINEERING, Vol. 99, No. 10 October 1987, pp. 947- 952

Mousset- Jones, P.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 1
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1987
I found the article most interesting and timely. I consider it imperative that mine case studies like this one are undertaken and published so that the practicing mining engineer and geologist can obtain a better idea of what is the preferred estimation and grade control technique to use, given the site-specific geology, grade distribution, etc. Mining companies, with operating gold mines, need to be encouraged to either initiate such a study in-house or support a research project by financing a graduate student at a local university. The latter method is preferable since it not only provides research support but also an excellent training opportunity for young mining engineers and geologists. Ideally, what is needed is exploration drill-hole, blasthole, and mine production data that can then be used to assess the efficiency of different estimation and grade control methods by comparing the results obtained using the drill/blasthole data with the actual production data. It is hoped that more mining companies will realize that the rewards from this kind of research greatly outweigh the sometimes perceived problem with releasing data to a university. I noticed that the authors used the blasthole data to represent the actual values, the validity of which relies heavily on the two key assumptions with regards to blasthole assays and in-pit ore-waste selection procedures. Could the authors comment in more detail on these assumptions and what criteria they used to check the validity of the assumptions? Since the article was published, have the authors had the opportunity to compare their estimates with the actual production data? It would be interesting to compare other estimation methods with OK and IK. For example, how well did the polygonal method used at the mine compare with the results given in the paper? I would like to mention that B.L. Kwa completed a similar study (Kwa and Mousset-Jones, 1986) using exploration drill-hole, blasthole, and production data from the Alligator Ridge mine in Nevada. The study compared a variety of estimation methods, including IK, and the final results are shown in Fig. 1. The IK method exhibits the smallest difference between estimated and production results and is closely followed by the indicator moving window (Ind MW) method. Reply by Y.C. Kim We do concur with Professor Mousset-Jones with respect to the merit of such case studies performed at a local university. In answer to his request for comment on the validity of the two key assumptions made in our paper, we can only say that these are reasonable assumptions that are very difficult to validate. The assumption of blasthole assays being accurate can be partially validated by a careful analysis of the nugget component of blasthole variograms. The assumption that the in-pit ore-waste selection procedure in use was an effective one can only be validated through comparison between the mine estimates of ounces of gold versus the actual recovered ounces of gold at the mill. Neither one of these two assumptions has been validated to date due to several reasons. For example, the mine went through a change in management since the study. Similarly, no compelling reasons have been presented to perform detailed variogram analysis of the blasthole data. We do, however, believe that the obtained results (i.e., indicator kriging performs better than OK in a highly skewed deposit) will remain the same in relative terms, regardless of how valid these two assumptions may be. The most recent comĀ¬parative study by D. S. Lindsey of the Montana College of Mineral Science and Technology also shows a similar ranking between ordinary kriging versus probability kriging, which is an extended version of indicator kriging.
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