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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X


EMERY, X.; ORTIZ, J.M.  and  CACERES, A.M.. Geostatistical modelling of rock type domains with spatially varying proportions: Application to a porphyry copper deposit. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2008, vol.108, n.5, pp.284-292. ISSN 2411-9717.

Plurigaussian simulation allows constructing lithofacies or rock type models that reproduce the contacts between facies in accordance with the geologist's interpretation. Its implementation requires inferring the local facies proportions, but the uncertainty in the true proportions is not accounted for. The simpler model with constant facies proportions may not yield realistic results, due to the possibility of obtaining facies at locations where it is geologically unlikely to find them. This article presents a variation of the plurigaussian model, in which the facies proportions are represented by random fields. The realizations can be made conditional to soft geological information to account for local changes in the facies proportions. The model is illustrated via a case study of a porphyry copper deposit where four Gaussian random fields are simulated conditionally to drill hole data and to constraints on the probability of finding a given facies at specific locations (control points) in the deposit. Then the first two fields are truncated using the random thresholds defined by the last two, generating a three-facies model. The proposed random proportion model proves to be simple to use and to account for spatial variations of the geological characteristics and for the uncertainty in the facies proportions.

Keywords : categorical variable; lithofacies; truncated plurigaussian simulation; regionalized proportions.

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