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

MacGillivray, R. B. ; Hawkins, D. M. ; Berjak, M. ; Marting, V. E.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 8
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1969
Contributions to discussion V. E. Marting (Associate Member): The authors of this paper should be congratulated in having pioneered the application of the Sharapov predictor to local data, and in having made a valuable contribution to South African experience in the quantitative treatment of geological information using a digital computer. Although the existing set of three programmes has been described as a 'suite' it does not represent an integrated system in the accepted sense since the communication between runs is made in the form of punched card files to enable the mining engineer to exercise discretion and control over the data entered at each phase. Although the authors are justifiably proud of the successful results obtained through the application of this method, I feel that it is my duty to comment that the computer aspect of the work has not reached full development and is deserving of the financial support needed to increase its widest usefulness. At the present moment a routine to detect 'missing information' has not been commissioned. Due to the lack of documentation the use of the programmes is restricted since the format for the submission of data is known only to the authors. It is very unlikely that a profitable return on the development costs will be enjoyed before the programme is fully documented and made available to wider use. My criticism of the present incomplete state of the work is being voiced purely with the intent of focussing on the significance of this project and the fact that it is deserving of development on an industry basis. It should be noted that at the economical cost of R4.00 per sq ft of computer print-out, a mining engineer can hardly afford to miss the opportunity of using the programmes on other (e.g. metalliferous) mineral deposits of tabular formation. Since the publication of this paper I have had an opportunity to see the results of the programmes developed by Drs M. D. G. Salamon and F. Deist for designing bord and pillar workings. The basic data for these latter programmes are extracted from iso-line plans drawn conventionally by geologists, a task that could be considerably expedited through the use of Mr Hawkins' programmes. It appears that the efforts of these respective teams are complementary and it is in the interests of the industry that these individual components should eventually form part of an integrated system. E. Margo* (Member): This paper is a good example of how and where the backroom scientist-in this case the mathematical statistician-can aid the mining engineer to develop not only more accurate means for dealing with valuation problems but to develop a tool that can also cope with changed geological specifications.
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