Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
Print version ISSN 0038-223X
Historically, linear and lognormal krigings were first created to estimate the in situ mineral resources of blocks. Nonlinear geostatistics and indicator kriging were subsequently developed to evaluate also the portion recovered when applying a cut-off on selective mining units (SMUs) within blocks. In practice these methods are generally based either on the Gaussian model with a transformation generalizing the lognormal case or on the indicators above cut-offs. Very often the indicator approach is simplified by kriging separately each indicator, and when starting from a continuous variable, a practical advantage of the discretization into classes lies in the easy treatment of a zero effect and of the high values. However, a number of so-called isofactorial models have also been developed for a discrete or continuous variable, where the full cokriging of indicators (i.e. disjunctive kriging) simplifies to the separate kriging of factors. Moreover, these models are equipped with a change of support, allowing a consistent estimation of recoverable resources on SMUs. Min-Max Autocorrelation Factors (MAF) analysis of the indicators offers a new approach for indicator modelling. In particular the first factor, the one with the highest spatial continuity, can help in choosing the type of model. For example a monotonic experimental first factor can be used directly as the basis of a discrete diffusion model, unless a continuous diffusion model such as the Gaussian model can be used on the original variable. This approach is illustrated on a uranium deposit mined selectively: estimates of recoverable resources by discrete disjunctive kriging and uniform conditioning in a Gaussian model are compared locally to short-term estimates based on two areas densely drilled.
Keywords : disjunctive kriging; indicator kriging; Min-Max Autocorrelation Factors; recoverable resources; discrete diffusion model.