The Computer Mapping and Assessment of Borehole and Sampling Data for Stable Minerals, Particularly as Applied in Coal Mining

MacGillivray, R. B. ; Hawlins, D. M. ; Berjak, M.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 16
Publication Date: Unavailable
SYNOPSIS The paper describes a method of producing iso line plans using a mathematical technique for interpolating between boreholes, and its computer application. The iso line plans are used for assessing the value parameters of an ore body. The computer programme also produces means and standard deviations to supplement these iso line plans. The mathematical techniques tested for the production of a satisfactory fit of the data were the polynomial, Fourier and moving average technique. The iso line plans are used for assessing the quality of the ore and other salient features such as depth to the floor of the ore body at different points, with a view to deciding how best the ore may be mined. The plans are plotted by the computer to any scale required. INTRODUCTION To assess the economic exploitability of an ore body many tedious and repetitive calculations must be carried out. Observations of borehole or development samples have to be processed yielding measures of ore reserve and quality in each sampled area, and also measures of the worth of the ore body as a whole and of variation in quality from section to section of the ore body. The observations made on the ore (which we shall term 'value parameters') may embrace a variety of characteristics of the ore. Obvious value parameters are those directly related to the economics of mining, viz. assay values, ore body thickness and depth below surface. Other value parameters however may be almost as important. In the case of coal for example a purchasing contract may specify limits of acceptability on other value parameters such as calorific value, ash content or the percentage of volatile matter. In this case, a detailed study of these value parameters will also be crucial. This detailed study must include an assessment, not only of the body as a whole, but also the regional variation in value of the parameter. An obvious and satisfactory way of displaying this variation is by drawing iso lines of constant value parameter on a map of the ore body and supplementing this with the means and standard deviations of the value parameters taken over all boreholes. Such plans, considered together, show up the zones of significance. The relatively stereotyped nature of the operations involved in this process makes it amenable to computer solution. In order to produce iso line plans on the computer we require some mathematical formula for producing a 'valuation surface'-a mathematical
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