Development of a Resource Reliability Rating (RRR) system for mineral deposit evaluation and classification

Annels, A.E., and Dominy, S.C. (2002) Development of a Resource Reliability Rating (RRR) system for mineral deposit evaluation and classification. In: Proceedings of Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Conference 2002. pp. 27-34. From: Value Tracking Symposium, 7-8 October 2002, Brisbane, QLD, Australia.

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Current and proposed methods of resource classification relate to the geological, economic and technical confidence in the estimated resource. Geological confidence is, however, only vaguely defined. It is largely related to the level of drilling and sampling, to the geologist’s perceived level of confidence in his/her work and on the continuity of the mineralisation. Rarely has any real attempt been made to assess how well a deposit has been explored, sampled and evaluated and how accurate or realistic the geological model is for the deposit.

This contribution reviews the impact of two of the potential sources of error, ie sample recovery and quality. The first of these parameters is measured during logging and assaying, but is often forgotten during grade and tonnage estimation, and resource classification. Preliminary studies have shown that modelling of this parameter is a valid exercise, which should accompany the evaluation of grade and other economic parameters. The sample recovery factor for an ore block can then be used to reassess the confidence in the block. It could, for example, downgrade the status of a Measured Resource to an Indicated Resource even though standard methods might indicate that the higher classification is applicable. A method is proposed by which this recovery factor could be incorporated into current resource classifications producing a more sophisticated and comprehensive measure of sample quality.

A review of the sources of error naturally leads to the assignment of scores to each stage of the evaluation process, depending on the methods used and assumptions made. Sample recovery is one important factor, which is likely to appear at several stages. These scores can then be weighted and combined in a manner resembling that used in the CSIR Rock Mass Classification. This score will then allow the resource estimate to be rated on a scale from 0 to 100 per cent to produce a Quality Control Index (QCI). However, this index must then be modified using an Evaluation Difficulty Index (EDI), which reflects the difficulty of a particular style of mineralisation to accurate resource estimation. This results in the production of a Resource Reliability Rating (RRR), which can then be linked to international classifications, such as the 1999 JORC; 2000 CIM; and 2001 EURO codes. This will permit a more precise definition of geological confidence levels or, combined with estimation error, produce a classification system in its own right. This same rating can also be used as the basis for technical audits of mineral projects.

Item ID: 14691
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-875776-95-5
Date Deposited: 06 Nov 2017 04:07
FoR Codes: 04 EARTH SCIENCES > 0403 Geology > 040399 Geology not elsewhere classified @ 100%
SEO Codes: 84 MINERAL RESOURCES (excl. Energy Resources) > 8402 Primary Mining and Extraction Processes of Mineral Resources > 840204 Mining and Extraction of Iron Ores @ 100%
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