You are on page 1of 338

Fourth International Mining
Geology Conference
14 - 17 May 2000
Coolum, Queensland

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Publication Series No 3/2000

Published by
THE AUSTRALASIAN INSTITUTE OF MINING AND METALLURGY
Level 3, 15 - 31 Pelham Street, Carlton Victoria 3053 Australia

© The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 2000

The Institute is not responsible as a body for the facts and opinions advanced in any of its public ations.

ISBN 1 875776 75 3

Desktop published by:
Penelope Griffiths and Angie Spry for The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Printed by:
New Generation Print and Copy
12 Barkly Street
Brunswick East VIC 3057

Organising Committee
Andrew Vigar (Chairman)
Robin Vigar
Mark Berry
Ron Cunneen
Roussos Dimitrakopoulos
Ian Kelso
Foy Leckie
Kevin Lines
Brice Mutton
Graham Pope
Andrew Scott
Andrew Waltho

AusIMM Central Services
Miriam Way (Events Manager)
Pauline Weaver (Events Assistant)
Penelope Griffiths (Publications Manager)
Angie Spry (Publications Assistant)

Foreword
We all appreciate the current difficult conditions within the global mining industry and the great
efforts being made within Australia, in particular, to compete. I believe we can be justifiably proud
of the high standards of the professionals within our industry. Conferences like the Fourth
International Mining Geology Conference, organised by the bodies that represent the professionals
within the industry, are one of the keys to continuing professional education and maintaining this
edge.
This Conference follows on from successful events staged at Launceston in 1997, Kalgoorlie in
1993 and Mt Isa, Queensland in 1990. It represents one of the few events in Australia aimed
directly at mining geologists and has been designed to review the advances in knowledge since the
first conference ten years ago. A joint committee drawn from members of The Australasian
Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Australian Institute of Geoscientists in Southern
Queensland was formed to organise this conference.
We believe that this is the premier forum for mine geologists from throughout Australia and
overseas to meet and exchange information and ideas on their operations and the latest
developments and innovations in key areas that directly impact on their day-to-day work. We hope
that the proceedings, together with the hands-on discussions with the presenters and the forum
session, will provide new insights to challenge the way we all do business, both now and in the
future.
The organisation of a major event such as the Fourth International Mining Geology Conference
requires the support of a large group of people. I would like to take this opportunity to thank
everyone who has helped on the organising committee, for without their dedication and enthusiasm
the conference could not have taken place.
On behalf of the organising committee, I would like to thank the authors of all technical papers,
and their companies, for their excellent and thought provoking contributions. Presentations are the
core of a conference and the quality of the contributions to this conference is the equal of in the
past.
Finally I would like to acknowledge the contribution provided by industry organisations and
companies throughout Australia and overseas, for sponsorship, a stimulating trade exhibition and
for supporting delegates to attend this conference.
At the dawn of the new Millennium, the mining industry continues to maintain its critical
importance to the health and well-being of our planet and all its inhabitants. Mine geologists
continue to sit at the forefront of innovation and improvement in the industry and add to their
community as a whole. We hope that this event, and these proceedings, helps in your endeavours.
Andrew J Vigar
Conference Committee Chairman

Cawse Nickel-Cobalt Operations. Tanzania — Orebody Characteristics and Project Planning D Bansah. R J Henham and A G Shellshear 27 Sampling Practice at the Vera Nancy Gold Mine D Sims 35 Leachwell Versus Fire Assay: Comments from Assay Quality Assurance at Tarmoola Gold Mine D J Elder 43 Controls on High-Grade Gold Distribution at Vera Nancy Mine D Sims 55 Geological Modelling and Grade Control in a Narrow Vein. Lake Victoria Goldfield. High-Grade Gold Mine D Sims 65 Mine Geology Practices at the Sunrise Open Pit E Haren and P Williams 77 The Spatial Distribution of Grade J R Vearncombe and S Vearncombe 87 The Bunyip Lateritic Nickel-Cobalt Deposit. H Michael. J R Foley. M Skead and H Stuart 115 Kunwarara Magnesite Deposit S Wilcock 129 Mine Geology . R Chase. Kalgoorlie. Western Australia A Bywater and S M Denn 95 Cadia Hill Gold Mine — One Year Down the Track C F Moorhead and Cadia Geology Team 105 The Geita and Kukuluma Mineralised Trends. A Davidson. G R Howard and G Back 21 Technical Data Management at Porgera A W Burgess.Contents Role of the Mine Geologist The Mine Geologist in a Business Perspective D Head 3 Dynamic Links Between Geology and the Mining Process T C McCuaig. Western Australia R D Carlson. J Vann and C Seymour 9 Sampling and Databases Systems and Protocols of Geological Information Management at Telfer Gold Mine.

T Hansen. G F Johansen. R D Carlson.Current Geological Understanding of Telfer Gold Mine G R Howard. J Segui and S Kanchibotla 247 Upgrade Ability and Geology of Cawse Nickel Ore S M Denn. A E Annels and I M Platten 169 Multiple Indicator Kriging — Is it Suited to My Deposit? J Vann. D Guibal and M Harley 187 Mining Bench Height Evaluation for the Wallaby Resource — A Conditional Simulation Case Study I M Glacken. Mining and Metallurgy at Stawell Gold Mines Pty Ltd D Fredericksen 263 Resource and Reserves Grade Control Mine to Mill . S Huffadine. C Moore. D Coupland. Mt Magnet. P J Moffitt. R J Inglis. S Leary and A Tomsett 135 Geology and Structure of the Morning Star Mine. M Noppé and M Titley 195 Ore Definition at the Henty Gold Mine Tasmania N Schofield 207 Computer-Based Resource Estimation in Accordance with the 1999 JORC Code J Duke and P Hanna 215 Mining Grade Control — Past. R Bradey. T Blyth. D Holden. A Jones and P Androvich 143 The 1999 JORC Code — What Does it Mean for Today’s Mining Geologist? P R Stephenson 157 Resource Evaluation of Nuggety Slate-Hosted Gold-Quartz Reefs S C Dominy. Present and Future W J Shaw 223 Evolution of Grade Control at KCGM V M O’Brien and T Cutts 229 The Use of Magnesium Oxide and Iron to Predict Host Units in Grade Control and Exploration at Bulong Nickel Operation W J Bollenhagen 239 Ore Characterisation for Mine to Mill Fragmentation A Scott. C G Ferguson and S L Makin 255 The Interaction Between Geology. N Archibald. B W Cuffley. I Kirchner. WA R Mason.

South Australia and Extrapolation Throughout the Rock Mass C N Winsor 271 Pasminco Century Mine Open Pit Slope Design — A Geotechnical Perspective A J Dutton 283 Modelling Bulk Density — The Importance of Getting it Right I T Lipton 291 The Expanding Role of Mine Geophysics P K Fullagar 301 Detailed Orebody Mapping Using Borehole Radar A Wellington. J M Murray and G C Reed 331 Finding More Ore. G Turner. Further From the Drill Hole. With DHMMR J Bishop and R Lewis 337 Nuclear Borehole Logging Techniques Developed by CSIRO Exploration and Mining for the Metalliferous Mining Industry M Borsaru and J Charbucinski 347 New Technologies . I Mason and J Hargreaves 315 Application of the SIROLOG Downhole Geophysical Tool at Callide Coalfields — East Central Queensland W Nichols 321 Microseismic Monitoring of Shear Zones and Related Seismic Activity at Broken Hill A J Morley.Geotechnical and Structural The Regional Controls Exerted on Rock Discontinuities at the Iron Duke Deposit.

J Vann and C Seymour 9 .Role of the Mine Geologist The Mine Geologist in a Business Perspective D Head 3 Dynamic Links Between Geology and the Mining Process T C McCuaig.

Now. The issues to be addressed in this paper are: • to understand the process. so that the metal. then they will become redundant. This paper seeks to understand some of the contributing problems that hinder the mine geologist from operating in a business perspective. ‘What are the critical relationships that are needed for the mine geologist to be effective in the process?’ ‘Who are the customers?’ ‘What do they want and when?’ We will also need to review how the organisational structure of a site can either support or hinder the success of the mine geologist in fulfilling the expectations of the business. sometimes the professional silo inadvertently hinders the ‘flow of the process’. we can be instrumental in ensuring that the operational environment is structured in such a way that maximum value is realised. Firstly. Problems such as: • having to operate in an environment that has not clearly defined the process and stated the outcomes that the operation expects from its geologists. they must understand some principles of business such as: 1. It is therefore a worthwhile exercise to consider some of the problems that the mine geologist is often faced with in trying to operate in a business perspective. How to get there is far more difficult. materials and information through time to deliver a product. understand the product that the customer needs and use their geological skills to deliver the product safely. geology. Finally. We can then ensure that we maximise our geological skills in order to deliver the product our customer demands. and • to know how to structure our relationships and communicate effectively within them. if they do not add value. poor communication or both can compound the ‘hindering’ effect. The author wishes to state that the ideas expressed in this paper have developed over many years. driven by a business perspective. on time and to specification.17 May 2000 3 .The Mine Geologist in a Business Perspective D Head1 ABSTRACT The role of the mine geologist in a business perspective is self-evident to some. this paper looks at two areas where an improved understanding of the process. because it allows us to visualise the process in a different perspective and enables us to define the mine geologist’s role in the process. Adelaide SA 5000. try to visualise the activities of the mine geologist in terms of this context. • poor communication between departments for effective information flow. Managing the change process will be more effective if it is driven from within and I hope that as mine geologists we can be part of that change process. they fulfill their part of the process as a ‘professional silo’ where each silo does its best to support the business. We take raw materials. Normandy Yandal. I appreciate that some will take offence at this analogy. Qld. 100 Hutt Street. To begin. General Manager Resource Development. to a certain degree. They incorporate concepts based primarily on personal experience that has been developed as a result of in-house training at various operations and many hours of discussion with colleagues. and • suboptimal site departmental structure. and metallurgy) exist to support the process and the business and they do. in grade control and then. For the mine geologist. one realises how difficult it is to define. this paper deals with change. THE PROCESS Most mining operations have traditional departments based on professional skills. To do this. the underlying ‘process’ does not recognise arbitrary silos because the process requires a seamless flow of knowledge. There are few operations that cannot benefit from the input of carefully considered and applied geology. As geologists. this process is nothing more than a glorified factory. INTRODUCTION Mine geology is an intrinsic component of the mining process. Essentially. and converts them into outputs or outcomes. process them and market a product. Alternatively. to some of the complex and narrow gold orebodies of the Yilgarn of Western Australia. not only from the mine geologists but the entire site team. each operation will benefit from focussed mine geology. The notion of a mine geologist in a business perspective seems intuitive. stopping to clarify what is meant by the concept. In doing so. how an integrated process for estimating Resources and Reserves is established across a business. MAusIMM. with better customer focus and more effective relationships can assist the mine geologist in their role. however. it is a useful one to consider. mine geologists will realise their full potential in delivering the outcomes the business demand. • to determine who the customers and suppliers are. to operate in ‘a business perspective’. 2. In doing so. Generally. and therefore be recognised as strong contributors to business success. The proposal suggests how to ensure that the activities of our geologists are intrinsically linked to the business process that we are involved in. We must ask ourselves. and 3. From the relatively simple massive coal seams of Victorias’ Latrobe Valley. The mine geologist can and must play a pivotal role in the success of an operation. All mine geologists need to know exactly how they add value to the business if they are to be successful. Poor structure. Coolum. the concept of a business perspective for a mine geologist assumes that mine geology is part of a ‘process’. estimating and adding value. but ironically. The process ‘expects’ co-operation and teamwork. Recognising that there are alternative and often-improved ways of operating is important. They therefore reflect the authors’ personal opinion. In many ways. That is. the ‘process’ refers to that of mining. Our geologists must know the business objectives. A process is a system that combines a range of inputs. process. customer/supplier relationships. however. mineral or compound can be mined and processed to supply a product to a customer that can be assumed to generate wealth. 1. Discovering. 14 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference On reflection. but to others it may be a new concept. These are some of the key problems facing mine geologists. a new context (for some) is proposed to aid the mine geologist and the operation gain greater value from geology. accounting. Of course. organisational structure. These departments (engineering.

4 Coolum. In this model. FIG 3 . but resist ‘mixing’ so as to ensure the longevity and security of each department (silo). Figure 3 illustrates how it may look. this seems to be the favoured model by most Australian mining operations as it appears to be most common.Schematic representation of the ‘Linear’ Model.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . departments are arranged linearly (Figure 2). but a new identity as part of an effective team should be gained. The departments accept that there is some ‘flow’ to the process. A C B C D Product B FIG 2 . The following section examines three generalised models based on personal experience.Schematic representation of the ‘Centralist Model’. Functional teams will contain a blend of skilled professionals. Figure 1 illustrates this. is that the department in question sees itself as the centre of the process and that all other departments provide inputs to it. The primary understanding of this model and those who work by it. many people visualise the process of mining differently and this is an important point. however. The department seems to be more important than the customer is! Model 2 ‘Linear’ In model two. If we all visualise a different process for the one site. The issue with this model (for the ‘siloists’) is that the professional identity can be lost. The preferred model (three) suggests that functional teams and not departments carry out the steps or stages of the process. It is possible that the ‘team’ may become a silo in this model. D Department ‘A’ E Model 3 ‘Functional Teams’ Customer/Product FIG 1 .D HEAD In a mine. Model 1 ‘Centralist’ Model one is what is referred to as the ‘centralist’ model. Based on personal experience. organised so as to maximise their involvement in the process to ensure that the product is delivered on specification and meets the quality and timeliness requirements. Department ‘A’ is larger than all the others and is clearly the most ‘important’. Qld. this is less likely because the emphasis is on the team rather than a professional department. 14 .Schematic representation of how the ‘Functional Team’ approach may look. Individual identities as part of a department may be lost. how will we work as a team and maintain a business perspective? Each department manager is likely to have his or her own vision of the process.

then the operation may well ask. the confidence in the estimate and the risk in the estimate. That is a geology department. we may have. department. Grade Control. Cost Control. Even within a department. Having established that the relationship is important. It seems that this is often an area that is poorly managed and understood. A group of geologists. the organisational structure can now be reviewed. Operational leverage is gained by individuals realising how their particular contribution (specialty) assists their customer and hence appreciates how they support the overall process. As each department divides itself into smaller and smaller subdepartments. then as mine geologists we can begin to understand where we can fit into the process. ‘why do operations carry out geological activities?’ The answer is that. Resource team Activities Skills required and weighting Safety. Leadership is also a critical issue here but that topic is outside the scope of this paper. These two examples are difficult sites to operate in a ‘business perspective’. so the difficulty of operating in a business perspective increases. someone wants to be supplied with geological information. it is possible to assess exactly whom the geologist needs to communicate with. Mine Design Geology 60 Engineering 5 Metallurgy 5 Finance 5 Computing 25 Planning team Activities Skills required and weighting Safety. but is it good business?’ In some instances. Strategic Planning. (skills. Mine Design. a metallurgy department and so on. particularly by mine geologists. Strategic Analysis. The corollary is failure. Each operation needs to carry out this assessment. Tailings Disposal. There is often a perception amongst mine geologists that operations carry out geological activities simply because they must. Defining the customer/supplier relationships is a key step in operating in a business perspective. the process of setting the deliverables and hence accountabilities can begin. Coolum.Organisational structure for Functional Teams. Strategic Analysis. The weighting of particular disciplines within the functional teams changes throughout the process. is the ‘process’. It would make sense then. Processing. As mentioned earlier. engineers and metallurgists have been assembled together. the exploration department. He or she needs to know the value of the estimate. Contract Management. an engineering department. Project Evaluation. there will be operations that have geologists but do not know why they carry out geological activities at all. nor necessity for the other groups. Overriding the effect of ‘departmentalisation’. No matter how hard we try to ‘departmentalise’ ourselves into secure silos. Survey. Establishing these relationships is important and ensures that the activities of the mine geologist within the process are helping support the business. Contract Management. The teams shown in Figure 4 could be assembled to manage the ‘process’. Qld. The result of this type of structure can often stifle the communications between suppliers and customers. By understanding the overall process and therefore appreciating the critical areas that mine geologists add value. the resource department and so on.17 May 2000 5 . why and when. communication and teamwork. Once the relationship is defined.THE MINE GEOLOGIST IN A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE If we accept that this is how the underlying process is working. This is a result of the team not establishing the customer/supplier relationships. Project Evaluation. Drill and Blast. that an organisational structure that enables the effective communication between the key members of the process at any given point in time would be advantageous. Relationships require effective communication and organisational structure provides the framework or ‘rules’ for this communication to occur. Personnel Management Engineering 30 Metallurgy 30 Geology 10 Human Resources 5 Environment 5 Financial 10 Survey 5 FIG 4 . What information do we need in order to deliver a product that our customer requires? Who are our customers? And what relationships do we require in order to perform in a business perspective? CUSTOMER/SUPPLIER RELATIONSHIPS Understanding the concept of a customer/supplier relationship is critical in the success of a business. We need ‘a functional team’ and not a traditional department. 14 . the open pit geology 4th International Mining Geology Conference Activities Skills required and weighting Safety. weighting. Short Term Planning and Design. Strategic Planning. ‘It may be good geology. to mine and process an orebody but each group operates in isolation and does not understand the operation of. Someone has valued the information and deemed that it shall be part of the process. the strategic planning engineer needs to know about the tonnes and grades to be scheduled in year five of the life of mine plan. the mine geologists can begin to understand whom their customers and suppliers are. The teams are staffed by personnel who have the requisite skills to add value at a particular point in the process. Contract Management. In the event that geological information is not sought or required in the process and yet is still collected. For example. the most common organisational structure of the mine is one of professional silos. activities are examples only). Armed with this knowledge. The following organisational structure attempts to solve the problem of ‘professional silos’ by developing functional teams. as there is no strict ‘blue print’ for specific customer/supplier relationships. For example within the traditional geology department. we must then communicate through effective organisational structure. Mine Design Engineering 30 Financial 20 Geological 20 Metallurgical 20 Environment 10 Production team ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE Having now described the process that the mine geologists are involved in and established the customer/supplier relationships required to effectively deliver the product. An opposing view is to ask. Crushing and Grinding. Geotechnical. the process (in order to succeed) demands interaction. we can see professional ‘subsilos’.

there is nothing uniquely geological about the grade control or Ore Reserve activity. 6. To achieve the business objectives. the Model will represent the geologists best estimate on the spatial distribution of tonnes and 6 I started out by stating that ‘all mines will benefit from appropriately applied mining geology’. environmental. estimation confidence. grade and will be based on geotechnical data. However. We must understand the process that we are involved in. detailing when and where holes are to be drilled. 3. As a result of this process. Quality control checks are required on an ongoing basis. The emphasis must be on organising a team that is balanced with the appropriate skills and arranged so as to offer the best probability of delivering the business outcomes. the issue is not so much our individual skills in a specific area of geology (although this is important) but rather. As professionals. 4. the Ore Reserve and Mineral Resources are delivered as outcomes (based on a number of corporate and operational assumptions) for external publication and internal design and scheduling (see Figure 5). At a given point in time. marginal cut-off grade. The Mineral Inventory Model is a precursor to Resource and Reserve estimation. drilling and detailed reconciliation processes. CONCLUSION Resource/Reserve process The Resource/Reserve process has long been considered the domain of the geologist. how we use our skills to deliver the outcomes the business demands. Access to the area needs to be approved by the production engineer. legal and environmental personnel from which one is chosen (a corporate decision) to become the ‘Life of Mine’ plan. At this stage the Mineral Inventory Model does not presuppose mining cut-off grade. 9. we will be operating in a business perspective and we will be recognised as positive contributors to business success. This will only occur when the mining geology is driven in a business perspective. we need to understand the process. An estimate of the tonnes and grade needs to be provided to the planning and production engineers. However. more and more companies have realised that Resources and Reserves are the outcomes of a highly disciplined process resulting from the interaction of specialist teams of people. This process then drives improvement into areas that are definable and which demonstrably support the business process. They are examples of activities undertaken by functional teams rather than professional silos so as to produce an outcome. they deliver a product that we term Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (as defined by the ‘JORC’ code). That is. the professional silo mentality often blocks the interactions and relationships necessary to achieve the result. If we can do this. the engineering department may say ‘ the geologists are late again with the dig plan …’. All of these assumptions are made at the planning stage and hence the Mineral Inventory Model cannot be used for direct external reporting of Resources and Reserves. knowledge and data. each with their own skills. 7. Drilling programs and drilling contractors need to be co-ordinated. understand the customer/supplier relationships and then ensure that a structure is put in place to support the process and assist in effective communication. it is the outcome of on-going mine geological project work. what is required to perform the function well and what relationships. The assay laboratory needs to be aware of how many samples will be arriving and when. Faces need to be mapped and data collected by a geologist.D HEAD The examples show that the professional silos or traditional departments are not necessary. dilution. Drill holes need to be logged by a geologist. However the example illustrates the complexity and the need for the mine geologist to develop and maintain strong internal and external relationships so that the product (the tonnes and grade estimate) can be safely provided to the customer on time and to specification. 10. When combined into a coherent process. the mine geologists are accountable for delivering the Mineral Inventory Model at a pre-determined date each year. mineralogical data. reasonable and achievable individual accountabilities for the outcome required. grade and metallurgical data. or any other criteria or assumptions that must be made in order to estimate Resources and Reserves. Knowing this. Coolum. So. then as mine geologists. In this process. and so it goes on. It then becomes a significant input into the strategic planning process. bulk density and structural data. Planning engineers need to produce a plan and schedule detailing when an area will be available for grade control. Qld. and having the detailed parameters required (as outlined by the customer) within the model. production data. Data needs to be entered in to a database. but for any operating mine. 1. metallurgists. Those areas of the Mineral Inventory Model that do not have sufficient confidence to be regarded as Ore can then be targeted for follow up exploration. What is required of these processes? Who needs the information? What quality and format is expected? What inputs are required? Grade control process The mine geologist is often chosen to manage grade control. The Mineral Inventory Model is the outcome of detailed exploration efforts in the first instance. Reflecting on the understandings of the process as discussed above. The number of relationships and interactions required to successfully perform the grade control process has been simplified here. financiers. because of history. geologists. minimum mining widths. as the industry becomes more sophisticated. TWO EXAMPLES Two traditional geological activities that are in reality multi-disciplinary processes (grade control and Ore Reserves) can be viewed in the context of the previous discussions. 2. The ‘blocking’ is ironic as it only serves to perpetuate and justify the professional silo. 8. The Mineral Inventory Model can be used as the basis for many mining scenarios carried out by a team of engineers. 5.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . we must understand who our customers are and what they want and we must then develop relationships that facilitate the communication of the required information. we can then set clear. lithological data. Data needs to be interpreted by the geologists and engineers (and possibly metallurgists if appropriate). It is suggested here that the first step in estimating Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources be for the geologists to prepare what may be termed the ‘Mineral Inventory Model’. 11. A grade control design plan is required to provide information to the surveyors. within the process are required? The following outline simplifies the process but will illustrate the issues being addressed. 14 .

Schematic outline of the Resource/Reserve process. 1999. 14 . ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would like to thank the management of Normandy Yandal Limited for permission to publish this paper. Australian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (The JORC Code). Measured.17 Mayl 2000 7 . Qld. Coolum.THE MINE GEOLOGIST IN A BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE The Mineral Inventory Model Geology Data Knowledge The Mineral Inventory Model . You will know who you are. Indicated. Thank you. To those of you who I have had the pleasure to work with. I wish to acknowledge the assistance and motivation provided by D Ryan and C Gee for the numerous drafts reviewed.Classified. REFERENCES The Joint Ore Reserves Committee. Inferred Reconciliation Resources Strategic Planning Reserves Filter on remaining Mineral Inventory Matrix of Potential Reserves YES/NO ‘YES’ Treasury Analysis Of Matrix of Potential Reserves Production Reserve One option is selected for ‘Life of Mine Plan’ ‘NO’ Public Resource incl. Reserves To Management for Review Mineral Inventory (Not Public) FIG 5 . Thank you also to N Phillips and J Hergt for their comments. thank you for the feedback and experience that has assisted in the development of this paper. 4th International Mining Geology Conference There are two mining engineers that I must thank for their continued support and belief over many years.

It is fundamental to realise exactly what geologists do. can largely be avoided. 2. Although geologists are employed throughout the mining operation. All geoscientific tools at the geologists’ disposal are geared towards one of these goals. As a result. This under-utilisation of geology in the mining process is rarely due to incompetence. The mining process is a web of disciplines that are attempting to optimise development of a resource to provide value to shareholders. the potential inputs of geology are critical throughout the mining process. to name but a few. it is the authors’ contention that such additional work. but an iterative process where the exploration. Therefore. and mining engineering. 2. development. and the downstream users do not fully appreciate what geologists can do for them. assay for potential penalty elements). Focussing all geology inputs and communication in terms of potential material risk allows the geologist to be more effective in contributing value to the mining process. After infill drilling. resource definition. the majority of resource estimation. timelines. but rather to mutual ignorance and lack of communication between various disciplines or stages in the mining process stream. 3. Similarly. A lack of interest in. Senior Associate. nor are they relegated to grade control implementation. status and benefits of geology in the mining industry. The results are that the potential benefits of geology. ie addressing issues critical for other members of the mining team. Qld. and constrain technical risk by addressing their issues at the earliest possible stage. and technical risk reduction can be realised when sound geology is utilised more rigorously throughout the mining process. cash flow. Technical Director. metallurgical (recovery issues – early petrography of ore. This is particularly true with the recent trend towards reducing geological staff in the interests of reducing operational costs. Yet few people within these disciplines have a full appreciation of this web. are not fully realised. Geologists often do not fully appreciate the requirements of their downstream users. they can significantly benefit project costs. Geologists constrain geological processes and geometry. and technical risk reduction can be realised when sound geology is utilised more rigorously throughout the mining process. For example. geology will be much better integrated into the mining process. eg resource estimation (domain definition issues. mineral processing strategies and operational procedures are planned and implemented with little geological input. Effective communication of the impacts of geology inputs on downstream users is often lacking on mining projects. they are often fully occupied with grade control and production issues with little time allocated to assessing potential geology inputs to mining operations. density and data quality issues impacting on resource classification). and the appropriate status of geology in the mining industry. mine-planning. SRK Consulting. Through a program of geologists: 1. mitigate and manage project risk in their respective technical fields. 4th International Mining Geology Conference communicating their inputs to the ‘clients’ in terms of technical risk. However. While fully addressing all possible issues on projects is not a practically achievable goal. After infill drilling. INTRODUCTION — UNDER-UTILISATION OF GEOLOGY IN THE MINING PROCESS Geology is generally treated as a ‘front-end’ step in the mine development (Figure 1). However. mine-planning. Geology is generally treated as a ‘front end’ step in mine development. mine planners and metallurgists who seek to capitalise on the geologists’ potential inputs will be better able to evaluate. and where sound geology inputs can add value through various feedback loops. Coolum. The most effective way to communicate geological results is through where it impacts most – project risk. particularly in open pit operations. development. and by directing data collection and synthesis at early project stages towards end-user requirements. Furthermore. the majority of resource estimation. but will assist in increasing the awareness. and with the ability to communicate their potential contributions to mine planners and management will not only be more effective. feasibility or mining stages. 2. resource estimation specialists. MAusIMM. PO Box 943. SRK Consulting. J Vann2 and C Seymour2 ABSTRACT 3. Geology inputs do not end at the resource estimation stage. geotechnical (geometry and structure issues – early characterisation of structures and rock mass). geotechnical engineering. hydrogeological (water problems – installation of piezometers in exploration/infill drill holes). taking an interest in the entire mining process and identifying critical areas for geology inputs to downstream users (the geologists’ clients). This under-utilisation of geology in the mining process has arisen due to a combination of factors: 1. West Perth WA 6872. Geologists who invest time and effort in understanding the potential downstream application to their inputs. 14 .17 May 2000 9 . the mining process is not a single pass timeline. If geologists have an appreciation of the mining process and close liaison with the other disciplines such as geostatistics. mine planning and mining loop is continually repeated over the life of a project. few geologists effectively communicate their results to the downstream users of their geology models. An emphasis on geological processes is present throughout the exploration process. significant benefits in overall costs. drill orientation. geologists generally do not focus their inputs towards areas of greatest value added. Few geologists fully understand where their inputs make critical impacts on downstream users. As a result of this. This can be achieved if geologists and management possess an acute awareness of the integration of geology in the mining process. significant benefits in overall costs. whereas in the resource estimation and mine development process an emphasis on geometry is required. mineral processing strategies and operational procedures are planned and implemented with little geological input. and resultant delays or fatal (material) flaws in project development. particularly in open pit operations. cash flow. mining engineers. hydrogeology.Dynamic Links Between Geology and the Mining Process T C McCuaig1. and allows the downstream users of geology inputs to better constrain the risks associated with their aspects of the mining project. West Perth WA 6872. or knowledge of the full mining process by geologists. Most importantly. rarely does a project finish infill drilling without requiring significant additional work to be done at the prefeasibility. the potential benefits of geology throughout the mining process will be realised. PO Box 943. and the status of geologists within the mining process will be elevated to a more pivotal position. focussing geology inputs to address the potentially material issues on mining projects. and 1.

T C McCUAIG. J VANN and C SEYMOUR GEOLOGY ONE WAY TRAFFIC NO FEEDBACK ? Resource ONE WAY TRAFFIC NO FEEDBACK Reserve ONE WAY TRAFFIC NO FEEDBACK Mine Planning TWO WAY TRAFFIC Startup KKG/bw2006/28March2000 FIG 1 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .Traditional view of the role of geology in the mining process. 14 . Qld. 10 Coolum.

It is an appreciation of geological processes that advance our understanding. The challenge is to recognise what lines of investigation will add the most value. 14 .17 May 2000 11 . regional aeromagnetic data is used to determine the geometry of lithology and structure. models tend to take on a life of their own and tend to drive data collection in self-fulfilling directions (McCuaig and Hronsky. During this exploration phase the geologists draws upon their ‘toolkit’ to constrain these geometrical issues. In these studies. and dollars. radiogenic isotopes) are aimed at constraining geological processes that have operated in a region. submitted).Examples of the multiple geoscience subdisciplines and analytical techniques that modern geologists have at their disposal. or evidence that alteration processes have taken place (magnetite-producing versus magnetite-destructive). Determining orebody geometry By the infill drilling stage. Analytical geochemical studies on mineral deposits (SEM analyses of minerals. interpretation effort. and those which controlled the genesis of mineralisation. but may also involve other issues such as development of weathering profiles. structure and mineralisation distribution. the geologists continually formulate hypotheses. geological investigations using the myriad tools listed in Figure 2 are all ultimately aimed at constraining either geological processes (eg genesis of ore) or geometry. albeit constrained by our understanding of processes. Gold assays are generally aimed at determining the presence or geometry of mineralisation during exploration phases. and result in the refinement of geological models or the generation of new geological models. as to the location of mineralisation for example. While genetic models and understanding of mineralisation processes GEOMETRY MODEL BASE DATA SOURCES Lithology Distribution Grade Distribution GEOPHYSICS magnetics gravity seismic geostats metals lithogeochem ALTERATION GEOCHEMISTRY MAPPING STRUCTURE petrography stable isotopes DRILLING Structure Distribution radiogenic isotopes fluid/ solute sources wholerock assays geothermometry mineral and stability and composition geobarometry fluid inclusions cross-cutting relationships kinematic analysis geochronology P-T-X PARAGENESIS Alteration processes/ petrogenesis Controls on Ore (metal deposition) GENETIC MODEL (process) KKG/bw2008/27March2000 FIG 2 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. What is it that geologists can add to the mining process? What are the real issues that they address? Today’s geologists have a plethora of geoscientific investigation techniques and datasets at their disposal (Figure 2). not a model pusher. Qld. in addition to their use to quantify resources at a later stage. stable isotopes. as they are the critical issues from this point through to the mine development stage. whereas kinematic analysis of oriented core is focussed on understanding structural processes that controlled the genesis of ore. We emphasise the importance of focussing on process versus models in these investigations. Structural analysis of orebodies is aimed at determining the geometry of ore. What geologists do – geometry vs genesis In the opinion of the authors. fluid inclusions. and thus where to direct data collection effort.DYNAMIC LINKS BETWEEN GEOLOGY AND THE MINING PROCESS Geological processes and genesis of orebodies THE GEOLOGIST’S TOOLKIT — WHERE IS IT THAT GEOLOGISTS ADD VALUE TO THE MINING PROCESS? Geological processes that are investigated generally address controls on mineralisation. and determine what types of data they will require to test the hypothesis or better predict where mineralisation may occur. Genetic models are essential in that they form a framework in which we can visualise and understand geological processes. The effective geologist must be a model-builder. For example. or decay of mineralised waste at surface (acid mine drainage). in order to make predictions as to the potential location of mineralisation (ore genesis). The search for evidence that mineralisation processes have occurred based on our understanding of ore genesis dominates in the exploration phase (Figure 3). has begun to dominate the exploration psychology (Figure 3). However. the empirical determination of lithology.

inadequate understanding of the geometry of mineralisation is one of the critical contributors to resource risk. geometry and risk inputs through the exploration to operation phases of mine development. utilising the tools at their disposal in the ‘geologists’ toolkit’ (Figure 2. with the tasks of geology interpretation. Although often undertaken in an ad hoc manner. geotechnical engineering and mine planning and metallurgy being carried out Coolum. 14 .T C McCUAIG. Figure 4 emphasises the role of the geologists in the mining process. Risk analysis and geology A third issue that geologists’ address is technical risk (Figure 3). The fundamental contribution of geologists is to contribute a 3D geological model. Figure 5 emphasises that other subdisciplines of the mining process must be considered throughout the reserve estimation process. are important to delineation of extensions to ore and near-mine to far-field exploration efforts. Examples of key issues facing downstream users that can have material effects on projects. For example. models. an understanding of processes is still important (eg understanding structural processes and kinematics as an aid to interpreting correct geometry of mineralisation). In assessing geological processes. Qld. and geometric interpretations. resource modelling. Note that the inputs of various subdisciplines overlap. and can lead to material errors in resource delineation and estimation. and into which geologists can have significant inputs. Figure 4). and the tools at their disposal. how exactly does the geologist fit into the mining process? 12 THE MINING PROCESS Components of the mining process The mining process comprises a number of subdisciplines and stages. This reserve estimation process runs in parallel with the stages in the mining process outlined in Figures 3 and 4. To illustrate some of the dynamic links between geology and the mining process. Nevertheless.Process. they are not as critical to resource estimation and optimisation. Such objective analysis is critical for effective risk evaluation of resources. Furthermore. are listed in Table 1. and have strong links in these areas. as it results in improper stationarity decisions for resource estimation. having outlined the issues that geologists can potentially constrain. such assessment by geologists determines the risk (uncertainty x consequence) associated with both the empirical determinations of geometry and the understanding of genetic processes discussed previously. as we outline below. J VANN and C SEYMOUR high RELATIVE CONTRIBUTION/VALUE OF GEOLOGICAL INPUTS Major Financial Consequences Profit Margin Maximised Opportunity Costs RISK ASSESSMENT UNDERSTANDING OF 3D GEOMETRY UNDERSTANDING OF GEOLOGICAL PROCESSES Geologist must begin considering end user inputs very low Grass Roots Exploration Advanced Development Prospect Drilling (realisation that a significant resource is present) Prefeasibility Bankable Feasibility (Financing Due Diligence) Startup Operations PHASE OF MINING PROCESS KKG/bw2009/27March2000 FIG 3 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . we use the example of the resource estimation process as outlined in Figure 5. full genetic understanding of mineral deposits is rarely reached even after the resource has been fully exploited. For example whether a deposit is intrusion-related or not is usually immaterial to its successful development … in fact. Many of such high risk issues in mining projects can be significantly ameliorated through the focussed application of sound geology. it is remarkable in the authors’ collective experience how often this cross-fertilisation between the various disciplines is not accomplished. which are summarised in Figure 4. and how their understanding of geometry and geological processes directly or indirectly impacts on the various mining subdisciplines. The ore reserve estimation process as an example Each aspect of the mining process has dynamic links with geology. So. Believing that a geological interpretation of geometry is true will not make it so. Geology is the one discipline that links strongly throughout the mining process. While examination of Figures 3 through 5 may suggest that this is obvious. Geologists can significantly contribute to the risk assessment process through an understanding of the issues facing the downstream users of geology inputs. an objective rather than subjective approach is the key.

etc) MINING STRATEGY KPI Comparison Option Decision to spend $ RETURN TO SHAREHOLDERS KKG/bw2007/27March2000 FIG 4 .Disciplines and stages in the mining process. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.17 May 2000 13 . schedule. emphasising major linkages. 14 . Qld.DYNAMIC LINKS BETWEEN GEOLOGY AND THE MINING PROCESS petrography geophysic mapping drilling lithology distribution structure distribution geochemistry grade/alteration distribution Structural Analysis 3D GEOLOGICAL MODEL Target Generation/ ranking Genetic Model Alteration Processes Extensions to ore sterilisation Exploration Strategies KPI 3D Structure and Lithology Stationarity Decisions Geostatistics variography re Metallurgy (petrography) controls on ore minerals co ve ry Mineral Processing Strategy Water Levels and Structures 3D distribution estimation rock mass character stress model water chemistry Geotechnical Domain Model 3D Resource Model resource classification Waste Character and Management Reservoirs smu mining method cut-off grade water amount Hydrogeology Model water balance Environmental Strategy mine closure mining footprint MINERAL BALANCE SHEET (reserves. costs.

Understanding of mineralisation processes for inputs to near mine exploration/sterilisation. Sub-discipline/aspect Key contribution Examples of where geologists can make a difference Geology/resource delineation . Items in bold type represent potentially material risks. processing technology and procedures Recovery model and processing strategy Environmental Environmental strategy Petrography of mineralisation from early stages to help constrain mineralogical nature and controls on distribution of any refractory ore Assay for more than primary commodity (penalty elements. Installation of piezometers (relatively cheap) for water level information over as wide an area as possible from early exploration stages can save significant dollars at the feasibility stage by not having to redrill hydrogeology-specific holes Accurate delineation of potential aquifers/aquacludes (structural. Qld. slope and support considerations Geotechnical domain model Knowledge of geotechnical domain logging Attention to nature. particularly noting where geology can help constrain ore/waste blocks (eg highly visible alteration assemblages. Aim is to provide best geometric + genetic mine planning model possible . density and distribution of structures and lithology AWAY from mineralisation (eg pit walls) Identification of high-risk geotechnical domains Attention to geotechnical data collation during infill drilling can significantly reduce costs Hydrogeology/water balance Hydrogeological model Attention to collation of water data during exploration. Geostatistics/resource estimation 3D grade distribution estimation block model Well constrained 3D geometry model to aid in stationarity decisions (correct shapes. 14 Coolum.T C McCUAIG. prominent ore-controlling structures) Continued improvement of geological model for multiple iterations and continued optimisation of resources and mine plans. acid neutralising material for design of waste management strategies Identification of any high concentrations of environmentally sensitive elements Mine planning Mineral balance sheet Life of mine plan Robust geometric model and genetic model to prioritise conversion of resources and reserves. S for Cu deposits) helps to get a handle on their spatial distribution before feasibility Early identification and distribution of potentially acid-forming material. properly assess sterilisation of infrastructure sites Delineation of critical areas of risk in geometry interpretation that could affect scheduling/reserve conversion Assistance in defining potential selectivity of mining Definition and subtleties of weathering profile Overall risk assessments Operations Effective execution and optimisation of mine plan Design of adequate grade control procedures in conjunction with geostatisticians. J VANN and C SEYMOUR TABLE 1 Techical subdiscliplines of the mining process amnd where geology impacts upon them.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . identify potential extensions to ore. position and classification of boundaries) Close liaison throughout resource estimation.3D geological model for inputs into resource and Fully utilise geologist's toolkit to constrain both geometry and genesis of ore. environmentally sensitive elements. particularly in variography stages to clearly communicate geometric controls on ore Proofing of resultant block model to verify that it is geologically sensible Sound geology can severely impact on resource classification and reduce technical risk Geotechnical engineering/rock mass characterisation. 14 . lithological) Metallurgy and process engineering/ore recoveries. Co.

Social & Govt. Thus. in isolation from each other. In the example presented in Table 2. In the current economic climate with low commodity prices. Economic. resources recalculated and reclassified. Marketing.DYNAMIC LINKS BETWEEN GEOLOGY AND THE MINING PROCESS Iterations of Technical. Risk and Sensitivity Assessments Ore Reserve Estimation. Production & Reconciliation Input Laboratory Geology Geostatistics Geotechnical Hydrogeology Mining Engineering (Mine Planning) Metallurgy Marketing Environmental Financial Legal. and hopefully mitigate risk in all aspects of mining much more tightly. Social & Government KKG/bw2004/28March2000 FIG 5 . A geologist should focus inputs to those issues that could have a material impact on projects. manage. GEOLOGISTS SHOULD LEAD THE WAY The authors’ contention in this paper has been that geology is presently under-utilised in the mining process. and mine designs altered to optimise the project. As more information is gained during mining. Such insular approaches minimise the benefits of cross-fertilisation and significantly increases the technical risk and probability of fatal flaws in mineral projects. Legal.17 May 2000 15 . geologists do fully utilise the ‘toolkit’ at their disposal to address these issues. Metallurgical. 14 . and that more emphasis on constraining the structural controls on ore and the refractory nature of ore are required. Results of geological assessment of project risk must then be effectively communicated to other disciplines and management. Such tables rating the quality of geological inputs can be constructed for any or all aspects of the mining process. 3. yet this is rarely the case. Qld. RISK ASSESSMENT AND GEOLOGY Given the keystone aspect of geology in the mining process outlined in the previous sections.The ore reserve estimation process. This arises because geologists by nature tend to be more interested in the genetic and theoretical side of mineral deposits (most geologists did not enter geology specifically to become mining geologists. Presentation in this format clearly communicates where the risks lie and allows management to quickly comprehend the issues and decide where to commit resources to add value to projects. geologists do not focus their inputs to prioritise issues with potential material effects on projects. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Effective risk management focuses on issues that could lead to material errors in mineral projects (high uncertainty and high financial consequence). Mineral Resource Estimation. and because few geologists have a full appreciation of the concepts of how geology fits within the mining process as outlined above. with an appreciation of where geology inputs impact on the mining process. geology models (geometric and genetic) are improved. there is even more opportunity for cross-fertilisation and geology inputs are critical throughout the life of mine. Environmental. 2. such input can make or break projects. Geologists often tend to focus their investigations into areas that do not maximise value received versus expenditure of time and money. or even to be involved in the mining industry). It is also imperative to recognise that the mining process is iterative right through to the operational phase. and therefore where they can contribute more effectively to downstream users in mineral project development. geologists do not effectively communicate their results to the rest of the mining community. since projects are not a single pass through Figures 3 . it is clear that the geological inputs to the resource estimation are rated at moderate to high risk. and 4. Risk matrices are useful ways to accomplish this (Table 2). Classification & Reporting Monitoring the Resources and Reserves Grade Control. it is natural that geologists should be instrumental in the evaluation of technical risk on projects. However. Coolum. most geologists do not fully understand the mining process. a geologist can provide quality inputs to the above categories to evaluate. Financial and Risk Assessments Activity Exploration and Data Collection Modifying Factors Statistical Analysis.5. This situation has arisen through a combination of some or all of the following factors: 1. Classification & Reporting Geological Interpretation and Modelling Mining.

Weathering has not been consistently logged. 3. low high high medium high high medium low Insufficient analysis of controls on refractory ore. and controls on oreshoots are unconstrained. and treat them as your ‘clients’. contributing high and potentially material error to the project. The structural interpretation is poorly constrained. shortening of timelines to start-up. However. Realise which will be potentially material in nature (prioritisation of high risk issues). Risks are classified as low = little risk to project. 16 3. 4. However. but contributes only moderate risk as most of resource is in fresh rock. oreshoots. these various aspects of the mining process. medium-high medium 1. Focus geology data collection.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Due to the uncertainty in thestructural interpretation. Weathering surfaces have not been adequately defined. While the lack of appreciation of the potential applications of geology is widespread throughout the industry. By being aware of and addressing issues such as those outlined in Table 1 early in the process. Communicate the results to ‘clients’ or project team members (downstream users) in a practical format (eg risk matrix). the controls on refractory ore are poorly understood in the fresh rock (the bulk of the resource). and especially the latter point. the position of major boundaries for purposes of resource estimation may be in error. Identify the major issues facing the downstream processes/users. Become familiar with the geologist’s toolkit. Structural logging is inadequate due to poor core orientation. due to structural information quality.T C McCUAIG. it is necessary to adopt a mining process mindset and address these issues at the earliest possible stage of resource delineation. The ore is variably refractory. and technical risk reduction can be achieved. 14 . this could potentially have a material effect on reserve estimation. This is viewed as a high-risk issue that may have a material effect on the resource estimation. 2. is that the other mining disciplines do not fully appreciate where sound geology can assist them in their respective tasks. but non-material risk to project and high = potentially material risk to project. The geologists’ challenge is to utilise an appreciation and understanding of the complete mining process as outlined in Figure 2 through Figure 5 in a five-fold approach: 1. significant cost benefits. The end result of this. high medium low Geological domains for resource estimation purposes are only loosely defined due to uncertainty in structural interpretation. The recent economic climate has resulted in a severe downturn in the geology profession. and educate themselves in. In addition. 5. Fully understand what investigative techniques are at your disposal and what technical issues they can possibly constrain. and misinterpretation of shallow mineralised links between steeper major shear zones. interpretation and inputs to address these high-risk issues. limitations and required inputs. We emphasise that this can only be achieved through close liaison between all mining subdisciplines. Given the variably refractory nature of the ore. The controls on mineralisation. Development sampling is inadequate for estimation. Mapping/logging quality Lithology Structure1 Alteration Weathering Geology interpretation Lithology Structure2 Controls on mineralisation/ alteration3 Weathering surfaces Understanding of nature of refractory ore4 Stationarity decisions Position of domain boundaries5 Nature of boundaries low medium low medium Structure interpretation is poorly constrained. and variation in mineralogy with host rock is poorly understood. Requires petrography on representative samples. and contributes high and potentially material risk to the project. each with a mutual appreciation of the other’s abilities. 5. Coolum. medium = moderate. Take an avid interest in. but has not been used in estimation Specific gravity data low low low n/a Specific gravity data is of acceptable quality Assay data low low low low Assay data is of acceptable quality low high medium medium low medium low medium low low low low Structural logging is of poor quality due to poor orientation quality and logging techniques. 2. Drill campaign 1 also employed incorrect structural logging techniques. with recoveries increasing with degree of weathering. the onus is on geologists to lead the way towards more fully integrating geology with the mining process by increasing the awareness. it will not materially effect initial cash flows due to high Au recoveries in the weathered zone. Qld. Aspect of data/interpretation Survey data Contribution to Drill campaign 1 Drill campaign 2 overall project risk Development Comments low low low low Survey data is of high quality Sampling procedures medium medium low low Sampling procedures are adequate for resource estimation purposes. 4. J VANN and C SEYMOUR TABLE 2 Example of a risk matrix for geological inputs into a resource estimation. benefits and ultimately status of geology in mining.

Stephenson. Nevada. S Jackson and an anonymous reviewer are thanked for critically reviewing the manuscript. The Exploration Industry – Economic Geology Research interface: A review of its current status and vision for the future.17 May 2000 17 . P R and Vann. J Mower and P Sansom are thanked for assistance in assembling this document. 2000. 14 . J M A. 1998. T C and Hronsky. J. McCuaig. Qld.DYNAMIC LINKS BETWEEN GEOLOGY AND THE MINING PROCESS ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS REFERENCES The authors wish to thank their many colleagues within SRK and clients worldwide who have contributed to their understanding of the role of geology inputs to the mining process. pp 435-441 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Common sense and good communication in mineral resource and ore reserve estimation. Drafting of figures was provided by Kerry King Graphics. September 2000. SEG workshop. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. in Proceedings PACRIM ‘99. Reno.

R J Henham and A G Shellshear 27 Sampling Practice at the Vera Nancy Gold Mine D Sims 35 Leachwell Versus Fire Assay: Comments from Assay Quality Assurance at Tarmoola Gold Mine D J Elder 43 . G R Howard and G Back 21 Technical Data Management at Porgera A W Burgess.Sampling and Databases Systems and Protocols of Geological Information Management at Telfer Gold Mine. Western Australia R D Carlson. J R Foley.

The Telfer Gold Mine is a world-class gold/copper mine in the remote northwest of Western Australia. Update and retrieval times were becoming too long and data security was becoming a concern with nearly two Coolum. 1999. Management effort to provide adequate data systems and protocols has driven the system from concept to utilisation.17 May 2000 21 . is the single most valuable resource held by Telfer. The data reside in seven distinct databases with some local data remaining in Access. collation. assay. Version 6. financial. A part-time specialist SQL Server Database Administrator supports SQL Server. Communications A recent upgrade of the site cabling from coaxial to fibre optic has increased communication speeds from 10 Mb/s to 100 Mb/s. MAusIMM. when utilised in the proper manner provide up-to-date data analysis for resource audits and contract negotiations. It currently uses NT servers and Windows based client machines. The data include drilling. The improved productivity. The data that have been collected can then provide geological. The Telfer Gold Mine Geology Department has developed a series of inter-related database systems in order to manage the core geology business issues.Systems and Protocols of Geological Information Management at Telfer Gold Mine. flexible and cost efficient data storage system capable of minimising business risk through appropriate loss control systems. geological. Owing to performance. and has been operating for 20 years. Systems such as the drill hole and QAQC databases. purchasing. then focus on Quality Assurance Quality Control data as an example of loss control in practice. Geological data have been collected at Telfer since 1973. geological logging. PO Box 6380. survey. Databases relating to drill hole planning. 2000). quality control (QAQC).5. now hosted in SQL Server. SQL Server will be upgraded to Version 7 in the near future. Data were loaded. Newcrest Mining Ltd. and validated and now have a high level of confidence. is the hub for all geology related data management systems. drill contract management. Geology Department. This has substantially improved reliability and performance. the front-end databases are now fully converted from Access 2 to Access 97. Back Enterprises Pty Ltd. data integrity and data analysis capabilities provided by the new database systems at Telfer have allowed for greater confidence in decision making. and maintenance planning are based on the MIMS application system over an Oracle database. Geology Department. structural and geophysical data. The initial systems were developed in Access 2. Qld. security and reliability reasons the database was converted to Microsoft SQL Server version 6. Client Server The move to SQL Server was the result of the data storage and retrieval needs of Telfer exceeding Microsoft Access’s design limitations. 2. Microsoft Access Microsoft Access was adopted as the front end development tool for the databases because of the low technological demands and likely future development life cycle ensuring the database will have a long shelf life. Telfer Gold Mine is a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited. accounting (standard costing. All laptops including rugged logging computers used for field based logging utilise Access 97. This paper describes the individual systems and protocols of geological data capture at Telfer. Principal accounting and operations management systems such as payroll. Originally discovered in 1971 and mined since 1975. and manage loss control on a large world-class mine such as Telfer Gold Mine. Loss control systems are required to provide capacity. flexibility. Telfer Gold Mine. and has since been progressively upgraded on an as needs basis. Newcrest Mining Ltd. SYSTEMS ARCHITECTURE Network A PC network was established at Telfer in the late-1980s. This drill hole database. robust. standardisation and validation of the historic data was completed. Guildford WA 6055. re-coded. Telfer is a mature mine that has produced in excess of 5. 10 James Street. This paper aims to describe the individual systems and protocols of geological data capture at Telfer. Western Australia R D Carlson1. and contractual information to optimise management of business best practice. Enhancement of hardware at both client and server ends of the process has improved productivity and reduced frustration arising from response delays and failed processes. reformatted. Data management has evolved through many systems with data stored on many different hardware and software platforms. environmental. All client machines were recently upgraded to 300 Mhz Celeron processors or better and NT4 operating systems during the Y2K upgrade project. Commencing in 1995. with focus on specific Quality Assurance Quality Control data as an example of loss control in practice. 14 . and environment rehabilitation have all been developed to manage loss control. forecasting. invoice reconciliation). PO Box 6380. The loss control systems are essential to maintain confidence in data integrity and hence directly effect the future of mining at Telfer. This has resulted in the first Access based drill hole database incorporating all available drilling data. The revised protocols established in the past two years have been focussed on providing a modern. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The database established to store current and historic drilling records. The mine is located in a remote area of NW Western Australia. 1. 3. INTRODUCTION Control of avoidable loss in the management system is one of the few remaining areas of business with major cost-reduction potential – DNV. East Perth WA 6004. The system currently stores in excess of two million assay records and 1.5 million drill hole geological records. The mine is currently undergoing a major review to define extensions to the existing open pittable and underground resources.5 now forms the datastore for all databases with shared data. structure and management tools to enhance data interrogation. For Y2K compliance and 32-bit capability.7 million ounces of gold (Howard et al. G R Howard2 and G Back3 ABSTRACT Management of information systems for data collection is essential to maintain data integrity and continuity. East Perth WA 6004. Telfer Gold Mine. SQL Server The existing data were converted to a standardised database over several years.

All planning information is recorded in the drill hole database to validate the pick up of the surveyed collar and end of hole information. The planning index records all details of drill hole planning including collar coordinates. Qld. All historic colour slide images are being scanned for ease of access in data validation and geological interpretation Integrated security NT network security has been implemented so that SQL Server will permit only appropriate access levels based on the permission’s assigned to the network logon. and database management by custom written Access applications such as the Face Sampling database via ODBC. The drill hole database links drill samples to the relevant image file. This is part of the validation process. Hole planning can be also be adjusted to factor extraordinary circumstances such as access to benches affected by production requirements.R D CARLSON. dip. working time chargeable and non-chargeable are recorded. Forecasting is then estimated using predefined drilling rates.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Data are assigned for update by authorised staff. Drill control Drill control is a database that stores information relating to all chargeable and non-chargeable items affecting drilling rigs. predicted depth and accounting cost centres. ODBC Online Data Base Connectivity is a standard initiated by Microsoft and now supported by many products including SQL Server. precision cost control system. consumables used. the security. The replication is managed by SQL Server and is reliable. The system incorporates estimations of time taken to move between sites. as the front end. The images are filed electronically and are available for on-line review on the network. Core tray image processing is now a routine part of the data management process. 14 . Forecasting The forecasting database is utilised to estimate and schedule the drilling programs. Drilling type such as reverse circulation (RC) pre-collared diamond drill holes are defined so that the holes can be scheduled. Integration of data generation by modelling products such as Surpac. Details of drill hole sequence by drill rig are entered. Accounting cost centres are defined automatically from grid coordinate data. Geologists transfer the drilling performance information supplied on daily drilling shift record sheets (plods) on a daily basis. azimuth. All information related to metres drilled. Imaging All core photographs are now captured in JPEG (a compressed image format) files. Access. Surpac. provides time saving and reduces error. and SQL Server as an intelligent back end. DATABASES Planning index The planning index is utilised as a front end to the data handling process for all drill holes planned at Telfer (Figure 1). Sensitive data can be restricted by the network logon. This provides an up-to-date. If data vary from planned details then senior staff are required to sign off on changes. etc. drill hole locations determine hole numbering with the database assigning sequential numbers to holes drilled on the same section northing. Replication The Drill Hole Database is replicated between Perth and Telfer and is equally available for review and extraction at either end. G R HOWARD and G BACK million records in the database. agreeing to the disparity. MapInfo. reasonably quick and does not appear to place undue traffic on Perth-Telfer Communications. 22 Coolum. with read only for other staff. With a separation of roles between Access. and to convert from RC to diamond on multi-purpose rigs.System map. performance and network traffic outcomes have been significantly improved. Summaries of costs System Map Planning Index Drill Control Invoice Reconciliation Forecasting/ Standard Costs SURPAC / DATAMINE DHDB Barcoding Rehabilitation Geological Logging Staging QAQC Newcrest Mining Limited FIG 1 .

standards or splits (duplicates) data tables.17 May 2000 23 . The geological logging is split into five primary tables: • Alteration – mineral and intensity. Scatterplots are generated to check duplicate analyses. standards. sampling and preliminary downhole survey data (Eastman single shot). whist the collection and submission of RC samples in the field is the responsibility of the field assistant workgroup. surveying. These processes ensure that a chain of custody is established for all samples from the point of extraction to the point of delivery to the preparation laboratory. sample tracking. Laboratory data are recorded in assay. comments. including status of tracks. Qld. The data entry of information is validated as entered via look-up tables. The system has sophisticated reporting functions that enable graphing of information including drilling rates. MapInfo is used as a graphical database to record all information related to spatial information such as tracks and borrows pits. consumable usage and breakdown time. assaying intervals. and • Structure – width. into a temporary storage area. beginning and end of each hole. on the top of the bulk residue. laboratory. percentage. Information such as accurate collar survey. as the intervals associated with sampling of core are irregular. The barcoder software then calculates the number of samples and prompts users to scan printed barcode tags at the 4th International Mining Geology Conference The geological rehabilitation database (GRD) is a stand-alone database predominantly utilised on field computers. as well as printed out as a cutting sheet. Reporting on a monthly basis provides up-to-date monitoring of laboratory performance for management. and defined by the geologist. Once a RC hole has been completed. and barcoded for submission to the laboratory. It records auditing progress of rehabilitation on all drilling and area disturbances. attitude. and correct sequencing of the duplicates and standards. intensity. standard. The drilling contractors are responsible for the drilling and splitting of the hole. rock type. Linking to and updating from DHDB. with no missing bags. grainsize. and all samples are laid out. in order. packaged into calico bags. These logging codes have been derived using parameters defined over 20 years of logging drill holes at Telfer. This ensures correct numbering of sample bags. type. This has recently been migrated to the newly introduced corporate safety system based on the Site Safe package and MIMS HR system. Samples are either assayed at Telfer or pulps are transported to a commercial laboratory in Perth. Field checking is used to provide the audit details about requirement for further rehabilitation earthworks. • Veining – type. Data such as area of disturbance and nature of soil types are used to provide a quantitative estimate on cost per item to allow for calculation of total environmental liability. The sampling information is then written to the barcode read ready file which is uploaded to the barcoder. and downhole survey data are added incrementally as the data become available. The task required the re-coding of over 1600 different historic codes into the new codes. returned assay data. the hole data are printed. a field assistant enters information into a handheld barcoder that records the name of the hole. Details such as nature of work and cost codes are utilised to reconcile invoices against appropriate budget cost centres. Environmental rehabilitation Sampling All samples are prepared at the in-house Telfer Laboratory. sampling. The drill hole process commences with generation of a drill hole name formulated in the planning index. and defines the sampling intervals in the geological logging software. These paper records are then stored in a comprehensive filing system. Assay barcoding Invoice reconciliation RC drilling A system utilising barcoding technology has been developed to track all drill samples from field collection to the assay lab. sample dispatch. and occurrence. and splits tables within the primary database. Functionality includes plotting of time line graphs by date range. • Lithology – stratigraphy. fabric. The database is used to provide accurate guides for calculation of end of month accruals. DHDB records all information relating to geological logging. Occupational health and safety An interim system was developed to record details of safety incidents and injuries. The system is used to enter all geological. colour. • Mineralisation – mineral. The invoice reconciliation database is primarily utilised to record contract personnel daily or weekly time sheets. Once all records have been received from the individual sources. and assaying for every hole drilled at Telfer. The system also has an area for entry of field-split duplicates and standards. 14 . This was revised to its present form in 1998. texture. which are passed to the MIMS system. Core is cut and sampled to these intervals. Further validation is completed as the data are transferred to the primary database. width. and validated by the senior geologist. All assay records are merged from digital files. Geological logging The geological logging codes and tables record all data from logging of drill hole chips and core. drill collar positions are initially populated from the database records. These plots and associated summary printouts are utilised to audit assay batches for accuracy and precision of element analysis.SYSTEMS AND PROTOCOLS OF GEOLOGICAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT to-date can be calculated. oxidation. both before and after the tags are attached to the calico sample bags. The samples are delivered to sample preparation and the barcoder is returned to the office for data downloading and validation against the drill hole database. geological logging. and the invoices from drilling companies reconciled against the shift record information. Coolum. attitude. The geological logging database is used on laptop computers for entry of data in the field. Details of all laboratory job number and technique details are stored in the DHDB assay registry. and drill hole coordinate information if required. Diamond drilling The sampling of diamond drill core is handled slightly differently. In this case the geologist logs the core. Statistics summarising sample and standard submission are generated in a reporting function. Drill hole The drill hole database (DHDB) is the key process that links all the other systems (Figure 1). When an appropriate point is reached the sampling information is downloaded to the server. and assay element. the total depth. Quality Assurance and Quality Control (QAQC) Quality assurance of analytical results is monitored via a database linked to the assay.

A batch of results from a diamond drill hole was returned with incorrect multi-element values for the inserted standards. levels of 200 . Ni. The systems developed for Telfer Gold Mine provide relevant information for management of key performance indicators.Re-assay of drill hole sample S-ICP results. The examples that follow were discovered following routine checks implemented as part of the monthly QAQC reporting procedures. This procedure was apparently incorrectly applied to the weighing out of the wet chemistry pulp. and reserve or resource estimations. not just the primary drivers such as gold or copper. Francois-Bongarcon et al. assay accuracy and precision. 1997). These data were supplied and re-inserted into the database. which involved data files over a period of approximately 12 months. S. Pb. The laboratory finally found that the batches were biased by the use of a commercial de-flocculant used in settling of sediments prior to ICP analysis. G R HOWARD and G BACK Case 2: Lab sample handling error QAQC LOSS CONTROL EXAMPLES Laboratory analytical accuracy and precision case histories are well documented in a number of recent proceedings and papers (AusIMM-AIG. 14 . The laboratory was asked to re-calculate sulphur levels for all batches effected by the use of that particular de-flocculant. every standard had the multi-element results from the following sample. sulphur was not included in the analysis. that 1:50 pulps were to have wet sizing analysis completed to check grinding adequacy. Qld. The QAQC system now established at Telfer has a well-defined role in attempting to lower the risks associated with ore resource and reserve estimation by ensuring that analytical data are within specifications. The laboratory was asked to explain the reasons for the disparity in results. As.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . or safety incident reporting) have the potential to identify areas for improvement in costs. the following sample was chosen instead. The de-flocculant was originally checked for all metals such as gold and base metals prior to use in the laboratory. Zn) all lacked any correlation to the expected results. safety. Re-as s ay of drillhole s ample S-ICP res ults 8000 7000 6000 5000 4000 3000 2000 Bias=~19% 1000 0 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 7000 8000 Original S-ICP (ppm) Newcrest Mining Limited FIG 2 . Shaw. This highlights the need to be vigilant on all elements utilised in resource estimation. 24 Coolum. 1996. some of which were from original assaying occurring 18 months earlier. The laboratory had a policy that if the 50th sample was a low weight sample. The laboratory investigated the causes and found that an operator had not followed correct pulp handling procedures. however.R D CARLSON. Thus depending on the concentration of the de-flocculant. A procedure has been established with the laboratory. and took the following sample and placed the weighed pulp from it into the test tube for the preceding sample. The check results of the sulphur (by mixed acid digest-ICPOES) were plotted against the original results and found to have a 19 per cent negative bias (Figure 2). 1999. CONCLUSIONS The systems established at Telfer are examples of loss control mechanisms. All data generated by the Geology Department (eg drill company performance. Case 1: Sulphur bias A sulphur bias was recognised in a number of batches from a commercial laboratory when checks were run following a disparity in background levels between close spaced drill holes. The operator came across low weight samples (in this case always a standard). The gold values were all within acceptable limits but the multi-element ICP suite (ie Cu.2000 ppm S were introduced to the analyte. This procedural error would not have been detected without checking the multi-element signature of the standards. Thus.

Shaw.SYSTEMS AND PROTOCOLS OF GEOLOGICAL INFORMATION MANAGEMENT ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This paper is published with the permission of the CEO of Newcrest Mining Limited. pp 135-142 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Long. Francois-Bongarcon. Coolum. DNV. 14 . P.AIG. Good Project . Current geological understanding of the Telfer Gold Mine.Wrong Assays: Getting sample preparation and assaying right! Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG Publication No 27). 2 Day Leadership Training Manual. A. Leary. WA. Moffitt. S and Tomset. C. 1999. Moore. 1996. 1999. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Howard. 2000. in Proceedings The Resource Database Towards 2000 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Kirchner. Coupland. Hansen. H M.quality control program. REFERENCES AusIMM . Illawarra Branch: Wollongong). 1997. Inglis. S D and Parker. R. Validation of sampling and assaying quality for bankable feasibility studies. Assay quality assurance . Det Norske Veritas Consultancy Services. in Proceedings 4th International Mining Geology Conference. T. G R. R D. D M. Mineral Resources Development Inc. I. D. Carlson. W J. Unpublished DNV Training Manual. Qld.17 May 2000 25 .

PNG. Cairns Qld 4870. Forestdale Qld 4118. with waits of 30 minutes or longer for the retrieval of assays from a file containing 500 000 records (1400 underground holes). all lithological mineralogical and structural descriptions were reduced to 13 two number codes. Qld. The majority of this gold is refractory and associated with pyrite (iron sulphide). geotechnical. before neutralisation and discharge. The acquisition cost for obtaining geological. Over the past seven years this data has been consolidated into a single centralised. some 50 000 blastholes per year. variably formatted files associated with the different application programs. geotechnical and environmental datasets required to manage the various phases of project development are considerable. Often interpreted data rather than the raw data were stored. With a formatted dataset file required by each application program. Porgera. The inability to access this data with confidence. The reserve is contained within a measured and indicated resource of 166. west of Mt Hagen in PNG is a large open pit and underground operation currently producing gold at the rate of almost one million ounces per year. 14 .2 g/t. MAusIMM. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Principal – Software Design Consultants PL. The datasets used were often incomplete and simplified from the data collected. Data transfer to application programs and management systems is controlled by the centralised database. for example. relational database which now acts as the single reference point for all the technical application systems used for surveying. The datasets were also often fragmented with for example.4 million tonnes @ 2. Performance using the unindexed files was poor. This resulting technical ‘database’ is the primary link between the deposit itself. Mine production has been from both underground and open pit mining and since the decision to mine in 1988. R J Henham3 and A G Shellshear4 ABSTRACT The Porgera Gold Mine. will lead to delays. and the application programs and management and performance measurement systems on the other. 2. Mineralisation has occurred in two stages with mesothermal and epithermal events.4 million tonnes @3. environmental and production reporting data. The speed. Proper data storage systems empowers project management to maximise the return on project investment by making timely and confident operating and investment decisions. Technical management of this operation involves the interrogation of some 700 000 metres of diamond drilling. Ore processed in the mill is oxidised using autoclaves. The open pit fleet consists of four O&K RH200 shovels and 31 Caterpillar 789 (175 tonne) trucks and associated ancillary equipment. Additional inferred resources of 14. this process at times involving a two-way. Each application program had its own specific format requirements and individual data storage using mostly sequential. which meant the data integrity. ease of access. A conserveritive estimate of drilling. The current mining procedure at Porgera involves drilling and blasting ten metre benches. binary data transfer. effectiveness and integrity of those decisions will therefore be affected directly by the accessibility and accuracy of that data. in an effort to provide a cash flow and to produce a profit. Senior Exploration Geologist – Porgera Joint Venture 4.0 g/t Au cut-off). Grade control is carried As depicted in Figure 1. Senior Resource Geologist – Porgera Joint Venture. about 139 km west northwest of Mount Hagen and is owned and operated by the Porgera Joint Venture. The value of project technical data needs to be recognised and consideration given to the cost-effective management of this data. inconsistent data sets stored inefficiently as individual. This replaced fragmented. Production is budgeted to mine approximately 210 000 tonnes per day.7 g/t (at a 1. and mixed with cyanide for extraction. real-time. J R Foley2. the database has allowed mine management at all levels to make timely. The Porgera Joint Venture has invested over $A1 billion in infrastructure in this project. INTRODUCTION THE ORIGINAL ENVIRONMENT AT PORGERA The Porgera gold mine is located in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.Technical Data Management at Porgera A W Burgess1. cash flow and optimisation decisions as it provides the primary link between the deposit and operational data sets on one hand. emplaced at shallow levels within Late Cretaceous and Early Tertiary sediments of the Papuan Platform. analysis and testing costs for the 70 km of drilling to-date is $A60 million.8 million ounces to-date and has current reserves of 103. Back-up and restoration of the datasets was limited to the daily system back-ups and no audit trial or the editing of the numerous copies of data sets and subset could be maintained. numerous people had access to the datasets. errors and re-work that can affect this cash flow and profit in very real (and large) terms.2 g/t Au are also identified on the property.8 million tonnes @ 3. Situated at an elevation of 2500 metres. unindexed. deposit evaluation and modelling. over 8. and performance in a multi-user environment. This resulted in duplication of data and data concurrency problems. separate files for underground and surface holes. production reporting. The benefits of a specialised database application include security and integrity of the data asset. grade control. and data security was always in question. This deposit has produced some 8.17 May 2000 27 . confident investment. (eg downhole surveys and averaged assays) removing the ability to check the validity of this data. unindexed files. Most importantly. Sample numbers were not recorded against assay records making auditing of results difficult. MAusIMM. and by determining the ore categories prior to mining. the original environment within the Porgera Technical Services Department consisted of some 14 application programs which each had specific areas of functionality. Published reserves at the end of December 1999 comprise 103. 1. Enga Province.2 g/t Au. This paper discusses the economic value and importance of technical data in terms of the resource asset and the means by which this data is being managed and used at Porgera.4 million tonnes @ 3.8 million ounces of gold has been produced. engineering. MAusIMM. PO Box 7050. and the decisions being made about that deposit. out by sampling blast holes. MAusIMM. the deposit is associated with oxidised Late Miocene alkalic intrusives of the Porgera Intrusive Complex (PIC). and very large volumes of laboratory. The problems with this original environment commonly caused delays and errors during project evaluation and optimisation. 3. Senior Mine Geologist – Porgera Joint Venture. 41 Abbey Street.

14 . This was subsequently christened the ‘Swiss army knife’ approach. Qld.Data duplication. and possess good audit and recovery functions. The Porgera Joint Venture’s management commitment to the project was strong. hardware was upgraded. money. that there were many application packages already in use on-site. On consideration of the major duplication and reformatting tasks inherent in the existing system. Electronic data transfer into the database and between application programs was to be used wherever possible. alluding to the attempt to find a single system that could be made to perform all tasks required of the applications.A W BURGESS. Management commitment was required to provide adequate resources in terms of staff and or consultants. and to be documented at each of these stages. availability. The system was to provide for high levels of data security. Like a Swiss army knife. It was quickly discovered however. This database was to serve data to all application programs in the required format and provide a multi-user access across the Technical Services network. Data accuracy was to be achieved by validation during data entry while the integrity of the data was to be maintained by various database tools. being a production reporting system and diamond drill hole database. Design and implementation of the system was to be modular to enable a staged development. stability. within which all data storage and manipulation would be performed. performance. as depicted in Figure 3. J R FOLEY. R J HENHAM and A G SHELLSHEAR Chaos FIG 1 . The model that was finally adopted was the centralised database model. Here all tasks related to management of the data are removed from the individual Coolum. transfer and reformatting between independent applications. and then an evaluation of the tools available with which to achieve this. an evaluation was performed firstly as to the conceptual model around which to build the system. several of which had merit in some area or other. consideration was first given to a fully integrated system. Figure 2 schematically represents this approach. INITIAL VISION The initial vision for the Porgera Technical Data Management system was to develop a single repository for all technical datasets. By this is meant the adoption of a major proprietary system such as Datamine. but did few individual tasks to the same level of capability as the specialist packages the mine was currently using. Vulcan. it was discovered that single integrated systems did many tasks in a passable manner. Funds were provided for the project to be developed and implemented by consultants to the specifications of site personnel. software and training. hardware. these were to be held within a relational database. Med Systems or Mincom system. and two Ingres database developments initially approved. 28 TECHNICAL APPROACH TO DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION Following completion of a vision for the project and the definition of the broad specification.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . time.

Fully integrated ‘one size fits all’ application.17 May 2000 29 . Qld.TECHNICAL DATA MANAGEMENT AT PORGERA Acme FIG 2 .Applications accessing a centralised data repository. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Ingres FIG 3 . 14 .

• protection of the database from system crashes through the use of rollback recovery. this is however completely encased in the Ingres environment and the application providing a single integrated interface for the users. Two examples of this type of manipulation are the calculation of ‘de-surveyed’ coordinates. which was a very slow task. again by transfer to a temporary transaction file. with real-time validation as appropriate.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Conventional ASCII data export is provided through CSV or Tab delimited files. and the addition of attribute tags to geological sample data. This data transfer is effected in a variety of formats. three classes of export mechanisms have been constructed. in addition to the normal systems backups performed by the on site systems administrators. Development environment The system was implemented primarily in a Unix based environment. with the resultant tags returned to the database for storage against the individual samples. The database applications have been developed using the Ingres ABF application development environment. for ‘tagging’. This removed the requirement for a large up front commitment on the part of management. • batch or on request validation tools designed to check the various database tables for things such as code validity. In order to achieve this. referential integrity and redundant codes. De-surveying involves the calculation of co-ordinate data for drill hole samples from the hole collar. with new data transferred to a temporary transaction table for validation prior to posting to the database. In certain situations dictated by size or complexity. with modifications and additions made as the project progressed. to provide additional access capabilities to the data. discrete modules. for example the Blasthole Grade Control Module. Two environments were established. with Ingres installed on a Unix server. and through the use of ad hoc SQL queries. both ASCII and binary. These two capabilities are proving very powerful tools for data management and evaluation.A W BURGESS. Validation and database integrity Management of the data once in the database is effected by a variety of tools including: • manual data editing screens. Qld. it is fully mouse-driven. related to the original data entry screens. Rigid adherence to the majority of practices common to relational database design has been important. Database design Design of the database has been evolutionary. • electronic transfer from on-line systems such as the laboratory. all database management is entrusted to the Server. geological. range checks. group. Export/Import functions In order to make use of the data in other applications. This trigonometrical exercise was previously performed in an external package. and sample depth. While this has now been superceded by the OpenRoad graphical environment. In some cases. a competent relational database management system was seen as a crucial central tool for the development. Development of one of the newer modules has been done in PowerBuilder. a systems design and documentation tool. ‘C’ or ‘C++’ is used for performance reasons. procedures. J R FOLEY. This is accomplished through a series of custom functions available through the system menus. primarily because it had already proved to be a very efficient. which can be used directly and immediately by Datamine. object or location basis. geotechnical or mining domains. a new database independent GUI development environment. down-hole surveys. were specified and developed and commissioned. An example is the Datamine binary de-surveyed format. Data manipulation functions A number of functions are provided for the manipulation of the data within the database. Special routines have been provided to write binary data files in the individual applications native format directly from the database. Tagging involves using the de-surveyed coordinates in conjunction with the wireframe models in Datamine to determine the inclusion or otherwise of samples within various structural. and 30 • transfer from other application systems such as Datamine A large number of standard selective reports are provided by the system for retrieval of hard copy data for a variety of purposes. This is achieved by passing a binary file to Datamine. Data entry Data entry for the system is achieved through three mechanisms: • conventional screen based manual data entry. This central system then serves data in the required format to the application packages on demand. This then allows the data to be segregated for statistical or other purposes. allowing development to proceed without any chance of interfering with the ‘real’ data. again with real time validation. Management of the database design has mostly been through the use of Visio Professional. and derived values. and • automation and tracking of the backup functions for the server systems. 14 . circumventing the time consuming data import. Following definition of the initial vision. and database dumps. Occasionally a third ‘acceptance’ environment is used to allow users to test new systems independently of the other two environments. While all of the databases can be accessed from the PC environment. in the Datamine native format. journalling and checkpointing. R J HENHAM and A G SHELLSHEAR application packages. and the Placer OP system. Additionally SQL can be used for ‘ad hoc’ reports for special purposes. and vested in a centralised custom-built database management system. Computer Associates Ingres was the database system chosen for the task. merge Coolum. • internal database security through restricted access and privileges assigned on a user. robust and reliable system at other Placer sites. • tools to prevent inadvertent or intentional corruption of the data through the implementation of database rules. the application packages then pass new or derived data back to the database for storage. Porgera have felt that the very stable and efficient character based environment offered by ABF is worth staying with. This application still sits over the Ingres database. The majority of the systems are written in the 4GL language of the Ingres database management system. dependent upon the source system. one for development and a second for the production databases. allowing the success of each module to become justification for the continued development effort. Reporting functions Development strategy A modular development strategy has been used throughout the project. and while this is an older ‘character based’ language. events and triggers.

Involvement of many staff members in the design. A more serious example is the linking of the blast hole grade control system in Datamine to the blast holes stored in the Ingres database. scatter plots. Live links are also provided to data in the database. 4th International Mining Geology Conference DDHS database (WANTOK) Used by all of the exploration. live links between the database systems and the graphical display tools such as Datamine allow immediate visualisation of the new data coming into the systems. Coolum. reporting and data management. All database storage and validation is done in Ingres and all manipulation and interactive design is done in Datamine/Guide. Real time validation of codes and depths of manually entered lithology logs occurs at data entry. Using the spatial tagging described above.TECHNICAL DATA MANAGEMENT AT PORGERA and de-survey functions normally required by Datamine. This has resulted in a large performance increase compared to working with the entire dataset in a non-relational database. • Documentation standards. Selective reports of individual holes or data identified above key values can be exported from the database for analysis in visual programs such as Guide or imported into statistical software for analysis. Grade control database (MARVIN) Management of blasthole and related data for use by the Datamine Grade Control System is the purpose of this module. The menus controlling flow through the system are implemented in a consistent working environment aiding training and provide intuitive usage. professional format. Development and testing procedures were developed and followed. Export of data for stereonet and Dips application programs is catered for. consumables. As interpretations change the new set of wireframes generated are used in the tagging module to update all relevant databases. The Database maintains a live link to the Datamine grade control program and includes a blasthole sample quality control system. This system. Documented standards ensured all documentation (hard copy and on-line) would follow a consistent. 14 . • Broad involvement. and comprises a repository for all drill hole data for exploration. Features include internal de-surveying functions and sample tagging against Datamine model domain and structure wireframes. reserve and mine planning staff. Sample numbers are cross-indexed with drill hole information to allow spatial location (necessary for modelling). and other application program requirements. this module will be discussed in more detail. SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT TO-DATE The Technical Services Departments involvement in relational databases commenced in 1994 with the development of a Production Reporting System for both the surface and underground operations. Since 1994 the following database functions have been added in a staged modular fashion. geotechnical and metallurgical interpretations to the spatial distribution of blasthole and drill hole samples. A prototyping approach was used in many areas to investigate use of new technologies. and planning daily mining tasks. This module provides storage functions for all geochemical and acid based accounting data. rig plod sheets. The project was managed as formal software development exercise through detailed specification and design of the overall framework and conventional functional modules. Sample information together with their tagged attributes can be exported for use in geostatsical. the drill hole database is the cornerstone of the overall system. • Formal development management. This data included multi-elements and acid based accounting analyses such as net acid neutralisation and pH ranges. Currently contains some 700 000 metres of largely diamond drill core. time-sheets and performance monitoring. It is used constantly as the primary tool for monitoring pit activities pertaining to grade control. The Drilling Management System consists of the following functional components: • new drill program and hole planning. allocation of holes to drill rigs. which effectively removes the need to export the data in the first place. and other evaluation tools forms the basis for all of the text based and graphical reporting and appraisal activities. Wireframe tagging provides a powerful means of relating geological. • New technology prototyping. Qld. assay and lithology tables. Both measured and interpreted values for collar survey and downhole survey locations are stored to provide a audit trail of modifications. the ARD data can be extracted by domain. maintainability and robustness of the software developed. it includes the storage of orientated core and traverse mapping information. • tracking of the drill hole preparation. • Standards and procedures. Links between this and the other modules. now constitute the data management environment in daily use for production planning. including drill pad set-out. The database currently contains some 500 000 blastholes which is increasing by around 50 000 holes per year. testing and implementation. for environmental management use. • tracking of the drilling progress for current drill holes. This is the largest module. Drilling management system (DRILLRODS) In order to provide an example of a development that provides management information. In addition. This has reduced a four-hour process to around ten minutes. to help model the optimum waste dump destinations for the material being mined. reserves and production control functions. Formal development standards were used to ensure consistency.17 May 2000 31 . Geotechnical database (ITAMBU) A more recent module for management of all on-site geotechnical data. Database interaction with Excel to produce graphs. etc. Acid rock drainage database (DIDIMAN) Acid rock drainage is a significant environmental management issue at the minesite. resource. A simple example is the ODBC access to the Ingres database from Excel for graphical display. Benches are selectively exported directly to Datamine via binary files for direct import into the mining software. The same approach to the verification of assays is used in DDHS database. Development management The following factors and activities were considered important for the development exercise. ie depth matching of collar. A holding file is used for temporary storage of assay files from the site laboratory so that matching to the blast hole location using the sample number occurs prior to updating of the primary assay table. drill rig movement and setup. Menu functions are run on a monthly basis to enable table referential integrity checking. along with the others discussed below. control.

secure. • Very high availability and stability of the databases takes the worry out of reporting. reliability. • Good access to data for other projects. including lithological logging. don’t fall into the trap of using technology for technologies sake. The monitoring of drill rig performance has improved the metres drilled against budget by 140 per cent. robust and reliable repository with a relational database. Upon return to the office download of this data would eliminate transcription errors and delays. LESSONS LEARNED • Understand the value of your technical data. technical drawings and PIMA traces. Coolum. Production reporting (MARK2) Reporting of open pit and underground production. currently under development. mill and production data. Continue to investigate new technologies. This system is envisaged to use a bar-code reader mounted to the GPS system being carried by a geologist or geological technician. implementation. Rover GPS systems have been proposed to download survey and hole information in the field. but approach the project in • • FUTURE DEVELOPMENT PLANS PJV has recently upgraded its accounting and supply systems management to the JD Edwards package. the application of new hardware technologies. data transfer and training. geotechnical logging. Don’t reinvent the wheel by trying to build into the database functionality that is better (and less expensively) handled by third party application packages. so the choice of good tools is not going to blow the project budget. but make an objective evaluation. • Allows technical staff to become more powerful data analysers rather than data gatherers and managers. which now involves two to three people rather than eight to ten. core photography. and recognise it is the primary link to your single major asset (the resource). • Integration of departmental data sources has seen a dramatic reduction in data entry and maintenance requirements. for example management of core storage. etc. sample remainder storage. Reconciliation (GRAVEYARD) Reconciliation of grade control. assays and lithology records into Datamine and then generating a de-surveyed XYZ binary file for Datamine display. We intend to investigate Object Oriented Multi-Media Database technologies for use in storage of a broader range of data such as. • High security of the data has prevented many of the ‘nasty little accidents’ that used to happen. and • utility functions for maintenance of the system. R J HENHAM and A G SHELLSHEAR • management and tracking of drill hole logging and sampling activities. Make sure the project remains focussed on the practical requirements of the project. sampling. Only embrace those that have a demonstrable practical application to your operation. • custom functions for such things as calculation of significant intersections. including periodical progress reporting. access control. and database integrity checking. along with export functions for passing data to other systems (eg Excel Graphing. • Restored confidence in data and in the evaluations derived from that data. geophysical logs. The spatial tagging of wire-frames against samples allows the rapid identification of samples and core for retrieval and further test work. A prototype of this system currently in use has proved very successful in quickly identifying some problems such as material allocation and stockpile management. and saving significant times in reporting tasks. OP system) are broadly used. the price of the DBMS software and the hardware will be only a small fraction of the total cost of the development. In addition. summary logging. lithology and sample quality control data. Instead. The system uses a database within the Modular Mining system and replaces the original Ingres production reporting system that had been in service for the past eight years. and serious hardware to allow performance. fibre channel architecture disk arrays will be reviewed. • reporting functions for program management. Reserves database (DOUG) Prototype built to provide database for storage of Reserves Block Models and related data to allow selective interrogation and retrieval by a variety of systems and users. This system has enabled a team of six geologists and 12 support staff to manage some 90 000 m/annum. security and room to grow. J R FOLEY. and the intention is to interface with this package and similar non-technical databases. Chose a serious database package. • Dramatically improved performance is saving significant time. Qld. 14 . lab coarse reject and pulp sample storage. Following are a list of some of the specific benefits deriving from the project to-date: • Real time functions for linking databases with other systems (eg Datamine Grade Control). and • collar and down hole survey management and adjustment. • Ensure management support for the project. backlog reporting for all aspects of the management role. • monitoring of data entry progress for the geological database. The new database system now writes this binary file directly in ten minutes. Scanning a tablet of options can accurately enter hole sample number. a process which used to take about eight hours. using the successes and lessons of each stage to improve the system development. surveys. and maintenance of reference tables for validation. because it will! In reality. build interfaces to allow these packages to access the data they need directly from your database. and identification of problems such as mismatches in sample numbers and lost samples. performance analysis. BENEFITS The single most significant benefit has been the centralisation of the technical data to a single. 32 • • a modular manner.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .A W BURGESS. scanning. An example is the Datamine drill hole de-survey process of loading drill hole collars. • sample management and tracking of laboratory assays. • Establish an initial overall vision. on developing systems that are of real use and value to the production and management staff. Utilities functions (ERIC) A collection of functions to aid different management areas. including security and integrity of the system. core photography and downhole geophysical logging. Sample dispatch forms can be automated from the sample numbers for transfer to the assay laboratory system.

TECHNICAL DATA MANAGEMENT AT PORGERA • Invest in training for staff to allow them to use these • resources to their true capacity. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The investment in the development of technical database management at Porgera has seen real productivity gains within the operation. Coolum. The results have exceeded our expectations and allowed PJV to get on with the job of finding and producing more ounces at less cost from what must be considered one of the world’s top gold deposits. and secondly resulting in an optimisation in the way in which the resource is managed and mined. Too many similar projects fail because they are simply thrown at a junior mining engineer or geologist without access to the real skill required. G J. in allowing technicians to perform technical and management tasks better. This second benefit is the one that pays the big dividends. 1986. REFERENCES Rock. A W. far overshadowing the smaller savings in mine engineers or geologists time. Hills A L and Corbett. Journal of South Asian Earth Sciences. The Porgera Deposit. It allowed a degree of integration between the central database and mining software. G A. E J. Williams. Petrological affinities of intrusive rocks associated with the giant mesothermal gold deposit at Porgera. Ensure that the projects are managed in the way any other serious project would be managed. Papua New Guinea. Papua New Guinea. Located data that has been validated and cross-referenced with other variables and can be extracted automatically or constrained by user queries for various data types or areas to be modelled. 14 . K L. Qld.17 May 2000 33 . Economic Geology. 4(3):247-257. 81:660-680. firstly directly. Handley. N M S and Finlayson. and a level of functionality that could not be achieved in any other fashion. make sure you use people with the relevant training and experience for the projects. Fleming. 1990. CONCLUSIONS The PJV Technical Database System has proved invaluable in increasing the ability to utilise valuable technical data sets.

kinks and splays both along strike and down dip (Figure 2). The orebody has a relatively low nugget effect for a gold mine (around 25 per cent) and this greatly assists in reducing sampling error and producing reliable assay data for production decision-making. By mid-1996 surface drilling on a 40 by 40 metre spacing had delineated an Inferred Resource of 1.Sampling Practice at Vera Nancy Gold Mine D Sims1 ABSTRACT The efficient and profit-maximising daily and long-term management of the Vera Nancy resource depends on decisions based upon assay data. chlorite. Vein margins are Coolum. Charters Towers Qld 4820. The methods and processes used have been developed to suit the nature of the deposits. 1997. The mill is located 4 km from the mine portal. Some parts of the veins are zones of brecciated mineralised vein material set in a low-grade or barren silicified matrix. Precious metal grain size averages around 40 microns with a range from 5 to 150 microns and is generally not visible to the naked eye. This paper examines the range of sample sources. Adularia is absent while the main carbonates are ferroan in composition. sericite and haematite. Pajingo Joint Venture.5 and 12 m and veins extend around 300 m down dip and along a 2100 m strike-length. 1990). 1998). The veins contain abundant epithermal textures such as colloform/crustiform banding. Movement on the faults during mineralisation allowed dilation leading to depressurisation. (Evans and Jones. DEPOSIT GEOLOGY The auriferous quartz veins are hosted by andesitic volcanics which are part of the Devonian . This was considered sufficient for the joint venture partners to proceed with self-funded mine development and infill underground drilling in advance of production at a scheduled rate of 220 000 t/yr to produce 90 000 oz Au and 100 000 oz of Ag annually. Reconciliation between mine and back-calculated mill grades generally sees the mine under-calling mill grades by around four per cent. Vera and Nancy North orebodies from March 1997.it is important to note core parallel veins in logging.01 g/t Au in andesite across a knife-sharp vein contact. The ore structures have been re-activated during later tectonic movement complicating orebody geometry in parts of the system. Where multiple veins occur generally one vein contains the dominant proportion of metal. the methods of sample collection. Mineralisation occurs dominantly as amalgams of gold and silver (electrum approximately 1:1 ratio) occurring as fine disseminated grains within quartz/carbonate veins. Vein width ranges between 0. A review of mine production rates during 1998-99 resulted in a mill expansion completed in October 1999 which increased mill capacity to 500 000 t/yr. Strike-slip faults with subhorizontal offsets have been intersected on some levels and are steeply dipping structures subparallel to the veins. 4th International Mining Geology Conference epithermal type which have essentially been emplaced along fault zones consisting of multiple fault planes. mixing and boiling of gold/silver bearing fluids within the structures. Richards et al. This paper refers to the on-going resource definition and grade control sampling work undertaken on the Nancy.7 Mt at 14 g/t Au to a depth of 400 metres over a 1. Alteration mineralogy in and around the quartz veins includes silica.5 km strike length. 1998). The field contains deposits of the ‘low-sulphidation’ 1. Oxidisation extends to around 70 m from surface and does not have a significant effect on the orebodies although some zones of deeper weathering occur within the upper parts of each deposit. The Vera Nancy mineralised trend was recognised in October 1994 and deep drilling in mid 1995 intersected significant ‘ore grade’ material. Normandy Mining Ltd manage the operation on behalf of the partnership. MAusIMM. Senior Mine Geologist. PO Box 1271. Gold grade can drop from ‘ounce-plus’ values in quartz to 0. Second order veins 10 to 20 cm wide commonly splay from the main structures and can extend one to two metres into the footwall or hangingwall (Figure 1a).SE strike of the structure ranging in the north from Nancy North. On other development levels mining has exposed several subparallel shears on or near the vein contacts which do not seem to directly affect geometry but influence dilution during stope extraction. Qld. The field was discovered by Battle Mountain Australia in 1983 with two deposits (Scott Lode – which produced approximately 360 000 oz Au/1 000 000 oz Ag and Cindy – which produced approximately 46 000 oz Au/25 000 oz Ag) mined between 1987 . Dark narrow bands within the veins contain elevated fine grained pyrite content and generally correspond to localised higher gold/silver grades.Carboniferous Drummond Basin. Vera Nancy is one set of deposits in a precious metal epithermal field which covers 150 square kilometres of sporadically outcropping auriferous quartz veins hosted by Drummond Basin volcanics (Porter. shallowly dipping faults which strike perpendicularly to the orebodies and steep reverse faults which post-date ore and create vein overlaps in the eastern end of the Vera deposit. INTRODUCTION The Pajingo Joint Venture (50 per cent Battle Mountain Australia Ltd and 50 per cent Normandy Mining Ltd) owns the Vera Nancy underground gold mine located approximately 53 km SSE of Charters Towers in North Queensland. Being fault zones the structures which host the veins exhibit bends. Drill intersections may overstate vein width in these areas if the drill path follows along the ladder veins . then Nancy. Where dip reversal occurs shallower dipping narrow ladder veins can extend away from the Main Vein for a number of metres. Faults that offset the deposits have been encountered in mine development but are difficult to model from drilling alone.4 km strike length and definition of the orebodies commenced with 20 by 20 metre underground infill drilling and ore driving to establish bench stopes. pyrite. Economic mineralisation occurs exclusively within the quartz veining (Figure 1). 14 . Full-scale production was reached in August 1997 at a capital expenditure of $49. These faults can cross cut the veins creating barren pillars or overlapping the vein over short strike lengths.3 M (McKinstry. Veins have moderate to steep dips (65° 90°) while widths can vary rapidly along strike with down dip width continuity being generally more consistent. then Vera and finally Vera South (Figure 3).1994. At this higher rate the project will produce in excess of 200 000 oz Au per annum. brecciation and moss texture.17 May 2000 35 . The mineralised veins commonly contain traces of pyrite (<2 per cent) and/or other rare sulphides as accessory minerals. carbonate. the mining methods used and the objective use of the data collected. A twin decline access was developed along a 1. Four deposits have been outlined along the NW . assay techniques and Quality Assurance used by the mine.

7 g/t Au.9 m wide at 7. Oxidised material is not present in the existing resources. Higher recoveries occurred when oxidised ore was fed to the mill during the operation of the Vera 36 Pit mined on a small 5000 oz resource while establishing a portal for the Vera Decline. Coolum. Also it may be possible that a separate silver mineral species occurs and is not as well liberated as electrum during grinding.D SIMS 1A 1B 1C 1D FIG 1 . Left vein 1. Vein 7.5 m wide at 23.5 g/t Au.4 m wide at 21. Vein 2. Vein 1. 14 .5 m wide at 12. Grinding to an 80 per cent passing 40 micron particle size overcomes many liberation problems associated with fine grained gold and recoveries average around 96 per cent. (a) Nancy 971W drive – cut 42. Silver recovery is generally poorer than gold averaging around 80 per cent. Silver is less readily leached than gold and so forms a residual coating or core on fine electrum particles which are lost to tail. Metallurgical performance in the CIP plant does not fluctuate significantly between orebodies.1 g/t Au. (b) Vera 862W drive – cut 3. (c) Vera 862E drive – cut 5. Qld.8 g/t Au.7 g/t Au.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . (d) Vera 862W drive – cut 24. generally well-defined by infill drilling and in general ground conditions are good.Ore grade quartz vein appearance at Vera Nancy.2 m wide at 36. right veins 0.

4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.Mine isometric view showing the arrangement of mineralised fault planes with kinks and splays.Vera Nancy resource long section.SAMPLING PRACTICE AT VERA NANCY GOLD MINE FIG 2 .17 May 2000 37 . 14 . Nancy North orebody at rear left. Qld. PAJINGO JOINT VENTURE INS ITU REMAINING RES OURCE End o f June 1999 FIG 3 . Vera South orebody at front right.

6 g/t Au Classification of resources is based on the following criteria: Measured 20 by 20 m drilling plus ore drives above and below the stope block. Surface collar locations are surveyed in while underground collars have been measured relative to set-up pins at the drill sites which were located by the mine surveyor. The sampler cuts the entire stream and produces around 4 kg of sample per shift which is pulverised and fire assayed using the same commercial laboratory as the mine. Twinning of RC holes with diamond holes or submission of the ‘B’ split of RC samples was not undertaken in the program.5 km).2 km). Some fans of underground holes are drilled skew to the vein trend due to drill access constraints around the lateral margins and lower fringe of the deposit.6 g/t Au Proved 0.96 Mt at 14. Critical issues relating to the nature of the orebody and mining method which must be accommodated in sampling and data collection methodology include: • the requirement that whole mineralised vein width is to be mined in a way that maximises the grade produced .7 g/t Au Inferred 2.data collection and transfer needs to be as streamlined and as focussed as possible. Indicated 20 by 20 m drilling . Other sampling undertaken in the mill for metallurgical control purposes will not be discussed in detail. and 4.underground drilling.9 g/t Au Indicated 1.the strong geological control on gold distribution confined within the quartz vein necessitates the need for sharp boundary definition in the sampling data.9 g/t Au Reserves: Total 2.69 Mt 8. when non-magnetic RC rods were introduced. A continuous reference line is drawn on the core parallel to the core axis once the core is jig-sawed to provide a uniform cutting line for sawing and systematic sampling once logging is complete and the sampling intervals are determined. The resource base is growing as exploration along strike proves up additional resources most notably at Vera South (1. overrides RC data in modelling. Each of these sample types in a production environment is a blend of theoretical ‘best practice’ and operational practicality. All underground holes are Eastman single shot surveyed every 30 m after an initial shot at 12 m depth. Although the ground exhibits no discernible magnetic effects the position of surface holes intersected in underground development indicates that surface hole location can be out by up to 3 m at the orebody intersection depth. TYPES OF SAMPLING DATA Sampling for resource modelling/grade control occurs in dominantly four ways: 1. All underground diamond drillcore is jig-sawed (reconstituted) into continuous lengths 5 m either side of and through ore zones prior to logging and sample preparation. surface diamond drill holes with RC pre-collars (247 holes for 85.20 Mt 14. a task assisted by strong visual control. only a dip reading was possible in the RC portion of the hole. Drill hole sampling The drilling dataset includes surface RC drill holes (255 holes for 28. RC chip sample trays are retained by the exploration office. on truck loads when the ore is transported from underground drives and stopes and tipped at mine stockpile sites (‘grab’ samples). • high spatial accuracy requirements due to the high-grade yet narrow vein widths means that all locational data must be as accurate as possible. Drilling orientation is on sections orthogonal to the Vera-Nancy mine grid which is oriented parallel to the strike of the veins (127° magnetic). A total of 80 km of infill underground core is planned to be drilled on the Vera South deposit.8 km) and underground diamond drill holes (825 holes for 105. The plant uses an 38 automated Ramsey sampler which samples the leach feed stream from the main thickener at five minute increments to determine a feed grade over a 12-hour period. on underground percussion samples and small diameter core used to tightly infill splay vein positions adjacent to ore drives (‘sludge’ or ‘LM22’ samples). This is thought to be related to deviation in the largely unsurveyed pre-collar and accuracy related to the 60 m survey spacing interval. Surface holes were commonly not initially surveyed until around 60 m depth in the pre-collar stage and then every 60 m thereafter.15 Mt 13. The underground core is drilled in conventional LTK60 size which delivers approximately NQ sized core from a BQ sized hole. and • dynamic updates of data and interpretation/modelling are required as the underground drilling and development programs progress and mine planning proceeds .1 g/t Au). Coolum. Core recovery is generally very good with only minor loss in strong shear zones.59 Mt 13. 3. 2. 14 .5 kg sample. along with drive information. Inferred 40 by 40 m drilling . on surface diamond drill holes (± RC holes) during Inferred Resource stage drilling and on underground diamond drilling when infilling to Indicated and Measured Resource status.20°. Up until 1999. Local vein flexures can see the vein trend/drill hole intersection angle vary occasionally by 10 .surface drilling. Core sizes for the surface drill holes are dominantly HQ but include NQ2 in recent drilling where it has shown to be statistically as reliable as the larger size in testing these orebodies.53 Mt 12. In these areas infill underground diamond drilling has been undertaken and this data. For parts of holes which were below the water table the entire sample was collected and dried then crushed and riffle split for assay. Qld. Geological modelling uses the grade data from surface holes but not the locational information. Early RC holes used a cross-over sub while later holes used face sampling hammers.36 Mt 18.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Smearing of grades in RC holes from the upper part of the Vera orebody above 160 m depth has become evident from mining drives in these areas in turn leading to a significant drop in contained ounces in this part of the orebody. Samples on one metre intervals were riffle split at the rig for a 3 . • assay sample precision and accuracy must be maintained throughout the project particularly around the ore cut-off limit (approximately 5 g/t Au). Sublevel interval is 15 m floor to floor.8 g/t Au Total 4.12 Mt 13. on mining faces during ore drive development (‘chip’ samples).5 g/t Au Probable 1.D SIMS The Resources/Reserves for the deposit as at end June 1999 are as follows (note that Resources include Reserves): Resources: Measured 0. Recent surface drilling is surveyed at 30 m intervals with bearing and dip measured in the pre-collar stage.

6 m wide drive. Around 2 . Coolum. Drilling is commonly undertaken in campaigns of 500 . Percussion sludge sampling Sludge samples drilled with underground percussion rigs (jumbos or blasthole rigs) are collected to assist in vein boundary definition and to further infill location and grade information particularly for flanking veins beside existing drives. A reconditioned LM22 rig was mounted on a trayback vehicle and commissioned drilling LTK48 core. LM22 core drilling Development chip samples Every mining face in the underground ore drives is geologically mapped and sampled with the boundary and direction of the next cut marked out. Occasional faces are digitally photographed to assist with mapping. A commercial laboratory located in Charters Towers is used for the work. The grab assay results are averaged per bay to determine the mean grade of the material while the tonnage is factored by the number and size of the dumps. Holes are logged and photographed as per usual but whole core is assayed rather than half core. Face location is measured relative to survey grade control pegs and face geology is sketched into a pro-forma mapping sheet which shows vein and fault/shear geometries and sample locations. This method was developed at MIM’s McArthur River mine by Geoff Phillips. control of drive development is important to minimise hangingwall over-break in stopes due to undercutting. He found sludging poorly represented veins commonly overstating both width and grade. Digital core photos are viewable in Vulcan during interpretation by clicking on the displayed hole trace at the desired location which brings up the relevant photo in a window on the screen. Chip samples are taken across the interval at around waste height using a geology hammer and a triangular sampling hoop to hold the sample bag and catch the sample.5 m wide waste cut is mined to the footwall of the vein and the ore is stripped into the cut once the waste is removed. Qld. Drives are mined on approximately 15 m levels and are 4. Any particle which sits on the trowel is sampled.3 mm cuttings are collected over a 1 m interval and the entire 3 . Geological logging of underground drillcore uses an Australian barcode-based logging system named ‘DATCOL’ which delivers a validated ASCII file which is directly loadable via scripts into the Vulcan drill hole database.3 kg of material is collected per sample with intervals around 0. Core is sawn into two halves after being digitally photographed with the right hand half assayed and the other retained in core storage. Bench stopes are drilled and fired with parallel blastholes once the ore drive sampling and mapping has defined the ore geometry for final blast design.6 m. It is realised that this method is significantly prone to sampling error and in particular biases fine material.1.5 m to ensure sample sizes will allow complete pulverisation of the assay sample material at the laboratory. A minimum mining width of 3.17 Mayl 2000 39 .5 m long. whole core from hangingwall and footwall zones and representative intersections of host andesite are retained in storage racks at the mine core farm. Hole sizes range from 45 mm to 68 mm and samples are collected via a catcher which attaches to the rig delivering cuttings to a bucket. Material is not moved from the stockpile bays until it is sampled and the results returned. It is expected a brittle and well-fragmenting quartz vein should lead to overestimating of grab grades where host andesite may constitute coarse fragments although in general grab samples underestimate the mill grade (see below). The Vera orebody has higher widths (up to 16 m) where multiple veins can be mined together. Increases in interpretation reliability has occurred with the shift from sludging to LM22 drilling.5 . SAMPLE PREPARATION AND ASSAY TECHNIQUES Preparation and analysis is identical for all samples types. Sludge holes are also entered into Vulcan.2200 t of ore and low-grade material. Holes range up to 30 m in length and the drill hole collars are surveyed to allow hole entry into the Vulcan drill hole database.5 m applies in ore drives due to equipment requirements although veins down to 0.5 kg sample is submitted for assay. The strings are loaded into VULCAN to assist in wireframe construction and vein and structure back mapping is undertaken on a hardcopy of the pick-up outlines. Drive hangingwalls are optimally kept to a ‘shanty’ profile around 20 cm off the vein hangingwall. Digital photos are saved as JPG files and stored in a UNIX directory on SGI workstations.3 m are generally whole core assayed.5 kg of material from around and over each dump taking at least five increments. Work undertaken in 1998 by mine geologist Allan Bell assessed the validity of sludge samples to properly represent veins which were later driven or stripped. Daily production ranges between 1400 . Split intervals less than 0. Chips are logged for lithology which is used to check assay data qualitatively. Sampling data is plotted at 1:125 scale and converted into drill hole data for display and compositing in Vulcan with hole collar and survey data used to depict the sample location in 3D space. Maximum sample length is limited to 1. Truck grab samples Grab samples are collected on surface stockpiles to calculate ore classifications and mill feed grades for both development and stope material. Mapping sheets are later sketched onto mine cross-sections to aid interpretation and hand digitised into Vulcan for stope geology wireframing. In these instances the footwall of the vein system is driven with a 5 .1000 m. As a result discussions were undertaken with local drilling contractor Rowe Enterprises (now Boart Longyear Rowe Enterprises) to source a Toyota mounted light core rig which could replace sludge holes with core. Samples consist of 0.5 m high leaving a 10 . Truck dumps are either 30 or 21 tonnes (Bell B40/B30 trucks) and the day’s production from each source is trucked to a separate stockpile bay at the two mine portals for sampling. the hangingwall is then sludged or drilled with a truck mounted LM22 rig on 10 m centres to establish the exact hangingwall position which is then stripped to full vein width. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Once the ore drive is completed the backs are washed and the vein contacts marked in paint for 3D pick-up as string data by mine surveyors.11 m high stope bench between drives. Overall around 60 per cent of production comes from bench stopes with the remainder coming from the drive mining to establish the bench stopes. As with drill holes the drive faces are subdivided into sampling intervals based on geology. 14 . Given that the Nancy orebody has an average horizontal width of around 2.SAMPLING PRACTICE AT VERA NANCY GOLD MINE Core is logged and sampled on geological boundaries which reflect the sharp grade distribution changes. Drive widths over 8 m are cablebolted. All remaining half core from ore zones. A garden trowel is used to collect around 3. The sampling forms the primary grade control for ore heading development.5 m wide can be economically recovered using the ‘resue’ mining method.4 . This is where a 2.

In-house standards are submitted with every drillcore batch with a series of 12 standards prepared from Vera Nancy ores over a range of grades. ACCURACY AND THE NUGGET EFFECT Ag repeats Quality Assurance focuses on assessing assay precision using repeatability and accuracy using standards. Variography undertaken for grade estimation indicates a nugget in the order of 25 per cent. Au repeat Au repeat Au repeat Preparation involves jaw crushing to reduce to -25 mm then pulverisation of the entire sample to -75 microns by LM5 mill. Standards are given a coded identifier at submission for disguise. Qld. Plots of repeat gold analysis data for core.04 g/t Au is understandably poor. One in ten gold assays are repeated by taking a second 50 g charge. The high correlation coefficients and tight plots indicate that Vera Nancy is a relatively low nugget gold orebody.Assay precision repeat plots. 14 . Vera Nancy ore contains very fine grained gold and pulverisation homogenises the gold throughout the sample reasonably well.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Samples are delivered at the end of dayshift/nightshift and results are returned within 15 hours for chip and grab samples while core and sludge samples return in two to four days. Silver is assayed in core samples only by an AAS method (ALS Chemex method G001) with repeats in higher grade samples (>50 ppm) undertaken at a different dilution (ALS Chemex method A101).5 kg then the sample is jaw crushed and riffle split before pulverisation. FIG 4 . If any samples are greater than around 3. Statistics for this data are contained in Table 1. A 50 g charge of material is assayed for gold by fire assay methods (ALS Chemex method PM209) and for drillcore samples a 200 g pulp is retained and returned to site. Repeatability is a function of preparation and assay process quality and how evenly the gold is distributed in the ore (‘nugget effect’). chip and grab samples and repeat silver analysis data for core samples are shown in Figure 4. The values of the standards were determined by analysis by eight separate laboratories. Precision for gold assays is within industry standards and certainly acceptable although repeatability for grades <0. The low nugget factor greatly assists in reducing sampling error and producing reliable assay data for production decision-making.D SIMS PRECISION. 40 Coolum.

15 4354 0.999 0.87 Median 0.49 3.0.17 39.47 129.3 to 1.0 to 20.1 450. If values indicate that multiple batches are returning with accuracy poorer than ±5 per cent of the standard value then the geological superintendent is notified who discusses the problem with the laboratory manager.01 0.SAMPLING PRACTICE AT VERA NANCY GOLD MINE TABLE 1 Assay precision statistics.999 0.9 69.35 22.5.17 May 2000 41 .51 0.0 to 5.03 0. Assessment of accuracy is undertaken by the submission of two standards with each drill core sample dispatch (generally a group of 20 .82 12.27 44. Precision on silver assays are less impressive largely because of the fact that silver repeats are generally only undertaken on high-grade samples (>50.Assay accuracy drift.50 128.50 7. Discussions with the laboratory can be undertaken based on firm data.0 476 400 430 Mean 12.99 Variance 895.56 2 2 74.21 851. 14 . • ‘low-grade’ .0 69. Qld.03 0.52 65.0 g/t Au (milled).to be milled after mine closure).08 9.08 22. and • ‘marginal’ . MINE TO MILL RECONCILLIATIONS Four product types are produced from the Vera Nancy mine for either mill feed or stockpile: • ‘high-grade ore’ .82 487.0 205. Around 99 per cent of Reserve gold ounces were produced.greater than 20.47 9. In general accuracy is within ±5 per cent with the laboratory most commonly under-quoting the grade.01 0.33 Std deviation 29.998 5524 0. A plot through 1999 indicates an accuracy drift whereby the value of returned assays has been below ‘real values’ in the early part of the year drifting 4th International Mining Geology Conference to a more accurate figure at the end of the year (Figure 5).38 11.35 1. The values returned need to be less than ±10 per cent of the standard value for the batch to be accepted.30 samples).70 7. Coolum.56 1.1.997 % difference. Sample type Chips FA1 Element Grabs FA2 FA1 Au Number of duplicates Core FA2 FA1 Au 210 Core FA2 FA1 Au 262 FA2 Ag 2140 202 Minimum 0. The results from each standard is inspected by the relevant geologist when hard copy preliminary assay results are faxed from the laboratory.0 g/t Au (milled).0 g/t Au (stockpile at mill . • ‘ore’ .01 0 1 Maximum 219.01 0.18 11.40 3. between assay and standard Correlation coeff FIG 5 .53 507. Production of low-grade material for the same period saw the Reserve tonnage exceeded by 19 per cent and the grade figures exceeded by 15 per cent with production containing 137 per cent of Reserve ‘contained’ ounces. Although silver is a valuable by-product it is not as critical as gold to the profitability of the operation hence poorer precision with the data is acceptable.0 g/t Au (stockpile at mine). Reconciliations for mine ore production to the end of the December 1999 indicated that the Reserve overstated the tonnage by nine per cent and understated the grade by eight per cent compared to production.92 29.0 g/t Ag) using a different analytical/digestion method which gives higher values.

Qld. B H. pp 685-690 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie). G J and Jones B H. 1990. in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed: F E Hughes).17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 1997. Continued use of sound and practical sampling processes will be required to manage the operation into the future. in Proceedings World Gold ’97 Conference. in Proceedings Seventh Underground Operators’ Conference. D R. pp 233 . Coolum. R G. Vera North and Nancy gold deposits.237 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 1998. Pajingo Gold Deposits. pp 1483 . 42 Mining at Vera Nancy is to undergo an expansion program which will see production raised to around 500 000 t/yr to produce in excess of 200 000 oz per year.D SIMS The mined grade for this period was 13. Porter. R C and Jones. pp 217 . Richards. REFERENCES Evans. Elliott.4 g/t Au compared to a milled grade of 14. The methodology behind the development of the Vera Nancy mine. The Resource estimate interpolation method used to produce the Reserve figures for last year utilised Inverse Distance Weighting methods. CONCLUSION Vera Nancy is a high-grade mine which requires accurate mining to maintain management’s objective of maximising the head grade.0 g/t Au. North Queensland. Although general assay accuracy may be a contributing factor to the undercall on grade it is believed that grade estimation methodology also has an influence. 1998.219 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). J.1487 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). The Discovery and evaluation of the Vera-Nancy deposit. Pajingo. 14 . McKinstry. Quality sampling information is a significant contributor to achieving this aim in mine management and is strongly assisted by good visual control on grade distribution and a low nugget factor in the ore. Calibrating the global figure for the Nancy orebody against Indicator Kriging (IK) methods proved satisfactory although techniques which will produce a better local estimate (such as IK) in production situations are being investigated.

During this period a precision of 0. one hour leach) was replaced by fire assaying (40 g) technique in September 1999. which depart from performance standards critical to the operation. The gold concentration is then determined using atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS) in conjunction with appropriate standards. Analysis of assay repeat data for the period September 1999 to January 2000 showed a moderate scatter with precision of 0. Containers are capped and placed in a tumbler revolving at approximately 15 rpm for one hour. Both assaying techniques have produced unbiased repeat results but comparison of fire Coolum. and reduced sample variability was an expected benefit of assaying a larger sample. the aqua regia (30 g) assaying technique was TM * Leachwell in this paper refers to Leachwell accelerated cyanide extraction (ACE). The mine produced 3. with a number of changes resulting directly from assay quality assurance programs. sample preparation and grade variability within a sample. 14 . reconciliation and ore zone delineation.19 has indicated repeatable assays from the same pulp through all grade ranges. ASSAY PRECISION Leachwell Leachwell has been the primary assay technique used between October 1998 and September 1999. INTRODUCTION Tarmoola Gold Mine is situated 280 km north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia within the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt of the Yilgarn Craton. Assay quality assurance protocols are vital to assay data integrity and enable confidence in delineation of ore-waste boundaries and provide early recognition of problematic assaying periods and isolation of grade control practices. A 10 ml aliquot of clear. PacMin Tarmoola Operations Pty Ltd. The programs have concentrated on issues related to accuracy and precision of leachwell and fire assay techniques. duplicate assays and fire assay to extinction has demonstrated assay variability associated with coarse. on average.10 g/t grade range with no bias observed (Figures 1 and 2). The objective of grade control at Tarmoola is to delineate optimised ore outlines and accurately predict tonnes and grade of ROM ore to the mill. Mine Geologist. Changes in grade control practices have occurred at Tarmoola to optimise ore zone delineation. for Tarmoola ore types. plastic screw capped container with the addition of 400 ml of water (tap temperature) and one leachwell assay tablet.Leachwell* Versus Fire Assay: Comments from Assay Quality Assurance at Tarmoola Gold Mine D J Elder1 ABSTRACT A fundamental component of grade control at Tarmoola Mine has been the monitoring of assaying through quality assurance programs. 4th International Mining Geology Conference 60x catalyst. The collection of quality assay data is of primary importance in achieving the objective and can only be verified by assay monitoring through quality assurance programs. Alternatively. Assay quality assurance programs at Tarmoola have been fundamental to further understanding assaying issues critical to grade estimation. It has highlighted the importance of completing assay quality assurance by identifying key issues related to assaying and has resulted in optimisation of leachwell assaying techniques for Tarmoola ore types. higher assays than fire assay by up to eight per cent. An outcome of monitoring has been identification of shortcomings in the application of assaying techniques to Tarmoola ore types that contain coarse particulate gold. Assay quality assurance for the period October 1998 to January 2000 has analysed leachwell and fire assay precision. optimisation of the leachwell assaying technique using a 200 g pulp and a two hour leach has returned. 1. Leonora WA 6438. The variability and distribution of gold in Tarmoola ore types has emphasised the importance of high quality sample preparation for leachwell assaying to ensure liberation of gold to leaching solutions. Leachwell has shown satisfactory precision since introduction as the primary assay technique in October 1998 but leachwell accuracy and recovery through comparison with fire assay techniques has identified bias. Testwork undertaken during 1998 showed leachwell provided accurate and precise results.24 with no bias observed (Figures 3 and 4). which showed that by increasing the leach time improved recovery significantly. on average. A bias toward higher fire assays in grades above 2 g/t invoked an investigation into the cause of the discrepancy between leachwell and fire assay. leachwell accuracy through comparison with fire assay. The leachwell assaying technique involves weighing of 200 g of pulverised sample (d75 microns) into a one litre. In October 1998. cyanide liquor is removed from each and placed into a 20 ml culture tube. The containers are removed from the tumbler and allowed to settle. Fire assay Fire assay replaced leachwell in September 1999 as the primary assay technique. an replaced by leachwell (200 g). PO Box 67. Testwork on screen fire assays.2 million tonnes of ore for 194 000 ounces in the 1998/1999 financial year. Monitoring of leachwell against fire assay had shown that a leachwell (200 g) with a one hour leach has under-called grade when compared with fire assay by up to 18 per cent. The change from leachwell to fire assay was supported by quality assurance testwork that indicated leachwell was under-calling grade with respect to fire assay.17 May 2000 43 . Gold mineralisation at Tarmoola is hosted in quartz vein arrays and associated with intense quartz-carbonate alteration within structurally complex shear zones on a granitoid-greenstone contact. Repeat analyses are performed routinely by the principal assay contractor on ten per cent of assays submitted. particulate gold. Testwork in October 1999 has resulted in the leach time being extended to a two hour leach duration with a starting water temperature of 30 degrees Celsius. gold particle size and distribution in Tarmoola ore types. Qld. Leachwell repeat data for the period October 1998 and September 1999 showed a moderate to tight scatter over 0 . Fire assay has shown a wider scatter than leachwell indicating leachwell to be a more precise method. leach time duration and sample preparation. In response to grade control estimates under-calling actual mill head grades the leachwell assaying technique (200 g. By evaluating assay quality a level of confidence in data collected can be ascertained. Testwork evaluated Leachwell assay recovery by varying leach time duration.

5 g/t and to complete a fire assay on the corresponding leachwell sample residue. FIG 4 . Duplicate fire assays on pulps were employed to provide averaged fire assay results to minimise scatter commonly associated with coarse. the assay quality assurance program was revised and the principal assay contractor was instructed to complete fire assay repeats on ten per cent of leachwell assays grading above 0. through the 0 . Results for the period October 1998 to August 1999 indicated 44 August 1999 to October 1999 In August 1999. Pulps were recalled from the principal assay contractor and submitted to independent laboratories for duplicate fire assaying and screen testing to analyse grinding efficiencies. Scatter and quantile-quantile (qq) plots for the period indicated that fire assay determined.Scatter plot of FA1 versus FA2 for the period September 1999 to January 2000 (n=1092). 14 . Coolum.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .10 g/t grade range showed fire assays determined ten per cent more gold than leachwell in grades above 2 g/t. These results have shown that with increasing gold concentration there is an increasing bias toward higher fire assays over leachwell.10 g/t grade range five per cent more gold than leachwell where a bias is observed in grades above 2 g/t (Figures 5 and 6).QQ plot of LW1 versus LW2 for the period October 1998 to September 1999 (n=3827). duplicate fire assay results have identified higher gold grades than leachwell.QQ plot of FA1 versus FA2 for the period September 1999 to January 2000 (n=1092). The change from recalling batches of pulps for independent analysis to in-house quality assurance was initiated to provide results allowing fortnightly analysis of leachwell accuracy.Scatter plot of LW1 versus LW2 for the period October 1998 to September 1999 (n=3827). one hour leach) in October 1998. FIG 3 . Qld. FA2 FA2 FIG 1 . particulate gold. assay quality assurance programs were introduced to test leachwell accuracy by repeat assaying pulverised sample using the fire assay technique. Analysis of the 2 . ASSAY ACCURACY: COMPARISON OF LEACHWELL WITH FIRE ASSAY October 1998 to August 1999 With the introduction of leachwell (200 g.LW2 LW2 D J ELDER FIG 2 . assay against leachwell has shown a bias toward higher fire assays indicating accuracy or recovery is a limiting factor in the leachwell assay technique.

07 g/t and fire assays were on average. two and four hour leach times and starting water temperatures of 7°C and 32°C (Table 1). The results are combined with previous screen fire assay results and original leachwell assays (performed using a one hour leach and tap water temperature). The results indicated that increases in leaching duration significantly improved gold recovery. FIG 7 . The results indicated a bias toward higher leachwell assays above 2 g/t. October 1999 to January 2000 Analysis of leachwell and fire assay data for the period mid-October 1999 to January 2000 compared leachwell (two hour leach) and fire assay (Figures 10 and 11). FA1 FA1 FIG 5 .5 g/t and a fire assay on the corresponding leachwell tail.62 g/t and the average leachwell is 2. FIG 8 .QQ plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period August 1999 to mid-October 1999 (n=208).FA1 FA1 LEACHWELL VERSUS FIRE ASSAY FIG 6 . nine per cent higher (Figures 7 and 8). 14 .17 May 2000 45 . Coolum. Qld. The continued bias toward higher fire assays resulted in leachwell being replaced by fire assay in September 1999 as the primary assay technique.Scatter plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period August 1999 to mid-October 1999 (n=208). with the assay contractor completing leachwell repeats on ten per cent of fire assays grading above 0.Scatter plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period October 1998 to August 1999 (n= 758). Leachwell assays are six per cent higher than fire assays on average. This testwork resulted in the duration of leaching being extended to a two hour leach and installation of a constant temperature water supply (30°C) at the principal assay contractors laboratory in mid-October 1999. where the average fire assay is 2. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Leaching duration testwork Leachwell testwork in early-October 1999 had investigated one. The effect water temperature had on recovery is less clear but suggested better recoveries at a water temperature of 32°C. The change from one hour to two hour leach times had a significant effect on gold recovery and results have indicated that leachwell has the ability to identify more gold than fire assay. Quality assurance monitoring for the period August 1999 to mid-October 1999 compared leachwell (one hour leach) and fire assay.77 g/t.QQ plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period October 1998 to August 1999 (n=758).88 g/t and the average fire assay is 2. The average leachwell assay is 1. A bias toward higher fire assay results was observed above 3 g/t. The quality assurance program continued to monitor leachwell accuracy.

80 8.59 76.FA1 LW2h D J ELDER FIG 9 . The results showed the two hour leach produced leachwell assays 12 per cent higher than one hour leaches from the same pulverised sample (Figure 9).Scatter plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period mid-October 1999 to January 2000 (n=118).30 0.08 6.96 10.69 7.2 0.40 10.10 129.30 19.70 28.10 11.00 4.06 9. FIG 10 .10 15.67 5.30 137.97 7.19 15. 14 .10 g/t and the two hour leach produced a sample population averaging 1.30 0.48 133. The results of this testwork have shown that assay results are highly susceptible to error in recovery or accuracy even though precision for each variation is still good.QQ plot of LW1h versus LW2h for testwork completed in October 1999 on leaching duration time (n=87).70 78. Coolum.04 7.18 10 20.90 0.85 7.02 0.80 5.05 7.70 31.40 70.80 14.50 24.79 8. FA1 7 Fire assay of leachwell tails The leachwell assaying technique is a partial digest technique therefore evaluation of gold not recovered in the leachwell assaying process is an important consideration.20 40.98 0.80 11.50 12.15 0.20 16.QQ plot of LW1 versus FA1 for the period mid-October 1999 to January 2000 (n=118).10 15.01 7.2 2 79.16 7.17 27.72 7.90 0.07 5.4 0.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .14 9.38 14. The one hour leach produced a population averaging 1.46 0.80 0.35 9.86 11.40 11.56 7.1 0.12 9.70 30.20 14.07 8 13.00 187.07 9.41 9. slightly higher than the leachwell two hour average of 1.83 9 8.9 0. TABLE 1 Summary of leachwell leaching duration testwork evaluating variations in bottle roll time and effects of water temperature when added to leaching solution.80 27.60 63. Fire assay of leachwell tails data (FAT) has become a routine part of assay quality assurance.10 0.78 0.50 16.46 7. Qld.77 40.27 g/t.21 6 9. Fire assays of the same data set produced a sample population averaging 1.11 28.93 11.00 33.24 9.70 7.34 7.17 0.18 4 10.15 Further evaluation of gold recovery and leaching duration involved leachwell assaying of 100 pulps using a one and a two hour leach times.20 6. 7 degress Celcius 32 degress Celcius Sample no Screen FA Orig LW1 1 Hr 2 Hr 4 Hr Tail 1 Hr 2 Hr 4 Hr Tail 1 252. Comparison of fire assay of leachwell tails with corresponding original leachwell assays from periodic testwork between October 1998 and August 1999 indicated approximately two to four per cent gold was not recovered from 46 FIG 11 .00 79.60 21.00 138.72 3 28.72 7.70 57.19 5 18.00 196 38.19 9.25 g/t.77 10.20 0.2 1.25 g/t.41 7.71 17.

The relationship between gold content and size fraction has indicated that coarser size fractions (>75 microns) represented. These resistant particles containing proportionally more gold are most likely to be from zones of high-grade mineralisation with intense silicification as observed in Tarmoola ore types. Testwork for the period between August 1999 to January 2000 indicated that on average three per cent of gold is not recovered by the leachwell assaying technique (Figure 12).Scatter plot of LW1 versus FAT1 for the period August 1999 to January 2000 (n=332). Coolum.2000 1 1 500 . This emphasises the importance of high grind efficiencies in sample preparation to liberate all gold particles prior to partial digest assaying.57 and a bias toward higher duplicate assays was noted.300 67 31 75 . Size (microns) Weight (g) Weight (%) 1000 . on average 51 per cent of the gold. A wide scatter was observed in the scatter plot (Figure 14) with a precision of 0. 14 . Gravity gold collected in this part of the milling circuit was very coarse with 85 per cent gold being greater than 75 microns.150 91 42 <75 33 15 Totals 216 100 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 13 .Line graph showing the relationship between averaged percentage of sample in each size fraction (diamonds) and the averaged percentage of gold from each size fraction (squares). The grade variability has been attributed to the coarse particulate nature of gold mineralisation at Tarmoola. Screen Fire Assays Screen fire assay testwork has been used to identify the distribution of gold in size fractions of ten. The assaying technique for this testwork was leachwell. If the ten screen fire assays (presented in Table 3) are considered to be one combined screen fire assay result then averaged percentages of sample in each size fraction can be plotted against averaged gold content for each size fraction (Figure 13). The gravity gold was passed through a series of screens and results gave an indication of gold particle size in Tarmoola ore types (Table 2). on average 21 per cent of the sample and contained. to ensure liberation of all gold particles to leaching solutions. The results have identified significant percentages of gold are distributed in size fractions greater than 75 microns. Up to 45 per cent of gold in the milling process can be recovered in the gravity circuit indicating the coarse nature of gold particles in ore types at Tarmoola. TABLE 2 Summary of 200 g sample of gravity gold taken from gravity circuit at Tarmoola Mill to investigate gold particle size.500 16 8 150 . The results indicated a poor correlation between the leachwell original (submitted for normal grade control) and the duplicate leachwell assay and has demonstrated the grade variability in a sample. Qld. % FIG 12 . high-grade samples from granitoid-greenstone contact mineralisation (Table 3). The occlusion of gold from leaching solutions is considered to be a significant issue in assaying of Tarmoola ore types arising from high degrees of silicification in mineralised zones. Considerable attention is paid to sample preparation protocols.17 May 2000 47 . While gold particles collected for this testwork would have experienced deformation and flattening through the milling circuit the results are thought to be indicative of gold particle size.1000 7 3 300 .LEACHWELL VERSUS FIRE ASSAY FAT1 leachwell assays. SIZE AND DISTRIBUTION OF GOLD IN TARMOOLA ORE TYPES Gold particle size To evaluate gold particle size a coarse gold sample was collected from the gravity circuit of the Tarmoola Mill in August 1999. No significant change was observed in the data where leaching duration was extended to a two hour leach time. A total of 403 duplicate field split samples were collected from a Jones Riffle splitter mounted on a grade control RC drilling rig. The abundance of coarse gold is consistent with difficulties associated with assaying particulate gold mineralisation at Tarmoola. The results indicating distribution of gold in high-grade samples are significant when using a partial digest technique as failure to liberate all gold particles to leaching solution will result in an under-call of true grade of the assay sample. Duplicates An extensive duplicate program was undertaken on granitoid-greenstone contact mineralisation in May 1999. At these particle sizes it is believed that occlusion of gold from leaching solutions has a considerable impact on gold recovery.

15 10.40 9.45 13.59 0.49 33.09 16.41 <38 4.55 4.00 3.69 17.00 3.05 26.85 5.08 73.00 1.81 9.51 5.10 4.00 2.14 100.00 % Gold in size fraction 100.15 106-150 21.00 >150 2524.00 4.31 100.97 100.84 33.86 38-53 13.00 6.00 100.57 <38 4.29 106-150 751.07 5.57 5.09 8.62 11.87 0.70 1.69 0.50 <38 6.74 75-106 423.15 1.05 10.52 75-106 32.00 1.93 17.D J ELDER TABLE 3 Summary of screen fire assay testwork on ten samples from high-grade granitoid-greenstone contact mineralisation.02 53-75 30.46 6.34 0. Qld.20 6.17 May 2000 5.24 75-106 243.01 Total Sample 5 7.18 17.64 42.60 8.87 <38 94.79 6.22 14.15 21.81 38-53 93.40 5.59 Total Sample 2 26.30 6.87 0.94 5.85 5.99 Total Sample 6 39.72 10.29 Total Sample 3 27.00 5.20 100.56 76.38 26.10 53-75 41.01 53.14 53-75 297.70 106-150 12.17 13.62 3.29 65.92 38-53 286.07 9.80 41.00 >150 13.27 16.00 10.67 Total Sample 7 48 Original LW1 Coolum.42 19.83 100.04 26.80 0.91 106-150 89.62 106-150 48.00 28.64 100.14 3.75 75.35 1.41 53-75 8.05 9.05 6. Sample no and sizing (microns) Fire assay ppm % Retained from sizing Calculated Head Grade >150 3520.00 7.50 7.48 Total Sample 1 133.49 0.85 >150 43.81 5.87 9.00 5.89 13.33 1.93 1.80 7. 14 .67 Total Sample 4 30.45 8.80 100.74 38-53 8.95 10.43 28.50 3.74 6.00 79.08 8.20 100.57 100.99 31.50 5.90 75-106 16.50 38-53 13.17 24.39 71.19 100.71 >150 42.58 <38 4.18 14.18 0.33 29.00 7.87 17.00 4th International Mining Geology Conference .14 12.09 11.00 9.00 252.14 2.34 <38 6.50 100.91 106-150 33.38 1.00 18.49 75-106 8.81 7.00 >150 23.94 21.05 12.25 75-106 66.60 66.79 0.90 8.88 10.97 14.06 2.19 11.63 3.60 8.60 8.29 100.00 27.00 1.05 106-150 1162.00 8.00 75-106 26.94 2.05 81.07 0.69 10.09 53-75 111.35 3.65 8.20 0.00 5.88 43.31 23.27 4.95 72.32 38-53 29.01 <38 26.27 53-75 11.90 5.75 11.35 3.05 9.76 53-75 12.00 >150 159.29 2.20 38-53 16.

Assay quality assurance indicated acceptable assay accuracy and precision through critical cut-off grade ranges (0 .43 1.91 4.65 53-75 15.03 0.80 1.50 <38 8.1.30 8.57 0.00 100.00 LWdup the sample sets (Figure 15).44 g/t from 37 assays.05 8.19 14.19 2.65 10.17 May 2000 49 .99 <38 13.80 100.17 1.68 8.09 100. Testwork indicated a bias toward higher fire assays over leachwell in grades above 2.02 12.60 57. For example.84 100. which was initially attributed to gold not recovered from the leachwell sample during leaching. DISCUSSION FIG 14 .19 Total Sample 10 15. The average for this sample was 2.03 106-150 27.35 4.23 38-53 12.36 16.11 75-106 11.46 22.55 12. The testwork evaluated seven samples of between 1.5 and 2 kg of pulverised material.00 >150 95. Sample no and sizing (microns) Fire assay ppm % Retained from sizing Calculated Head Grade Original LW1 % Gold in size fraction >150 18.55 106-150 15.83 5.61 4.87 1.0 g/t).05 8.88 3.68 38.06 4.90 to 3.09 38-53 14.95 9.65 6.63 75-106 26. Qld.00 13. Fire assaying to extinction Fire assaying testwork designed to evaluate variability of gold grade in pulverised sample was completed in January 2000.12 0.96 3. 14 .46 4.50 0.23 6.08 <38 6.47 10. with variance of ±10 per cent.60 11.28 1.70 100.75 9.10 8.0 g/t.22 0.86 Total Sample 8 11.02 55.61 54.89 100. Grade reconciliations between grade control predicted estimates and mill actual head grades were acceptable between October 1998 to May 1999. Fire assay testwork on leachwell tails indicated on average. The improvements in assay precision achieved by assaying a larger proportion of sample were considered beneficial for assaying Tarmoola ore types by reducing sampling error.10 12. The bias indicated leachwell assays were five per cent lower than fire assay on average.75 75-106 13.92 1.36 7. so leachwell was considered to be a satisfactory assaying technique during this period. sample 7 has a range of 1.85 6.03 7.17 7. mill head grades.00 >150 31.74 1.91 Total Sample 9 70.00 20.01 53-75 12.LEACHWELL VERSUS FIRE ASSAY TABLE 3 (continued) Summary of screen fire assay testwork on ten samples from high-grade granitoid-greenstone contact mineralisation. May 1999 (n=377).03 1.21 8.60 8. Coolum.02 g/t. Each sample was repeat fire assayed to extinction (Table 4) and provided between 36 to 47 assay results for each sample.73 7. two to four per cent gold was not recovered by leachwell and was accepted as a consequence of the partial digest technique.58 53-75 12. initially reported and used in routine grade control.50 56.59 g/t which is 22 per cent higher than the original fire assay of 2.10 9. These results typify some of the inherent problems faced in providing accurate grade control predictions for reconciliation against actual.00 8. Periodic testwork during the period October 1998 to May 1999 was completed to ensure the assay quality of leachwell technique.Scatter plot of LW versus LW duplicate field split. Results show high variability in grade ranges in 4th International Mining Geology Conference The introduction of leachwell as the primary assaying technique in October 1998 was seen as a progressive step in providing quality assay data for grade control.03 38-53 9.39 106-150 9.14 8.

32 0.22 0.27 0.60 0.14 0.56 1.05 5 1.10 2.89 0.54 1.53 0.29 3.16 1.18 0.51 0.82 0.17 0.69 0.15 9 1.26 0.34 0.07 0.15 8 1.13 0.30 0.91 0.63 1.53 0.03 0.13 0.29 0.09 0.30 0.02 Coolum.06 2.26 2.01 0.17 2.27 0.20 0.15 1.16 0.62 1.56 0.97 46 3.25 0.16 0.59 FA original 2.40 1.19 0.25 36 2.06 32 2.22 2.18 0.86 0.89 0.55 1.26 11 1.24 1.32 0.04 2.68 0.78 0.57 1.55 0.52 2.38 1.39 0.66 23 2.21 2.07 0.57 0.59 20 2.23 1.85 0.26 0.38 1.04 2.66 1.22 0.45 0.05 0.16 35 2.14 0.54 3.61 44 3.28 0.21 0.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .32 3.54 1.85 0.10 47 4.45 0.28 3. Qld.21 0.24 0.06 2. 14 .18 2.14 34 2.51 0.16 0.01 0.16 0.26 0.29 1.13 2.76 0.16 2.41 1.53 1.67 41 2.20 0.30 0.53 1.69 0.51 0.23 0.53 1.54 1.24 0.44 16 1.93 0.85 0.03 0.90 0.22 0.61 1.17 2.11 2.28 0.25 0.56 1.16 FA average 2.06 2.78 0.04 31 2.40 1.37 1.28 0.52 1.59 21 2.82 0.75 39 2.10 0.54 1.63 22 2.44 0.89 0.30 0.11 33 2.16 2.90 0.11 6 1.28 0.59 1.43 2.62 1.35 13 1.41 15 1.04 2.03 1.04 0.78 0.47 18 1.24 0.35 0.97 28 2.19 2.52 0.03 29 2.60 1.03 30 2.60 1.17 0.27 3.37 1.44 1.68 42 2.45 0.43 1.19 2.12 0.01 4 1.53 1.16 0.45 3.37 1.21 0.12 0.13 0.38 1.72 0.48 3.42 1.54 1.37 1.23 0.52 0.40 1.00 0.67 24 2.12 0.39 1.94 26 2.18 0.22 0.35 0.95 0.31 0.34 0.45 3.79 25 2.56 1.88 0.67 45 3.28 0.62 1.11 0. 50 Assay no 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 1 1.30 0.19 0.18 0.47 17 1.98 0.04 2.28 0.40 1.38 1.55 1.05 2.41 1.53 1.14 0.19 0.53 1.93 0.29 0.39 1.02 0.29 0.24 0.98 0.90 2 1.03 0.05 2.21 2.34 12 1.58 1.93 0.26 0.48 19 1.60 1.72 0.22 0.49 3.90 3 1.44 37 2.41 1.D J ELDER TABLE 4 Summary of seven samples fire assayed to extinction to evaluate heterogeneity in Tarmoola ore types.36 1.14 0.56 0.35 0.09 2.12 7 1.36 14 1.00 1.90 0.37 1.22 0.36 0.47 0.27 1.37 1.17 0.35 0.76 43 3.59 1.53 0.36 3.35 0.56 38 2.23 10 1.05 0.68 0.96 27 2.02 0.55 1.17 0.84 40 2.57 1.98 0.56 1.52 0.61 1.13 2.92 0.14 0.96 0.10 2.96 1.

17 May 2000 51 .00 0.QQ plot of LW1 versus FA1 for accuracy testwork completed in May 1999 (n=87). The results of the testwork anticipated a grade control under-call in June 1999 when ore defined by substandard assaying in May 1999 was being milled. A review of quality assurance protocols in August 1999 resulted in a change from periodic. Coolum. During July 1999. The testwork emphasises the relationship between substandard sample preparation and lowered leachwell recoveries.00 2. Grade control under-call was a reflection of difficulties determining accurate grades of ore sourced from zones of high-grade mineralisation using leachwell.50 3. Fire assay identified 18 per cent more gold in this testwork on average and shows increasing bias with increasing grades (Figure 16).50 1. Independent fire assay testwork indicated a strong bias toward higher fire assays over original leachwell assays above 1. independent testwork to implementation of a routine quality assurance procedure.2 g/t. Qld.00 3.5 g/t) so it was believed that there was no misclassification of ore during the period of mining.Line graph showing assays from seven pulverised samples each fire assayed to extinction. Independent sample screening indicated poor sample preparation by the primary assay contractor where only 55 per cent of screens were 90 per cent passing 75 microns. The principal assay contractor was required to perform fire assay 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 16 .00 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 101112131415161718192021222324252627282930313233343536373839404142434445464748 As s ay numbe r FIG 15 . assay quality testwork results from grade control drilling in May 1999 were received from an independent laboratory.LEACHWELL VERSUS FIRE ASSAY 4.00 1.50 0. The bias between leachwell and fire assay has been observed in grades above cut-off grades (ROM cut-off >0.50 4.50 2. 14 .

14 . ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author would like to thank Pacmin-Tarmoola Operations Pty Ltd for their permission to publish this paper and for management’s enthusiastic support of assay quality assurance in grade control at Tarmoola. Leachwell recovery had increased by up to eight per cent on average in comparison with fire assay during the period October 1999 to January 2000. leachwell accuracy or recovery is highly susceptible to sample preparation and leaching duration time. The increase of leaching duration to two hours showed no significant change in the leachwell tail gold content. The larger sample reduces variability associated with coarse gold and results in increased precision. Duplicate field split analyses have indicated poor precision and further demonstrated the variability of gold in Tarmoola ore types.5 g/t. increased gold recovery should equate to decreased recovery of gold content in fire assays of leachwell tails. fire assay techniques through the principal assay contractor have remained unchanged and fire assay results are assumed to be a benchmark upon which leachwell assays have been measured against. Also acknowledged is Amdel Laboratories Ltd of Kalgoorlie for continued research into leachwell assaying. Coolum. Leachwell provides higher levels of precision than fire assay and results have demonstrated that optimised leachwell assaying has the ability to out perform fire assay on average. Fire assay is less precise in comparison and shows wider scatter and both techniques produce unbiased repeat assays. Ensuring all gold particles are liberated to the leaching solution is crucial to maximise gold recovery in the leachwell assaying process. Fire assay to sample extinction testwork has revealed the heterogeneity of Tarmoola ore types and has showed wide ranges in grades from a pulverised sample. Mineralised samples are frequently highly siliceous and substandard sample preparation can result in partial to full occlusion of gold in resistant particles emphasising the importance of high quality sample preparation. Qld. The bias between leachwell and fire assay initiated a program of testwork to resolve assaying discrepancies and provide further understanding of the leachwell assaying technique. The wide grade ranges are a direct result of subsampling pulverised material containing 52 coarse particulate gold. replacing a one hour leach and results immediately showed leachwell identifying higher grades than fire assay through the period mid-October 1999 to January 2000. which were relatively un-tested in previous testwork.5 g/t were repeat assayed using leachwell.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . The distribution of gold in a pulverised sample through screen fire assay testwork illustrated the need to ensure high standards of sample preparation are enforced to ensure liberation of gold particles in a homogenised pulp. which suggests there is a discrepancy with the fire assay tail results. The reason for the lack of significant change in fire assay tails cannot be explained at the present and has identified an area for continued evaluation. However. The optimisation of leaching duration time coupled with emphasis on quality sample preparation has indicated the leachwell assaying technique. Investigation of leaching time duration in October 1999 showed an increase in gold recovery as leach time was increased. a change of assay technique was prompted and fire assay replaced leachwell as the primary assay technique in September 1999. Monitoring of leachwell accuracy continued where ten per cent of fire assays above 0. As leachwell continued to under-call grade in comparison with fire assay in quality assurance testwork. The consequences of leaching duration testwork resulted in a two hour leach being introduced at Tarmoola. although a partial digest has the potential to provide precise assays and identify more gold than fire assay. This provided regular feedback of leachwell assay performance and enabled a review of accuracy through all grade ranges.D J ELDER repeats on ten per cent of leachwell assays above 0. Leachwell versus fire assay comparisons have shown that fire assay and leachwell have difficulties determining grade from particulate gold mineralisation but leachwell has an advantage over fire assay by using a larger pulp sample for assaying. For the purpose of this research however. Pulverisation of sample should be completed to levels where ideally the pulverised sample is 100 per cent-passing 75 microns. most importantly evaluating higher grade ranges. CONCLUSION Leachwell assaying is a precise assaying technique achieving good repeatability from the same pulverised sample in Tarmoola ore types. By definition. The failure to liberate gold to leaching solutions will result in decreased recoveries in leachwell assays and will under-call grades when compared with fire assay. The quality of sample preparation has a significant effect on liberation of gold particles.

High-Grade Gold Mine D Sims 65 Mine Geology Practices at the Sunrise Open Pit E Haren and P Williams 77 The Spatial Distribution of Grade J R Vearncombe and S Vearncombe 87 The Bunyip Lateritic Nickel-Cobalt Deposit. M Skead and H Stuart 115 Kunwarara Magnesite Deposit S Wilcock 129 Current Geological Understanding of Telfer Gold Mine G R Howard. A Jones and P Androvich 143 . Western Australia A Bywater and S M Denn 95 Cadia Hill Gold Mine — One Year Down the Track C F Moorhead and Cadia Geology Team 105 The Geita and Kukuluma Mineralised Trends. C Moore. H Michael.Mine Geology Controls on High-Grade Gold Distribution at Vera Nancy Mine D Sims 55 Geological Modelling and Grade Control in a Narrow Vein. T Blyth. Lake Victoria Goldfield. Kalgoorlie. R D Carlson. A Davidson. Tanzania — Orebody Characteristics and Project Planning D Bansah. I Kirchner. Cawse Nickel-Cobalt Operations. D Holden. N Archibald. WA R Mason. R Chase. S Huffadine. T Hansen. R Bradey. R J Inglis. S Leary and A Tomsett 135 Geology and Structure of the Morning Star Mine. P J Moffitt. Mt Magnet. D Coupland.

High ore grades at Vera Nancy are controlled by both the primary geometry of the mineralised structure and the intersections of the main mineralised veins with subordinate splay veins. THE VERA NANCY DEPOSITS The quartz-carbonate Au/Ag bearing veins at Vera Nancy have been described elsewhere in this volume (Sims. 1999). MAusIMM. Since profitability of a mine is enhanced by the presence and distribution of high-grade ore it is important to achieve an understanding of what controls the highest metal grades in any gold deposit. 2000b) and have been reviewed in a number of papers (Evans and Jones. deposits which can be used predictively in exploration and resource definition (Buchanan. Butler et al . reverse or transcurrent while ore fluid transport may be upwards or along the structure. named Nancy. 14 . 1948) and augmented using computerised 3D geological modelling tools. Ore shoots in these deposits typically have plunging elongate shapes with anisotropic grade distributions. ±sulphides. 1995.Location of Pajingo Joint venture. Relatively narrow alteration envelopes form adjacent to and above the structure. 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 1 . Consequent mineral deposition results in the structure being infilled with predominantly quartz-carbonate. Sims. The structures act as conduits for mineralising fluids which undergo pressure/temperature changes in the ‘near-surface’ environment leading to boiling. Corbett and Leach. The contours on the long section show Au gram-metre (gm) values with the 15 gm contour being the Coolum. compilation and analysis of detailed spatial data to indicate the relationships which may (or may not) exist between metal distribution. 1996) while others promote fluid mixing (interaction with surficial oxidised fluids) as efficient mechanisms for precious metal deposition in certain circumstances (Corbett and Leach. depressurisation and mineral precipitation. mineralisation and vein textures have been modelled into an idealised zonation pattern based on many southwest USA 1. occur over a 2. The techniques used to analyse the data are drawn largely from the text ‘Mining Geology’ (McKinstry. The main mineralised structure dilated as a consequence of extensional tectonics while the splays acted as conduits bringing oxidising surficial fluids into mixing zones precipitating high gold grades. Exploration geologists develop genetic models which itemise and arrange critical components to develop ore generation models for targeting while it is the mine geologist who has the best opportunity to understand why the orebody is really developed where it is. Alteration. Mineralised structures represent fault zones which dilated allowing ore fluid movement.2 km strike length to a maximum depth of 600 m. Data modelling in a 3D environment is an essential process for understanding the geometry of the system being explored. The objective is to establish the interrelationship between geometry and gold distribution for the deposits and to develop explanations that account for the localisation of high-grade gold ore. Qld. 2000a. compositional change and fluid mixing in the critical zone. Morrison et al . Kinematics on such structures may be either normal. 1998. 1990). 1998) produces deposits which are closely constrained within and adjacent to the controlling structures which host them. Vera. grade and width data are just as applicable today and can be enhanced using modern geological modelling software. deposit geometry and lithological or geochemical aspects of the deposit. The techniques developed over 60 years ago to analyse structure. Senior Mine Geologist. INTRODUCTION Determining the distribution of high-grade ore is a process which involves the collection. Boiling alone is promoted by some as the sole mechanism for gold and silver precipitation (Hedenquist et al . While it is clear that mineral textures present in low sulphidation epithermal deposits such as colloform-crustiform banding are a product of fluid boiling. 1998).17 May 2000 55 . Richards et al . Figure 2 shows the resource long section for the Vera Nancy deposits. 1981. LOW SULPHIDATION EPITHERMAL DEPOSITS Low-sulphidation quartz vein hosted epithermal mineralisation (White and Hedenquist. 1997. more contentious is the mechanism which causes precious metal precipitation. PO Box 1271. Pajingo Joint Venture.Controls on High-Grade Gold Distribution at Vera Nancy Mine D Sims1 ABSTRACT Determining the controls of high-grade mineralisation at Vera Nancy requires careful data collection and assessment on a global and specific deposit basis. Charters Towers Qld 4820. Near-mine exploration is focussed on identifying zones of vein flexure and splay interaction to locate the relatively small high-grade shoots. Nancy North and Vera South. Epithermal deposits form at ‘shallow levels’ with precious metals generally occurring over a vertical extent of a few hundred metres. adularia and precious metals. This paper discusses progress towards the understanding of the Vera Nancy low-sulphidation epithermal deposits located 55 km southeast of Charters Towers in North Queensland (Figure 1). Four main deposits.

Mine production began in 1997 and is increasing to a rate of over 500 000 t per annum to produce in excess of 220 000 oz Au per annum. In general the underground infill drilling programs provide enough information to reliably model the orebody geometry and grade distribution for mine planning purposes to yield Probable Reserves however geological understanding of the veins are greatly enhanced during driving. modelling to-date has relied on 40 m × 40 m spaced surface drilling. During ore driving the face of each cut (3 m long) is geologically mapped and sampled followed later by backs mapping and 3D stope geology modelling prior to stope extraction. • grade and width variation in relation to vein geometry. The deposits are hosted in an andesitic volcanic sequence on the margins of the Drummond Basin. The Nancy North. Nancy North has mostly vein networks defining the structures rather than the solid continuous veining seen in Nancy and Vera.3. Ore drive development is around 90 per cent completed in Nancy. Nancy has narrower widths than Vera but higher grades. 50 per cent completed in Vera and 30 per cent completed in Nancy North.0 m. The data compiled for this paper spans the Nancy North.6 g/t Au. Nancy and Vera deposits have two or more equant to steeply plunging shoots separated by low-grade or barren zones. 2000b). CONTROLS ON HIGH-GRADE ORE AT VERA NANCY Issues considered in assessing ore controls at Vera Nancy include: • the arrangements of the mineralised structures on a ‘global’ scale.D SIMS FIG 2 . Each deposit has a main vein which carries the bulk of the metal content while subordinate splay veins diverge from the main structure and either die out in the host rock or rejoin the main vein. In all deposits the veins are moderate to steeply dipping but contain bends and kinks in strike and rolls in dip. As 56 underground drilling and ore driving has yet to commence in the Vera South deposit. Resources total 4. Only brief discussion is made of Vera South and confined mainly to the gross geometry of the vein arrangements as interpreted from core. Veins are generally narrower. Coolum. Total cash costs per oz Au for the three months to December 1999 was AUS $190 (43 607 oz Au produced). Qld. All mining is by underground methods utilising bench stoping on 15 m sublevels. Vein widths range from a few centimetres up to 16 m but average widths in economic zones are commonly 2. Splay veins can carry economic grades but generally only in close proximity to the main structure.Long section showing deposits along Vera Nancy trend.2 Mt at 14. 14 . current limit of ore for the mine.0 . Nancy and Vera orebodies and includes over 105 km of 20 m × 20 m spaced underground LTK60 infill core drilling as well as ore drive development for bench stoping. higher grade and more sinuous in driving than modelled from drilling data alone. Contours in gram-metres. and • genetic evidence within the veins indicated by texture and grade distribution.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Data collection and interpretation focused toward the resolution of detailed vein geometry is a key function of mining geology at Vera Nancy (Sims. All gold and silver is contained within quartz veining. • the specific geometry and arrangement of the structures within each deposit.

Figure 3 shows hangingwall splays in Vera and footwall splays in Nancy located at inflection points in the main structure. The fault zone has a sigmoidal ‘Z’ shape in plan with the outer deposits (Vera South. Nancy and Vera structures. the structures do not necessarily contain ore grade material over the full extent depicted. Sections are spaced at 40 m easting intervals along the mine grid. 14 .Long section showing Conolly contours for the main vein hangingwall surface. The strike changes discussed above are evident in the isometric view as are splay veins at inflection points.17 May 2000 57 . They show vein geometry in the same way as topographic contours indicate land surface geometry.Plan of Vera Nancy trend showing vein geometries at 1000 m RL. Figure 3 shows a plan of vein geometries at the 1000 m RL (about 250 m below surface) while Figure 4 shows the long section of Conolly contours for the main vein hangingwall surface over the same strike length. Vera and Vera South deposits occur along the same fault zone and generally dip steeply south. Nancy. It is assumed that the kinematic history of all the Vera-Nancy deposits along the structure are sympathetic – the movement history on one vein is related to the movement history of the other veins during ore formation. They demonstrate the changes in strike between the central zone and the flanking zones of the structure . but rather show the shape of the ore hosting structure. Figure 5 is an isometric view of stacked plan slices at a 75 m vertical slice interval showing the arrangement of the ore hosting structures.strike changes occur where steep gradients in the contours are evident. 1948) with a fault ‘horse’ occurring between veins along a larger scale inflection.CONTROLS ON HIGH-GRADE GOLD DISTRIBUTION AT VERA NANCY MINE Arrangement of the structures on a global scale Globally the Nancy North. Splay veins diverge from the main vein at inflection points and can either terminate in the host sequence or rejoin the main vein along strike. The changes in strike between the central and end zones are a function of primary fault zone geometry. The structure contours in Figure 4 are constructed from a plane oriented parallel to the central zone containing Nancy and Vera. The horse at Vera South has a longer down plunge extent than along strike. Qld. Vera South) such a model is contradicted by other dilational indicators (see below). Grid spacing is 250 m with mine grid north at top of page. FIG 4 . Nancy North) curving away by about 20° in strike from the reasonably linear trend of the central zone occupied by Vera and Nancy. The 1000 RL slice shown in Figure 3 is the fourth slice from the top. Vera South has a central ‘cymoid’ loop geometry (McKinstry. Figure 6 shows an isometric view of stacked cross-sections for the Nancy North. There is a through-going structure hosting the main mineralised vein in each deposit with the main vein containing around 90 per cent or more of the metal content in each deposit. Specific deposit geometry Examination of the deposits/structures in more detail assists to resolve kinematic issues along the fault zone. As with Figure 5 and Figure 3. Grid spacing is 250 m and contours extend to surface. Post-ore faulting has disturbed the deposit geometry in localised areas but not to the extent of removing or masking the primary geometry of the host structures on a global or deposit scale. Each deposit along the trend has in detail kinks and bends in its strike and rolls in its dip. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. The classic sigmoidal shape of the fault trend in plan may at first glance imply that vein development in the central zone is due to a dilational jog resulting from dextral (right lateral) shear along the structure. FIG 3 . Other subordinate splays form linking structures between other splays. Conolly contours display the 3D geometry of a vein and are constructed by contouring points of equal perpendicular distance on the vein’s surface from an arbitrary dipping plane approximately parallel to the strike and dip of the vein. Given that appreciable dilation has occurred also in the flanking fault trends (Nancy North. This discussion will exclude the Vera South deposit as detailed modelling is yet to be undertaken.

Sections at 40 m easting intervals. FIG 6 .5 km strike length.Isometric view of stacked plan slices along 2. 58 Coolum.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .2 km strike length.D SIMS FIG 5 . Nancy and Vera deposits along a 1. 14 .Isometric view of stacked sections showing structure of Nancy North. Slices at 75 m vertical intervals. Qld.

Vera contains eight splays plus the main vein which. 14 . The relationship between geometry. The Nancy footwall splays discussed above intersect the main vein in a horizontal zone along the lower western portion of Nancy but change trend to join the main vein in a more vertical orientation in the eastern lobe of the Nancy deposit. The VNU vein has been defined by drilling to continue some distance down the footwall of the fault below the upper limit of the main Vera vein – in effect the structure has been duplicated by horizontal shortening at the eastern end of Vera. To the footwall of the Nancy main vein thin ‘third order’ veins dip steeply to the north where the main vein is vertical or dips steeply south (see Sims. The rapid diminishing of the mineralised structure along strike is interpreted to represent the ‘tipping out’ of the extensional fault plane which allows dilation of the vein. Intersections between the main vein and splay veins are plotted as heavy lines on the long section.see Figure 2) is the continuation of the main Vera vein but displaced by post-ore movement on a steep reverse fault which slices between the two deposits. form northward dipping link structures between parallel veins or diverge from the main vein to die out in the adjacent host rocks. Sims. The outer economic margins of each deposit can change from a 2 .100 m. south dipping splays emerge from the main vein in areas where the main vein steepens (Figure 6. which contains the widest veins in the mine. Note that the upper Vera vein known as Vera North Upper (VNU . 2000b. Sections shown in Figure 6 indicate this dipping sigmoidal profile which lessens to a uniformly dipping vein towards the deposit’s western limit. The splay vein intersection lines in Nancy are quite continuous with the two footwall splay intersections running horizontally along the ‘roll-over’ zone then changing strike to become vertically oriented. 2000b Figure 3). In the eastern portion of Vera.4850 m E and in Vera around 5300 m E. In Nancy the distribution of both width and grade contours show a common pattern with the higher values on or close beside the ridges described by the structure contours. The Vera main vein is continuous with the Nancy main vein but located to the footwall of the vein array rather than to the hangingwall as with Nancy. The contour lines are in 10 g/t Au intervals with the shaded areas being 40+ g/t Au. Main ‘ridges’ occur in Nancy around 4500 . There is a preponderance of intersections around the ridge at 5300 m E. Grade and width variation in relation to vein geometry This section will cover Nancy North separately to Vera and Nancy due to the difference in strike between these deposits. Vera’s north-dipping linking veins and south-dipping splays also support extensional movement. Meso-scale veining supports normal movement on the mineralised structures. Maximum dilation/fault offset occurs in the centre of the ellipse with displacement reducing to insignificant amounts along the fault ‘tip line’. as with the other deposits. 2000a.17 May 2000 59 . The Nancy deposit consists of the main vein and four subordinate veins. The east lobe of Nancy follows the ridge line closely and is paralleled and enveloped by the splay vein intersections. Figure 7 shows the Conolly contours for the main vein for both Nancy and Vera. Nancy also exhibits a rapid vertical gradient change around 950 m RL between 4450 . There is a strong positive correlation in Nancy between both grade and width with the location of splay vein intersections and structural ‘cusps’ in the vein trend. In the western portion of Nancy the main vein dips steeply south in its upper portion to steeply north in its lower portion and is located on the hangingwall of the deposit. When the vein intersections become steep to vertical the roll-over shape is much less pronounced or is not present. Subordinate veins splay from the main vein into the footwall with two well-developed splays joining the main structure in the western portion of the deposit. Figure 9 shows vein horizontal width contours with contour lines in 1 m width intervals starting at 2 m. Above the junction point the main amd splay veins are all dipping steeply south but where they merge the main vein’s dip reverses to become steeply north dipping (refer also Sims. Similar relationships occur to the hangingwall of the main Vera vein where ‘third order’ thin veins dip steeply to the north while the main vein dips south. Qld. This sigmoidal profiled ‘roll-over’ area has some of Nancy’s best developed vein widths and grades while economic gold grades extend out within one of the splays for approximately 50 .4600 m E and 4800 .3 m wide ore vein to a thin poorly-veined chloritic fault or a weakly mineralised silicified breccia zone over a 10 m strike length without any obvious strike or dip change. The circular and U-shaped intersection lines represent two other splays which emerge from and rejoin the main structure. The shaded areas are 5 m+ in width. Resolving the magnitude and direction of shear is not readily apparent and requires further work.4650 m E that represents the ‘roll-over’ zone. In Vera the pattern of splay intersections is less continuous intersecting the main vein as vertically. In the west lobe of Nancy the best widths are developed in the roll-over zone while high-grades extend up along the flank of the western ridge spur around 1000 m RL and 4600 m E. Figure 1a). Splays to the hangingwall either emerge from and parallel the main vein. grade and vein width will be discussed using Conolly diagrams which plot parameter distribution on contours of vein geometry. In generalised section Nancy North has an upper zone with flatter dips. In the lower fringe of Nancy vein widths of 2 3 m occur without significant grades. Large vein thicknesses around 900 m RL result in high metal accumulations at lower grades whilst widths and grades in the 5000 – 5250 m E section Coolum. The Vera veins do not exhibit Nancy’s north-dipping ‘roll-over’ zones but have a moderately consistent steep southerly dip. Some component of strike slip movement is thought to be evident in this dominantly extensional environment as indicated by the positioning of splay veins branching from the main structure at slight inflection points. two of which have steep plunges and rejoin the main vein along strike and down dip.CONTROLS ON HIGH-GRADE GOLD DISTRIBUTION AT VERA NANCY MINE The Nancy North portion of the structure has three splay veins diverging from the main vein. inclined or arcuate shapes. Figure 8 shows a Conolly diagram with main vein Au grade contours superimposed over the structure contours and splay intersection lines. As can occur with other normal faulting terrains it is expected that the fault surface is approximately elliptical in shape. In Vera the best grades and widths are developed around the 5300 m E ridge with grades being better developed around the upper eastern splay vein intersections. Note the ‘ridges’ evident in the contours are structural highs in the ‘topography’ of the vein representing changes in vein strike and dip. The coincidence of the roll-over zone and the vein intersections is a consequence of the splays role as dilation structures to allow movement in this zone. a steeply dipping central zone then a lower zone again with flatter dips. Vein dilation in Nancy North occurs in the steep ramp portion of the sigmoidal profile during extension while the thickening in Nancy’s roll-over zone is related to normal fault movement coupled with jostling on footwall splays to accommodate opening. All of the above geometrical relationships of the veins indicate dilation was a function of extensional tectonics. Sometimes subtle orientation changes are discernible at the point of thinning. The boundary between the two deposits is around 4850 m E. Note however that the best grades do not always coincide with the best widths. Vera has hangingwall splays branching at a northerly kink while Nancy has footwall splays 4th International Mining Geology Conference branching near a southerly kink in the main structure (Figure 3). Figure 3). contains the bulk of the metal.

Grid spacing is 250 m and contour s extend to surface. Qld.Conolly diagram showing Au grade contours for Nancy-Vera. FIG 8 . As with Nancy considerable vein widths occur in the lower fringe of Vera with relatively low gold contents and the best grades do not always occur on the widest zones.D SIMS have some correlation with vein intersections. Shaded areas +40 g/t Au.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .Nancy-Vera structure contours with splay vein intersections. FIG 7 . A moderate easterly plunging intersection between a flat northerly dipping splay vein to the hangingwall of the main vein in the 5100 5250 m E zone appears to have some influence on grade and width distribution. 60 Coolum. 14 .

and the intersections of the main mineralised vein with subordinate splay veins control high ore grades at Vera Nancy. All banded. The structure contours have a central plateau of ‘flat’ contours which is the steep portion of the sigmoidal profile.Conolly diagram showing vein horizontal width contours for Nancy-Vera. The splays appear to have acted as conduits bringing oxidising fluids into mixing zones with ore fluids thus precipitating high gold grades. vein intersections. Multiple movement stages on the faults deposited veins through boiling (banded texture) and quenching/recrystalisation (moss texture . grades and widths for the Nancy North orebody. Shaded areas +5 m width. The above observation coupled with the closer correlation between high gold grades and splay vein intersections implies that fluid mixing. Some degree of structural ridge coincidence is evident for the width distributions within the plateau zone whilst higher grades are more coincident with splay intersections. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Contouring intervals and shading are the same as with Figures 7. movement and vein formation. Veins once formed were often brecciated and overprinted by later Both the primary geometry of the mineralised structure. Although more work is to be undertaken on gold grade persistence in relation to quartz vein texture. Considering the three deposits gold grade and vein width is generally related to steeply plunging cusps or steeply dipping flexures in the main vein structure combined with splay vein intersections. 1990). Both widths and grades are concentrated around the plateau zone but grades are more tightly constrained in the central part of the plateau in proximity to the splay vein intersections.Morrison et al . where oxidising surficial waters interact with ascending gold bearing solutions.CONTROLS ON HIGH-GRADE GOLD DISTRIBUTION AT VERA NANCY MINE FIG 9 . moss and brecciated quartz vein textures can host high-grade mineralisation. The structural gradients above and below the plateau represent the flattening of the structure up and down dip. Around the lower fringes of the Vera. are a significant factor in high-grade gold localisation. Qld. 8 and 9. which dilated under a dominantly extensional regime. Nancy and Nancy North orebodies well developed and continuous quartz veining carries strong ‘ore-bearing’ textures in appreciable widths but with only low or minor gold contents (1 . 14 . High gold grades in Nancy and Nancy North appear to be coincident with the intersection of splay veins and the main vein whereas widths are related to the primary geometry of the fault plane as a consequence of extensional dilation. High gold grades are more restricted in Nancy North compared to Nancy and Vera but widths are generally high. No trends in base metal sulphide distributions are evident in any of the Vera Nancy deposits and base metal sulphides are extremely rare in the veins. Fluid mixing is proposed by Corbett and Leach (1998) as a significant mechanism for gold precipitation in epithermal environments based on geochemical modelling and field studies. 11 and 12 show the main vein structure contours. Strong evidence for boiling in these areas implies that this mechanism alone is not responsible for the localisation of high gold grades. wide zones of veining occur in the lower portion and fringe of the deposit without appreciable grade development. Again. It is believed that footwall or hangingwall subordinate structures which intersect the main vein/structure contribute to ore localisation by not only allowing block movement and dilation in extensional settings but have served as conduits for descending surficial waters.17 May 2000 61 . Genetic evidence from textures and grade distributions CONCLUSIONS The veins throughout the Nancy North. Nancy and Vera contain abundant evidence that ore formation was a periodic and repetitive event. Figures 10. Splay vein intersections are concentrated in this plateau zone and are either vertical or arcuate in trace.2 g/t Au). there is no obvious or clear relationship between grade and texture within a quartz vein.

14 . Shaded areas +40 g/t Au.Conolly diagram showing Au grade contours for Nancy North. Qld. 62 Coolum.D SIMS FIG 10 .Nancy North structure contours with splay vein intersections.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Grid spacing is 100 m and contours extend to surface. FIG 11 .

23:1. Mining Geology . Geological modelling and grade control in a narrow vein. T and Parks. 1995. SEG Newsletter .17 May 2000 63 . Southwest pacific rim gold-copper systems: structure. S. E. 1948. 1981. pp 65-76 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). N C and Hedenquist. North Queensland. The Society of Resource Geology (Japan): special publication number 1. Shaded areas +5 m width. Society of Economic Geologists. AIG Symposium. Near mine exploration focusses on determining zones of vein flexure and splay interaction to locate the relatively small high-grade shoots. G. J W. Izawa. pp 25 – 31. 1999. A Jr and White. Sims. Klondike Exploration Services. Sampling practice at Vera Nancy gold mine. 1998. D A. Arribas. Precious metal deposits associated with Volcanic environments in the southwest. G J and Jones. Textural zoning in epithermal quartz veins. Vera south: discovery history. REFERENCES Buchanan. 2000b. D A.Conolly diagram showing vein horizontal width contours for Nancy North. pp 35-42 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 2000a. 14 . Epithermal gold deposits: styles. Special publication number 6. 1990. 1996. in Proceedings 4th International Mining Geology Conference. high-grade gold mine. Townsville. 1998. Elliott.237 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Structural geologist Roric Smith was instrumental in recognising the overall extensional structural setting of the deposits in particular the mesoscale evidence for extension and the normal fault tip line effects on the deposit margins. B H. pp 685-690 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Corbett. Qld. Morrison. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie). McKinstry. B H. characteristics and exploration. J. H E. The Discovery and evaluation of the Vera-Nancy deposit. Helpful comments and suggestions were made by an anonymous AusIMM reviewer. Data modelling in a 3D environment is a critical process for understanding the sometimes subtle changes in the geometry of the system being explored. 9-13. D and Jaireth. characteristics and exploration. I. pp 233 . Vera North and Nancy gold deposits. L J. 14:237-261. Hedenquist. R C and Jones. Society of Economic Geologists. in Proceedings 4th International Mining Geology Conference. Richards. 1997. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The relationships between grade distribution and splay vein intersections were first recognised by Matthew Readford of Snowden Associates when he and the author undertook resource estimation work on the Nancy deposit in 1998. in Exploration under cover. White. G J and Leach. Pajingo.CONTROLS ON HIGH-GRADE GOLD DISTRIBUTION AT VERA NANCY MINE FIG 12 . T M. Epithermal gold deposits: styles. D R. alteration and mineralisation. Murphy. Butler. J W. in Proceedings World Gold ’97. Sims. Guoyi. (Prentice-Hall). Coolum. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Evans. N C. Arizona Geol Soc Digest .

carbonate.Geological Modelling and Grade Control in a Narrow Vein. Silicification and late stage veining lack ‘boiling’ textures and are not mineralised. although simple in overall geometry. Precious metals are contained in quartz veins and in breccias along the fault plane containing quartz vein fragments. understanding orebody geometry and the optimisation of ore driving and stoping activities. Qld. Drill data alone is not adequate to define deposit geometry for stoping. Mining began on the Pajingo goldfield in 1987 when the Scott Lode open cut commenced extraction of quartz-hosted epithermal gold/silver deposits found in the area. The Vera Nancy trend is but one shear system in the field and extends to a vertical depth of 400 m over a 2 km strike length.5 M oz Au and 4. Senior Mine Geologist. Orebodies are generally characterised by strong banding and infill textures in the quartz although in some areas. Nancy and Nancy North orebodies were discovered in 1995 (Evans and Jones. Dips of the veins range from subvertical to 50° but average at around 70° to the SW.17 May 2000 65 . The Vera. In detail the veins are not planar but are rather sinuous Coolum. High-Grade Gold Mine D Sims1 ABSTRACT The Vera Nancy orebodies. Oxidisation extends to around 70 m from surface and does not have a significant effect on the resource which is dominantly below 120 m depth. Normandy Mining act as operation managers and utilise a mining contractor for extraction. Global resource modelling utilises mainly drill hole data which is largely superceded by drive development data as stope development progresses. resource estimation to-date has focussed on developing the geological understanding of the orebody to ensure the framework for estimation is correct. Grade control is a combination of orebody sampling. Nancy.01 g/t Au in andesite or siliceous andesite breccia across a knife-sharp vein contact. pyrite. Gold occurs as electrum with silver (ratio approximately 1:1). On current resources the mine has a ten year mine life. An upgraded mill capacity of 600 000 t per year will see the operation producing over 220 000 oz Au at peak production in 2001. This paper reviews current grade control and modelling practice at Vera Nancy which has evolved since the mine commenced development in 1997. Although in places sulphides in the form of pyrite can account for up to two per cent of the rock. Tight geological control is required to optimise gold and silver production from this bench stoping operation. Charters Towers Qld 4820. geological data collection.50 per cent Battle Mountain Australia Ltd and 50 per cent Normandy Mining Ltd) owns the Vera Nancy underground gold mine located approximately 53 km SSE of Charters Towers in North Queensland (Figure 1). sericite. 1997. multi-veined and fluctuating in width. Mineralised structures occur as quartz/carbonate infill veins along faults accompanied by limited alteration halos (silica. haematite) flanking the veins. Current production comes solely from underground mining along a 1. is generally fine grained (<150 mm) and not visible to the naked eye. The processes used to model the resource and to control ore drive development have evolved since mining commenced in 1997. the system is a low sulphidation epithermal type with economic mineralisation exclusively occurring within the constraints of the quartz veining. The sequence forms part of the Drummond Basin with mineralisation dated at around 342 Mya (Porter. Gold grades can drop from ‘ounce-plus’ values in quartz vein to 0. Adularia is absent while the main carbonates are ferroan in composition. 1.6 km strike length incorporating four distinct deposits. are in detail generally narrow. Rather than rely on sophisticated grade interpolation methods. strongly banded veins are not significantly mineralised. PO Box 1271. Butler et al. 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 1 . 1990. Access development in Vera South is underway for underground infill drilling commencing in May 2000 with production following in 2001. With past production and present resources exceeding 2. Ore occurs in steeply plunging shoots within the dilatant areas. MAusIMM.Location of Pajingo Joint Venture. mixing and boiling of gold/silver bearing fluids within the structures. DEPOSIT GEOLOGY Precious metal mineralisation at Vera Nancy occurs as shoots within moderate to steeply-dipping epithermal quartz veins hosted in an andesitic volcanic sequence. The orebody has a relatively low nugget effect that assists in grade estimation. 1998) and are in production while Vera South was located 400 m along strike in 1998 (Butler et al. Richards et al. 1999). Drive data is used as the dominant data set for stope geology modelling once development for a stope is complete.1999). Pajingo Joint Venture. strike and dip. Each deposit sits on a major through-going fault plane/mineralised structure which contains the majority of the metal and has the most continuously developed veining. notably on the deposits’ lateral and down dip margins.0 M oz Ag the field is a significant gold district and still highly prospective. Nancy North. 14 . Movement on the faults during mineralisation allowed dilation leading to depressurisation. Vera and Vera South (Figure 2). INTRODUCTION The Joint Venture (PJV . chlorite.

12 Mt 13. Both Vera and Nancy share a similar NW strike which differ from Nancy North and Vera South which strike WNW. Nancy North and Vera South deposits as at end June 1999 are as follows (note that Resources include Reserves): Resources: Measured 0. The Vera deposit contains the most metal and has the widest vein widths . Third order mineralised veinlets 10 to 20 cm wide commonly diverge from the major structures and can extend one to five metres into the footwall or hangingwall host rocks at a low angle or subparallel to the major structure.up to 16 m. one named VNU (Vera North Upper) the other Venue (Vera North Upper Extended).5 g/t Au Probable 1. and undulating exhibiting rapid width. Exploration drilling indicates a highly variable quartz vein texture and mineralogy (Butler et al. Nancy North covers 250 m of strike and 250 m of vertical extent while Vera South covers 500 m of strike and 550 m of vertical extent.15 Mt 13. the splays are positioned mainly in the footwall of the main vein.6 g/t Au Reserves: Coolum. occur above the Vera Deposit.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Nancy extends 300 m of strike and 300 m of vertical extent with the two main shoots separated by a barren zone. Figure 4 shows a representative cross-section through the western shoot of the 66 Nancy deposit.53 Mt 12. 14 . At Nancy. while Venue is currently uneconomic. stockwork veining and short scale vein disruption which is believed to be a function of the deposit’s position at a bend in the main structure. The Resources and Reserves for the Nancy.9 g/t Au Total 2. They develop significant splays at inflections where subordinate structures diverge from the main vein. It covers 500 m of strike and 200 m of vertical extent.69 Mt 8. Vera. VNU has been mostly mined out extracted in the first 18 months of production. strike and dip variations. a detailed understanding of Vera South is yet to be developed. Splays can rejoin the main vein or diverge to extend into and die out in the surrounding host rock. The Nancy deposit exhibits narrower widths but higher grades in comparison to Vera and consists of a dominant main vein with four locally mineralised flanking splays. Splays can carry economic mineralisation and are stoped over limited strike and dip extents either adjacent to or within close proximity to the main vein.59 Mt 13.36 Mt 18.9 g/t Au Indicated 1. Note the shallowly plunging trend described by the four major deposits is possibly a feature related the to regional tilting of a palaeosurface (Figure 2). A main vein containing the bulk of the gold is flanked by eight minor veins or splays which contain localised economic mineralisation and are positioned mainly in the hangingwall of the main vein. 1999).7 g/t Au Inferred 2. Nancy North contains a relatively high proportion of brecciated vein textures. Nancy North has a dominant vein ranging in width from 1 to 5 m with minor flanking veins while Vera South is interpreted to have three major veins and three minor veins containing economic mineralisation.8 g/t Au Total 4. As the understanding of vein morphology and continuity is a function of drill density and ore driving data. Figure 3 shows a representative cross-section through the Vera deposit. Two smaller deposits.20 Mt 14.Long section of Vera Nancy deposit.6 g/t Au Proved 0.D SIMS FIG 2 . Qld. Veins are commonly 2 to 3 m in horizontal width but can thicken up to 16 m in places.

GEOLOGICAL MODELLING AND GRADE CONTROL FIG 3 . 14 . diamond drill hole traces and down-hole vein intercepts. Qld.Vera cross-section at 5360 mE showing development profiles. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Main vein in dark grey.17 May 2000 67 .

68 Coolum.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . diamond drill hole traces and down-hole vein intercepts.D SIMS FIG 4 . Qld. Main vein in dark grey.Nancy cross-section at 4560 mE showing development profiles. 14 .

These wireframes are subsequently used to construct the vein block models. • Sample assay information.7 m where dip is less than 65°) although veins down to 0. Early sludging was undertaken using a percussion blasthole rig (H104) but unreliable width and grade data led to using a truck mounted LM22 rig drilling LTK48 core. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The orebodies are delineated with dominantly HQ/NQ core surface drilling on a nominal 40 m × 40 m spacing to yield an Inferred Resource. This aims to lessen the effect of locational inaccuracy of surface drilling on the model wireframe geometry. Minimum drive mining width is 3. DATA COLLECTION Data collected at Vera Nancy includes surface and underground drillcore logging and sampling. Critical aspects for successful mining geology at Vera Nancy include: • Reliably modelling the vein system using the infill underground drilling data as a guide to assist ore drive development. Stope overbreak is controlled by these discrete structures. 2000).5 2 m out in cross-strike location. Rock strength is high with andesite averaging around 70 Mpa and quartz vein around 120 Mpa. initially fired into a raise-bored slot then the brow is retreated to the central cross-cut. Ore drives are mined over the full vein width out from a central cross-cut. Poor ground conditions are associated with faults and shears which occur either subparallel to the veins or moderately dipping to the NE or SW. • Maintaining tight geological control to ensure drives follow veins as closely as possible whilst minimising the undercutting of ore contacts.17 May 2000 69 .understanding the deposit geology is the key to a good estimate and model at Vera Nancy. Qld. good geological control during driving and stoping is a key element in maximising profitability by reducing ore losses and dilution. Vein boundary information from underground development is not used in this modelling and in areas where underground drilling has duplicated or repeated surface drilling only the underground drilling is used. No selective mining is undertaken in within the ore boundary. The pick-up strings are loaded into Vulcan to provide hard locational data for boundary control. In a narrow vein. digitally photographed and then half-sawn for fire assay. Geological control can in particular minimise the impact of undercutting to the stope hangingwall. This reduces the amount of waste taken with the ore thus maximising recovered grade. which is composited into vein width intersections and used to interpolate assay grades into the block model. back mapping and geotechnical profile mapping. Logging is undertaken using a barcode-based logging system (DATCOL) which delivers a directly loadable ASCII file which is uploaded to a Vulcan drill hole database via UNIX scripts. Once the drive is completed the entire length is washed down and the boundaries of the quartz veins/breccia zones and significant fault planes are painted on the backs and walls for survey pick-up. Coolum. Two types of data is used for this stage of modelling: • Spatial data is used to create the 3D orebody interpretation wireframes and consists of orebody boundary location information from surface and underground drilling. Average hole length for LTK60 drilling is around 125 m with Eastman surveys initially at 12 m then every 30 m. is restricted to drill hole data alone.5 m (3. 14 . relatively high production rate mine.3 m. LM22 holes are typically 12 25 m long. Being emplaced along a fault system. undercutting is an unavoidable adjunct to driving. interpretation. Local vein flexures can see the vein trend/drill hole intersection angle vary by 10 .2 m) joint sets common in the host andesite. Each ore drive cut is geologically mapped and chip sampled with sample data uploaded into Vulcan as short drill holes positioned across the face.GEOLOGICAL MODELLING AND GRADE CONTROL Ground conditions and mining Ground conditions in the mine are generally good with two to three widely spaced (1 . Reliable data collection. modelling and data usage all contribute to quality grade control. Mining is undertaken using bench stoping using a 15 m floor to floor sublevel interval. • Capturing spatial location and grade data from drive mining to assist in accurate stope geology modelling. Orebody parallel faults located 1 .4 m from the edge of the orebody are common in Nancy and Nancy North but less prevalent in Vera. Stoping progresses in an overhand ‘bottom-up’ manner with initial decline access reaching the lower limit of ore in each orebody prior to stope extraction – no floor or crown pillars remain and all voids are backfilled with mine waste. face mapping and sampling. A second wireframe which uses all surface and underground drill data is constructed solely for sample composite generation. With generally narrow vein widths of 2 . Detailed discussion of sampling methods used at Vera Nancy is given elsewhere in this volume (Sims. GLOBAL RESOURCE MODELLING Modelling of each deposit (global modelling) is undertaken when underground 20 m × 20 m infill drilling is completed. Additionally the fault network has been re-activated post-ore to produce orebody subparallel faults which either cause vein duplication or create waste zones in fault windows. † Resue methods involve the face being fired in two parts – one half of the face is fired first in the waste zone and bogged as clean as possible before the ore portion of the face is fired. LTK48 core is whole core assayed. This approach produces a block model with vein geometry and location based on the more spatially accurate underground drilling data in the bulk of the ore zone and a sample composite database which includes all drilling data for grade estimation. All ore driving is under geological control using two boom jumbos and Elphinstone 1500 .1700 loaders. Core is logged and sampled on geological boundaries that reflect the sharp grade distribution changes within the deposit. the orebodies have outer vein surfaces which can be polished or slickensided reducing cohesion.20° from perpendicular. • Use of all available data to solve daily problems in drive development control – this entails using drill data and existing drive data below or above the level. This is followed by 20 m × 20 m infill drilling from underground drill sites using LTK60 core to upgrade the resource to Indicated status. Using the best vein boundary locational data available is crucial. Stopes are drilled with parallel blastholes.5 m wide are driven using resue† mining methods and stoped as benches. Once the ore drive in the main vein is established on each level 10 m spaced infill drilling (‘sludging’) is undertaken from the drive to investigate splay veins observed in the drive or indicated by the 20 m spaced drilling. Underground drilling is mostly undertaken from purpose-mined hangingwall drill drives. Drilling orientation is on sections orthogonal to the Vera Nancy mine grid which is oriented approximately parallel to the strike of the deposits. Considerable effort is expended in ensuring the geology interpretation accounts for all data and is sensible in light of development experience . Although the host rocks are non-magnetic survey inaccuracy in diamond drill holes routinely sees surface holes 3 5 m out in location while underground drill holes can be 0.

Qld. Once the interpretation has been resolved 20 m sections are then sliced through the drilling dataset in Vulcan on-screen and separate contact string layers for each vein (hangingwall and footwall) are constructed per section using the paper interpretation as a template. A boundary polygon is built linking points around the outer limit of the interpretation for each vein surface. etc.D SIMS Wireframing 6. Triangulations are validated to ensure the solids are closed. Each contact layer is triangulated separately with all interpretation string points disconnected and using the boundary polygon as a limiting element.0 m × 5. Wireframe construction uses the following process steps: 1. 70 Hangingwall and footwall surfaces are melded together to create solid triangulations. Vein grades and mineralisation lithologies are annotated and coloured onto drill hole traces and interpreted into series of veins and mapped to plan for 3D validation. Upper and lower limits of the interpretation are placed above the extent of data or beyond the lower limit of drill investigation. The interpretation uses both surface and underground drill data to develop the structural arrangement of the veins. A number of interpolation runs are made to optimise the estimation results. Statistics are run on the composites to determine cut values which approximate the 97. it is assumed that the whole vein will be mined as a single entity at the ore drive and bench stope stage. Pairs of vein boundary surfaces are compared to ensure the process has produced satisfactory surfaces. This in effect creates hard boundaries on assay data as only composites coded with the correct vein identification are used for estimation thus reflecting the sharp grade change evident on vein boundaries. The model is constructed as dip aligned being parallel to the average vein dip.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Compositing and block modelling Grade estimation to yield an Indicated Resource model involves the following stages: 1. Waste blocks are also scripted with a default grade of 0. Given a 20 m × 20 m infill drilling pattern this is the finest block size used with this data. Cross-section and plan paper interpretation of structure trends and orebody arrangement is undertaken on A0 paper plots. 2. a cross dip search of sufficient width is required to ensure all relevant samples are used during block estimation. topographic surfaces. There is a degree of smoothing of individual uncut high assay values during the compositing stage by averaging the grade across the vein. The contact strings consist of points snapped to drill holes at the determined vein contact locations. Although such an approach may dilute some ore intersections if there is no obvious visual control for mining. 3. brecciated andesite. Since the composites used for estimation include surface drill hole intersections which are not used in the block model vein wireframes. strongly silicified brecciated andesite) to ‘host rock’ lithology (unsilicified andesite. The wireframes are used to generate a ‘full-width’ or ‘seam’ type block models where single blocks extend from one side of the vein to the other.25 m with block size in the other two dimensions being 5. If surfaces cross in zones of narrow widths then control points are inserted into the boundary layers to ensure the crossing areas are eliminated. The model is then validated both visually to inspect grade smearing (blocks loaded on screen compared to composites) and statistically (the average grade of samples is compared to the average grade of the blocks). Length-weighted averaging of the uncut assay data is undertaken to produce the composite grade and a Vulcan software enhancement developed for PJV also resolves true and horizontal width of each intersection given a generalised vein dip and strike. When the model is deemed acceptable. Trending is not used as it tends to increase the number of crossing hangingwall and footwall facets. The vein solid triangulations are used to generate ‘vein-width’ assay composites from diamond drill hole assay data. 3. Each vein has its own set of composite files and the composite is tagged with a vein code during construction. 4. Grade interpolation using Inverse Distance methods then estimates Au and Ag grades into each vein model using the vein’s composites as samples. Inverse Distance weighting is applied using isotropic weighting within the ellipse. This surface triangulation is constructed by projecting the points onto a plane dipping parallel to the orebody. Block width edge resolution is 0. Resources are Coolum. Assay data can be used to override lithology data if assays >4 g/t Au occurred outside of ‘mineralisation’ lithology but are on trend of a recognised structure. 5. No interpreted points (ie points not on drill holes) are added at this stage. The boundary string interpretation is then checked by a second geologist. brecciated quartz vein. which are then trimmed via the Vulcan boolean option against adjacent veins.5th percentile. For each vein hangingwall and footwall surfaces are modelled separately. Variography by Snowden Associates indicates that a low nugget effect (0. Blocks are given a vein identification code at construction using priorities and inversions of solid triangulations. 4. No internal grade distribution detail is retained in compositing. These booleaned triangulations are used for composite sample generation and for block model construction. The boundary of the orebody in each intersection is positioned by locating the change from a ‘mineralisation’ lithology (quartz vein.0 m. Composites are checked to ensure correct coding. If internal grade distribution appears to be indiscernible on the basis of vein geology then the entire structure is flagged as the mineralisation intersection even if only part of the structure carries grade. Trials running Indicator Kriging models on global resources for Nancy determined that Inverse Distance interpolation delivers acceptable estimates for this stage of modelling.0 m high × wireframe vein width evolved from running models with larger block sizes and finding the block size is too coarse for mine design purposes. This approach produces a single composite with values for Au and Ag.0 m long × 5.1 g/t Au to allow reserve reporting of dilution. block model scripts are run to calculate vein width (block volume/block profile area) and accumulation values (width × gold grade). 14 . which extend from one side of the vein model to the other. The ‘selective mining unit’ block size of 5. silicified andesite). 2. not self-intersecting and topologically correct. Any available ore drive vein profiles or plan mapping is drawn on the sections and plans to assist in interpretation. Selective mining of the vein can not be undertaken if visual control is absent.25) is present in these deposits. Sections every 20 m are generated at 1:500 scale with plans plotted at 50 m RL increments. This method of solid triangulation generation is used rather than the more commonly used method of solid triangulation generation by sectional polygons as surface triangulations are easier to update with infill information and can be better manipulated to eliminate touching or crossing facets.

5 m wide by 4. Model inspection by section and plan slices to determine grade and width continuity. the desired width and height written on the face and one or two arrows are painted on the backs to indicate the direction in which the next cut is to be taken. Ore feed classifications to the mill are high-grade (+20 g/t Au). Drive and stope outline polygons are constructed on 5 m section intervals for each vein to include expected dilution.5 m high a maximum allowable dimensions at the end following the extraction of that cut is 4. low-grade (1 . Oversized faces are inspected by the shiftboss and the Pajingo Joint Venture mining supervisor to determine if the overbreak is a mining quality issue or an unavoidable ground conditions issue. When driving runs off or fails to completely recover the vein(s) stripping is undertaken to extract the portion left behind. The next cut boundaries are painted on the face. ore (5 . Only high-grade and ore is fed to the mill with low-grade being retained for later milling following mine closure. Sampling During ore driving each round or cut of material is sampled twice. The resource model may not predict short-scale changes and so driving involves close monitoring of information from drives above or below the current heading. When a heading needs to be turned sharply to follow a change in vein direction the ability to change direction is limited by the position of the vein in the face relative to the shape of the drive where the jumbo is to operate. vein structure.5 3.0 g/t Au per block minimum) cut-off equates to a minimum vein width/grade requirement more aligned to mine design experience. The low pyrite content and non-refractory nature of the ore ensures long-term storage of low-grade ore does not adversely effect milling performance. once as a chip sample across the mining face and a second time when the ore from the cut is trucked to the surface and dumped in surface stockpile bays. vein spacing and dip variations. The best ore drive geological control is totally ineffectual if the mining contractor does not ensure markups are rigorously followed and optimum face boring practices are employed.5 g/t Au) and marginal (0. All reserve estimation is undertaken using a bench stoping method with 15 m sublevel intervals. This advice often dictates the requirement for ‘pre-stripping’ a face or not for the next cut. Early estimations used a block cut-off of 4.0 m long sharp turns are not possible as the end of the boom often hits the wall before reaching the desired drilling angle on vein boundary holes.0 g/t Au for resource calculations but it is considered that assessing grade alone without examining block width is not adequately representing ‘mineability’ resources. Arrows may be in different directions if the vein is opening out in width. Having a ‘bottom-up’ mining method precludes selective scheduling to maximise head grade and sequences are relatively inflexible. Qld. The face is chip sampled based on geological domains and an estimate of the grade-range of the face is made. GRADE CONTROL Grade control during ore driving is a critical aspect of mining geology at Vera Nancy and has evolved to current practices over the past two years of mining.5 g/t Au). For example if a face is marked up at 4. An increasing level of caution regarding sizeable wall stripping has developed in the mine as poor control on stripping can often lead to increased undercutting of ore boundaries and hence higher dilution levels during stoping. The ‘grab’ samples taken on the stockpiles are used to classify the ore into a series of grade ranges used for mill feed blending while the development face chip samples are used for ore drive control and as sample data for stope scale block modelling. Ensuring grade maximisation is a key objective. faulting and jointing. The orebody can be divided into areas where the vein(s) horizontal width is either generally less (‘narrow’) or more (‘wide’) than the drive minimum mining width (3. In areas where veins are too close to extract separately by leaving a pillar. Sims (2000) discusses sampling of these materials. Each development face is mapped on 1:50 scale mapping sheet (Figure 5) noting vein position and dip in the face.1 g/t Au). If the overbreak is a Coolum. Since the jumbo booms are around 5. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Geological control of development Although sampling faces for grade estimation and sampling truck dumps for mill feed blending are important activities the best opportunities in maximising mill head grade is in optimising geological control during ore driving and stoping. A maximum overbreak tolerance of 0. texture and geometry. The geologist has the mapping sheet from the previous face with sample grades to assist in decisions regarding the correct position of the drive hangingwall or footwall.9 m by 4. Plans are also carried showing the block model outlines for the level and the trace of the development level immediately below the drive.0 g/t Au grade minimum for a vein by vein resource breakdown. Where large amounts of veining appear to be left behind in the walls LM22 drilling or sludging may be undertaken to determine the thickness and grade of the veining left behind in the wall. 2. Marginal material is stockpiled at the mine as it is currently not economic to treat. Fluctuations which can cause ore drives to run off or not fully recover the vein along the level generally occur on a spacing less than the infill drilling. Major fault structures are modelled as individual elements while ground conditions and expected dilution are assessed qualitatively based on ore drive geotechnical profile mapping (see below). In all circumstances where a face requires a significant amount of turning. In such cases a strip cut is taken to modify face geometry before the next cut is taken.17 May 2000 71 . design decisions are determined by evaluating and reserving a variety of options through solid triangulation construction. No domaining beyond separating individual veins and deposits is undertaken as mineralisation styles are similar within each deposit and no significant oxidation effects occur in the orebodies. The design limit of the drive or stope is determined by inspecting the vein grade compared to the required vein grade to cover the cost of mining ore drives at the periphery of the deposit (4. This is generally based on locating the position of the butts from the last cut and inspecting ground quality. Reserve generation includes the following stages: 1.2 m on each boundary compared to the mark-up dimensions is allowed before a penalty applies. 14 . The contract currently in place at Vera Nancy has a financial penalty for the contractor if face mark-ups are not followed. A 15 g/m (with a 4.3 . A significant issue in ore drive control is the rapid change in strike direction and width which occurs in some parts of each deposit.GEOLOGICAL MODELLING AND GRADE CONTROL then reported using an accumulation value cut-off of 15 gm with a 4. Reserves Once the resource model is complete the reserve estimation work undertaken by the senior mining engineer commences.9 m. alteration and the presence of thin veining in the host rocks or drive walls.7 m). Often small strips in the walls are taken with the current face to clean up minor amounts of quartz veining left behind from the previous one or two cuts. or in areas where veins merge.20 g/t Au). the mine shiftboss is consulted to ensure what is desired by the geologist is possible. A solid triangulation is built using the polygons and a reserve is generated against the block model for the drive or stope.

D SIMS FIG 5 . 72 Coolum. Qld. 14 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .Face mapping sheet.

Discontinuity orientation and characteristic data is collected and an assessment matrix is completed on the mapping sheet that determines the risk of stoping dilution for both the hangingwall and footwall surfaces. The process for stope geology modelling is as follows: 1. ore boundary position. 3. This is more common near the deposit limits along strike or down-dip. Additionally where LM22 drilling is undertaken on adjacent veins 1:250 scale sections on 10 m centres are plotted and detailed interpretation using face mapping/sampling data and infill drilling data are undertaken in section and plan. 4. The majority of stope dilution issues encountered to-date are related to the effects of discrete fault surfaces paralleling the orebody boundaries coupled with low angle joint sets particularly in areas where poor drive control has undercut the ore boundary. Geological boundary back string mark-up. Not all quartz carries ore and the previous face sampling data is used to guide the next markup. sludge drilled to fix the contact in detail and cablebolted with 6 m bulbed single strand bolts. Faults are modelled as triangulated surfaces in a similar way. 14 . Special attention is given to grade distribution in each face which may indicate ore outside the back string limit.8 m wide. medium or high dilution risk ratings along their lengths on 10 m spacings. Introduced in mid-1999 the dilution risk rating is proving successful in locating areas of high dilution risk. presence of low dipping joints. Generally mining contractor performance in following mark-ups and minimising overbreak is very high.7 m (determined by loader size) ensures undercutting is a common occurrence but geological control aims to position it to the footwall rather than hangingwall. The process continues until the end of the drive is reached. The rating is determined by summing a set of weights that relate to specific geotechnical features (such as fault frequency and distance from ore boundary. A section is sliced with a 1 m width across the drive at the location of the first chip sample taken for the drive. Ideally the hangingwall of the vein is positioned 20 cm inboard of the drive hangingwall. When driving is completed the vein model is updated for a stope model between levels (see below). The vein boundary and fault position back strings are imported into Vulcan and used to fix geological features in 3D space. The minimum mining width of 3. modelling using surface and underground drilling alone tends to overstate vein width but understate vein grade.4 m along strike. face sample ‘drill holes’ and ore boundary back strings are loaded on screen and the geological mapping and chip sampling hard copy plans and the folder of drive face mapping/sampling sheets are gathered for reference.GEOLOGICAL MODELLING AND GRADE CONTROL function of poor practices the jumbo operator concerned is counselled and the mining contractor financially penalised with greater penalties for larger overbreaks. The ‘waste’ from a resue cut is trucked as marginal ore to a marginal pad which. The rating for each section is then transferred onto a longsection showing the drives in each orebody labelled with either low. Once the boundary strings are digitised they are validated by visual inspection checking vein dips and locations against face mapping sheets and by doing fly-through views along the drives checking digitised strings against back pick-up string locations (Figure 6). The section slice is advanced along the drive until the next face sample is encountered usual 3 . In extreme cases up to 4 m of hangingwall dilution can occur requiring re-slotting of the stope to leave an ore pillar. The veins are then stripped to full width in one or two passes with additional cable bolting during or after stripping. which is important in reducing stope dilution and to ensure optimal positioning of the longhole rig to allow drilling along the ore contact above or below the drive. Any fault planes are also digitised on the screen. following stockpile sampling. Veins in Vera out to 16 m wide have been driven in this way. The longsections can be used to locate areas requiring additional hangingwall or footwall ground support via cablebolting or to determine areas where drill and blast parameters may be changed. A geotechnical profile mapping method has been devised in conjunction with Golder Associates which rates the risk of hangingwall and footwall dilution along each ore drive on sampling points every 10 m down the drive. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. The process of matching back string to geology mapping face sketch is repeated. Drive ‘as-constructed’ wireframes. The section plane is reoriented if required to ensure a true section for that part of the drive is obtained parallel to the sampled face. pick-up and geological mapping is undertaken once a drive is completed. A profile sketch is made of the drive showing development outline. Although the short drill holes constructed from the sample data taken across the face may not coincide accurately to the actual position of the face due to plotting errors. may become low-grade ore or be retained on marginal pad at the mine. 2. Veins less than 1 m wide or low-grade veins around 2 m wide are mined using resue methods which increases recovered grade. STOPE GEOLOGY MODELLING Once ore driving is completed on the upper and lower levels of a bench stope a remodel of the ore boundaries is undertaken for the stope between the levels using the most current information. To-date. Qld. thin peripheral veining can carry extraordinarily high gold grades through part of the Nancy system in what appears to be andesite.5 . This may involve up to 100 face maps. The back strings show the position on that section of where vein boundary sits in the backs or walls while the face mapping sketch shows the appearance of the face at the time of mining. Veins up to 8 m wide are mined full width in a single pass while wider veins are mined along the footwall at 6 . Checks on face chip grades establishes the economic limits of the orebody along strike as defined during driving and the ore boundary surfaces are Geotechnical input to stope design An estimation of predicted ground behaviour during stoping is required to locate areas of high dilution risk for mine design purposes. This is to minimise undercutting of the vein hangingwall.3. For example. Using the face mapping sketch two strings are digitised on screen representing the orebody hangingwall and footwall. etc) and classifying the resultant number into a risk category. It is possible to have some quartz veins or quartz breccia zones in the face carrying subeconomic grades where an adjacent vein may be better mineralised. the back strings provide hard locational data for modelling. significant joint sets and fault planes. The strings digitised as face ore boundaries along the length of the drive are used to construct solid triangulation surfaces (termed ‘ribbons’) representing either the footwall or hangingwall surface of the orebody as mined in the drive (Figures 7 and 8). The resource model based on drilling data is not accurate enough in its spatial position for blasthole ring design and becomes superceded by a stope geology model.17 May 2000 73 . The system has evolved from a scan line mapping methodology through a window mapping system to the current process which looks at a section profile of the drive.

ore contact back strings and ore boundary strings visible. 74 Coolum.D SIMS FIG 6 . Qld.View along a drive ‘ascon’ triangulation with chip sample drill holes.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . FIG 7 . 14 .Same view along drive triangulation with ore boundary triangulation.

5 m along strike × 2. 6. Inverse distance grade interpolation aided by a low nugget factor performs adequately on a global scale but needs improvement as a local grade estimator. Sample composites are built using the chip sample ‘drill holes’ and coded in the same way as the global resource model composites. Block size is reduced to 2. Once final validation is complete the stope ore boundary surfaces are reviewed with the ring design mining engineer and blast hole design can commence. Although Inverse Distance interpolation methods perform reasonably in stope estimation a better local estimator of grade is required and further kriging work is in progress. ore boundary triangulations and face samples drill holes visible. only produced within these limits. CONCLUSIONS The Vera Nancy orebodies are intensive in the amount of geological control required to successfully model and extract their ore. 14 . To-date the focus has been on data collection and interpretation to understand and predict the shape of the deposits. Estimations are made using similar methods to those described above and the models are reserved against diluted ring design polygons to yield expected stope tonnes and grade. whereby width and accumulation (width by grade) are modelled in an attempt to reduce adverse support effects from different sized samples. is considered an essential improvement and is being investigated. A grade control block model is produced which uses the drive and stope ore boundary surfaces converted to solids and used to define block edges using the ‘full width’ type block modelling approach described above. interpretation and grade control focuses on developing an understanding of each deposit’s geometry on a detailed scale for both drive control and stope geology. The ore boundary surfaces are then linked between levels to produce hangingwall and footwall boundary surface triangulations for the stope that encloses only ore (Figure 9). An accumulation estimation approach. Blocks are only constructed within the stope model wireframes hence only occupy strike extents identified during driving as ore. 5. Final validation of ore boundary wireframes uses LTK60 drilling data to ensure no peripheral veining or wider ore zones have been overlooked between levels.View onto drive with ore boundary strings. Coolum.17 May 2000 75 . Data collection. Around 99 per cent of reserve ounces are produced. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Reconciliation of models with production to-date (Sims.GEOLOGICAL MODELLING AND GRADE CONTROL FIG 8 . Qld.5 m up dip to reflect the closer spaced sampling data from face samples. 2000) indicates model reserves overstate tonnage by around nine per cent while grade is understated by around eight per cent. Sophisticated grade interpolation methods have not been widely employed.

76 Porter. North Queensland. pp 25-31. Richards. D A. in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed: F E Hughes).D SIMS FIG 9 . 14 . Qld. T and Parks. Sims. I.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . J. Sampling practice at Vera Nancy gold mine. pp 685-690 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). D R. in Proceedings 4th International Mining Geology Conference pp35 . Murphy. 1998. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie).1487 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Elliott. The Discovery and evaluation of the Vera Nancy deposit. in Proceedings World Gold ’97. Vera North and Nancy gold deposits. R G. G J and Jones B H. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The following geologists have contributed to developing the geological methods at Vera Nancy since mining commenced.42 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Dave Hall. B H.Stope geology models for Nancy 986W and 986FWW stopes. 1999. Jacki Stott and Chris Chambers. Michael Jackson. pp 233-237 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). AIG Symposium. Allan Bell. Sharon Turner. Evans. in Exploration under cover. Vera south: discovery history. 1997. 2000. R C and Jones. REFERENCES Butler. 1990. Coolum. pp 1483 . Pajingo Gold Deposits. Pajingo.

Mine Geology Practices at the Sunrise Open Pit E Haren1 and P Williams2 ABSTRACT The Sunrise deposit is one of Australia’s largest and most profitable gold deposits. with known resources at depth currently being drill tested. Geologist. the geology team at Sunrise approached the problem at its most basic level at the time of transition between mining the oxide resource and the more critical fresh rock resource. MAusIMM. mine planning becomes problematic. and the recovery of metal.48 g/t for 450 000 ounces. 14 . Large differences between the resource prediction and the actual delivery could mean large losses in potential reserves due to a number of planning issues: • extremely conservative pit optimisation. An important aspect of the development of the Sunrise deposit has been the consistent underestimation of the total contained metal. In many operations. and allows an estimation of the cost benefits of the geological inputs. is an important measure. The Sunrise Pit forms part of a much larger gold deposit. resulting in overly selective oreblocks with potential for loss of ore to low-grade or waste stockpiles. SRK Consulting were invited to initiate the geological evaluation while utilising their structural and geological experience. a joint venture between Placer Dome (60 per cent) and Delta Gold (40 per cent). Current indicated and inferred resource are 6896 kt at 3. Laverton WA 6440. 1. Mining development commenced in 1994 and ore production the following year with mining to-date (January 2000) producing approximately 1. • ore pad designs are too small. PO Box 33. This paper will describe how the mine geologists at Placer Granny Smith have implemented the changes required to improve the resource model. The most important factors that lead to improved reconciliation and planning practices are outlined in the ‘linkages chart’ shown in Figure 1. This has led to a number of problems. Mining is expected to continue until February 2002. improved resource drilling economics and improved geological management in the daily operation of the pit. Without a solid basis for predicting the tonnes and grade or the spatial location of mineralisation. Recently. identifies the key geological inputs required. because most planning and development activities at the operation rely on the resource model. 4th International Mining Geology Conference This paper outlines the processes involved in developing and managing the geological model.37 g/t for 747 000 ounces with reserves of 4019 kt at 3. that would allow better resource definition. INTRODUCTION The Sunrise Pit is located 32 kilometres south of the Granny Smith mill. • waste dump designs are too large resulting in unneeded expenditure for release of ground.Conceptual framework of linkages between factors for the on-going development and mining of Sunrise. improved grade control practice and allow better in and near mine targeting A conceptual framework for the process has been developed. through a better understanding of the mineralising processes the reconciliation of the resource model has improved to be in the order of ten per cent under on ounces mined. The most important of these are improved reconciliation. West Perth WA 6872. Solution to the reconciliation problem therefore has significant cost benefits to the mining operation at a number of critical points in the mining process. 2. etc.17 May 2000 77 . SRK Consulting. assays and in pit face mapping. The Sunrise deposit was discovered in 1992 and an initial resource of approximately 400 000 ounces was estimated based on predominantly oxide drilling. FIG 1 . The fundamental problem was to develop a geological understanding of the deposit. which is 950 kilometres northeast of Perth in Western Australia. • conservative sampling limits may not sample areas of ore. Continual updating of the geological model with grade control logging. Placer (Granny Smith) Pty Ltd. Coolum. The reconciliation between actual and expected delivery of ore. 25 Richardson Street. grade control is the major process that determines the quality and quantity of mill feed. It is then demonstrated how converting the conceptual framework and geological model into operational tools used on a regular basis has reaped benefits. Work began with the development of a three-dimensional lithological and structural model based on historical drilling and pit mapping. including conservative pit optimisation.9 million ounces. Qld. To ensure that the mine was operating at peak efficiency. Conceptual framework The processes that led to accurate definition of ore prior to delivery to the mill are complex. • scheduling for mining is not optimal. Currently over the life of the Sunrise pit there has been a 50 per cent under estimation of ounces mined. Managing Director. and the resource model determines the expected mill feed from ‘pre-mining’ assay data. It has consistently and spectacularly outperformed every resource model created. Placer Granny Smith. environmental bonds. and • scheduling for milling is not optimal. operates the mine. which shows the inter-relationships between the various mining activities. now allows for the on-going improvement of the resource model and the planning of mine development drilling. and uncertainty in definition of ore blocks.

Qld. 78 Coolum. Removal of the sectional interpretation from the inner circle. By January 1997 most of the transported mineralisation had been mined. for example. the exploration department discovered the deeper fresh rock resources through a program of mine-based exploration. DEVELOPMENT OF GEOLOGICAL MODEL Following the discovery of the transported and oxide resource. results in an inability to develop a 3D geological model. Pit personnel such as shotfirers and production HISTORICAL RECONCILIATION RESULTS Jun-98 Apr-98 Feb-98 Dec-97 Oct-97 Aug-97 Jun-97 Apr-97 Feb-97 Dec-96 Oct-96 Aug-96 Jun-96 Apr-96 Feb-96 % Difference Positive reconciliation between grade control and resource models has characterised the history of mining at Sunrise. based on better geological modelling. the positive reconciliation was increasing (Figure 2) and it was recognised that the distribution and controls on ore were not well enough understood to give confidence that the operation would extract the maximum benefit from the orebody. we discuss the various aspects of the chart. The ‘linkages chart’ highlights the importance of developing a quality geological model for the deposit. and use the results to discuss the economic advantages of implementing an integrated geological model in many aspects of the mining process. Mining geologists needed to consider features on the scale of metres to tens of metres in an active often fast moving mining environment. important data that leads to improved efficiency or cost-savings for the overall operation are not available to the operations or planning departments. Month FIG 2 . From January 1997 to December 1997 the ore mined was predominantly oxide. In this contribution. as the primary output from the mining process. The end of oxide mining occurred during August 1998. Consequently. Over the life of the Sunrise pit the reconciliation between grade control and the various resource models has meant an extra 610 000 ounces of gold has been mined. Each of the factors represents a dynamic process in its own right. This zone of mineralisation proved to be more widespread than initially estimated. was taken. and in many operations these processes are either ignored (for example pit mapping) or not integrated into the overall thinking of the mining team. let alone implemented. Directional arrows show the factors and inter-relationship between the factors. as the primary input to the mining process. This is made up from an extra 16 per cent in tonnes and 27 per cent in grade to make an overall gain of 47 per cent in ounces. and also severely restricts ability to predict geology and grade on the next bench to be mined. 14 . At the time of transition between oxide mining and fresh rock mining. Full-scale mining commenced at Sunrise in September 1996. oxide mining recommenced from June 1999 to the present. controlling structures and distribution of lithologies at the scale necessary for development of the resource at a mine scale was not adequately defined.Per cent difference between grade control and resource model predictions up to June 1998. the decision to develop a new resource model. However. any needs for improvements in grade control or ore mark-out processes are unlikely to be recognised.E HAREN and P WILLIAMS Figure 2 summarises the percentage differences between grade control and resource models up until the time of implementation of results from the new geological model to geological practices in the pit. and the mill process sits at the bottom of the chart. The grade however was usually only slightly higher than predicted. Small volumes mined have amplified the percentage differences shown in the graph before this time. Consequently.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . the nature of mineralisation. Lack of a geologically realistic expectation of grade distribution means a total reliance on grade control numbers – a ‘blind acceptance’ of the results of drilling. In either of these cases. The resource model sits at the top of the chart. The drill spacing and depth for the initial geological model meant that the overall deposit style and core scale lithologies and structures were reasonably well-defined. assaying and numeric interpolation – without any reality check against an expected model.

MINE GEOLOGY PRACTICES AT THE SUNRISE OPEN PIT engineers required specific accurate and simple information about the material they were dealing with.characterised by wide alteration assemblages and dispersed ‘low-grade’ mineralisation haloes. undisturbed faces during mining that can be easily mapped. providing fluid access for de-sulphidation reactions. Interpretation methodology The Sunrise resource drilling was based on a nominal grid of 25 m × 25 m of combined percussion and diamond drilling. and to check that structures did not generate unrealistic intersections in level plans. silicification) interact with mineralisation and affect rock mechanics was also required.characterised by high-grade. discrete quartz-carbonate veins in narrow alteration selvedges. The geometry of the Sunrise deposit had not been systematically documented prior to mining of the oxide resource. Where possible. • The pod mineralisation is related to brittle deformation in competent volcanic units between shears. 2. Geology of the Sunrise deposit Improvements in resource modelling. Coolum. BIF-hosted mineralisation in anticlinal fold closures adjacent to thrust faults. Because of this. • The thrust faults had a movement direction towards the east-southeast on a vector plunging approximately 30° to 290°. the model was sliced at 5 m intervals to ensure the faults and shears formed continuous surfaces or merged realistically with other structures. • The faults in the Sunrise pit connect at depth to a large reverse shear (the Sunrise Shear). and these were used to generate horizontal slices for checking the continuity and correlation of structures. These pods contain the largest number of ounces in the deposit.17 May 2000 79 . Mineralisation is thicker in flats on the shears. and allowed mineralisation envelopes to be better constrained in the resource model. forming four major correlated units with two additional units separated by major shears. but high-grade veins also dip to the east and the west at 50° . 14 . Correlation process Digitised strings were completed for each section. or by the latest phase of pit mapping. 1995). • Mineralisation was at the same time as reverse movement along the faults. This work generated a robust three-dimensional structural and lithological model of the deposit based on a series of 40 cross-sections and three level plans produced from resource drilling data and pit mapping data. These units were used as part of the 3D geological model. The main factors to examine in the core were bedding orientations and verification of the presence of shear zones. • The strike extent of pods appears to be controlled by lateral ramps in the thrust system. pod mineralisation . Following the completion of the preliminary interpretations. These preliminary interpretations were not constrained by the 3D connectivity. shear-hosted mineralisation . • Pods are located above flatter portions of the top of the Sunrise Shear surface. structures known to cause problems. Geology interpretation The cross-section geometry was interpreted using a combination of examining the core photographs and examination of critical sections of core. • The BIF units form a series of open anticlines and synclines adjacent to the faults. A mineralogical and geochemical study of the mineralisation and alteration system was also undertaken in order to develop a fluid flow model. The mining method employed at Sunrise does not leave clean. volcanic and volcaniclastic rocks of intermediate composition and minor porphyritic felsic intrusive rocks. bedding-cleavage relationships were also determined. as well as within-mine and near-mine targeting are fundamentally dependent on an improved understanding of the geology of the Sunrise deposit. This model linked the structural framework to mineralisation envelopes. and a working understanding of how different conditions (wet/dry. • Mineralised veins caught up in progressive deformation and alteration may dominate shear-hosted mineralisation. The key findings from the geological studies are as follows: Mineralisation within the Sunrise deposit is within three major sites of deposition (three major ‘styles’): 1. concurrent pit mapping was used to provide additional constraints on the interpretation. and all sections were examined as a set to ensure there was 3D continuity of both structures and geological units. Most holes were drilled to the east at a declination of 60°.50 m. This requirement demands a high level of understanding of the relationship between detailed structural geometry and ore distribution. The initial structural and lithological intercepts on section were plotted from pit mapping data. there is not a very good control on the geology of the pit floor on any geological maps of the pit. This detail of understanding was not available at the completion of exploration drilling. and inferred that the localisation of mineralisation is the result of heterogeneities caused by inflections in major shears. The structural geometry of the deposit is controlled by a series of west-northwest dipping thrust faults.60°. which places a considerable sensitivity on the section interpretation. An example of a section of the geology is shown in Figure 3. • The thrust faults acted as the major fluid pathways during deformation and mineralisation and are all intensely altered. Work by Standing (1993). At the end of this stage. This is because small variations in RL of units on the section will produce significant changes in horizontal location in bench plans produced from the sections. These alterations to the interpretation were crosschecked against the original drilling data to ensure any changes did not violate the primary data set. 4th International Mining Geology Conference All three mineralisation styles are controlled by the thrust fault framework. A significant problem in the Sunrise deposit is the low dip of units. Ojala (1994. banded iron formation. Bedding orientation was the critical factor in checking correlation of sediment and BIF units. Because of the generalised nature of this previous work. At Sunrise the development drilling scope requires information that can define ore pods or ore shoots at a scale of 15 . Alteration mineral assemblages associated with gold are broadly the same in all three mineralisation styles. Vein orientations within the pods are predominantly parallel to the shear foliation. The rocks are an interlayered sequence of fine grained sediments. Good predictive information on structures which would be encountered. Qld. shearing. a program was established to develop a detailed geological model that would address mine geology and development geology needs. Newton (1997) and Newton et al (1998) had established the generalised geometry. • BIF-style mineralisation is related to fractures developed in the BIF during folding. Development geologists also have a number of concerns that generally require understanding of the geology of the deposit at a larger scale than the exploration scale. and 3.

80 Several sections show how the resource drilling had straddled some of the larger ore zones. and • defining the internal structural geometry of ore zones. particularly where shears flattened and subsidiary faults developed at the down-dip point of curvature on the shear (see Figure 5). Grade control data provides a valuable source to test the structural model against ore distribution. No subdrill is sampled. The dip of shear zones plays a critical role in controlling ore distribution in the deposit. Large accumulations of ore occur between adjacent shears. and the BIF units. Sunrise.E HAREN and P WILLIAMS FIG 3 . 14 . one at the 2. generated using the processes outlined in the text. polygonisation was completed prior to commencing the wireframing of the major components of the model. The final correlation of structures is shown in Figure 4. Wireframes were completed for all the shears and faults. and means the geometry of the orebody can be used to predict additional sites of likely gold accumulation. Two samples are taken from each hole.5 m mark and one at the 5 m mark. The blast holes are usually 5 m in depth with some subdrill in fresh material. The coincidence of BIF and a shear zones is an ideal site for mineralisation.Polygonised geological section at 70 000 N. porphyry volcanics. whilst the shear zone provides the fluid pathway as well as high strain conditions that fracture the BIF. A contoured version of this information is shown in Figure 5. GRADE CONTROL AND MINING A pie tray collects samples from blast holes by a sampler. the same spacing as the original drilling pattern. Relationship of mineralisation to the geometric model The relationship between mineralisation and the geometric model is determined by: • correlating the 3D structural features and grade or resource intercepts. This was particularly relevant in oxide where the shears were difficult to locate within the mineralisation envelope due to masking by the supergene dispersion. Once the shears and stratigraphic units were correlated through the model. (the BIF provides a good chemical ‘trap’). indicating that mineralisation was during reverse movement on the shears (a zone of dilatancy and therefore increased fluid flow forms along flatter parts of shears). Figure 6a represents an early oreblock plan produced without a geological model influencing interpretation of mineralisation. These cases highlight why the original resource model and the grade control data do not reconcile. The geologists lacked the tools to be able to fully interpret the grade control geology logging information and how this was related to the assays being returned from the samples. The grade control sections demonstrate a very strong correlation between the shear zones and faults mapped on sections and the distribution of ore. The data down to 295 RL was gridded to produce level plans and sections through the grade control data.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Coolum. This approach leads to the identification of low strain zones. There is also a correlation of gold grade with BIF beds in particular structural locations. • linking that correlation to the results from the study of the local movement history or kinematics. which in general are about 25 m wide. sediments and shears. the intensity of alteration (1-weak to 3-strong) and presence of pyrite. Each blast hole collar is individually surveyed and geologically logged. BIF sequences and the general fluid flow mechanics meant that grade control was carried out ‘by the numbers’. The main zones of mineralisation are both within and adjacent to the shear zones. This has resulted in discontinuous oreblocks where over-selectivity has occurred. Previously the lack of detailed working models of the structural geometry of the shears. Qld. There is a strong correlation between higher grade and lower dip in the mineralised shears. There are currently well over 100 logging codes which identify combinations of the rock types identifiable including BIF.

Coolum. The challenge mine geologists faced was to integrate the improved geological and mineralogical models into the understanding of the small-scale (4 m × 5 m drilling grid) structural and lithological trends.Pattern of shears in the Sunrise Deposit. or observed to be part of a specific named BIF.17 May 2000 81 . based on the sectional interpretation after correlation to level plans.MINE GEOLOGY PRACTICES AT THE SUNRISE OPEN PIT FIG 4 . 14 . Sporadic but high grades found in only one or two samples away from main fluid pathways are probably extremely narrow veins. Qld. The resource model provides confidence when dealing with isolated gold assays in grade control data. mineralisation could be related specifically to a named shear zone or a pod. The probability of economic extraction of these veins without excessive dilution is very low. By interrogating the new resource models. Figure 6b shows an oreblock plan where the orientation of mineralisation of the shears has been taken into 4th International Mining Geology Conference account and more continuity between high grades has been allowed.

E HAREN and P WILLIAMS FIG 5 .5 g/t for section 70 000 N. 14 .Comparison of oreblock plans. 82 Coolum. A B FIG 6 . note the more continuous oreblocks in B.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Sunrise.Contoured grade control at 0. Qld.

Currently blast hole logging is still being carried out. March 1998. The relationship between the model and bench mapping is sufficiently reliable to use the model predictively between benches. The most important aspect of the mapping is to determine boundaries as accurately as possible. as the model is continuously updated by routine bench and face mapping. The information is then transferred to hard copies of the sectional interpretation to ascertain if the interpretation is correct. because the geological model remains current for future resource modelling. and interpretation of the presence of folded BIF and overturned BIF will rely on face mapping. November 1998 and June 1999. The objective of mapping expanded from a predominantly geotechnical focus to include the mapping of features directly related to geological and mineralisation features presented in the resource model. and the geological understanding of the deposit remains current at all times. Achievements Shear triangulations The mapping procedure represents both an improvement in efficiency of mining geology personnel. pit floors. the polygons were extruded halfway to the next section to create 3D solids. The Sunrise Shear and nine hanging wall shears are relatively straightforward to model in 3D. the mapping is directed to the area of concern. The mapped information is transferred in the office to base maps where variations in expected orientations of structures. September 1998. pit walls. This will mean the interpretation of new drilling will be intimately linked to the current geological understanding gained through mining. 1999). 1999). Initially. To achieve this requires face mapping as well as flitch mapping. The methodology is summarised in Figure 7. There is a heightened sense of ownership towards the resource model and ensuring it is as accurate as possible. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Before bench mined PLOT BENCH PLAN FROM SECTIONAL/3D MODEL UPDATE BIF AND SHEARS FROM BLASTED GROUND MODIFY 3D GEOLOGY MODEL Daily UPDATE BENCH PLANS AS NECESSARY Daily MODIFY SECTIONS AS NECESSARY After bench mined COMPLETE BENCH PLANS Archive COMPLETE FACE MAPPING MODIFY SECTIONAL INTERPRETATION FIG 7 . and has increased the ability of the mine geologists to rapidly exploit any geological variability in the deposit. the digitised sectional linework is modified ready for the next round of resource modelling.17 May 2000 83 . Owing to this complexity. chips. Over time the resource models have been completed by both external Placer personnel and site based personnel.MINE GEOLOGY PRACTICES AT THE SUNRISE OPEN PIT Mapping NEW BENCH As familiarity with the named lithological and structural features that are relevant to mineralisation increased so did the quality of pit wall and floor mapping. In the longer term. Digital photographs also ‘preserve’ the geology and are later manipulated to produce panoramic images with geology marked over the top. July 1994 and June 1995. Previous resource estimates at Sunrise have included manual polygonal estimates performed by Delta Gold in August 1992 and June 1993. RESOURCE MODELLING BIF triangulations The geometry of the BIF units is extremely complicated due to the shearing and thrusting which has occurred and the large amount of inferred movement along two of the major shears. When pit mapping. This means that a routine of mapping plus model upgrading can potentially replace detailed blast hole logging to control modelling blast hole assay data and determining mine block specific gravity. a comprehensive geological archive for Sunrise. will be available for future research. and inverse distance squared estimates by PGS in December 1993. If unexpected ore occurs during grade control. with an average thickness of approximately 20 m. This was not ideal therefore the stratigraphy was separated into six BIF dominated or volcanic dominated units that were more suitable for resource estimation. To create the geological block model for resource estimation the sectional line work for both the geology and fluid flow interpretations are digitised into separate layers. Indicator Kriging has been used for the most recent models in June 1996. or if ore which is expected does not appear. The stratigraphy is however not orthogonal to the sections so there was a stepped effect. Additional structural data from the face mapping is also important. The hanging wall shears vary from having some thickness (usually less than 10 m) to being represented as fault planes. This methodology has significant potential for savings. All geologists are now speaking in the same terms according the model. If updating is required. The shear zones triangulations are updated regularly as new drilling is completed. the time involved in routine mapping/logging is reduced. grade control assays and drilling assays. The development of a detailed geology model and an increase in site based skills has meant the resource modelling processes and responsibility is now site based with the mining geology department. geologists compare the resource model to both structures observed and marked oreblocks. These layers are then converted to polygons with the intention of connecting each of the separate BIF and shears into discrete triangulation. and perhaps difficult to understand in a 3D sense. 14 . The communication between development geologists and mine geologists has also benefited as features which can be seen at depth in drill core or chips. and new features are investigated to understand their significance. Using a digital camera has been extremely important to check interpretations (Williams. The geologists were then able to visualise themselves in the 3D model while they were pit mapping. Mine geologists are now constantly thinking critically about the deposit in terms of the resource model interpretation and how it is related to what they see in drill core. This has been crucial in increasing enthusiasm for collection and processing of mapping data. Qld. In this case the boundary surfaces were either the shears with large Coolum. can be related to actual pit exposures. when the deposit is mined. 1998). individual triangulation of each of the 19 BIF units has not been completed. (Gotley et al. This archive will be fully digital (Williams. The Sunrise Shear is a major structure up to 30 m across in places.Flowchart of mapping methodology for the Sunrise deposit.

This latter assumption needs to be tested by deeper drilling at Sunrise. which has assisted in daily planning of drilling patterns.Typical section of the fluid flow model outlines at 0. 1998). Alteration haloes around mineralised shears are wider. including a small oxide wall failure. Benefits from the new model The new resource model has the benefits of: • closer estimation to actual spatial location of ore. this model was created with a small cell size of 5 m East × 5 m North × 1 m Elevation. Fluid flow model The alteration study carried out in conjunction with the geometric model development showed that the alteration halo around individual veins was very narrow.1 g/t (fluid flow is hatched). 84 Coolum. but still directly related to the thickness of mineralisation. A typical example of the grade envelopes developed is shown in Figure 8. A 0. The models generated (for example Figure 8) define the local flow directions. then reblocked to a larger block size of 5 m × 5 m × 5 m for use in the resource estimate (Gotley et al. • separate domaining of discontinuous.1 g/t grade cut-off was found to be very close to the visible alteration halo (Ferguson et al. FIG 8 . This increased to 70 per cent underestimation from January 1997 to December 1997 (mainly oxide). Sunrise deposit. and point to areas where additional pod or similar linkage structures may occur. The results for the geological modelling were introduced into the resource modelling from October 1998 and for this period up to December 1999 the underestimation of ounces has dropped to 28 per cent. 14 . The flow model assumes that the fluids moved from deeper in the deposit upwards. This latest method has been continued with all subsequent models until the present (January 2000). 1998).E HAREN and P WILLIAMS displacement. Because of these relationships. Reconciliation The new resource models created using the geological interpretation had an immediate effect on reconciliation. 3D geological model that can be easily interrogated to compare modelled geology with actual geology and predict shearing intersections on pit floors and walls.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . To obtain the necessary definition from the narrow shears. having the shears as 3D solids has meant a better understanding of geotechnical issues that have occurred previously. prediction of high-risk areas for wall failures and proactive engineering of these areas in pit wall cutback designs to minimise risk. Figure 9 shows the progressive reconciliation by these groups and graphically details the effect that a concerted effort in improving the geological understanding has made. This solid was used to constrain the high-grade mineralisation. or the top or bottom of a BIF unit which was suitable for 3D modelling. 1998). Qld. the grade data can be used reliably to map the effects of fluid-rock interaction. shows a 30 per cent underestimation in ounces. Controlling the grade estimation is made easier as the variography and the physically observed ranges of these two styles are very different even though mineralisation is considered to be contemporaneous. occurring during and before the end of shearing (Ferguson et al. The period from the start of mining to December 1996 (mainly transported material). and that the major feeder system is located west of the Sunrise lease. as there may be multiple deep feeder zones to the Sunrise system. high-grade. Modelling The geological block model was developed from the interpretation. The fluid flow model was interpreted onto 29 sections that were digitised then triangulated into a 3D solid. and it is this envelope that has been used to define the effective pathways of the mineralising fluid. ‘pod’ style • • • mineralisation and continuous lower grade mineralisation within the shear zones. then up to 91 per cent for January 1998 to September 1998 (mainly fresh).

Dec-99

Oct-99

Aug-99

Jun-99

Apr-99

Feb-99

Dec-98

Oct-98

Aug-98

Jun-98

Apr-98

Feb-98

Dec-97

Oct-97

Aug-97

Jun-97

Apr-97

Feb-97

Dec-96

Oct-96

Aug-96

Jun-96

Apr-96

Feb-96

% Difference

MINE GEOLOGY PRACTICES AT THE SUNRISE OPEN PIT

Month
FIG 9 – Per cent difference between grade control and resource models, January 1996 to December 1999, Sunrise deposit.

When the geological modelling was initiated in March 1998,
the previous three months had returned gains in ounces of over
100 per cent (Dec 1997, Jan 1998 and Feb 1998 totalled over 30
000 ounces mined over the resource model prediction).

TARGET GENERATION
The geological and fluid flow models have provided reliable
tools to improve target generation for development drilling. The
two major styles of mineralisation (ore pod and shear-hosted
mineralisation styles) are located at specific structural sites. The
best shear-hosted mineralisation is in flats in the shears, and
these can be determined from the model. Where drilling is
sparse, the presence of flats is only inferred from deviations from
average dip. The detail in the model then provides a mechanism
for determining drill spacing to locate the actual position of the
flats. Pod-style mineralisation is preferentially located close to
areas where shears diverge, and commonly link lower shears to
the upper shear through a series of steep mineralised brittle
fractures. Subtle lateral features of the thrust system also control
the location of these pods, and zones of these lateral structures
are also predictable from the geological model. As a result of
application of the model, additional pod mineralisation was
discovered at Sunrise, earlier than would otherwise have been the
case.
The relationship between structural features and mineralisation
has allowed direct interrogation of the model for areas that have
been under-explored, and this is particularly applicable to areas
where access to collar locations is difficult. The risk factors
associated with ignoring certain difficult areas can be assessed
against the structural setting of the area. The model therefore
provides a method for prioritisation of development drilling, and
links the mine planning process to the requirement to provide
access to certain critical development drilling areas.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

PIT OPTIMISATION
The engineering department, in collaboration with mine geology,
uses the resource model during design stages. On the resource
model, engineering run a variety of pit optimisations, with
varying parameters including mining costs, gold price, haulage
rates, etc. Comparison of the optimisation runs provides
excellent information about areas of high risk and high potential.
Geologists then combine with engineers to use the geological
and resource model to:
• produce targets for drilling to increase reserves;
• confirm any critical low confidence mineralisation which the
pit may ‘drive down on’; and
• produce ‘dummy’ mineralisation to assess whether targeted
mineralisation will significantly affect pit optimisation.
This produces a ‘best case’ pit design where both the
confidence of interpretation and potential for upside are
considered. The geologist is also given a firm understanding of
whether targets selected are critical for pit designs or whether
they can be considered to be near mine exploration. This last
point can be very important in scheduling as pit development
may mean the loss of access to collar positions for drilling if not
timed correctly.

COST EFFECTIVENESS
There is a cost associated with the development of a
comprehensive geological model for a resource, and it is
important to ensure that the model returns a significant benefit to
the operation. The benefits from the various processes described
in Figure 1 are outlined in Table 1. In this table an estimation of
an increase in revenue or a reduced cost is presented. For
additional ounces recovered, the operation will carry an
associated mining cost, so the figures represent the potential

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

85

E HAREN and P WILLIAMS

TABLE 1
Cost benefits resulting from application of geological modelling.
Process

Cost ($US)

Resource modelling

Activity

Increased revenue ($US)

Increased grade by ~0.20 g/t of remaining resource which equals
44 300 oz

Geological modelling

300 000

Section analysis, maintenance

6 202 000*
0

Grade control and mining

Improved layout, better recovery high-grade ore in remaining
reserve. Improved ounces by two per cent of 450 000 ounces =
9000 oz

1 260 000

Target generation

Increased drill spacing, reduction of 60 drillholes @ 100 m, $60/m

360 000**

Pit optimisation

Increased grade by ~0.20 g/t of remaining resource which equals
26 000 oz

3 612 000

Efficiency gains

Mapping, geotechnical, block-out procedures, one hour per day
for two geologists

18 000

$300 000

$5 250 000

* Increase in resource is realised in pit optimisation
** Calculated from June 1998 to December 1999

actual saving. At an average production cost of $US150/oz and a
metal price of $US290/oz, the revenue is estimated as
$US140/oz.
Changes to the drilling scope to target specific areas and
prioritisation of drilling in relation to pit optimisation and design
requirements does provide a direct saving to the operation, as do
the efficiency gains provided through improved task definition
and scheduling. In the table, all the savings and revenue gains are
deliberately conservative, because there are always a number of
competing factors in claiming such savings. For example,
reduction in the requirement for cut-backs may carry a higher
drilling cost early in the operation, for savings realised later, and
finance costs have not been factored into this analysis.

CONCLUSIONS
A framework has therefore been created for keeping relevant
information at hand, using the resource model predictively for
grade control and keeping the geological and mineralisation
interpretations up do date with both the pit and floor mapping
and development drilling information. This also has implications
in terms of geotechnical considerations. The ultimate goal is to
have the resource model reflect accurately the expected grade,
tonnes and, possibly most importantly, the spatial location of ore.
Pit designs, waste dump designs, scheduling for mining and
milling and grade control will all be improved with a solid basis
for forecasting ore production.

86

REFERENCES
Ferguson, L, Williams, P R, Lally, J and McQuaig, T C, 1998. Sunrise
Geological Modelling. Placer (Granny Smith) report by SRK
Consulting.
Gotley, S, Haren, E, Ridge, K, Lai, J, Lewis, R W, Titley, M and
Pridmore, C, 1998. Sunrise Resource Report. Placer (Granny Smith)
internal report.
Lally, J, 1998. Fluid Flow Modelling and Target Generation, Sunrise
Lease. Placer (Granny Smith) report by SRK Consulting.
Newton, P G, Gibbs, D, Groves A, Jones, C M and Ryall, A W, 1998.
Sunrise-Cleo Gold Deposit, in Geology of Australian and Papua
New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H
Mackenzie) pp 179-186 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and
Metallurgy: Melbourne).
Newton, P G, 1997. Notes on the steuctural controls on gold
mineralisation at Sunrise, Laverton, Western Australia. Western
Australia. Placer (Granny Smith) internal report.
Ojala, J V, 1994. Structural and geochemical study of gold mineralisation
at the Sunrise Dam gold deposit, Laverton, Western Australia. Placer
(Granny Smith) internal report.
Ojala, J V, 1995. Structural and Depositional Controls on Gold
Mineralisation at the Granny Smith Mine, Laverton, Western
Australia, PhD thesis, University of Western Australia.
Standing, J, 1993. The structural geology, structural controls of
mineralisation and paragenisis of the Sunrise Dam gold deposit,
Laverton, Western Australia. Placer (Granny Smith) internal report
no. WA 18/93.
Williams, P R, 1999. Recommendations for Pit Mapping. Placer (Granny
Smith) report by SRK Consulting.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

The Spatial Distribution of Grade
J R Vearncombe1 and S Vearncombe1
ABSTRACT
SpaDiS™ is a revolutionary approach to the spatial analysis of point data
using geometry to analyse geometry! SpaDiS™ uses each and every
spatial relationship and is not dependent on mathematical models. For n
2
points there are n – n spatial relationships and, because of the square
function, the method yields interpretable results for both small and large
data sets. SpaDiS™ is an alternative to variography for directional
studies. At the regional scale, the analysis can assess distribution patterns
of mineralisation and potential controlling structures. At the deposit
scale, the characteristics of zones of mineralisation such as direction,
spacing, high-grade ore direction and grade distribution can all be
deduced.

INTRODUCTION
Point data on the spatial distribution of mineralisation can be
analysed by a plot on which distance and direction from each
data point to each other data point are recorded by a point at that
distance and direction from the origin. Termed an
‘all-object-separations’ plot, these are commonly known as ‘Fry
plots’ and were developed for the analysis of strain and strain
partitioning in rocks (Hanna and Fry, 1979; Fry, 1979). Similar
methods have been applied to the analysis of inter-atomic
distances in crystals and the spatial auto-correlation of ore bodies
(Patterson, 1934, 1935; Perutz, 1942; Leymarie, 1968; de Paor
and Simpson, 1987; Lagarde et al, 1990; Allison et al, 1997;
Vearncombe and Vearncombe, 1999). We have further developed
the analytical methods of Fry (1979) and apply these to the
spatial distribution of grade as recognised in drill assay data. The
method is an alternative to directional variography.
Spatial analysis can operate manually by placing a sheet of
tracing paper on which a series of parallel reference lines
(typically north pointing on a map) have been drawn, and the
location of each data point is recorded (Fry, 1979). On a second
sheet of tracing paper with a centre point (or origin), a set of
marked parallel lines are kept parallel to those on the first sheet.
The origin of the second sheet is placed on one of the data points
on the first sheet and the second sheet marked with all the
positions of points on the first. Then the origin of the second
sheet is placed on a different data point on the first, and the
positions again recorded on the second sheet. This is continued,
maintaining the same orientation, until all points on the first
sheet have been used as the origin on the second. For n data
points there are n2-n translations. The resulting plot may be
further analysed by construction of a rose diagram recording join
frequency versus directional sector. Although the manual
technique provides totally satisfactory answers, the method is
tedious and cumbersome even for modest databases. For fast and
effective analysis the examples shown here have been analysed
using SpaDiS software.
Computerisation provides additional capabilities not readily
available to the manual user. These include the ability to handle
large data sets (which may result in hundreds of millions of
translations) and to analyse data within specified distance ranges.
Advanced analysis is achieved for data sets recording location
and a value (such as deposit endowment in regional studies or
grade in drill holes for deposit studies). The user defines success
within a selected numeric range, and only those points are
analysed. For prospect- to mine-scale studies, the spatial
1.

MAusIMM, Vearncombe and Associates Pty Ltd, 14A Barnett
Street, Fremantle WA 6160.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

distribution of a sampling (usually drilling) pattern can be
analysed, and successful sampling compared per radial sector
with all sampling on a percentage translations basis, helping
deduce the directions of ore shoots.

DRILLING DATA
The spatial distribution of mineralisation as recorded by the
location of successful drill holes is constrained by the
distribution of drilling. We illustrate this with prospect-scale RC
drilling results from Canyon. Based on a real example, these data
have been re-oriented and massaged to prevent identification at
the request of the owner. For this study, data are projected to the
surface (map plane) with the drill hole intersections and
mineralisation recorded as gold grade × thickness (g m/t Au).
The purpose of the analysis here is to determine directions of ore
shoots, controlling structures, the repetition and spacing of these
ore shoots.
The map projection of drill intercepts shows the location of
drilling at Canyon (Figure 1). Translations of all drilling and the
rose diagram show the decisions that have influenced drill hole
location including a knowledge of the trend of the regional
stratigraphy, a desire to drill on a systematic grid and problems
of access due to topography. Note the general east bias of the
drilling grid and the overall northwest bias in the drilling pattern
(Figure 1).
For Canyon, drilling results are analysed for relationships
within 500 m of each other (distance range 0 to 500) and for
value ranges >1 g m/t, >3 g m/t, >6 g m/t, >10 g m/t, >25 g m/t,
and >50 g m/t (Figures 2 to 5). Note that the analysis is robust
for economic grades of mineralisation. The results are initially
presented as a translations plot. This plot shows all the spatial
relationships between drill holes fulfilling the value range. The
plot is thus a mix of influences between the (human) choice of
drill hole locations and the underlying geology. This spatial
distribution plot is summarised in the absolute rose diagram of
translations. To overcome bias in the sampling we use the
relative rose.
The relative rose diagrams show the percentage of drill holes
within the defined distance range which achieve the chosen value
range relative to the total number of spatial relationships per
(10°) radial sector. Thus we see through bias in the original
sampling pattern to record percentage success. The relative roses
are drawn here with an outer circle at 100 per cent and internal
circles at 20 per cent intervals. There are two types of relative
rose diagrams. The translations relative rose shows spatial
relationships as counted in the translations diagram. The
sampling rose calculates from the translations the non-linear
relationship of the number of drill holes within the value range
relative to the total number of drill holes per radial sector.
The results of the analysis at Canyon show that the data
develop a clear geometric anisotropy at >3 g m/t. This geometric
anisotropy is evident from the first showing of the northeast
directional trend in the relative rose (Figure 3). The geometric
anisotropy may be considered as similar to, although
mathematically distinct from, the range in variography. At
>25 g m/t the translations plot is no longer dominated by the
original drilling pattern and clearly shows the underlying
geology, which at >50 g m/t clearly shows ore shoots oriented to
the northeast with widths of 25 m and a spacing of about 100 m
(Figures 4 and 5). Note that for >50 g m/t spatial relationships in
the northeast sector achieve 26 per cent success and this
translates to 55 per cent success in drilling along this alignment.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

87

J R VEARNCOMBE and S VEARNCOMBE

FIG 1 - Map of the drilling at Canyon showing the grade × thickness results for gold in drill intercepts projected to the surface. The translations plot shows
all the spatial relationships between the drill holes and these are summarised in the rose diagram. Note that the translations have a rotational symmetry
and occupy an area four times that of the original map, but preserve internal geometry and distance relationships.

DISCUSSION
Mapping at scales relevant to a geological problem, with an
emphasis on structural geology, is the best and most effective
method of understanding the directional controls on
mineralisation. Other methods, such as SpaDiS™, are of most
use in conjunction and as a complement to mapping.
There are many data manipulation methods, including
contouring of assay results (or numerical derivatives such as
grade × thickness), and directional variography, by which data
can be evaluated. Contouring will remain a major tool in data
presentation, and provides a map as the final product, a feature
not available to directional variography or SpaDiS™ analysis.
However, contouring of small data sets is of little value, and
contouring data collected on a grid can be strongly biased by the
sampling pattern. Effective contouring of large data sets uses a
search window, usually an ellipse, based on a prior knowledge of
how the values are distributed and the geology, or is derived from
directional variography. The long axis of the search ellipse is

88

oriented along the assumed direction of maximum continuity.
SpaDiS™ analysis is a new way to determine the direction(s) of
maximum continuity with distinct benefits in many
circumstances, including contouring.
SpaDiS™ analysis and variography both utilise pairs of data in
computation, but diverge due to the statistical approach and
algebraic models in variography versus a purely geometric
approach in SpaDiS™ analysis. In variography, a semivariogram
(commonly referred to as a variogram) is defined as half the
mean-squared difference of pairs of values at some defined
distance (Journel, 1986; Thomas and Snowden, 1990). The
variogram is of interest because it incorporates several geologic
features such as the continuity of mineralisation, zone of
influence (known as the range), and an ability to assess the
anisotropy of mineralisation with directional variation. The
mathematical representation of variograms calculated for
different directions are determined by fitting appropriate
theoretical models (Journel, 1980), or by indicator methods
(Journel and Isaaks, 1984; Dowd, 1992).

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF GRADE

FIG 2 - Results of spatial analysis of drilling for all holes within 500 m of each other for all value ranges (top) and for >1 g m/t (bottom). Original data are
shown in Figure 1. The translations plot shows the distribution of drill holes achieving the value range criteria (all data top and > 1 g m/t bottom). The
translations plot comprises a mix of information related to the original sampling distribution and the underlying geology. This is summarised in the
absolute rose diagram. The three numbers quoted after samples to the bottom right of each rose diagram comprise firstly the number of drill holes
fulfilling in the numeric criteria (eg >1 g m/t). Second, the number of spatial relationships within the distance range quoted in terms of the number of drill
holes. Third, the total number of drill holes in the data set. The relative rose diagrams show the percentage of drill holes within the defined distance range
per 10° radial sector which achieve the chosen value range (all data top and >1 g m/t bottom) relative to the total number of spatial relationships. Thus we
see through bias in the original sampling pattern to record percentage success. The relative roses are drawn here with an outer circle at 100 per cent and
internal circles at 20 per cent intervals. One hundred per cent of the spatial relationships have numeric values of zero or greater. There are two types of
relative rose diagram. The translations relative rose diagram shows spatial relationships as counted in the translations plot for all data compared to the
data achieving the numeric range. The sampling rose calculates from the translations the non-linear relationship of the number of drill holes within the
value range relative to the total number of drill holes per radial sector.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

89

J R VEARNCOMBE and S VEARNCOMBE

FIG 3 - Similar to Figure 2, results of spatial analysis of drilling for drill holes within 500 m of each other for all value ranges (top) >3 g m/t and for
>6 g m/t (bottom).

90

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF GRADE FIG 4 . Qld. results of spatial analysis of drilling for drill holes within 500 m of each other for all value ranges (top) >10 g m/t and for >25 g m/t (bottom). 14 .17 May 2000 91 .Similar to Figure 2. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.

to deduce variations in structural directions controlling 92 mineralisation according to deposit endowment. de Paor. REFERENCES Allison. S. but only a limited number of resulting variograms were robust. Grade control data can be examined to deduce directions of continuity of mineralisation within open pits. Cryptic structural trends in basement revealed by Patterson diagrams: examples from the Scottish and Irish Caledonian orogen. However. Bowman. With very large data sets (thousands to tens of thousands of samples) we have found that the millions to hundreds of millions of translations restrict the sensitivity. 17:1481-1500.and prospect-scale applications are used to determine the distribution of successful drill holes relative to all drilling. Spatial analysis is performed using SpaDiS for Windows and Power Macintosh.5 (Software) Instruction Manual. A and Maguire. but typically the larger a sample of quality data the more reliable the end result. P A. 1997. I. M. SpaDiS™ can produce interpretable results with modest data sets (14 or more samples). 1987.J R VEARNCOMBE and S VEARNCOMBE FIG 5 .Similar to Figure 2. Fifteen years later it became clear that the method was applicable to directional studies and an effective alternative to directional variography. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS One of us (JV) was a research student at the University of Wales when Norman Fry developed some of the practical methods described here. The robust variogram directions were found to correspond closely to some of the structures deduced from geological mapping and fabric studies. Directional variography (Rendu. CONCLUSIONS Regional applications of SpaDiS™ analysis include assessing deposits and old workings to deduce structural directions controlling mineralisation and to verify aeromagnetic interpretations. A review of recent developments in geostatistics. Earth’nWare Inc. In contrast to multi-dimensional variography. not paginated. multi-dimensional variography requires pairs of data at multiple spacings in all sectors. Haszeldine. 14 . pp 487-495 (Chapman and Hall: London) De Paor. Qld.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Computers and Geosciences. D and Simpson. Coolum. and it is best to subdomain the data into sample sizes in the hundreds. which are developed under contract to Vearncombe and Associates Pty Ltd. A published example is the Kundana mine (west of Kalgoorlie. Dowd. Mine. Variograms were calculated in search windows of 10° in all sectors in the plane of the orebody using several different mathematical models. SpaDiS is an internationally registered trademark.to Macro-scales (Ed: S Sengupta). results of spatial analysis of drilling for drill holes within 500 m of each other for all value ranges >50 g m/t. This reduces the spatial bias inherent in the distribution of drilling to determine ore shoot directions. C. 1984) is commonly used to determine the continuity of directions of mineralisation in mines and advanced prospects. Boston. in: Evolution of Geological Structures in Micro. SpaDiS™ uses each and every spatial relationship and is not dependent on mathematical models. The assessment can be according to deposit size. 1992.0. and even then gaps in the data can result in erroneous results. Rf/Fry version 2. Applications at that time were to rock deformation. It is effective only on large to very large data sets. Western Australia) where Hadlow et al (1993) compare critically results of directional variography with deposit structure. D G.

Structural characteristics of granitic plutons emplaced during weak regional deformation: examples from late Cretaceous plutons. 60:89-105. Mathematical Geology. Mineralium Deposita.THE SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION OF GRADE Fry. J R. Patterson. Une méthode permettant de mettre en évidence le caractere ordonné de la distibution des gîtes mineraux. J L. 1990. 1935. N. Khosrowshahi. Random point distributions and strain measurement in rocks. Qld. Physics Reviews. Journel. 1979. Coolum. Rendu. 1934. S and Vearncombe. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Leymarie. 10:49-59. Journal of Structural Geology. Tectonophysics. 3:334-343. Vearncombe. 1942. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. N. Journel. Journal of Structural Geology. 1:155-162. 94:475-486. 46:372-376. A L. 1999. Lagarde. A G. 1990. Perutz. P. Mathematical Geology. E H. 1993. M F. Nature. J and Vearncombe. Omar. Interactive graphics for semivariogram modeling. Conditional indicator simulation: application to a Saskatchewan Uranium deposit. Morocco. H R. Ziet fur Kristallographie. Journel. A Fourier series method for the determination of the component of intra-atomic distances in crystals. 14 . Hadlow. M and Snowden. V. Economic Geology. Patterson. 16:685-719. A G and Isaaks. 18:119-140. The spatial distributon of mineralization: applications of Fry analysis. S. S S and Fry. A L. X-ray analysis of Haemoglobin. 1979. 149:491-494. The log normal approach to predicting local distributions of selective mining unit grades. 14:31-38. Hanna. The use of directional variography and structural geology to determine controls on gold mineralisation in the South Lode. 12:285-303. 1980. B. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. models and tools for the earth sciences. Thomas. A direct method for the determination of the components of inter-atomic distances in crystals. 1984. 1968. 1984. A G. Mathematical Geology. Kundana Mines. 90:517-554. Improving reconciliation and grade control by statistical and geostatistical analysis. Coolgardie Goldfield. J M.17 May 2000 93 . 36:1332-1340. 12:805-821. Geostatistics. S A and Roddaz. Mining Engineering. 1986. A comparison of methods of strain determination in rocks from southwest Dyfed (Pembrokeshire) and adjacent areas.

Overlying the Siberia Komatiite are high-Mg basalts intercalated with tholeiitic basalts. Intrusive layered mafic-ultramafic sills. Nickel mineralisation is exclusively developed on ultramafic and differentiated mafic sequences within the greenstone sequence. these D3 structures are subperpendicular to the regional strike.17 May 2000 95 . approximately 20 km NW of Cawse and hosted within the same geological unit as the Cawse deposit (Loftus-Hills. 1984). PMB 32. gabbro and Mg-rich leucogabbro (Witt and Harrison. In the late-1970s. Localised nickel ore grades have also been reported from the Siberia Komatiite and peridotites from the differentiated mafic Ora Banda Sill. The sequence is completed by a succession of epiclastic sedimentary rocks (Witt and Swager. In 1992. Figure 1). There are seven dominant lithology types forming mappable units within current pit exposures. 1975). The regional drainage pattern is also subparallel to these structures. Regional greenstone stratigraphy is similar to that of the Kambalda and Kalgoorlie areas as shown in Table 1. based on processing 500 000 tonnes of ore per annum. Mining commenced in February 1998. The granite – greenstone contact in the Cawse region is offset by north-trending strike faults and is displaced by north-east-trending regional (D3) strike-slip fault with a small dextral component. Ore types are defined as Upgrade. bounded by the Goongarrie Granite to the east. Senior Geologist. The recognition of laterite potential led to further drilling in the area during 1994 . cobalt and copper returned a best 1. Small pits were developed in this area from 1978 . The project is owned and operated by Centaur Nickel Pty Ltd (CTR) and was the first in Australia to commercially produce nickel metal and cobalt sulphide through pressure acid leach (PAL) technology. Kalgoorlie. the stratigraphic column for the Siberia-Ora Banda area.08 per cent Co at Siberia. Analysis for nickel.Mt Pleasant anticline. Coolum. depending on their physical characteristics with respect to the treatment route.7 per cent Ni and 0. Kalgoorlie WA 6433.7 per cent Ni. Cawse Extended is located immediately to the northwest of the Cawse Central leases. as mined at its Lady Bountiful Extended Operations since 1988. The earliest deformation recognised in the Cawse area is the regional D2 structure called the Goongarrie . 14 . The Cawse deposit is formed above an olivine adcumulate-textured dunite on the eastern edge of the Walter Williams Formation (WWF). To the end of calender 1999 the operation has produced 2100 tonnes nickel plate and 470 tonnes of cobalt as a cobalt sulphide product. controlled by primary structures trending ENE-WSW. in part. 1993). Western Australia A Bywater1 and S M Denn2 INTRODUCTION The Cawse nickel-cobalt operation is situated 50 km NW of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. Kalgoorlie WA 6433.3 per cent Ni and 0. Grind and Non-upgrade. the Pole Group. 1989). attributed to the intrusion of the Goongarrie Granitoid. Centaur Mining and Exploration Ltd applied for a group of prospecting licences to explore for gold in palaeochannels. comprising coarse-grained olivine adcumulate and orthocumulates. PMB 32. supplying feed and silica flux to the Kalgoorlie nickel smelter (Marston. termed the Ora Banda and Mt Pleasant Sills occur above the Siberia Komatiite. The ultramafic has undergone serpentinisation in the Cawse area. comprising 127 Mt at Cawse Central which is 100 per cent owned by CTR and 86 Mt at Cawse Extended where CTR has a 80 per cent equity. The geology is dominated by an Archaean greenstone sequence folded around intrusive granitoids. At Cawse the basal basaltic sequence. a prospector named Cawse discovered gold in quartz veins from granite outcrop in an area now called Bunyip. with three pits currently being mined. Cawse Nickel Operations. Cawse Nickel Operations. MAusIMM. Cawse is a dry laterite deposit. is absent. resulting in definition of a resource of 50 Mt at 1.0 per cent Ni. 1989). The greenstone belt defines the Goongarrie-Mt Pleasant anticlinal structure around the Goongarrie granitoids.0 per cent nickel are contained within Cawse Central.2 per cent Ni from an area now called Orc pit some 2. 2. Nickel-cobalt mineralisation is confined principally to the ultramafic rocks of the WWF.The Bunyip Lateritic Nickel-Cobalt Deposit. EXPLORATION HISTORY In 1895. which intrude the base of the greenstone sequence. and the Siberia Komatiite to the west. Centaur Mining and Exploration. culminating in a successful bankable feasibility study in 1997. The sequence has undergone low to middle grade greenschist metamorphism. 1996.04 per cent Co.1995. Cawse Central mineralisation extends over a ten kilometre strike length. with nickel and cobalt hosted by iron and manganese oxides. The Bunyip pit has the premier nickel and cobalt grades within Cawse Central. All current reserves (proved and probable) of 30 Mt at 1. Chief Geologist. Four of these units are host to nickel and cobalt mineralisation. Cawse has a total resource base (all categories of resources + reserves) of 213 million tonnes Mt at 0. A fast-tracked project incorporated infill drilling and metallurgical testwork. Cawse Nickel-Cobalt Operations. Western Mining Corporation (now WMC Resources) outlined a laterite resource of approximately 30 Mt grading 1. Newcrest Mining mined gold from a small open pit adjacent to historic gold workings in the late-1980s. part of the Linger and Die Group within the Ora Banda domain (Brand et al. Thin orthocumulates occur at the base and top of the formation. The WWF is up to 300 m thick. Drilling has indicated that zones of nickel enrichment in the regolith at Cawse are. Centaur Mining and Exploration. with local upper greenschist to lower amphibolite grade facies associated with a high strain deformation aureole close to the granite margins (Witt.1980. In addition the Siberia project area 20 kilometres to the NW has a resource of 63 Mt at 0. Future production will target 9000 tonnes per annum Ni metal and up to 2000 tonnes per annum Co. REGIONAL GEOLOGY Cawse is situated within the Ora Banda – Mt Pleasant area of the Eastern Goldfields district in the Yilgarn Block. The Siberia Komatiite overlies the WWF and is separated from the upper orthocumulate by a zone of pyroxene. 4th International Mining Geology Conference intercept of 8 m at 2. Drilling commenced at Cawse in March 1993 with assays returning significant Ni values. at latitude 30° 22′30′′ south and longitude 121° 08′30′′ east on the Kalgoorlie 1:250 000 geological map sheet (SH 51-9) (see Figure 1).5 km north of the current Bunyip pit. Qld. It is characterised by thin spinifex-textured komatiite flow units.

A BYWATER and S DENN FIG 1 .Cawse nickel project regional geology and location plan.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 14 . Qld. 96 Coolum.

Boundaries represent stratigraphic horizons and the accumulation of minerals due to a specific redox environment.17 May 2000 97 . 1996). Ora Banda Sill* 2000 m Layered mafic-ultramafic sill. All ultramafic lithologies have undergone a degree of serpentinisation. magnesite. Lateritic duricrust A veneer of lateritic duricrust averaging 2 m in thickness is the upper most horizon of the region. soil Coolum. Silicate minerals of the lower saprolite ore type host small portions of the orebody near the base of weathering. basalt. The Cawse deposit is an oxide type laterite nickel deposit. 1987). Missouri Basalt 1000 m Tholeiitic basalt. fine grained. with local values up to 0. talc. The protolith is enriched in olivine-compatible elements and depleted in olivine-incompatible elements as detailed in Table 2.35 wt % MgO 0. A olivine orthocumulate has been identified from limited bedrock data at both lower and upper margins of the adcumulate. Walter Williams Formation* 200 m Coarse cumulate textured dunite to peridotite. The irregular eastern margin of the WWF abuts the granite at a faulted contact with associated shearing and talc carbonate alteration. Pedogenic carbonates are present in the top metre. Mineralisation is hosted within the residual portion of the laterite profile. chlorite and silica. The unit strikes north-west to the south of Cawse Central. although small zones of enrichment occur at the base of transported material (Brand et al. Group Formation Thickness Granitoids Black Flag Group Grants Patch Group Linger and Die Group Pole Group Description Fine to coarse graine . Qld. Adapted from Witt 1994 * Contains ore grade nickel ore intersections LOCAL GEOLOGY Nickel-rich laterite has formed as a residual product from chemical weathering of olivine-rich cumulate rocks.02 wt % TiO2 8. Bent Tree Basalt 2000 m Massive to pillowed. then north-north-west at Cawse Central and north-north-west at Cawse Extended. decreasing with depth. Mean olivine-compatible elements Mean olivine-incompatible elements 42. 4 and 5). dolomite.THE BUNYIP LATERITIC NICKEL-COBALT DEPOSIT TABLE 1 Stratagraphic column for the Siberia-Ora Banda area. Orinda Sill 250 m Gabbro. The nickel abundance of the serpentinite in the WWF varies from around 0. Big Dick Basalt 500 m Variolitic textured massive to pillowed high Mg basal.19 per cent Ni for orthocumulate to 0. granodiorites and monzogranites. In drill core.33 wt % Fe2O3 8 ppm Cu 100 ppm Co < 5 ppm Zr 820 ppm Mn 1 ppb Pt 9 ppb Ir 1 ppb Pd 12 ppb Os 3 ppb Rh 7 ppb Ru MINE GEOLOGY The mine geology can be divided into seven individual units on the basis of lithology. Siberia Komatiite* 2600 m Olivine spinifex textured flows. peridotite to granophyre. Mt Pleasant Sill 600 m Differentiated mafic sill includes an iron rich granophyric unit. The ultramafic is composed dominantly of forsterite that has been serpentinised to antigorite and lizardite with minor magnetite. The interaction of structural and regolith features form significant control on the definition of high-grade nickel and cobalt ore deposits. Most of the saprolite and bedrock are derived from an adcumulate dunite. sandstones and conglomerates. 14 . Mt Ellis Sill 600 m Differentiated mafic sill. Wongi Basalt > 2000 m High Mg basalt. 3. Pipeline Andesite Member 200 m Fragmental intermediate volcaniclastic rock. mineralisation and position in the regolith profile (Figures 2. These units are described below in detail. Victorious Basalt 1000 m Massive to pillowed coarse grained plagioclase-phyric basalt. These siliceous fragments commonly show dissolution fabrics and may be rimmed with secondary iron oxides. 4th International Mining Geology Conference TABLE 2 Olivine compatible and incompatible elements in the Walter Williams Formation.35 per cent Ni. Kurrawang Formation > 2000 m Quartz rich silts.60 wt % SiO2 0.24 per cent Ni for adcumulate (Hill et al. Nickel is hosted by iron and manganese oxides. with primary fabric still preserved except in fault zones. Serpentinised olivine cumulates of the WWF form the protolith to the Cawse deposit. chromite. It is dark brown-red and composed of iron-rich pisoliths and nodules (commonly magnetic in the first metre) set in a loam matrix with occasional fragments of silica and rounded quartz grains. No economic concentrations of nickel sulphide mineralisation have been identified to-date from the WWF in three decades of nickel exploration in the region with at best trace quantities of primary nickel sulphides in the form of pentlandite.23 wt % Al2O3 36. Black Flag Group (undifferentiated) 2000 m Epiclastic felsic to intermediate volcaniclastics.

14 .Regolith and mineralisation profile.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 98 Coolum.A BYWATER and S DENN FIG 2 . Qld. Bunyip Pit.

Bunyip geological cross-section 18 000 mN. 30 m below surface. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.6% Ni Contour 40 Lower Saprock Zone Saprock 1.3% Co Contour Pit Outline 30m depth FIG 3 .Bunyip geological plan.4% Ni Contour metres 0. 10 600mE 10 700mE W E 20m 20m 40m 40m 60m 60m Upper Alluvial Zone Massive Silica Lower Saprock Zone Lower Alluvial Zone Talc Zone Saprock Manganese Blanket Upper Saprolite Zone Fault 0 50 metres FIG 5 .0% Ni Contour 150 0 metres Fault 40 18 000mN LEGEND 17 800mN Strike and Dip 150 0 1. FIG 4 .Bunyip plan nickel and cobalt grade contours. Qld.1% Co Contour 17 800mN 0.17 May 2000 99 .THE BUNYIP LATERITIC NICKEL-COBALT DEPOSIT 10 600mE 10 800mE 10 600mE 10 800mE 18 400mN 18 400mN 18 200mN 18 200mN 90 85 LEGEND Alluvial Zone 75 18 000mN Manganese Blanket Massive Silica Pit Outline 30m depth Talc Zone Upper Saprolite Zone 0. 14 . 30 m below surface.

The material has undergone serpentinisation but retains primary adcumulate textures. 100 secondary quartz. Chalcedonic quartz is distributed throughout the Upper Saprolite Zone. chalcophanite and cryptomelane. The lower boundary of the Saprock zone is marked by oxidation of joint filling thick subhorizontal magnesite veins 0. Qld. Silicification of saprolite with adcumulate fabrics are preserved throughout the Saprolite zone and associated with minor coatings of manganese oxide. One channel defines the axis of Bunyip pit. with iron staining occurring along the edges of original grain boundaries. kaolin and silica. chlorite and antigorite as the dominant minerals. are still present in the Lower Saprolite where as magnetite alters to goethite in the upper saprolite. The Manganese Zone occurs at a redox front associated with high fluid porosity at the alluvial. with an average thickness of 10 m.upper saprolite contact. It is characterised by a strong brown-mustard colour.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Structurally controlled talc alteration is found within and adjacent to limonite zones. suggesting a source rock composition of peridotite. 1996). with minor clinopyroxene and sphene. with some dolomite in the serpentinite mesh cores. The unit comprises limonite stained nontronitic clays and is host to minor nickel mineralisation. The unit is commonly sheared and jointed. The Upper Alluvial Zone has undergone strong mottle development that differentiates it from the Lower Alluvial Zone.4 per cent. low density and high-porosity. Pisoliths range in size from 0.40 m below surface. This zone is highly porous. The clay mineralogy of this zone includes kaolinite. Secondary iron oxides (goethite and haematite) result in red.5 mm to 2 m in size. Parts of the Saprock contain tremolite. identified by XRD analysis. The serpentine exhibits a mesh texture and locally a crackle breccia texture with internal. Nickel and cobalt appear to be absorbed by the manganese oxides rather than undergoing ionic substitution. 14 .20 m beneath the surface. The silica contains voids 0.2 m in size. Chalcedonic quartz rich zones contain numerous voids 1 mm . The manganese zone is hosted within the lower alluvial profile and the underlying Upper Saprolite horizon.3 cm diameter. This zone extends from a few metres below surface to a depth of 20 m. The unit is variable in composition in terms of iron. Mottles are composed of bleached. The boundary between the Lower and Upper Saprolite is marked by a sharp colour change from light brown to yellow brown. Large ovoid silcrete pods are also present measuring 10 to 40 m in length and up to 20 m in width. The base of transported sediments may comprise conglomerate. and may include small clasts of laterised ultramafic material.5 . minor magnetite and iron – magnesium silicates are the principal minerals. appearing as iron stained masses measuring 1 mm . Manganese Zone A subhorizontal blanket of cobalt-nickel-manganese enrichment is situated 10 . The blanket dips parallel to the boundaries of the palaeochannels developed over the north trending fault zone. Massive Silica Lithotype Massive silica is distributed throughout the upper saprolite profile at Bunyip pit. Gabbro units comprise plagioclase and amphibole.200 mm. todorokite. The amount of quartz is highly variable. These minerals are associated with cobalt and nickel grades from 0. with maghemite also common in transported material.0 per cent. sands and silts. including the Manganese blanket and Upper to Lower Saprolite.3 per cent to 5. Alluvial Alluvial cover is widespread throughout the Cawse region as represented by palaeochannels. magnetite and minor chromite. Carbonate veinlets. Goethite. resulting in a blocky fabric. The palaeochannel is situated in part adjacent to major structural lineaments which have focussed weathering and fluid movement in the Bunyip Pit area. or undifferentiated clays. Bedding has been observed in some of the basal units. and deeper adjacent to structures. The upper boundary of the Lower Saprolite is marked by a thin accumulation of soft green. The Lower Alluvial Zone is more variable in composition and can be difficult to distinguish where no coarse fraction is present. groutite. in which flat lying sandstone and conglomerate units measure up to 1 m in thickness. The resulting enhanced fluid permeability has facilitated the deepening of the redox boundary. Upper Saprolite Zone (Limonite Zone) This goethite rich unit is located between the manganese blanket and Lower Saprolite. magnesite. 40 . Silica flooding occurs throughout regolith units. baumite. and it is divided into an Upper and Lower zone. The silcrete is a very fine-grained matrix of silica containing irregular shaped clasts of coarser silica and rock fragments measuring 1 mm . Coolum. magnesite and talc. bleached iron-magnesium silicates.5 m in size.4 cm in thickness. and occurs variably from 15 m . reflecting intense weathering of the primary ultramafic. measuring between ten to 90 per cent of the rock mass. minor finely disseminated magnetite grains (Brand et al.1 .A BYWATER and S DENN displays a gradational boundary to weakly mottled clays. montmorillonite. The channel trends 005° with localised meandering. nontronite. Nickel concentrations are generally two times higher than cobalt. nirnessite. measuring up to 40 m in thickness. pentlandite and pyrite. jacobsite. It is typically developed below 40 m depth. The unit is defined as partially weathered ultramafic with altered serpentine and visible relict igneous textures. It often retains primary adcumulate textures. Where secondary chalcedonic quartz development appears greater than 50 per cent of the rock mass. These units host variable nickel mineralisation.6 per cent and one per cent) in the duricrust because of calcrete formation near surface. green and red-brown kaolinitic clays and round iron rich pisoliths. Textures are vuggy due to fabric collapse caused by mineral breakdown and remobilisation.100 m in width. Primary sulphides identified (trace only) are fine-grained chalcopyrite. Saprock Zone The Saprock Zone is defined as primary ultramafic with less than than 20 per cent of its volume affected by weathering. Dolomite and magnesite veinlets occur locally in the adcumulate forming veinlets. Lower Saprolite Zone The Lower Saprolite Zone is situated at the base of the weathering profile at the transition between the Upper Saprolite and Saprock Zone. as represented by interstitial iron staining around individual olivine crystals. Manganese minerals adhere preferentially to siliceous material as coatings and infilling in small cavities. clay. Magnesium and calcium values are often elevated (~0. The manganese is present as manganic oxides and hydrates including pyrolusite. brown and yellow colour development. Channel fill is poorly sorted subrounded to angular pebbles and cobbles. This silica is a product of the pervasive weathering of the primary ultramafic host. The preserved adcumulate fabric becomes progressively destroyed upwards through the unit. This secondary alteration is iron stained with Ni values of ~0. Antigorite has pervasively replaced olivine crystals. varying in width from 20 m in the south to 200 m in the north. The massive silica zone in south Bunyip measures 300 m in strike. rimmed with magnetite and maghemite. Mineralogy comprises antigorite. the local term ‘massive silica’ is used to describe the rock.

with typical ore grade intercepts of 30 m @ 1. This ore is characterised by manganese staining of silica and clays. Three ore types are defined in the Bunyip deposit: ‘Grind’. These are usually of lesser importance as nickel host minerals than geothite. nepoutite. MINERALISATION AND CLASSIFICATION OF ORE TYPES Ore with grades greater than 0. averages 6 m in thickness and trends north-south intermittently above the limonite ore zones. and is associated with cobalt in the upper part of the horizon. commonly reaching grades between 0. The cobalt blanket dips westward and pinches out with depth. geothitic silica typically contain grades of 0. Thin subparallel talc shears transect the unit and are variably mineralised.6 per cent Ni and 0.Bunyip cross-section nickel and cobalt grade contours.07 per cent Co. Upgrading is possible via screening out coarse low-grade material. Nickel grade decreases as the proportion of silica increases. The eastern side of the SICO 4th International Mining Geology Conference appears to be defined by a zone of barren chalcedonic quartz and a talc shear.120 m in width. Non-upgrade material is defined as nickel bearing material not amenable to processing through the upgrade circuit. This ore is enriched in nickel. The SICO zone appears displaced downwards in some areas by ~5 m. and is readily identifiable in the field.3 per cent where manganese staining occurs. This is due to the nontronite content. This ore type is hosted within the manganese blanket. Nickel is strongly enriched in upgrade ore. Qld. and transgresses into the top of the Lower Saprolite.4 per cent to 1. The talc zones in the residual Coolum. The zone is typically situated 15 m below surface. The limonite ore comprises clays with variable silica content and minor magnesite and nontronite. The ore zone pinches out with depth into lower saprolite and bedrock material. Limonite ore comprises predominantly goethite with minor hematite within a matrix of silica.0% Ni Contour Geology Contacts 0 Fault 50 metres FIG 6 . usually comprising silica. Upgrade ore comprises limonite ore derived from the upper saprolite that is processed through the upgrade circuit.THE BUNYIP LATERITIC NICKEL-COBALT DEPOSIT 10 600mE 10 700mE W E 20m 20m 40m 40m 60m 60m Pit Outline 1. Limonitic clays with variable proportions of vuggy. dwornikite. up to 40 m in thickness. Grind ore is classified as material that will not undergo grade beneficiation through an upgrade circuit and hence requires further grinding to allow further processing. nickel and cobalt mineralisation.1 per cent Co is situated above or adjacent to the Upper and Lower Saprolite Zones.3 to four per cent Ni. proximal to penetrating shear structures.01 to 0.1 per cent but can reach 0. including brindleyite. Numerous nickel silicate minerals have been identified. This zone is situated immediately below the Grind ore in the Upper Saprolite Zone.2 km strike length.4% Ni Contour 0. Mineralisation is bounded to the west by Lower Saprolite material and bedrock. and two to ten per cent Mn (Figures 4 and 5). This material may also include a small proportion of lower saprolite (weakly smectitic clays). with concentrations reaching four to five times those in the protore. cobalt and manganese. Grind ore: silica-cobalt mineralisation Grind ore is defined as material requiring fine grinding to extract nickel and cobalt.6 per cent Ni.5 per cent Co. 0.120 m in width. into limonite ore. and is locally termed siliceous cobalt mineralisation (SICO). 18 000 mN.17 May 2000 101 . ranging from dark black to steel grey-blue in colour. The dominant ore zone extends over a 1. This material cannot be processed through the beneficiation circuit due to the association of massive chalcedonic silica and manganese. Upgrade ore: goethitic nickel mineralisation Limonite mineralisation comprises approximately 80 per cent of the global resource.6% Ni Contour 0.2% Co Contour 1. and results in high-grade nickel ore ‘balling’ and being passed as reject material. Goethite-hematite is the dominant nickel host. This ore type includes most high-grade cobalt mineralisation associated with the manganese zone. Talc mineralisation within limonite ore comprises approximately five per cent of the resource and is located toward the base of the weathering profile.1 to 1. measuring 30 .3 per cent Ni and 0. nimite and tetrataenite. No ore has been identified within the Saprock or Upper alluvial zone. and is friable in hand specimen. which is related to a low angle footwall shear dipping towards the west. is 20 . This reflects the significance of weathering acting as the dominant control for all mineralisation. ‘Upgrade’ and ‘Non-Upgrade’ (Figure 2). Siliceous cobalt mineralisation represents ten per cent of the measured resource and is the primary source of high-grade cobalt feed for the Cawse plant. Cobalt content is between 0. which may be due to slumping of the underlying residual material. The main ore zone is bounded towards the east by a massive silica pod. which appears to have acted as a barrier below and east of the main lode. 14 . The ore appears bright orange in colour.

Laterite formation occurs in warm climates associated with large influxes of water and is associated with intense weathering. 20 m in the northing direction and 2 m in height. over a 25 m wide area (Figure 3). it has a similar capacity for cation exchange with Mg 2+ in the saprolite. To the north of Bunyip Dam. Minor hangingwall and footwall talc shears are similarly enriched. 1999).0 per cent Ni and 0.4 per cent Ni and 0. The fault strikes at approximately 320° .5 per cent Ni cutoff (Table 3). ORE GENESIS An interpretation of the geomorphology at the time of orebody formation is essential in clarifying ore genesis. Mineralogy comprises iron and nickel-rich smectite clays. with typical grades of 0. Elements were analysed utilising multi-acid digest with grade determinations by atomic absorption spectrometry (AAS). reacting with magnesium rich rocks to form magnesium ions and silica. The dominant mineralisation control in Bunyip is a north-south striking major fault dipping 40° towards the west (Figure 4). is interpreted as representing the pre-weathering surface. Silicic acid formed at the redox front as a decomposition product. iron and nickel are dissolved from the primary rock. Structural controls on mineralisation Numerous structural features have been identified at Bunyip which influence ore deposition. This ore type is not a significant part of the Bunyip resource. This includes 30 Mt at 1. such as secondary serpentine. Variable amounts of silica are distributed throughout the limonite ore as clasts ranging from 1 mm .1 Mt at a grade of 1. Ore grades were domained at 0.04 per cent Co. During weathering. 1998).04 per cent Co using a 0. with clay infill often defining fault planes.06 per cent Co in the proved and probable reserve category. The presence of sedimentary sands and conglomerates suggests that the paleographic setting of the orebody was a valley around a high-energy alluvial system. This ore marks the transition zone between less weathered Lower Saprolite with strongly weathered Upper Saprolite Zone. however it is similar to that found at Bulong (Elias et al. magnesium. The unweathered ultramafic unit with background levels of 0. Coolum.8 to 1. The ore strikes NNW in a zone 10 . 14 . Smaller creeks are interpreted to have fed the larger system from the east over the Massive Silica unit. This material contains Ni values between 0.1 per cent Ni and 0. The presence of silica distributed throughout the matrix facilitates upgrading of the ore.20 m in width. 1981). This has influenced downward permeation of fluids and ore accumulation at redox boundaries. 102 All economic mineralisation at Bunyip occurs above or adjacent to the Lower Saprolite-Saprock contact. It is characterised by elevated Mg values >4 per cent. which has been recognised at all deposits within the Cawse Central area. Block size was 10 m in the local grid easting direction. The underlying silica zone is also faulted. but are thinner and show a more restricted dispersion of nickel. is the primary metal source for Cawse mineralisation. resulting in nickel and cobalt mineralisation. termed locally as nontronites. A zone on the eastern pit edge has been identified striking at 120° with a dip of 80° towards the NNE.5 per cent nickel wireframe.A BYWATER and S DENN regolith have elevated nickel grades (>2 per cent) along upper and lower margins.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .25 per cent Ni and 0. 1996) preferentially absorb nickel released from weathering of primary minerals.3 per cent Co.8 per cent. However if aluminium is present nontronitic clays will tend to form (Lawrance.5:1. Minerals with high cation exchange capacities.7 per cent Ni.13 per cent Co at a waste to ore strip ratio of 2. a wide. indicated and inferred for Cawse and Cawse Extended is 213 million tonnes (Mt) at 0. This shear defines the boundary between massive silica to the east and iron-rich Lower Saprolite to the west. A block model was generated incorporating ore type. A fault occurs on the western limit of the mineralised Upper Saprolite Zone. at the boundary between a mineralised hangingwall and a barren silicified footwall. Detailed variography has been undertaken on sample grades within the 0. due to the abundance of these smectite clays. Cobalt combines selectively with Mn3+ and Mn4+ (Hotz. In addition a total of 14 large diameter holes for 360 m advance were drilled for metallurgical sampling (Denn. This shear marks the eastern-most limit of high-grade nickel mineralisation. and 0. eroded by the smaller creeks and displaying much deeper weathering. and formed the basis for multiple indicator kriging estimates. Leaching. This area comprises numerous parallel faults that disrupt and control the SICO ore zone in some areas.02 per cent Co. This zone contains the highest grade nickel and deepest known ore extent in the Cawse region. It is overlain by a major palaeochannel following along the pit axis. Central to this interpretation is a palaeochannel. 20 metre thick massive mottled clay deposit signifies the opening of the system northwards into a larger low energy river or lake. The total resource including measured. 1964) in manganese minerals due to adsorption. Interfaces between lithological units. It is characterised by a blocky nature and green colour. Serpentine breaks-down during weathering to form iron oxides (in saprolite) and silica. Cobalt is commonly found in the clay minerals and associated with trace amounts of manganese.2 m in diameter. Qld. Just as Ni2+ substitutes for Fe2+ in the limonite zone. re-distribution and accumulation may still be occurring in the regolith profile today because of current aridity. Some blocks of SICO appear incorporated into the fault zone. striking 120° with a subvertical dip.4 to 0. The zone measures 60 m in width with a 200 m strike extent and is variably mineralised. Grade estimation was generated utilising multiple indicator kriging methods. The saprolite situated west of the alluvial system and main fault represents the remainder of what was probably a hill or scarp that has subsequently been eroded down to the current surface level. geological structures and redox boundaries control ore deposition and grades.5 per cent Ni and 0. Various degrees of weathering in this unit influence the degree of upgradability which is dependant on silica and magnesium content. Bunyip pit contains proven reserves of 5.340° with a dip of 85° east. A major talc shear exists in the eastern wall. Crosssection interpretations were wire-framed to produce a threedimensional model of geology and ore grades. Most holes were vertical and sampled over 2 m intervals. This alluvial system developed over a locally significant north-south trending fault. Non-upgrade ore This ore type commonly occurs adjacent to weakly weathered saprock on the western side of the deposit. Nontronite is commonly situated adjacent to this fault. The surface of the massive silica. multi-element grades and density values. MINING Mineral resource and ore reserve estimates The Cawse Central mineral resource estimate is based on 1545 reverse circulation and 34 diamond core holes for a combined 84 830 m of drilling. smectite clays and iron-manganese oxides (Lawrance. Variable weathering of different rock types has resulted in a complex alteration pattern. Density measurements were compiled from PQ diamond core and downhole wire-line gamma-gamma density logging. The major north-south trending shear has acted as a secondary control on mineralisation.

7 % Co - - 0.05 to 0.2 11.8 to 1.7 % Co - - 0. aluminium. Dilution of ore is estimated for each ore block. Each sample is split at the laboratory.9 216. Spotters are in 4th International Mining Geology Conference constant communication with the excavator operator during removal of ore. lithology and ore type.04 0. Open pit design parameters include a 65° face angle bench from surface to 20 metres depth. The possibility exists to increase bench heights below the Manganese Zone to 3 m.3 344. 14 .04 Tonnes Ni metal 330 400 83 300 3 924 900 4 338 600 Tonnes Co metal 18 880 9520 224 280 247 920 Grade control Grade control drilling is undertaken on a staggered 10 m × 5 m drill pattern utilising face sampling reverse circulation hammer drilling to 20 m depth.06 0.7 0. Pre-stripping involves removal of 5 .4 to 0.08 0.6 % Ni - - 0. Bench heights are 2 m.3 127. with six metre benches for blasting as required. based on area.7 0.08 0. Current planned pits are designed to a depth of 40 to 56 m. Procedures are currently being developed to utilise leach feed grades (post-benefication) to outline ore zones. copper and zinc. Project CTR equity Siberia 75 % Sibera tank Cawse central Cawse extended 80 % 100 % 80 % Subtotal Heron strategic alliance Indicated Inferred Total - - 46.0 per cent Ni.6 0.04 mt 47.8 mt 47.03 mt - - 16 16 % Ni - - 0. 0.5 46. Mining is currently focussed on the highest-grade portions of the deposit. Mining methods Conventional open pit contract mining methods for ore extraction.03 0. Upgrade or Non-Upgrade feed.1 to 0.6 % Co 0.08 mt Total accessible resources Total metal available Measured mt 0.03 0. >0.7 per cent Co).7 0.7 % Co - - 0. resulting in 12 stockpile destinations.4 275. The fleet currently includes one Hitachi EX2500 250 tonne excavator and 4 × Caterpillar 785B 150 tonne capacity dump trucks. 0. Ore spotting is effective in ~30 per cent of ore contacts. Ore zones are initially defined by lithology and classed as Grind.9 % Ni 0.17 May 2000 103 .5 % Ni - - 0. cobalt.6 to 0.6 per cent Ni.5 mm screen.7 0.0 per cent Ni.7 per cent Co). Numerous ore zones are available and active at any one time to allow in pit blending scenarios of ore type and grades. Approximately 70 per cent of the area involves free-dig material with the remainder requiring drill and blast.03 mt 47.04 344.7 0.9 68.7 % Co 0.7 0.03 0.7 0.8 % Co 0. low-grade stocks (0.04 0.3 to 0. magnesium. Drill samples are composited for assaying over 2 m intervals.04 0. This pattern is varied according to ore continuity and strike.7 619. Upgradibility of the ore is back-calculated from material which does not pass through the screening process. perimeter ratios and blasting parameters.6 mt - - 85. however the 20 year plan will incorporate the four existing pits into one pit up to five kilometres in length and 850 m in width. medium-grade stocks (0.THE BUNYIP LATERITIC NICKEL-COBALT DEPOSIT TABLE 3 Cawse and Cawse extended mineral resource estimates.7 0.4 % Ni 0. These figures are utilised to predict leach feed tonnes and ore grade post-beneficiation. manganese. as related to clear visual distinctions between grind and upgrade ore.7 0.7 0.3 per cent Co) and mineralised waste (0. using a multi-acid digest and determination by inductively-coupled plasma spectroscopy.03 0. reducing to a 55° face angle bench from 40 m depth. chromium.5 % Ni 0. with one split submitted for head grade analysis. Samples are analysed for nickel. with 5 m berms.04 0.7 % Co 0.8 per cent Ni.8 0. iron.04 85. with each 1 m sample logged for geology contacts. on a 20 m × 20 m grid to record pre. Qld.7 0.and post-blast position of ore. Ore block mark up of these blocks is then adjusted accordingly.3 % Ni 0.04 0.15 m of transported overburden that is usually free dig. The direction of mining aims to initially remove hanging wall mineralisation (Bunyip south) with working faces running north-south to minimise dilution. and high-grade to low-grade contacts. The overall wall angles are 53° with 20 m wide haul roads with a 1:9 grade incline. which rejects coarse low-grade material. Blast vector indicators are placed in each area requiring blasting.2 11. Material is processed through a 0. Coolum. 0. and the other submitted for upgrade testwork.06 560. These ore types are then divided on the basis of nickel and cobalt grades into mill feed (>1.2 11. involving a simulated ore benefication process in the laboratory.1 per cent Co).

Geochemistry of nickel in the regolith. in The 1989 Kalgoorlie Workshops. Geochemical responses within lateritic profiles over barren and mineralised ultramafic rocks: implications for nickel exploration in the Yilgarn block.2 per cent Co has been mined from three open pits. N. Structural setting and geochemistry of Archean I-Type granites in the Baardoc-Coolgardie area of the Norseman-Wiluna belt. L M. P E. Non-upgrade ore is currently stockpiled separately because of elevated magnesium values. Mineral Resources Bulletin. (Ed: M Glacken) pp 2-7 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. 1998. Structural and lithological controls in the formation of the Cawse nickel laterite deposits. S J. AIG Bulletin. M J and Dowling.1 Mt of ore at 1. 1993a. R J. Western Australia. N. Geology mineralogy and chemistry of laterite nickel-cobalt deposits near Kalgoorlie. which results in higher acid consumption. C R M and Hellsten. The efforts of Ken Hellsten and Neil Phillips in reviewing this paper has greatly improved its quality and is much appreciated. Hellsten. 1964. Precambrian Research. Economic Geology. (Ed: C L Knight) 1. K J. Marston. pp 335-338 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).4 per cent Ni and 0. 1999. N W. Nickeliferous laterites in southwestern Oregon and northwest California. Lawrence. 59(3).Implications for Supergene ore formation and exploration in deeply weathered terrains. and Eastern Goldfields Discussion Group: Kalgoorlie). REFERENCES Brand. C P. 1989. Metals. 272 p.A BYWATER and S DENN Ore is sourced from four open pits over a 6 km strike length and trucked to a central ROM pad. K J.An innovative solution to metallurgical sampling. S M. particularly Calvin Ferguson. 1981. Gole. Qld. Lewis. Ore is stockpiled on the basis of ore type and then grade range. WA. pp 1010-1011 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Western Australia . 1998. Large diameter drilling at Cawse Nickel Project . C R and Denn.2 Mt of high-grade ore at 1. Excursion Guide Book No 1. pp 185-190 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Butt. Western Australia.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .4 per cent Co. in Proceedings Nickel ’96. Hotz. L M. Record 1992114. We acknowledge discussions held with other personnel who have greatly added to the understanding of the geology of the Cawse nickel deposit. Barnes. S. Geological Survey of Western Australia. Donaldson. M.W and Harrison. 1996. in Proceedings Nickel ’96. in Economic Geology of Australia and Papua New Guinea. 1996. 1990. Coolum. S E. 76:1775-1783. M J and Giorgetta. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Centaur Nickel Operations in allowing the publication of this paper. Western Australia. 14 . Loftus-Hills. The University of WA (Unpublished). 104 Elias. Ora Banda lateritic nickel deposits.0 per cent Ni and 0. Gold Deposits of the Mount Pleasant Ora Banda areas. Many professional contributions have been made towards understanding the Bunyip deposit. Witt. High-grade upgrade ore is blended on individual stockpiles up to 60 000 t in size. R E T. 1989. W K. 22:61-66. utilising chevron stacking and re-claiming. Hill. As of February 2000. Western Australia Geological Survey. 14. 1975. Physical Volcanology of Komatities. Volcanic rocks and bounding shear zones of the Ora Banda greenstone sequence. Nickel mineralisation in Western Australia. G D. (Eds: E J Grimsey and I Neuss) pp 167-171 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Economic Geology. This includes 1. 1984. Cawse nickel-cobalt deposit. In course notes ‘Nickel laterites’ Centre for Teaching and Research in Strategic Mineral Deposits. Witt. Western Australia-Part 2 of a systematic study of the gold mines of Menzies-Kambalda region. The authors also acknowledge the editorial assistance in finalising some aspects of this paper. Denn. 44:323-351. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits. Lawrance. W K and Swager. Witt. 4. Toby Morris and David Hope.

The concentrator is currently rated at 17Mtpa and includes the world’s largest single line grinding circuit. FIG 1 . geotechnical. Cadia Hill Gold Mine.17 per cent Cu yielding a mine life of approximately 12 years. Newcrest Mining Limited – Cadia Hill Gold Mine. is owned and operated by Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd. including a pro-active reconciliation process contributed to tangible improvement of the Cadia Hill Gold Mine operation. via Post Office South Orange NSW 2800.17 May 2000 105 . Mining is undertaken on 15 metre benches using large capacity diesel hydraulic face shovels at an annualised rate of up to 70 Mtpa. On-going system development and improvement initiatives are planned to add further value for the future. Geology Manager. These included identification of additional ore tonnes. via Post Office South Orange NSW 2800. During the pre-production period mine geology systems were developed to support the operation. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. 1. Variances that would prove to be material to the life of mine plan were recognised during the first year of production.Cadia Hill Gold Mine — One Year Down the Track C F Moorhead1 and Cadia Geology Team2 ABSTRACT The Cadia Hill Gold Mine. Despite application of reduced metal prices in the evaluation.63 g/t Au and 0. Cadia Geology Team. Construction including pre-strip mining occurred from 1996 to 1998. Cadia Hill Gold Mine is owned and operated by Cadia Holdings Pty Ltd which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Australian gold mining company Newcrest Mining Limited (Newcrest) (Figure 1). higher copper grades and higher gold recoveries relative to the model. The feasibility Mineral Resource was estimated at 352 Mt at 0.74 g/t Au and 0. Qld. Gold grades and copper recoveries also reconciled favourably. 2. The final pit has a strip ratio of approximately 1.17 per cent Cu. the outcome was one of extended mine life with more metal produced at lower cost. Re-modelling was then undertaken to capitalise on those variances. Development of robust mine geology systems. MAusIMM. INTRODUCTION Location and ownership The Cadia Hill Gold Mine is located in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales. Testwork was undertaken to determine the underlying causes of each variance.3:1. Operating strategies were also reviewed and revised. By design these systems were intended to add value to the business through minimisation of material miss-classification.Location diagram. The Cadia Hill Gold Mine life of mine plan was re-evaluated with updated geology. Members of the Mine Geology Team – past and present. The Cadia Hill orebody is a porphyry related gold and copper system. provision of accurate and timely production information and mapping and reconciliation as a continuous model improvement tool. approximately 20 km south of Orange at Latitude 33°28′S and longitude 149°0′E. Australia. a wholly owned subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited. The mine was officially opened in October 1998 following commissioning of the concentrator and mine fleet in June of that year. 14 . located near Orange in Central Western New South Wales. metallurgical and environmental inputs.0. Initial reserves totalled 200 Mt at 0. Newcrest Mining Limited – Cadia Hill Gold Mine. grade.

106 Coolum. At Cadia Hill.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . and the Gibb Fault juxtaposing Cadia Hill mineralisation against the Cadia East deposit in the east. 1996). Holliday et al. open pit mining was planned to be at rates up to 60 Mtpa to feed the world’s largest single line grinding circuit at 17 Mtpa. The development of the geology model and resource estimation process was further documented in 1998 for presentation at the Towards 2000 Seminar held at Cobar (Moorhead et al.Lease area geology plan.C F MOORHEAD and CADIA GEOLOGY TEAM Geology and operations The Cadia deposits (Cadia Hill. This crusher feeds a coarse ore stockpile (COS). The majority of the ore is direct dumped into a large gyratory crusher on a just in time basis. NW-SE PROSPECTIVE HIGHLY CORRIDOR FIG 2 .17 per cent Cu (Newcrest Mining Annual Report. 1997). In addition a significant underground resource has been discovered and identified nearby at Ridgeway. The total cash cost was $257 per ounce (Newcrest Mining Limited Annual Report. Detailed descriptions of the geology of Cadia Hill and the adjacent deposits have been published previously by various workers (Wood and Holliday. 1995. Qld. Cadia Far East. Definition of potential additions to the surface and underground resource inventory is ongoing. Open pit mining occurs on a continuous shift basis. Big Cadia and Little Cadia) all occur within a 6 km long northwest trending corridor within the Molong Volcanic Belt of the Lachlan Fold Belt of eastern Australia. Post-Silurian reverse faulting has significantly dissected the ore zone with major ‘thrusts’ on the western pit limit associated with the Cadiangullong Fault which represents the northern limit of the regional Wongalong Fault. This stockpile is ~200 kt in size with a live capacity of ~50 kt (one day). The veins cross the lithological contact into the roof pendant Forest Reef Volcanics to the east without a significant change in character. The SAG mill draws from three feeders located below the COS at a rate in excess of 2000 dry tonnes per hour.63 g/t Au and 0. Cadia East. 1999). Annual production would be approximately 300 000 ounces of gold and 20 000 tonnes of copper over a mine life of ~12 years (Figure 3). Results to-date have given strong encouragement that reserves will increase. The stock intruded Ordovician Forest Reefs Volcanics and Weemalla Formation sediments. 1998) (Figure 2). 14 . Cadia Quarry.74 g/t Au and 0. Feasibility resource model The Cadia Hill Gold Mine feasibility study was based on a resource estimate completed by the Cadia Drillout Geology Team in 1996 (Cadia Drillout Staff. mineralisation consists of a southwesterly dipping tabular zone of sheeted veins with chalcopyrite and bornite predominantly hosted in the orthoclase porphyritic phase of the Cadia Monzonite.0. and Newcrest Mining Staff. 1998. Ridgeway. The Late Ordovician porphyry-related mineralisation is spatially related to a small composite stock (Cadia Intrusive Complex) of predominantly monzonite composition. Newcrest Mining Staff. With an average waste to ore stripping ratio in the order of 1. Flotation copper concentrate would be pumped to a filter plant at nearby Blayney prior to transport to customer smelters in Japan via rail to port. The quoted Mineral Resource at the commencement of the project was 352 Mt at 0.17 per cent Cu.3:1. Fifteen metre benches are blasted and mined in a single pass using large diesel hydraulic face shovels loading 230 t dump trucks. 1995. In its first full year of production Cadia Hill produced 253 670 ounces of gold at a total cost of production (NAGIS) of $409/oz. 1998). The feasibility life of mine plan at Cadia Hill was based on starting reserves of 200 Mt at 0.

sulphide species and abundance. This data is up-loaded into the database.5 by 15 m with some subcelling allowed at domain boundaries.CADIA HILL GOLD MINE — ONE YEAR DOWN THE TRACK FIG 3 . Data collected includes lithology. Samples are analysed for gold (fire assay 50 gms). Specific environmental testwork is also undertaken as an on-going means of AMD (Acid Mine Drainage) characterisation. S. This model consisted of a three-dimensional block model (Datamine). Geologists also map available pit exposures which provides critical structural data including geotechnical information. This result. The quality control system also includes routine laboratory inspections. Experimental variograms were well structured with low relative nugget values and an absence of short scale structures. Expert consultants are engaged on an as needs basis for peer review (Figure 4). and AuEq. Profit was subsequently used as the basis for material classification in mine planning and operations. spear. 14 . Within this model fields were generated for MPA (maximum potential acidity) and ANC (acid neutralising capacity). Results are up-loaded into the database electronically on an as required basis. multiple spear and a simple scoop. Data consisted of 1 m half HQ3 diamond core samples composited to 15 m on a bench basis. each of which was able to be derived from the primary model fields. The testwork included a trial of several blast-hole sampling methods including pie segment. based on digitised gold equivalent grade zones and lithological/structural domains interpreted on well supported 50 m cross-sections and plans. Labour required to perform blast hole sampling is provided on a seven days per week basis by the contract assay laboratory. Geology MINE GEOLOGY SYSTEMS Ore control Data acquisition The primary means of grade control sampling at Cadia Hill is a multiple spear blast-hole method. Model fields included Au. Variography showed gold and copper mineralisation at Cadia Hill to be non-problematic with respect to grade interpolation.17 May 2000 107 . CuCN. The remainder of the cuttings for each hole in the trial (~1. All testwork indicated that sampling at Cadia Hill does not represent a significant problem. Results were used to benchmark each of the methods. Cu.Cadia Hill feasibility life of mine metal production chart. cyanide soluble copper (bottle roll – AAS) and sulphur (ICP for less than one per cent S otherwise LECO). This innovative approach has proven to be very efficient and effective. Lithology. submission to a third party reference lab and review of laboratory internal QA/QC reports. although atypical for gold mineralisation was not unexpected given the disseminated style of mineralisation. A waste model was created for the non-ore volume within the model prototype.6 t). The MPA to ANC ratio was then used to classify the waste in terms of potential to generate acid mine drainage. Blast holes in waste zones are also monitored for sulphide content as an indication of acid forming potential. Grade was interpolated using the inverse distance squared approach with search ellipses and top-cuts determined statistically for each domain. This model was further regularised to a 25 by 25 by 15 m SMU size for optimisation purposes. This spatially variable field was a function of revenue and processing cost. Parent block sizes were set at 25 by 12. Samples dispatched by midday are generally available by mid-morning the following day. was 4th International Mining Geology Conference carefully picked up using a small loader and passed through a rotary splitter and submitted under controlled conditions to the laboratory. Mine geologists log all blast holes using rugged field computers (Hammerhead). Qld. In each regularised cell a calculated ‘profit’ field was generated. Accuracy and precision data for all elements is monitored daily and reported formally on a weekly and monthly basis. copper (multi-acid digest – AAS). Sample grind size determinations are also carried out on a regular basis. This data is down-loaded directly into a relational database. Each sampling and subsampling step also includes a notional one in 20 repeat. Each batch of samples submitted to the laboratory is accompanied by selected standard reference material. Coolum. This approach was selected on the basis of sample quality and efficiency following heterogeneity studies and sampling testwork. relative abundance of quartz veining and alteration type and intensity.

00g/t AuEq Fault FIG 4 .C F MOORHEAD and CADIA GEOLOGY TEAM Gold CadiaMine Hill Resource Feasibility & Grade Geology Model Scale Legend Silurian sediments Monzonite Monzodiorite Volcanics Diorite > 0. Dispatch information is then used to pro-rata depleted volumes to reconciled destinations incorporating any ore losses and dilution. Models are stamped with lithology and a ‘profit’ value calculated for each block for material classification purposes. the key sensitivity however is gold grade. Dig blocks are set out in the field by mine surveyors using high precision GPS equipment. The ore-type is a function of Cu:S ratio and proportion of total copper that is cyanide soluble (an indication of relative abundance of bornite). The system also interfaces with a similar system developed to manage metallurgical balance and other mill information including weightometer data (Figure 7).50g/t AuEq > 0. 108 Production reporting Production Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) are monitored on a daily basis using source and destination information downloaded from the Dispatch system. This state-of-the-art system provides detailed material movement and productivity information including source and destination reports. The stockpiles are closely monitored to ensure their metal inventory is realistic and recoverable. Processing cost is a function of lithology (affects grinding cost) and concentrate grade (TCRC). SAG Mill feed estimates of grade and theoretical recovery are calculated daily through depletion of the coarse ore stockpile (COS).17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Ore control modelling Production and reconciliation Data is retrieved from the database for processing using Surpac Mining Software. Material classification Material classification at Cadia Hill is based on the calculated ‘profit’ field. Stockpile management The Crushed Ore Stockpile (COS) and Run of Mine (ROM) stockpile are treated as ‘live’ maintaining a daily balance of delivered and removed material using production and weightometer information. This system interfaces Surpac block model report files with truck movement information from Dispatch. These are put out as dig plans for mining crews and other stakeholders. Block models are created with interpolation by ordinary kriging of the four assay fields. Inputs to the profit algorithm are updated as required (Figure 5). Interpreted geology and grade domains are digitised on screen. All other stockpiles are surveyed at the end of each month and compared to their estimated status. Block models are constructed in Surpac from DTM surfaces and the estimated delivered grades assigned. Mining operations are controlled with the assistance of a real time GPS based truck dispatch system (Modular Mining Dispatch). Revenue is a function of grade. 14 . Geology and grade information is plotted for validation and interpretation. Each block is then delineated using large colour-coded core flute boards (Figure 6). The latter is based on regression relationships derived experimentally during the feasibility process for each of six ore-types. The profit algorithm ($PA) incorporates a calculation of revenue and processing cost. Domain-specific variography is reviewed and updated regularly. metal price and recovery. Copper grade also effects cost as copper is treated as a bi-product credit. Coolum.50g/t < 1.Feasibility model cross-section 13 920 mE. Profit therefore varies spatially.00g/t AuEq > 1. Qld. On a weekly basis however active pit and stockpile faces are picked up by survey.35g/t < 0. A Microsoft ACCESS based system was developed to manage large volumes of production and reconciliation data and generate reports. blast. Blocks are numerically identified by bench. and ore category for input into the truck dispatch system (Modular Mining). Digital terrain models are updated and used to deplete pit and stockpile block models and stamp them with a ‘date mined’ field. Block delineation For each blast the block model is simplified to yield practical mining outlines.

402 e tc AMD Dump e g P ink 2 601. De s tinatio n ORE We athe re d? Oxide ? Estimated Value > $-0. 5 J une 1998 Defined by Bench eg.302 e tc S tockpile e g Gre e n 3 201. Material Type eg.502 e tc Wa s te Dump e g Blue 5 401. 023.Dig plan example.202 e tc S tockpile e g YELLOW 4 101. 01 (first block of green) NO Es timate d Value > $0 pe r to nne YES WASTE > Trace Vis ible Pyrite ? Mate rial Clas s ificatio n Dig Blo c k No. FIG 6 . 790.00 to $2.91 Mine ralis e d Was te Marg inal Ore Ore NO YES Was te AMD Blue Pink Ora nge Gre e n Ye llow Re d 501.17 May 2000 109 . Block Number eg. 3 (Green).97 per tonne $0. 14 . Qld. eg.CADIA HILL GOLD MINE — ONE YEAR DOWN THE TRACK CADIA HILL GOLD MINE . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.102 e tc Crus he r or ROM FIG 5 .Material classification chart. Blast No.MATERIAL CLASSIFICATION CHART As At 28 J ANUARY 2000 MATERIAL e g 790023301 F rida y.602 e tc S/PILE e g Ora nge 2 301.91 > $2.

110 Information effect Further investigation revealed that the effect of additional lower grade tonnage at the orebody margins was more or less offset by under-sampled higher gold grade ‘pods’ seen in the ore control data to a greater extent than the wider spaced diamond drilling data. FIG 7 . Interestingly however this information effect did not appear to result in the expected reduction in the average grade of ore mined. Similarly the high copper zone noted above was intersected by few diamond holes and was under-sampled in the feasibility study model. cumulative and rolling basis (three months). In addition detailed reconciliation of each process step is undertaken to characterise any variances in the net reconciliation. Metal recoveries were also significantly underestimated in the model.5 Mt of ore was processed through the concentrator. Variance characterisation Reconciliation Net production is calculated as a function of mill adjusted production and net stockpile movements. Similarly major thrust faults on the western side of the pit which were previously poorly constrained have been shown to be significantly more complex. dig plans to as mined (oreloss/dilution) and as mined to mill adjusted (mill reconciliation). as grade/tonnage curves and spatially. Importantly. Qld. This included a nearest neighbour study where bench core composites within each domain were paired with blast-holes within 2 m separation.PRS flowchart. While no fundamental changes to the geological interpretation were required. a trial was run by selective inclusion of increasing number of samples to establish if a reliable relationship between data density and ore tonnes could be defined. Most of these variances were positive and expected due to intentional and unintentional conservatism built into the original model. (Results however were not yet available at the time of writing. Unidentified high-grade zones During the first year of production at Cadia Hill mapping and reconciliation revealed significant variances to results predicted by the model. This includes comparison of the reserve model to the ore control model verse (information effect). 14 . Results are formally reported on a monthly. VARIANCES AND ANALYSIS Examination of incremental ore showed that additional tonnage above cut-off was being identified by ore control on the orebody margins. Furthermore the original model served to smooth the data through gold equivalent (AuEq) domain interpretation and inverse distance interpolation. The copper sulphides present in this zone are hosted in fractures and breccia matrices clearly not typical of the main ore zone mineralisation style. Results are analysed numerically. This is reconciled against survey based reserve model depletions as a measure of block model performance as a predictive model for the business. Resolution of these issues proved to be vital in improving the model for short and mid term mine planning as they had material influence on the local distribution of grade and problematic zones of intense alteration that had a negative impact on the flotation process from time to time. Reconciliation of this ore against the reserve predictions has shown a 14 per cent increase in tonnes. Testwork targeted at reasons for this reconciliation variance examined the effects of incremental increases in sample data density.C F MOORHEAD and CADIA GEOLOGY TEAM Mineralisation Pit mapping has confirmed the majority of the mineralisation zones based on earlier diamond drilling. A program of re-analysis of drill-out pulps and re-certification of standard reference materials from that period was commenced to resolve this issue.) Coolum. Using the available high-density blasthole data. 30 June 1999). The combined upgrade of both in situ metal and recoveries resulted in 23 per cent additional gold and 26 per cent additional copper metal production compared to reserve expectation for the four quarters ending June 1999 (Newcrest Mining Limited Quarterly Report to Shareholders. structures subparallel to the principal drilling direction were accurately defined and located. Results from this work showed a small but consistent increase in tonnes defined above production cut-offs with increasing data density. This small zone of very high copper grades may in part have contributed to the copper grade variation described below. Geology Structure Mapping of mine exposures has refined the structural framework and ore zone configuration developed for the feasibility study drill hole-based interpretation. 1999). Sample biases Investigation of possible bias between diamond core and blast hole sample assays was also undertaken. 14. Results showed a clear understatement of gold and copper in the drillout data compared to the production blast-holes in the main ore zone. with a nine per cent increase in copper grade and a one per cent increase in grade for gold (Newcrest Mining Annual Report. ore control to dig plans (selectivity). However detailed mapping has also enabled the recognition of an additional discrete zone of copper mineralisation in the northwestern portion of the pit not identified in the drillout phase. Production To the end of the June 1999.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . The combined effect of under-sampling due to wide spaced diamond data density was further compounded by orientation of that data with the copper breccia zone striking subparallel to the regular drill pattern. during that period ore control based production figures reconciled within two per cent of net smelter returns validating the use of this data as the reconciliation benchmark.

Cu. Lower grade domains have considerably lower variance values (Figure 9). and S. Assay grades interpolated included Au. Other variances The metallurgical recovery models established during the Cadia Hill feasibility were shown during the first year of production to clearly under-estimate achievable recoveries. Au and Cu zones were interpreted separately in this instance highlighting a subtle spatial separation of the maxima of the two economic metals within the overall mineralised zones. ore control and mapping data. Waste model Sulphide distribution models The abundance of sulphide species including pyrite.CADIA HILL GOLD MINE — ONE YEAR DOWN THE TRACK Gold CadiaMine Hill Updated Model Resource & GoldGeology Grade Scale Legend Silurian sediments Monzonite Monzodiorite Volcanics Diorite > 0.025. The causes of this are not within the scope of this paper. CuCN (cyanide soluble copper) and S (total sulphur). range 300 with plane of best continuity similar to Au at 50 degrees to 210. Domainal variography was performed for all domains and interpolated fields including Au.0g/t Au > 2. The volume model comprised a combination of blocks from individually filled wireframes for each grade and structural domain with blocks flagged appropriately for the interpolation process. This did not result in a material change to the fundamental interpretation however the location of critical structures was improved.64 g/t) were interpreted as four structure curves with 50 per cent nugget.3g/t < 0. Qld.6. This variance significantly contributed to the overall metal reconciliation result. Variography Data was composted to 5 m downhole for modelling purposes. The interpolated grade model was subsequently updated with resource category. Grades for each element and domain were interpolated using only those samples within the same domain plus a 15 m halo around the domain to ‘soften’ the hard boundary effect. 14 . chalcopyrite and bornite was logged electronically during the Cadia Hill Coolum.5 by 15 m bench was used with subcelling allowed on oxidation and topography surfaces only. 2000 Pit FIG 8 . A regular block size of 12. Typical high-grade copper domain (mean 0.0g/t Au > 1. structural and grade domains were re-interpreted from basic principles using all available diamond. range 320 metres. density (based on lithology) and an appropriate volume of waste with modeled AMD field. CuCN. REMODELLING Interpolation Geology Interpretation All lithological.5g/t < 1.Updated model cross-section 13 920 mE.17 May 2000 111 .5g/t Au > 0. All domains and subdomains were digitised and wireframes created that were subsequently used to flag the data. total 4th International Mining Geology Conference variance 0. with the plane of best continuity dipping 50 degrees to 210.39 per cent Cu) variograms were four structure curves with 20 per cent nugget.0g/t < 2.5 by 12. Ag. Ag. Grade interpolation used ordinary kriging with input parameters for each domain defined by variography described above.0g/t Au Fault EOM Feb. Typical variograms for high-grade gold domains (mean 1. total variance 0. Cu. With respect to the latter.

2000 Pit FIG 9 . Variography run on the data showed broad long-range anisotropy of each sulphide species approximately parallel to Au and Cu mineralisation trends.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 14 . all blocks in the model with >57 per cent probability of containing greater than trace (0. Qld.25 per cent) pyrite corresponded closely with material classified in production as potentially acid forming. AMD model The pyrite distribution model using the ‘Trace’ indicator was calibrated against actual distribution of AMD observed over the first year of production. In lieu of results from on-going AMD Characterisation testwork. † At the time of writing this model continued to perform well as a predicitve model for AMD distribution at Cadia.25% Cu > 0.C F MOORHEAD and CADIA GEOLOGY TEAM Gold CadiaMine Hill Updated Model Resource & CopperGeology Grade Scale Legend Silurian sediments Monzonite Monzodiorite Volcanics Diorite > 0. moderate and abundant basis. This information was taken advantage of to create a series of sulphide distribution models using indicator kriging (IK).25% < 0.Example of fitted experimental variogram. The logged sulphide database comprised 157 km of core logged at 1 m intervals which were composited to 5 m intervals for interpolation.40% Cu > 0. That is. drillout on a trace. FIG 10 112 Coolum. this model was adopted as the predictive model for AMD distribution in the life of mine plan†. The pyrite distribution model derived from this process was subsequently applied to development of an improved AMD Model. This was undertaken in an attempt to create improved predictive models of spatial sulphide distribution for metallurgical and waste AMD characterization modelling. It was found that at a cut-off of 0.4% Cu Fault EOM Feb.57 a good numeric and spatial reconciliation was achieved.10% < 0. Characterisation work may result in a lifting of the ‘cut-off’ necessitating a further change to this model.

Qld.CADIA HILL GOLD MINE — ONE YEAR DOWN THE TRACK FIG 11 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.17 May 2000 113 . 14 .

Coolum. P B. The resulting life of mine plan was shown to yield more metal at a lower cost of production than the previous plan. The geological model was able to be updated using comprehensive mapping information and the resource re-estimated for input into the pit optimisation process.April 1996. J F. The Cadia Wallrock-Porphyry Style Gold-Copper Deposit. The resulting mine plan yields more metal at lower cost despite 114 The authors would like to thank Newcrest Mining Limited for permission to publish this paper. D G and Holliday. Pathways 98 Extended Abstracts Volume.1-11. Ongoing mine geology initiatives aimed at continuous improvement of the Cadia Hill and adjacent models will result in further value added to the Cadia Hill Gold Mine business.Cadia Hill Copper Gold Mineralisation . CONCLUSION Implementation of an effective reconciliation process led to early identification of variances that were material to the business. This also represents a significant improvement in the model as a planning tool. Australia. application of a lower gold price as the basis for revenue calculation. Discovery of the Cadia Au-Cu Deposits. 1996. J R. 1998. Garnet Halliday General Manager Cadia Hill Gold Mine and Foy Leckie Chief Geologist Mining and Development Newcrest Mining Limited for their on-going strong support of Mining Geology within the Group. This process was audited by peer review and resulted in modifications but no material change to overall design pit-slopes.1-16. Resource Model Report . Geotechnical Detailed mapping of open pit exposures allowed the geotechnical pit-slope model to be updated and refined. Newcrest Mining Staff. 1995. J. BC and Y Chamber of Mines/SEG. Discovery of the Cadia Gold/Copper Deposit in New South Wales – By Refocusing on the Results of Previous Work. C F. Holliday. Dunham. in Resource/Reserve Estimation Practice in the Central West New South Wales Mining Industry – Cobar NSW. Eastwood. No 23 p 83. 1995. G J and Leckie. Thanks also to current and past members of the Cadia Geology Team. Cadia gold-copper deposit. pp 67-77 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).10. Moorhead. Testwork was conducted to verify underlying causes of. NSW. 1998. pp 11. C and Tedder. Lachlan Fold Belt.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Newcrest Mining Ltd. D. Porphyry Related Gold and Copper Deposits of the Asia Pacific Region. Newcrest Mining Staff. This was evaluated under prevailing (reduced relative to feasibility) metal prices. Newcrest Mining Staff 1998 Cadia Gold-Copper Deposits: Geological Update. I. and quantify these variances. Metallurgical recovery ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Real production data was extracted from the geology and metallurgy databases. REFERENCES Cadia Drillout Staff. 1998. The detail of this re-modelling work is not within the scope of this paper. McMillan. This data allowed metallurgical recovery models to be simplified and modified to yield a significantly improved set of predictive models for each ore-type. Reconciliation of the new model over recent months shows recovered metal to be within five per cent of expectation. unpublished Internal Report. New Generation Gold Mines: Case Histories of Discovery. 14 . in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H MacKenzie). pp 16. Wood. Wood. RESULTS The updated Cadia Hill model was input into a pit optimisation and mine design process. Qld.C F MOORHEAD and CADIA GEOLOGY TEAM Other As part of the re-evaluation process the geotechnical and metallurgical models were also reviewed and updated. pp 641-646 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). AIG Bulletin. The detail of this re-modelling is not within the scope of this paper.10 (Australian Mineral Foundation: Adelaide). Cadia Hill – From Discovery to a Mine – A Case Study.

97 million ounces. 3. It comprises six distinct gold deposits within two mineralised trends: Nyankanga. A Davidson2. Free gold occurs within fractures of sulphides. Box 532. M Skead2 and H Stuart2 ABSTRACT INTRODUCTION Ashanti Goldfields Company’s (Ashanti’s) most recent development is the Geita Project in the Lake Victoria Goldfield of NW Tanzania. Total production is shown by deposit in Table 1. H Michael3. Initial work focussed on the previous production centres of Lone Cone and Prospect 30. The discovery of Nyankanga was made by Ashanti in 1996 from RAB drilling of a +100 ppb Au anomaly in laterite soil above ferricrete cover.14 Moz is within the Kukuluma trend. indicated and inferred) for the project are estimated at 89. MAusIMM. Ore from Ridge 8 and Prospect 30 was transported via aerial ropeway to the Geita mill. Deposit Tonnes milled Grade recovered g/t Ounces produced Geita Mine 3 827 587 5. Oxide facies banded iron formation (BIF) of the Upper Nyanzian System forms prominent topographic ridges and is the dominant host lithology for gold mineralisation. Primary gold mineralisation is divisible into two distinct assemblages: arsenopyrite–pyrrhotite–magnetite–chlorite associated with brecciated cherts and pyrite associated with shaley banded ironstones. Mining methods and cut-offs varied with deposit. Syn-genetic lamprophyre (vogesite) and post-genetic felsic dykes are also seen in the Geita trend. Ashanti Goldfields Tanzania Ltd.5 million ounces of gold in 1998 and which has exploration interests in over 12 African countries. the Geita area produced an estimated 5.0 g/t cut-off grade. the main ore-grade mineralisation (as in the rest of the Geita trend) is controlled by low-to-medium angle structures dipping north-west and north with numerous splays in the hanging wall. Of this 9. 14 . The Kukuluma trend was discovered by SAMAX Resources (taken over by Ashanti in 1998) between 1996 and 1997 from RC drilling of a +80 ppb Au laterite soil anomaly.83 Moz is within the Geita trend and 2. Ashanti Exploration Ltd. The deposits of Kukuluma and Matandani occur on an ancient (possibly Cretaceous) erosional plateau and are related to two WNW to NW trending shear zones. Ashanti’s most recent development is the Geita Project located within the Lake Victoria granite-greenstone terrane of NW Tanzania (Figure 1). A processing plant was constructed in 1934 and between 1936 and 1966. R Chase2. At Geita Hill the higher grade shoots are controlled by fold noses in BIF dipping to the north. Area 3W is most likely the fault-displaced extension of the same mineralised trend and comprises thin. Ashanti Goldfields Company is an African gold mining and exploration company which produced over 1. Lone Cone.97 Moz of contained gold) at a 1. 2. Proven and probable reserves are 49. the Geita Mine constituted the largest gold operation in East Africa. producing an estimated 5. 4th International Mining Geology Conference PRODUCTION AND EXPLORATION HISTORY Gold mineralisation in the Geita area was first discovered in the early-1930s as part of a survey carried out by a small Kenyan syndicate.The Geita and Kukuluma Mineralised Trends. Geita Tanzania. Kukuluma and Area 3 West (Kukuluma trend).65 57 723 5 292 992 5. Ashanti Goldfields Tanzania Ltd. Ghana. discordant to the local strike of the BIF sequence. Accra. However.24 Mt at an average grade of 4.64 204 633 Mawe Meru (Rwamagaza) 82 928 21.5 M tonnes of ore from five underground deposits at an average recovered grade of 5. In addition key cost parameters were tested to provide sensitivities for pit optimisations and pathfinders for negotiations with suppliers and contractors. 1.74 Moz is from an inferred resource at depth at Nyankanga where the viability of an underground operation is being studied. Construction began in March 1999 and first gold is expected to be poured in the second-quarter 2000. The ridges are flanked by felsic tuff units which lie stratigraphically above. By 1940 smaller underground mines were also in operation at Lone Cone and Ridge 8 with open pit material being mined by glory hole from Prospect 30. Between 1936 and 1966. Geita Hill (Geita trend).5 Mt at an average recovered grade of 5. TABLE 1 Geita district historic production. High-grade shoots at Nyankanga plunge to the west and to the north-west.88 1 002 223 Total Modern exploration in the Geita belt was initiated in 1994 by Cluff Resources Plc in the Geita East and Geita West licences (190 km2) (Figure 2). It comprises six distinct gold deposits within two mineralised trends: Nyankanga. Matandani. Kukuluma and Area 3 West (Kukuluma trend). The Geita mine closed in 1966 due to a combination of inadequate financing and the fixed gold price although according to historical records.07 623 912 Lone Cone 163 415 8.17 g/t (11. Complete oxidation occurs up to 120 m depth and there is a strong supergene component to the gold distribution. A resource of 2. Reserve estimation was carried out using mineable polygons to select resource blocks based on a series of mining and costs parameters. Mill recovery by cyanidation was approximately 85 per cent.72 72 768 Ridge 8 833 092 7. being lithologically and fault-controlled respectively. Lone Cone.77 Mt @ 3. Box 2665.54 Moz) based on a $325/oz gold price providing a mine life of ten years at an average production rate of 500 000 oz per year. intermittent zones of high-grade gold mineralisation occurring adjacent to a ridge in banded cherts and minor BIF. Qld. At Lone Cone Coolum. propylitic. etc) as well as sulphide and gold deposition.3 g/t. Current resources (measured. The total combined resource for the six deposits is currently 11. good grades were being encountered and there was no shortage of ore at the time of closure. Tanzania — Orebody Characteristics and Project Planning D Bansah1. A small quantity of high-grade ore was trucked from the Mawe Meru mine 20 km to the south in the Rwamagaza greenstone belt.17 May 2000 115 . Ashanti began construction of a 4 Mtpa process plant in January 1999 and production is scheduled to commence in second-quarter 2000. Geita Tanzania. Geita Hill (Geita trend) and Matandani. Lake Victoria Goldfield.22 43 187 Prospect 30 392 970 5. Box 532. At Nyankanga a granodiorite-diorite suite has intruded as dykes and sills into BIF from a plug centred on a WNW fault and has produced wallrock alteration assemblages similar to those seen in Cu-porphyry systems (potassic.3 g/t from five deposits.46 g/t (5.

116 Coolum. R CHASE. M SKEAD and H STUART Lake Victoria MWANZA GEITA Buck Reef Mawe Meru SUKUMALAND GREENSTONE BELT BULYANHULU GOLDEN RIDGE Shinyanga BUZWAGI Kahama N GOLDEN PRIDE ADVANCED GOLD PROJECT 50km ARCHEAN GREENSTONE BELT FIG 1 .The Lake Victoria goldfields. Granite terrane BIF BUGULULA Quartz Gabbro Dyke Deposit Late Intrusive Mining Licence KUKULUMA Exploration Licence Major Structure Fault Fold Axis GEITA EAST GEITA WEST Geita Trend Bukolwa Hill Kukuluma Trend GEITA HILL Ridge 8 N 3 km FIG 2 . A DAVIDSON.D BANSAH.Ashanti Goldfields Tanzania Ltd Geita licences with regional geology. H MICHAEL. 14 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Qld.

THE GEITA TREND The Nyankanga. Work by SAMAX Gold Inc. Following the award of the Geita Hill licence in late-1995 and the acquisition of Cluff by Ashanti in early-1996. transported laterite cover (Figure 4). The BIF units have been later deformed into west-plunging open folds with WNW axial trends.15 m of barren. All deposits dip N-to-NW. Five of these holes returned significant results in what is now the Kukuluma deposit.THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS trenching in late-1994 defined two mineralised zones which were drilled on an 80 m × 40 m grid in early-1995. close to which local compression causes breaks in continuity. Iyoda and Veda. In June 1997. They are located on structures subsidiary to the regional NW trending shears. DISTRICT GEOLOGY The Geita Greenstone belt forms the east-west trending northern arm of the regional Sukumaland Greenstone belt and is approximately 60 km long by 15 km wide (Figure 1). Reconnaissance soil sampling (Figure 3) outlined four main anomalies on which trenching was carried out. Resource drilling on a 40 m × 20 m grid to a maximum depth of 175 m below surface was completed by December 1997. on the Kukuluma (100 km2) and Bugalula (120 km2) Prospecting Licences began in 1995 (Figure 2). whose emplacement is thought to have been focussed along the Iyoda Shear (Figure 5) is situated in the south and west of the deposit. Mineralisation at Nyankanga was discovered in May 1996 from rotary air blast drilling (RAB) of a 200 ppb soil anomaly. BIF increases in abundance away from the intrusive centre along strike to the NE and down dip. Regional Proterozoic quartz-gabbro dykes intrude along reactivated NE-SW faults (Figure 2). Initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling commenced in mid-1996 and was accelerated in late-1997 following the discovery of the ‘1120’ shoot and high-grade BIF hosted mineralisation at depth in the eastern part of the deposit. Nyankanga The Nyankanga deposit forms the SW limit of current known resources along the Geita Trend and subcrops in low ground below 5 . eight holes were targeted on Area 1 based on an erratic soil anomaly (+100 ppb) around two artisanal pits.The Geita trend – orebody distribution 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. 14 . These have subsequently undergone major displacement along NW trending shears. In late-1998 the Kukuluma and Matandani deposits were included in the Geita project following the acquisition of SAMAX by Ashanti. A microdiorite intrusive plug. subparallel to stratigraphy. bound the deposit along strike. Lone Cone and Geita Hill deposits form a semi-continuous NE mineralised trend near the hinge of the principal west-plunging synform. giving rise to a repetitive stratigraphic sequence which forms the main host to mineralisation. In early-1998 RAB drilling of extensions discovered the Matandani deposit 700 m to the north. work commenced on 9500 m of underground channel sampling which led to a first phase of drilling on an 80 m × 40 m grid. Anomalies from the BIF ridge to the south-east (Area 3) were more encouraging and were drilled between late-1995 and mid-1997. Sills penetrate north-eastwards from this plug into a 30° NW-dipping sedimentary package of Banded Iron Formation with lesser mudstone and siltstone (hereafter grouped as BIF). (Figure 3). FIG 3 . Qld. The belt is dominated by isoclinally folded oxide facies BIF ridges averaging 500 m in thickness and flanked by younger felsic pyroclastics. NNW-to-NW trending regional shears.17 May 2000 117 . towards which a gradual decrease in gold mineralisation is observed.

A single. Areas of high-grade seen on the grade × thickness plan projection (Figure 5) generally represent uniformly mineralised BIF units grading in the order of 20 g/t over 10 m thickness and ranging up to 45 g/t over 18 m. Qld. In BIF. Free gold occurs as inclusions and within fractures in pyrite (Schandl. Thus.50° to NW and N cross-cuts and displaces all lithologies and mineralisation. 118 There is also a structurally controlled high-grade zone (the ‘1120 shoot’) in the SW of the deposit (Figure 4). A DAVIDSON. Stratigraphy has also been drag folded into a similar orientation (Figure 3). 14 . 1999) and as discrete grains within secondary quartz.30° to the NW and N. which has emplaced along joint-related structures dipping 40 . This has provided focus for ore fluids in the microdiorite and has resulted in extremely high-grade-thickness values for this host. resulting in higher grades.Nyankanga subcrop geology with orebody and with final pit outlines. Late-stage deposition and/or re-mobilisation of gold may have occurred during emplacement since very high grades (50 .200 g/t) are often observed in the orebody adjacent to contacts and low-to-moderate grades can be seen within the margins of the dykes themselves. drag-folded pattern as the bedding and orebody. Within the microdiorite.100 m apart occurred dominantly along pre-existing joint sets dipping 40 .8 m. Mineralisation is principally related to a sigmoidal NE trending structure formed between the Iyoda and Veda shears during dextral displacement. H MICHAEL. grade distribution within the orebody is primarily controlled by lithology (Figure 6). Initial emplacement of en-echelon felsic porphyry dykes 50 . Discontinuous low-grade zones occur in the footwall and outside the main deposit and are thought to be intrusion related. Gold mineralisation is intimately associated with fine-grained pyrite and silicification. Two phases of syn-to-post-mineralisation dykes occur throughout the deposit and are thought to represent late felsic evolution of the intrusive system at Nyankanga. mineralisation comprises a wide anomalous zone up to 60 m thick typically containing multiple intersections of 1 .D BANSAH. Rheological contrast with the microdiorite has focussed shearing within the BIF and mineralisation has followed these units wherever possible. final stage quartz porphyry dyke.2 g/t over 5 . The main orebody is up to 50 m thick in the central part of the deposit and dips subparallel to stratigraphy at 20 . This is situated along the NW plunging intersection lineation of the main shear with a subvertical NW-trending structure.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .50° NW and N with some dilation parallel to the ore zone where they cross-cut. M SKEAD and H STUART FIG 4 . Where BIF is not present (as in the main microdiorite plug in the SW of the deposit) or where the ore zone passes through a significant microdiorite sill a lack of stress focus has dispersed ore fluids away from the main shear along stockwork fabrics and pre-existing structures such as higher angle joint sets. R CHASE. Numerous steeper mineralised structures up to 10 m thick occur as imbricate splays in the hangingwall. In these areas the orebody is wider but has a more erratic gold distribution and a lower average grade. ductile shearing and mineralisation have occurred preferentially within magnetite Coolum. barren. With respect to the Iyoda and Veda shears all dykes follow the same sigmoidal.

biotite. lead and zinc are thought to be related to intrusive mineralisation. Ore was preferentially extracted from higher grade hangingwall and footwall zones which converge in the central part of the Geita Mine.150gm 1500mN 1500mN 50 . Multiple intrusion-related alteration systems are seen in the microdiorite and less frequently in BIF and although work to-date on this aspect is limited it is evident that similarities exist with porphyry deposits.2000mN N 1750mE 1500mE 1250mE 1000mE 750mE THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS 2000mN >250gm 150 . magnetite) and sodic (albite) alteration is most common in the west of the deposit within the main intrusive and close to the footwall of the orebody. When coincident with the main shear.17 May 2000 119 . Potassic (K-feldspar.50 m apart. bands and along magnetite-chert bedding contacts.Nyankanga grade thickness distribution. Qld.250gm 1750mN 1750mN 100 . In areas of higher grade (approximately >3 g/t) pyrite is also finely disseminated throughout the groundmass and silica replacement is pervasive.50gm 1750mE 1500mE 1000mN 1250mE 1000mN 1000mE 1250mN 750mE 1250mN FIG 5 . Geita Hill The North East Extension mine is connected along strike to the Geita Mine by historic underground workings. 1999).5 g/t took place on nine levels each 45 . pyrite occurs as fracture fill in biotite/calcite veinlet stockworks and in quartz veins. Areas of higher strain have resulted in brecciation and the resultant higher fluid flow has caused silica flooding and pervasive pyrite mineralisation. this early alteration and mineralisation has frequently been brecciated and overprinted by silicification and ore-grade gold deposition related to the main mineralising event. In these cases early subrounded discrete gold grains can be seen rimmed by later phase platy over-growths of gold (Schandl. Subeconomic gold and anomalous copper (chalcopyrite). In microdiorite. Coolum. plan projection.100gm 25 . The Nyankanga orebody exhibits a complex distribution of overprinting alteration assemblages. Outside these high temperature zones haloes of epidote and sericite are further 4th International Mining Geology Conference surrounded by widespread propylitic (calcite. Open stoping up to 20 m width at a cut-off of approximately 4. eventually leading to total replacement of the protolith in areas of very high-grade (approximately >50 g/t). 14 . chlorite) alteration.

The outer contacts of the orebody are sharp with a rapid drop in grade over 1 to 2 m to background levels of less than 0. Extensive microdiorite occurs between Geita West and Geita Mine and a highly disjointed interbedded BIF and felsic tuff sequence is found between Geita Mine and The Gap. H MICHAEL.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Base metal occurrences are minor. Feldspar porphyry (FP) sills seen in the Geita Mine (Schandl. A DAVIDSON. The orebody is thinner (5 . Nyankanga line 1080 mE looking southwest. Ore grade mineralisation is continuous over a strike length of 2. most notably in North East Extension. Their margins are generally heavily deformed and may contain high gold grades. These are the main Geita and North East Extension mines (BIF dominated) and two newly discovered shoots. The volume of sill intrusions decreases NE-wards. siltstone and felsic pyroclastics. 1999) are thought to be genetically related to microdiorite in the SW of Geita Hill and other parts of the Geita Trend. where they have been targeted by stoping.Schematic cross-section. Thin (up to 1 cm).1400mRL 2200mE 2000mE 1800mE 1600mE 1400mE 1200mE 1000mE D BANSAH. 14 . R CHASE. Widespread pre-mineralisation faulting is responsible for abrupt changes in 120 host lithology between these shoots bringing less-favourable lithological packages into the path of the mineralising structure. Pyrite is dominant with localised pyrrhotite-rich zones. The Gap (interbedded BIF and felsic tuff) and Geita West (interbedded BIF and microdiorite) (Figure 7). Most gold occurrences are free as fine-grained inclusions and fracture-fill in pyrite (Schandl. Veins may attain widths up to 2 m.15 m) and lower grade (1 . Several generations of quartz veins are present. Pre-to-syn genetic biotite-rich lamprophyre (vogesite) intruded along pre-existing E-W structures and other planes of weakness such as bedding. M SKEAD and H STUART 1400mRL LATERITE NW SE 1200mRL 1200mRL BIF 1000mRL OREBODY 1000mRL MICRODIORITE (UNSHADED) 800mRL 800mRL FELSIC/QUARTZ PORPHYRY DYKES 100 metres 2200mE 2000mE 600mRL 1800mE 1600mE 1400mE 1200mE 1000mE 600mRL FIG 6 . The style of sulphide mineralisation within BIF is similar to that at Nyankanga whereas in other lithologies sulphides are disseminated. Pervasive sericitisation common in the felsic porphyry is thought to be early in the genetic sequence.3 km. Gold mineralisation is intimately associated with fine-grained sulphide mineralisation and silicification. Qld. The lithological succession is dominated by BIF with interbeds of mudstone. lithological contacts and the principal mineralising shear.02 g/t gold. within which four lithologically controlled high-grade shoots plunge to the north. Shearing is subparallel to the regional strike of the BIF sequence but cross-cuts local folding and lithological contacts.2 g/t) in these areas. with grades up to 8 g/t over 40 m. Mineralisation is controlled by a major north-east trending shear dipping between 50 and 55° NW with imbricate splays in the hangingwall. irregular veinlets of calcite with subsidiary ankerite and dolomite Coolum. 1999). Sulphide content is typically ten to 20 per cent of total rock volume in high-grade areas with occasional zones of massive replacement.

The North Zone is hosted by a distinct BIF unit within a regular sequence of interbedded BIF and microdiorite. Both zones are focussed where the general 300° strike of the western BIF ridge is deflected to 280° by the influence of the E-W trending shear. Artisanal miners have worked sporadically at two locations. Mineralisation is fault controlled.THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS NE SW Level 4 The Gap Planned Open Pit Outline Geita West North East Extension Stope High Grade Shoot Geita Mine Mine Level 500m FIG 7 . Mineralisation in the South Zone is hosted by BIF with minor interbedded felsic tuffs. stratabound and localised by the intersection of two shears (the Kasata and Juma shears) trending NW and dipping steeply to the NE with iron-rich lithologies of a similar strike but shallower dip (Figure 9). Mining in the area is limited to artisanal pits located within the Kukuluma deposit and sporadic workings at several other locations along the ridge. Ore occurs as two high-grade lodes (6 . A major E-W shear cuts across the fold and the Kukuluma Trend. NW shears trend parallel or subparallel to bedding. THE KUKULUMA TREND The Kukuluma Trend comprises five NW-trending areas of significant gold mineralisation within a 3 km ESE trending gold in soil anomaly (+80 ppb) that cuts obliquely across a 4th International Mining Geology Conference NW-trending horseshoe ridge of BIF called Bukolwa Hill (Figure 8). Lone Cone Two orebodies are defined at Lone Cone: the North Zone. ore was preferentially mined from hanging wall and footwall zones. The five areas comprise three on the eastern limb of the horseshoe in Area 3. Tight anticlinal folding. The BIF sequence is underlain by a distinctive unit of carbonaceous pyritic mudstone and overlain by felsic tuffs that flank the ridges. Gold mineralisation and wallrock alteration are similar to that at Geita Hill. High strain deformation is evident in rocks from both zones Coolum. To-date only initial drilling has been completed. recently discovered by artisanal miners. The hill is also cross-cut by N-S and N-E trending structures. 14 . with the BIF and pyritic mudstone in the core. 1999). A late felsic dyke intrudes along the mineralised structure in the South Zone.8 m) at the hanging wall and foot wall margins with lower grade material between contributing to a total thickness up to 25 m. has been refolded along a NW axis to produce the horseshoe ridge. the ‘Fold Nose’ and the ‘Fold Limb’.7 g/t over 5 . and the South Zone. which was mined between 1940 and 1953 on three levels accessed by a vertical shaft. Bukolwa Hill comprises prominent ridges of BIF and chert interbedded with mudstone.17 May 2000 121 . post-date and cross-cut both mineralisation and silicification/ quartz veining. As at Geita Mine. The North Zone has been delineated over a strike length of 480 m. The Kukuluma and Matandani deposits are located in topographic bowls incised into the ancient (Cretaceous) hill-top ferricrete plateau at the head of seasonal streams. Kukuluma The Kukuluma deposit comprises two distinct zones of mineralisation. The South Zone outcrops over a strike of 240 m and differs in character from the North Zone in being made up of various thin and sometimes patchy and inconsistent mineralised sections forming a total thickness of up to 40 m. Both orebodies strike ENE and dip 50° to the north.Geita Hill deposit long section looking southeast showing location of high-grade shoots. siltstone and wacke. Late secondary biotite rims calcite and quartz veins and also cements some breccias (Schandl. Qld. and two close to the apex on the western limb now referred to as the Kukuluma and Matandani deposits.

A DAVIDSON. trending 315° referred to as East and West. unmineralised intrusion of diorite underlies the Kukuluma deposit.The Kukuluma Trend . included in magnetite and arsenopyrite within fibrous grunerite aggregates and spatially associated with pyrhotite and pyrite. quartz vein mineralisation is encountered in the volcano-sedimentary lithologies. Gold in fresh rock is very fine grained (<20 µ) and occurs solely in the iron-rich mudstone. In modelling these deposits it is therefore recognised that narrow stringer in fresh rock coalesce to form wider zones of mineralisation in the zone of weathering. R CHASE. Mineralisation on the Fold Limb occurs along a 680 m section of the Juma shear. As a result of the deep weathering the upper 20 m of the profile is leached hence the poor soil and trench results obtained from this area. The margins to the mineralisation are extremely sharp.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . with the stronger mineralisation of the eastern zone being associated with the dislocated. in a sequence comprising highly brecciated chert beds (5 to 10 cm thick) and grunerite-chlorite-magnetite mudstone. 14 .85 g/t over 2 m. plunging 70° to 90° SE) where it is cut by the Kasata shear. Exploration drilling has revealed a general increase in mean grade of 2 to 3 g/t between 60 and 105 m depth at Kukuluma. (Figure 10). oxide facies BIF in the nose of the fold (axial plane strike 100°. The Fold Nose lies SW of the Fold Limb and comprises a core of mineralisation 150 m by 50 m trending 290° and confined to the well bedded. H MICHAEL. northern extension of the Juma shear.geochemistry and deposit locations. identified by panning the drill cuttings and quantified by analytical results. free ‘leaf’ gold is found along fractures in BIF taken from the Kasata artisanal workings (10 m maximum depth). Mineralisation is localised along NW trending shears. Qld. and a planar zone of gold mineralisation between the base of complete oxidation and the top of fresh rock. Although the bulk of the gold is contained in discrete BIF units. occasional high-grade. yielding a maximum of 0. with the intercalated sediments being rarely mineralised in fresh rock. An altered. Matandani The Matandani deposit comprises two parallel zones.D BANSAH. The host lithologies tend to be more clastic than those at Kukuluma and include shaley BIF and wackes. The orebody dies out to the SE where it approaches the E-W shear and is truncated to the NW by a N-S fault. However. Both the Matandani and the Kukuluma deposits are weathered to over 100 m in some areas and this appears to have had a strong influence on the current gold distribution. The mineralisation is covered by a blanket of soil and laterite and was identified from an erratic 122 gold-in-soil anomaly consistent with the northward projection of the Kukuluma deposit. M SKEAD and H STUART FIG 8 . Initial trenching through the soil overburden gave few indications of the ore bodies below. Coolum.

THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS FIG 9 .Kukuluma deposit schematic section looking northwest.Kukuluma/Matandani geology plan. 14 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Qld.17 May 2000 123 . FIG 10 .

the volume of the dykes was deducted from the orebody model. Mineralisation at two locations along the limb occurs at the intersection of crosscutting NE faults with the principal NW shear. an ESE plunging fold nose is intruded by a granodiorite plug. The laterite cap and underlying leached profile observed at Kukuluma has been eroded from this area which accounts for the stronger. Directional weightings of 1:1:0.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Owing to the large difference between BIF and microdiorite density throughout the area and the strong lithological control on the distribution of high grades. As less information is available in the area surrounding the underground workings these blocks have been included as indicated. Qld. 2.5 g/t over 11 m).25 m:0. with a vertical dip and NW strike. Rock densities were calculated based on the weight and displacement of whole NQ and HQ core samples and are summarised in Table 2.5 m:0.85 g/t over 6 m.09 g/t which is included in the data below based on a cut-off between open pit and underground resources at the 930 m level. A DAVIDSON.03 Mt grading 8. especially at Nyankanga. M SKEAD and H STUART Area 3 Area 3 comprises three mineralised zones located along the inside edge of the 1. and then on subsets representing individual mineralised zones.5 g/t. transition and sulphide zones and the assignment of density factors. Top cuts were applied to each zone based on distribution in cumulative frequency plots. At Nyankanga the near-surface portion of the orebody has been drilled at 40 m by 20 m and is classified as measured. For a given run. Resource Figures are shown in Table 3. At the southern end of the limb the fold nose is cut by the same northwest shear.2 g/t over 26 m. These ranged from 20 to 76 g/t. A low-grade (0. Geita Hill. The continuity of ore blocks both along and across strike was used to estimate the potential mine recovery of each ore bench compared to the in situ resource estimated. Consequently. Each zone of mineralisation was considered independently. the barren felsic dykes were modelled separately and the grade within those outlines excluded from the statistics and grade interpolation. The distribution of sample lengths in the two sampling methods employed to evaluate the deposits show that 95. Strike:across strike:elevation dimensions of 10 m:5 m:5 m were used with subblocking along boundaries to a minimum size of 2. Below this to the 1000 m RL the drilling is based on a 40 m by 40 m grid and is classified as indicated.65 g/t. Each zone was estimated separately such that only samples relating to a given zone/lode was used to interpolate grades into it. All drill data was recorded on field sheets and entered into Field Marshall. It has also defined an underground resource of 12.D BANSAH. The resource has been classified based on the September ’99 JORC code guidelines for reporting mineral resources and ore reserves.9 g/t over 8 m) or wider and lower grade (eg 2. The resource classification is based on the density of sampling and varies from deposit to deposit. At Geita Hill and Lone Cone the underground workings were wireframed based on the mine closure plans. Univariate statistics were calculated on all samples within the wireframe boundaries selected.90 3. At Kukuluma. Garnet and coarse grained actinolite are ubiquitous in the iron-rich sediments. to determine the optimum dimensions of the search ellipse and to study the grade distribution in each deposit. R CHASE.70 At Nyankanga. TABLE 2 Rock densities.3 per cent of the samples have a length of 1 m. H MICHAEL. each block was first assigned an azimuth and dip value derived from digitised plan and cross-section strings that trace the trend of each mineralised zone. oxide. The block model was created by filling the respective wireframes with rectangular blocks to produce a volume model. Where they intersect the orebody.60 2. At the southern end of the limb. Lone Cone. RESOURCE OPTIMISATION AND PIT DESIGN The resource block models for the six deposits were interrogated visually in plan at 5 m intervals.5 km long eastern limb of Bukolwa Hill. Matandani and Lone Cone. Grades are therefore either high over relatively small widths (eg 18. To control the orientation of 124 the search during grade interpolation. drilling is on a 40 m by 40 m spacing and as such the bulk of the resource is classified as indicated. At Geita Hill the deposit has been drilled at a spacing of 40 m (strike) by 20 m (dip) and as such a large portion of the resource is classified as measured. Kukuluma and Matandani. irregular core samples lengths were composited to one metre to yield common sample lengths.17 were applied to limit the averaging of grades in the across-strike direction. RESOURCE ESTIMATION Resource estimation was carried out for Nyankanga. The limb is linear. Rock type Oxide Transition Sulphide BIF 2. Drilling in 1999 was aimed at delineating the full potential of the Nyankanga open pit and the potential for an underground operation. Additional surfaces were modelled to allow classification into ferricrete. Coolum. ore blocks were assigned densities based on the geological model. 15 m at 1.27 2. 14 . As a result inverse distance squared (ID2) was used to estimate block grades. A 3D wireframe geological model was created and used as a guide for interpreting the orebody for which outlines were generated using a cut-off minimum of 3 m grading 0. The BIF sequence comprises more chert than at Kukuluma although the same carbonaceous pyritic mudstone is seen at the core of the fold and iron-rich sediments are found interbedded with the BIF at the southern end of the ridge. This volume was also deducted from the orebody model.5 m. Micromine was then used for data validation and generation of sections on which geological and orebody interpretation are carried out before data is transferred to Datamine for modelling.5 to 1 g/t) halo is associated with the granitoid intrusive. actual intersections with resource holes and on recent survey data.76 2. all blocks with local dip and azimuth values that locate within a 10° azimuth/dip window were interpolated. With the exception of down-hole semi-variograms. The drilling was widely spaced and extended the orebody to the 750 m RL (500 m below surface). The grade interpolation was conducted as a series of multiple loops. This part of the resource has been classified as inferred. Results from this drilling have shown significant high-grade extensions at depth which will be mineable from an open pit. but mineralisaton is of low-grade and appears to be relatively unfocused (eg 30 m at 1.02 g/t). more coherent geochemical anomaly delineated along this part of the trend and the superior results achieved by the trenching that led to the first phases of drilling.05 Microdiorite 1. 13. Gold is associated with arsenopyrite in magnetite rich bands or occurs with slicification and quartz veins at the sheared contact between the BIF and the felsic tuff. Variographic analysis was undertaken primarily to determine the suitability of the drill spacing used. all directional variograms were noisy with minimal apparent structure and did not give sufficient confidence to derive appropriate cross-validation models to enable the use of kriging as an interpolation method.

80 3.82 3.08 2. 4th International Mining Geology Conference • extractable waste at three continuous blocks along strike and three continuous blocks across strike.70 0.00 Sulphide 2.00 Transition 1. mineable polygons containing the recoverable resource were selected. On the basis of these criteria.26 2.40 Underground Sulphide Total 38.24 4.08 3.47 3.51 0.63 2.46 4.15 Measured 0.20 Measured 14.47 0.52 0.00 Transition 0.97 0.53 Transition 0.62 3.23 Inferred 3.04 Inferred 9.97 Selection criteria were established based on the size and selectivity of the mining equipment (100 t trucks with 6.81 1.70 2.82 4.28 Sulphide 60.58 2.05 2.97 Total 89. The areas defined within Coolum.70 0.32 0. Qld.00 0.82 1.63 2.67 0.42 3.45 Measured 4. Million tonnes Gold g/t Million ounces Million tonnes Gold g/t Million ounces Nyankanga Oxide 1.81 9.23 Total 2.84 0.70 2.42 Sulphide 2.40 Geita Hill Oxide 4.14 8.90 Matandani Oxide 5.74 Indicated 0.17 11.85 3.15 Total 11.46 2.15 5.00 0.14 2.02 2. These are summarised as follows: • included waste blocks at 33 per cent along strike and 50 per cent across strike.70 Sulphide 24.65 4.10 Total 6.52 Area 3 Oxide 0.42 2.70 2.28 2.18 Indicated 5.67 0.80 0.62 3.70 0.89 3.53 2.04 Total 89.10 Total 8.14 2.60 Subtotal 28.30 0.36 0.23 Indicated 10.20 6.29 2.00 6.84 3.00 0. 14 .29 0.52 Total 6.42 2.90 Total 8.74 2.89 2.54 4.79 Indicated 26.17 May 2000 125 .51 Inferred 2.24 4.00 0.58 Measured 5.00 0.16 Total 22.81 0.73 0.19 2.63 0.84 1.84 1.05 Indicated 2.49 0.00 0.94 8.44 Sulphide 11.22 0. the dip of the orebody and the envisaged density of grade control drilling that would be carried out to define the ore.97 2.98 2.00 0.91 Kukuluma Oxide 5.91 Total 22.25 0.00 2.00 0.37 Inferred 21.15 4.08 0.45 Transition 0.84 0.80 Measured 40.27 Sulphide 2.01 Inferred 1.18 Inferred 2.73 3.15 5.29 6.29 6.52 5.98 0.66 10.04 Indicated 3.00 Indicated 0. • minimum polygon segments of 20 m along strike and 5 m across strike.14 8.25 0.37 Measured 16.58 5.THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS TABLE 3 Geita project resources. 3 m × 2 m at Lone Cone and Geita and 2 m × 2 m at Kukuluma and Matandani).58 3.23 Total 2.42 0.86 0. and • maximum angle change between polygon segments 45°.02 2.19 Inferred 1.64 1.17 11.98 1.64 1.02 0.5 m3 excavators).01 Total 11.47 2.66 Subtotal 28.05 Measured 0.65 Transition 8.23 Total Oxide 19.46 3.01 7.41 Sulphide 5.90 0.70 Subtotal 10.07 5.05 2.01 7. Some portions of the resource were excluded from the optimisation (eg hanging wall splays at Nyankanga were excluded). the minimum mining unit (3 m × 3 m at Nyankanga.09 2.70 2.34 0.15 4.47 2.31 Transition 6.54 Indicated 4.14 2.13 0.36 Transition 2.70 0.84 Total 38.66 0.19 3.50 1.27 Inferred 1.70 2.63 4.52 0.20 2.24 0.01 Lone Cone Oxide 1.

Pit optimisation and design were carried out using Datamine LG3 based on a gold price of $US325/oz. Mining begins and ends in Nyankanga over the life of the project. possibly centred on a diorite-granodiorite body occurring immediately to the south of Nyankanga.0 m and Matandani 1. the main shear controlled mineralisation. whereas in the Geita trend the deposits are located along NE and ENE subsidiary structures. Lone Cone coming on line in 2001 primarily due to early low strip ratio followed by Kukuluma and Geita Hill in 2002. Bench scale planar failure could occur on footwall slopes where mineralisation dips more steeply than bedding.8 Geita Hill 17.66 24. and • provide continuous feed from the satellite pits of Matandani and Kukuluma (16 km to NE) to justify the introduction of the higher unit operating cost road trains into the operation. while at Kukuluma and Matandani these have very poor to poor rock mass quality.9 126 Coolum. By using mineable polygons a more practical assessment of minable reserves has been possible.28 0. primarily from the deeper Nyankanga ore. A geotechnical evaluation was carried on each deposit using probabilistic limit equilibrium analysis and kinematic stability assessments.8 Matandani 2. On a multi-bench scale. • to defer development of other pits to focus early supervision and training efforts and concentrate site security. The following dilution skins of specified widths were then added to the polygons: Lone Cone 0.98 5.5 m. 14 . the authors feel that this is distinct from. Footwall bedding dips are generally parallel to or steeper than the dip of the orebody footwall at Nyankanga. In both cases mineralised shears trend subparallel to stratigraphy. Single and multi-bench instability on the hangingwall slopes could be due to the failure of tetrahedral wedges.54 295. In the last five years more than 14 Moz of contained gold has been discovered in the Geita Greenstone belt. A DAVIDSON.29 13.77 3.2 Total 49. road construction).. geometric conditions exist for potential toppling instability in the unweathered rock mass. In addition.96 0. Instability in the unweathered zone is therefore expected to be structurally controlled.05 3.65 2. Within the structurally-controlled regime competency contrast between lithologies is the most important factor affecting grade distribution.45 9.0 g/t within the outline. In the zone of weathering the lithological units at Geita Hill.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .29 61. higher grade fresh mineralisation of Nyankanga.. and has been overprinted by. TABLE 4 Geita project reserves (diluted polygon method). BIF is the dominant host for mineralisation. Intrusives of similar composition are also observed at Kukuluma and Ridge 8 (Figure 2).. • accelerate material movement from 2001 to 2004 to gain early access to the deeper. No high oxide feed years occur except for 2002 (76 per cent) with the introduction of the oxides from Kukuluma into the circuit. The use of mineable polygons in estimating the recovery of resource blocks is suited to the Geita and Kukuluma trends where parts of the resource occur in thin (<3 m) hanging wall splays. at Kukuluma and Matandani. In fresh rock. • to expose high-grade ore in preparation for full processing by April 2000. high-grade section commences in 2004. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS Mineralisation in the Geita greenstone belt is primarily controlled by regional. The reason for the large number of gold occurrences is thought to be the thickening of the belt as a result of folding. Qld.35 3.57 0.5 Kukuluma 6. Geita Hill 1. Nyankanga and Kukuluma 0.D BANSAH. ROM pad.25 m. NW trending shearing developed in a brittle-ductile environment. Ore feed blends to the process plant vary throughout the project life with higher than 80 per cent sulphide feed occurring in 2001 and 2009 .. Table 4 shows a summary of reserves as of January 2000. Orebody Ore tonnes (M) Grade g/t Ounces (Moz) Waste tonnes (M) Strip ratio Nyankanga 19. rotational failure is expected to be the main mode of instability in the weathered zones. Initial mine scheduling has been carried out and encompasses the following aims: • the development of the Nyankanga Stage 1 pit to provide sufficient waste material suitable for construction purposes (tailings dam. H MICHAEL.37 2.12. M SKEAD and H STUART the mineable polygons were then re-estimated for grade to the boundary limits of the polygon outline rather than including the resource blocks that were >1.00 190. The final cutback on Nyankanga which represents the access into the deepest.28 6. Late-stage displacement on NW shears is probably minor since orebodies do not appear to be significantly displaced. This is seen to maximum effect at Nyankanga where the ratio of BIF to microdiorite is optimal and has given rise to widespread high-grade mineralisation. The Nyankanga staged pits commence during the pre-production period with the second pit. making it one of the most prospective gold targets in the world.77 3.54 2. though in some areas of Geita Hill the orebody dip is steeper than the bedding dip. R CHASE. At Kukuluma the NW shears form the principal mineralised structure. Lone Cone and Nyankanga are of poor to fair rock mass quality. Intermediate intrusives in the Geita trend are thought to be derived from a common source. the rock mass is of fair to good quality and characterised by high intact rock strength with numerous well developed subvertical and subhorizontal joint sets striking normal and parallel to the trend of mineralisation.55 4.28 3.49 3. Bedding is well developed in BIF but is generally tight or healed. This is followed by Matandani the following year to maintain a steady ore production rate from the satellite pits.74 Lone Cone 3. which may not be amenable to the mining equipment optimal for the bulk of the orebody.31 1. coincident with widespread NW shearing. Although porphyry style alteration and mineralisation is seen at Nyankanga. Work to-date in Geita represents first phase exploration in an area where 60 per cent of the belt lies below transported cover and the potential exists for further discoveries that will continue to expand the Geita Project.98 2. Lone Cone and Geita Hill.46 5.2 m resulting in a diluted reserve model that was used for pit optimisation and definition and estimation of proved and probable reserves.

Internal Consultants Report. D100. Coolum. H. Geology of the Geita Project. Petrography of the Nyankanga and Geita Deposits. ore petrology. Tanzania. 1999. (unpublished internal report). pp 545-595. Bundesanstalt fur Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe und Geologische Landesamter in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (BGR).Geology. 1994. 1990. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Borg. E. Schandl. Geol Jb.17 May 2000 127 . Heft 72. Ashanti Goldfields Tanzania. 1999. Explanatory notes on the 1:500 000 provisional geological map of the Lake Victoria Goldfields.THE GEITA AND KUKULUMA MINERALISED TRENDS REFERENCES Ashanti. The Geita gold deposit in NW Tanzania . G. 14 . Barth. Qld. Geologisches Jahrbuch Reihe B. geochemistry and timing of events.

4th International Mining Geology Conference Sediment hosted magnesite deposits can be very large. Coolum. These mines operated intermittently from the 1920s through to the 1980s. supervision of geological aspects of mining and assistance in the optimisation of ore processing. The deposit consists of magnesite nodules set in a fine-grained sandstone. The deposit can be traced for about 60 km from near Yaamba to Broad Sound. It is located under black soil plains to the north of Rockhampton in Queensland. The plant uses a new process. During the late Tertiary and Quaternary. Three semi-continuous deposits have been recognised stretching from Yaamba (near the present day Fitzroy River) through Kunwarara to Herbert Creek (adjacent to Broad Sound). The most advanced is that by the Australian Magnesium Corporation Pty Ltd (QMC 50 per cent.2 billion tonnes with greater than five per cent (mass) magnesite content (Queensland Metals Corporation. This project is currently being assessed with a pilot plant operating in Gladstone. 1994). developed by QMC and CSIRO over the past decade to produce magnesium metal at lower cost than traditional techniques. 20.17 May 2000 129 .Location of Kunwarara magnesite deposit. The magnesium has come out of solution in the active river system. They are proposing to build Australia’s first magnesium metal smelter. The ultramafics are part of the Marlborough terrane. The ultramafic complexes are the source of the magnesium required for deposit formation. A subsidiary company of QMC. To the end of 1999. Magnesite from the Kunwarara mine has been used by QMAG for the production of deadburned and electrofused magnesia for the making of refractory bricks. siltstone and mudstone matrix. All of the early discoveries were of vein magnesite in the ultramafic rocks in the hilly areas. a component of the northern New England Fold Belt. These products are sold to national and international markets. Queensland Magnesia (Operations) Pty Ltd.Kunwarara Magnesite Deposit S Wilcock1 ABSTRACT The Kunwarara magnesite deposit is the largest known magnesite (MgCO3) deposit in Australia. The magnesite can be very pure with certain varieties up to 98 per cent MgO (LOI free). Qld. In addition calcined magnesia is produced for use in agricultural. environmental and other industrial applications. Queensland Magnesia (Operations) Pty Ltd (QMAG). The Kunwarara deposit has an Inferred Resource of 1. and combined with atmospheric and biogenic CO2 to form magnesite nodules. 1. a distance of approximately 60 km. QMC holds exploration and mining titles over the central section of the deposit. PO Box 5798. DEPOSIT GEOLOGY FIG 1 . Normandy 50 per cent). 1999). Central Queensland Mail Centre Qld 4702. commenced mining in 1991 on the KG1 lease. Queensland Metals Corporation (QMC) discovered a large deposit of magnesite hosted in fluvial sedimentary rocks under the Kunwarara black-soil plains. Future developments are planned based on the Kunwarara magnesite orebody. 14 . agricultural and other markets. The Marlborough terrane is an ophiolitic assemblage that separates the Carboniferous Yarrol terrane from the Devonian-Carboniferous Wandilla terrane. The deposit has been mined since 1991 and processed into magnesia (MgO) which is sold into refractory. The role of the geologist includes characterisation of the ore through drilling and bulk sampling. a sinuous fluvial system developed adjacent to the ultramafic complex and the resulting sedimentary sequence has formed the host for the magnesite deposits. 30 km north-west of Kunwarara. The geologist is an integral part of the small mine technical team. Senior Mine Geologist. 70 km north-west of Rockhampton in Queensland. Small-scale mining occurred at a number of locations between Kunwarara and Marlborough. The location of the deposit is shown on Figure 1. REGIONAL GEOLOGICAL SETTING The magnesite deposits are found in Late Tertiary (Post Eocene) to Quaternary sediments deposited in a fluvial environment and are associated with Paleozoic ultramafic complexes. The topography of the area consists of broad black-soil plains about 20 m above sea level flanked by hills up to 400 m elevation. The magnesite is derived from weathering of serpentinite in adjacent hills and transport of magnesium in solution to a Tertiary/Quaternary river system.5 Mt of ore had been mined. INTRODUCTION The Kunwarara magnesite deposit is located adjacent to the Bruce Highway. Serpentinites are a common component of the ultramafic assemblage and these are the source of magnesium for magnesite formation. Magnesite occurrences have been known in the Kunwarara district since the early-1900s. The exact mode of formation of these basement rocks is still a matter of debate (Leitch et al. In 1985.

magnesite nodule in sandstone matrix. which have been transported into the paleo-fluvial system where the deposits are now found. 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 1992). The porous and chalky types are more common as veins and sheets. FIG 2 . The ultramafic complex is. Magnesite types The magnesite itself is cryptocrystalline and pure white in colour. The deposits are located in topographically low areas. The magnesite orebodies are found in the upper half of the sedimentary sequence. so the only age indication comes from the fact that they overlie Eocene oil shales near Yaamba and may be partly overlapped by Holocene alluvial sand deposits at Kunwarara. The magnesite orebody is found in the upper parts of the sedimentary sequence and ranges in thickness from 1 to 26 m. erosionally based sandy channel deposits. The Tertiary/Quaternary fluvial sequence is up to 40 m thick. Testwork during mining operations at Kunwarara has shown an average magnesite content of around 35 per cent. All of the magnesite deposits are within 10 km of the ultramafics. in some places. ‘Bone’ magnesite has a conchoidal fracture and is characterised by well-developed rounded nodules.17 May 2000 FIG 3 . in the areas which are suitable for mining. The magnesite occurs as distinctive concretionary nodules and as a stockwork of veins and sheets. 1992). All nodules have a skin of amorphous silica. A diagram of the typical orebody intersection is shown on Figure 2. the sinuous nature of the deposits indicates that a more likely depositional environment is a low to moderate energy fluvial system. the magnesite deposit. and there is no outcrop. with cemented aggregates of nodules up to 1 m across.5 per cent MgO and < 0. separated by areas where the magnesite is less well-developed. It generally fines upwards from gravel and coarse unconsolidated sand at the base through finer grained weakly cemented sandstones to siltstone and mudstone. porcellanous ‘bone’ type through to softer. immediately adjacent to. Magnesite texture ranges from hard. or underlying. Magnesite content in the deposit varies from five to 90 per cent by mass (Queensland Metals Corporation. within the weakly cemented sandstone and siltstone. clays and iron and manganese oxides.10 microns. In addition. These include gravel bars. Queensland Metals Corporation. the interior of the nodules can be > 98. The ultramafics are characterised by hilly landforms rising 40 to 400 m above the surrounding plains. The ultramafic rocks have provided the source of magnesium rich fluids. and also clay filled abandoned channels. The nodules range in size from a few millimetres up to 60 cm. pure. by mass. In the more porous types.5 per cent SiO2 (all analyses are loss on ignition (LOI) free basis). Scanning electron microscope (SEM) studies show crystal sizes ranging from 1 . which has been deposited by periodic sheet flood events. Earlier depositional models for the host sediments indicated a lacustrine depositional environment (Schmid. Ore thickness at the Kunwarara mine has averaged 12 m over the 8 years of mining operations. porous and chalky types. 1987. Exposures in pit walls during mining at Kunwarara and data from extensive exploration drilling have shown higher energy sedimentary features than would be expected in a purely lacustrine environment. A typical nodule is shown on Figure 3. The sediments are overlain by 1 to 4 m of black clay.S WILCOCK The magnesite has been derived from the weathering and erosion of the adjacent ultramafic complex during the Tertiary/Quaternary. No fossils have been found in the sediments. Qld. The orebody is characterised by discontinuous zones of high quality magnesite. amorphous silica penetrates deeply into the nodules along cracks 130 Coolum.Typical deposit cross-section. 14 . In bone magnesite. which have continued to the present day. which forms a rough crusty surface. less dense. Inclusions include amorphous silica.

dolomite appears to be at least partly replacive. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Limited studies have been undertaken on the carbon and oxygen isotopes of Kunwarara magnesite.12 0. The hydrated magnesium carbonates are transformed to magnesite by diagenetic processes (Zachmann and Johannes. Hydrated magnesium carbonates precipitate in suitable environments given an appropriate trigger mechanism.47 0. It ranges from one per cent CaO to four per cent CaO in different parts of the deposit. Evidence for this is shown in mine pit exposures where channels have eroded nodule aggregates and formed pebbly channel-floor deposits (Wilcock.5 per mil. The Thuddungra magnesite deposit near Young in New South Wales has many features in common with the Kunwarara deposit (Diemar. In the upper parts of the orebody.09 4 49. Coolum. In the Kunwarara region magnesite nodules have been observed in numerous locations in the weathering profiles above diverse rock types within a few kilometres of serpentinite bodies. which precipitate as magnesite on pressure drop as CO2 escapes. 1987). Magnesite is currently being deposited around the lake shore and occurs in rubbly dunes up to 10 m high. As a result.5 per mil. Ilich and Russell. In situ precipitation continued above such minor hiatuses. 14 . The nodules of magnesite do not incorporate any of the host sediments. additional silicification has occurred and the nodules may show deep desiccation cracks and can be as high as three to four per cent SiO2.KUNWARARA MAGNESITE DEPOSIT and around pores.35 0.46 2. Kunwarara deposit. Cryptocrystalline nodules and lumps of magnesium carbonate and hydroxide are forming at the mud-water interface under the influence of seasonally varying water levels. veins of magnesite are locally very common. leading to lower MgO and higher SiO2 contents. 1999 Personal communication. Chemically precipitated nodules from Salda Lake are very similar to Kunwarara nodules. dolomite has higher silica values than magnesite (av ten per cent SiO2) and higher A12O3. Fe2O3 % Mn3O4 % 0.12 0.5 0. such as mixing with high pH waters or by concentration through cyclic evaporation.22 0. Fallick. 1998). 4. Field evidence shows that magnesite crystallisation can occur very rapidly given an adequate source of magnesium (Schmid. No studies of magnesium dissolution from the Marlborough terrane serpentinite have been undertaken. This indicates that magnesite will readily precipitate out of solution given a suitable trigger mechanism.7 1. Field observations show gradations from fine sandstone into dolomite. 1998). Typical analyses of magnesite and dolomites are shown in Table 1. Field observations show that they displace the host sediments (Figure 3). Typical δ18OSMOW values are 31. bone magnesite is more abundant in red-brown fine-grained sandstone. This indicates that dolomite has replaced the clay cement in sandstone. It would appear that nodules and veins continued to develop for some time after sediment deposition.6 1. 1987). 1991). but studies elsewhere give valuable pointers as to the likely mechanisms operating for this class of deposit (Zachmann and Johannes. Typical δ13CPDB values are -7. The original sedimentary structures are still visible in pit exposures. which shed magnesium rich waters and particulate matter into the lake. Within the serpentinites.4 1. These values suggest the magnesite is derived from meteoric water and a mixture of atmospheric and plant derived CO2 (Russell. 1991). albeit in a lacustrine environment.04 0. and have higher amounts of iron and manganese oxides. DEPOSIT FORMATION The close spatial association of the magnesite deposits with a large ultramafic complex gives an obvious pointer to the source of the magnesium. The lake is flanked by serpentinite hills. Dolomite nodules are generally smaller and more irregularly shaped than magnesite nodules. 1989. Dolomite is generally more abundant in the lower parts of the ore zone and may form a pure dolomite layer (within host rocks) at the base of the deposit.2 15. Lime occurs in solid solution in magnesite.09 2 95.13 1. Qld. At Kunwarara. the magnesite precipitated in situ very soon after the deposition of the host sediments. but they are heavily disrupted and distorted by the growth of nodules and the penetration by veins. M. 1989).3 33.93 0. and SEM studies show abundant quartz grains in dolomite. They also differ in that they are characterised by inclusions of quartz grains. has been documented at Salda Lake in Turkey (Schmid. Conversely. Weathering of the ultramafic complex during the late Tertiary-Quaternary has mobilised magnesium in ground waters. It would appear that this distribution is related to higher permeability in sandstone allowing greater circulation of magnesium rich fluids. MgO % SiO2 % CaO % Al2O3 % 1 97. Cryptocrystalline magnesite formation has been linked with selective dissolution of magnesium from serpentinite under the influence of waters rich in atmospheric and biogenic CO2. July). TABLE 1 Typical magnesite and dolomite analyses. Ilich and Russell.09 3 94 2. whereas more porous types of magnesite are more common in the grey siltstone facies. In the Yugoslav deposits similar isotope values have been interpreted to reflect the formation of magnesite from dissolution of magnesium from serpentinite by gravity-driven circulating carbonated meteoric waters. A modern day analog for the Kunwarara type of deposit. Magnesite nodule precipitation (in situ) is very common in the vicinity of ultramafic complexes. Kunwarara isotope values are comparable to those found in the Nevade. In a bulk sense the main source of lime in final products is from the mineral dolomite (CaMg(CO3)2) which ranges in abundance from nil to 100 per cent of the carbonate assemblage. 2. This type of magnesite is related to weathering of serpentinite and deposition of magnesite through interaction of weathering products with descending meteoric waters loaded with atmospheric and biogenic CO2 (Zachmann and Johannes. Dolomite often occurs as separate nodules although intergrowths with magnesite are locally common.45 3. 3. A diagram of the accepted model of the formation of the Kunwarara deposit is shown on Figure 4. Fe2O3 and MnO.17 May 2000 131 . In the Kunwarara deposit. Shilopaj and similar sediment hosted magnesite deposits in Yugoslavia (Fallick.5 0.24 0. Atmospheric and biogenic CO2 is also implicated in the formation of these deposits. Ilich and Russell.08 ‘Bone’ magnesite ‘Bone’ and ‘porous’ magnesite ‘Porous’ magnesite Dolomite Variations in the host rock are related to variations in quality of magnesite.03 0. Fallick. 1991). Similar disruption of host sediments is noted in the Yugoslav deposits. 1989.

However the magnesite nodules themselves are extremely hard. The behaviour of the ore through this complex plant cannot be predicted from RAB drill chip samples. which causes few geotechnical problems during mining. Specific chemical analyses are for MgO. Scrapers are used to remove overburden clays and soil. scrubbing. usually fails because of high levels of SiO2 and/or CaO. but especially MgO. 14 . screening. This technique was developed by Qmag using advances in digital camera technology and image analysis software. deadburned and electrofused magnesia occurs at a large processing plant on the outskirts of Rockhampton. 132 Large numbers of drill holes are required to assess the ore zones. The grid is gradually closed in areas that have mining potential to a minimum spacing of 25 m. The drilling technique used is rapid and relatively inexpensive. The RAB drilling technique produces rock chips up to 25 mm across. Magnesite content is determined using image analysis of photographs of raw drill samples. The magnesite content and chemical analysis data from drill holes give a qualitative guide to the likely performance characteristics of different parts of the orebody.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . to 40 000 t pits. so selective bulk sampling of the deposit has been undertaken. Geological techniques used to assess the orebody have been developed to quantify this variability. Fe2O3. In early stages of exploration the drill holes are collared on 200 or 400 m centres. Conversion of the magnesite to various grades of calcined. It is used to efficiently quantify the amount of magnesite relative to waste materials in the drill samples. Al2O3 and MnO. but not accepted as Qmag product. The geology of the deposit is complex. This involves crushing. for the production of about 400 000 t of magnesite. which covers an area of 550 ha. heavy media separation and optical sorting to separate the magnesite from the sedimentary host rocks and dolomite. CaO. Judgement is required on the part of the geologist to determine which areas should be included in reserves and subsequently mined. but if carefully sited using information from the RAB drilling campaigns. Interpretation of geological data must be integrated into the mine planning and mineral processing areas of the operation. Measured Resources and Proved Reserves can be estimated. At this level. scrubbing. Ore from smaller bulk samples is used in simulations of the processing plant. they Coolum. The magnesite that is mined. The processing plant at the mine upgrades the run of mine ore using crushing. One of the main challenges is that not all magnesite in the mined ore is of suitable quality to be considered final product. The host sediments are only weakly cemented but do form a competent rock mass. Primary beneficiation of the magnesite takes place at the mine site. These variations are usually related to different niches in the primary sedimentological environment. Qld. Role of the geologist The geologist at the Qmag mine is required to provide geological interpretations to allow efficient day-to-day operation as well as resource estimates decades into the future. SiO2 and CaO. Inferred Resources can be estimated. SiO2. heavy media separation and optical ore sorting to extract magnesite of the required grade from the ore. The overall magnesite content of the orebody is about 35 per cent (by volume). Current production of ore is around 3 Mtpa. No blasting is required. These bulk samples have ranged from five to ten tonnes from one metre diameter Calweld drill holes. At this level of detail. but the yield of final magnesite product from the mine is about 15 per cent. with a 100 tonne backhoe excavator and 50 tonne capacity trucks used for ore mining and haulage. screening. Magnesite quality is determined by chemical analysis of magnesite separated from drill samples. The bulk samples provide a much lower density of sample points than RAB drilling. and ore from larger pit samples is run through the plant as full-scale production trials. MINE GEOLOGICAL METHODS Mining and processing techniques The mine is open cut. Qmag magnesia products have tight specifications for all the oxides listed above.S WILCOCK FIG 4 .Model of formation of Kunwarara magnesite deposit. Five thousand RAB holes have been drilled in the current operating mining lease. All metal surfaces in the mining equipment and the process plant have to be wear protected. to fully assess its potential. This involves rotary air blast (RAB) drilling on a reducing grid to differentiate mineable areas. with rapid vertical and lateral variations in magnesite quality and abundance.

The mode of formation of these deposits is broadly understood. Burban. Henderson. D and Wilcock. pp 11-20 (Department of Minerals and Energy: Queensland). V A. 1998. Annual Report. 41:571-579. Sediment Hosted Magnesite Deposits. Central Queensland. M J. Tertiary-Quaternary weathering of the ultramafics produces magnesium rich ground waters that may precipitate economically important deposits in permeable TertiaryQuaternary terrestrial sedimentary sequences. based on the magnesite resource. Magnesite in review. Various geophysical techniques have been trialled. M R. 1987. R A and Morand. The magnesite deposits will only form where an ultramafic complex with common serpentinite is present to provide a source of magnesium. April 1995. Queensland Government Mining Journal. in Proceedings Field Conference 94.KUNWARARA MAGNESITE DEPOSIT provide the information required to better predict final product quality distributions from the processing plant and determine which areas should be included in reserves. Industrial Minerals. S. 1989. Annual Report. 1994. Milburn. Economic Geology. The technique with the greatest potential is a high-resolution resistivity system. resistivity and sonic. The white magnesite contrasts strongly with the grey and red-brown host sediments. Other techniques which have been trialed. 14 . central Queensland.17 May 2000 133 . 239:19-31. 28:15-28. Kunwarara magnesite deposit. Monograph Series on Mineral Deposits: Magnesite. The Kunwarara magnesite deposit. Minfo. The greatest challenge for the geologist is predicting performance where not all magnesite will be recovered to final product. in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed: F E Hughes). neutron. E C. Diemar. such as the magnesium metal smelter will use some of the lower grade magnesite not currently suitable for Qmag requirements. W. B. A stable isotope study of the magnesite deposits associated with the alpine-type ultramafic rocks of Yugoslavia. 4th International Mining Geology Conference ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author wishes to thank the management of Queensland Magnesia (Operations) Pty Ltd and Queensland Metals Corporation Limited for permission to publish this paper REFERENCES Anon. Zachmann. 1990. The mining engineer in consultation with the geologist plans the mine pits. Thuddungra magnesite deposits. based on information from drilling. Grade control in the pit is visually based. 1999. Ilich M and Russell. Coolum. although the reasons for some localised. pp 1675-1677 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Jones. 1998. Fergusson C L. Mine geological methods focus on locating high magnesite content zones within the deposit.5 Mt of ore. A E. 1995. Queensland Metals Corporation Limited. but none have proven cost-effective relative to drilling. Capricorn Region. Major expansion at Thuddungra magnesite mine. V J. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie). This will lead to higher yields of magnesite from the deposit. Once located these zones are mined in a conventional open cut mine. Qld. (Department of Mineral Resources: New South Wales) 38:14-16. 1994. Future planned projects. Turkey’s Salda Lake: A genetic model for Australia’s newly discovered magnesite deposits. Wilcock. Leitch. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie) pp 815-818 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 1998. 1993. AGSO Journal of Australian Geology and Geophysics. Cryptocrystalline magnesite. (Gabruder Borntraeger: Germany). CONCLUSION Sediment hosted cryptocrystalline magnesite deposits have only gained world scale importance as a source of magnesite since the discovery of the Kunwarara deposit in 1985. 1991. pp 99-107 (Geological Society of Australia: Brisbane). Fallick. Schmid. Kunwarara magnesite deposit. This allows the digger operator to readily identify important features such as waste zones within the ore. New England Fold Belt. D and Wilcock. D W and Johannes. This system could successfully differentiate significant magnesite development from lower quality areas by focussing on the resistivity contrast between magnesite and the fluvial sediments. S. Ophiolitic and metamorphic rocks in the Percy Isles and Shoalwater Bay region. S. Pits normally contain about 0. but were not successful included ground-penetrating radar and down-hole geophysical methods including gamma. I H. and the bottom of the ore zone. 1992. pp 655-660 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 86:847-861. Queensland Metals Corporation Limited. 17(4):247-251. Milburn. but practically important features such as dolomite distribution within the orebodies require further study. The geologist provides guidance to the mining crews. Australian Journal of Earth Sciences.

Telfer Gold Mine. Mechanised underground mining of the high-grade narrow-veins commenced in 1990. C Moore1. In 1971. 15 000 metres of underground diamond drilling have been completed between last quarter of 1998 and August 1999 as part of this study. hw Ba 2. a wholly owned and operated subsidiary of Newcrest Mining Limited. The climate of the region is characterised by hot summers (January average daily temperatures exceed 40°C) and warm winters (July average daily temperatures exceed 10°C). Non-linear geostatistical techniques are being investigated as part of the pre-feasibility study. C R iv WOO DIE W ROADOODIE 21o 20o on Shay Gap Gre y r b le el Newcrest Mining Ltd. MMICA. Day Dawn Minerals NL undertook a regional sampling program in the district under the direction of R Thompson. Telfer Gold Mine has undergone a series of transformations since mining commenced as a high-grade narrow-vein oxide open pit operation in 1977. Discovery The Bureau of Mineral Resources (Australian Geological Survey Organisation) first geologically mapped the Telfer district in 1959. Annual evaporation is 4160 mm. R J Inglis2. the Surface Extension Project (SEP) and the I-Series Project (ISP). It has undergone a series of transformations from a high-grade narrow-vein oxide open pit operation in 1977 to the integrated open pit. ay r GAusIMM. Geologik Solutions. In 1986. Coolum. engineers and metallurgists has identified additional gold and copper mineralisation from the open pit and underground. Geological activities for the SEP pre-feasibility study have included the drill definition of a large low-grade resource within an area of 25 km2. Anomalous copper and gold values were returned from gossanous outcrops that were sampled in Main Dome. The ISP pre-feasibility study is currently evaluating the resource potential of both a high-grade low-volume and a lower grade bulk mining scenario. The Telfer Extension Project consists of two pre-feasibility studies. 3D geostatistical resource estimation using ordinary kriging has been carried out for over 220 geological domains within the 25 km3 of mineralised system. Newcrest Mining Ltd. PO Box 6380. monitor the quality assurance/quality control (QA/QC) on all aspects of the operation. S Leary1 and A Tomsett3 Location The Telfer Gold Mine is located in one of the most remote areas of Western Australia. All data are stored in database systems. Telfer Gold Mine. Mosman Park WA 6012.7 million ounces. r th ta ab No The Telfer Gold Mine. Prospectors and exploration companies targeted the Telfer district in the late-1960s and early-1970s as a copper province. The combined studies represent one of the more significant resource evaluations undertaken in the gold industry in recent times. East Perth WA 6004. Systems and cultures have been developed to maximise safety. De Ma Ro ad 3. Rainfall is strongly seasonal. PO Box 6380. specifically designed for Telfer operations. the open pit operation converted from a narrow-vein. PO Box 73. 1995). 14 . 18o 118o 119o 120o 122o 121o 123o BROOME 18o lf hw ay TELFER S Nor t h n 100 19o er 50 Kilometres he t th 0 s We H ig 19o or Telfer Gold Mine combines a world-class gold and copper resource and longevity of operation as a major gold and copper producer. D Coupland4. 800 m to 1200 m below the surface of Main Dome. Total recovered gold production between 1977 to 1999 has totalled 5. an area covering 386 000 km2 that contains less than one percent of Western Australia’s population. dump leach and underground operation that it is today. P J Moffitt1. Telfer Gold Mine. West C s oa Is Summary 4th International Mining Geology Conference K id s PORT HEDLAND ve INTRODUCTION 122o d Ru a ll Ri Lake Blanche 123o FIG 1 . The project to evaluate this mineralisation is termed the Telfer Extension (TEX) pre-feasibility study. falling between December and March and is usually associated with remnant cyclones and thunderstorm activity. to a low-grade high-volume oxide mining operation utilising dump leach processing technology. Total gold production from the narrow-vein underground and oxide open pit operations between 1977 and 1999 is more than 5. ig No rth ern MAusIMM. and minimise impact on the environment. N ABSTRACT Gre at 20o RA er Riv ne gi lla Fortescue R iv NG 119o E er 120o 121o 22o Lake Dora r e R a n ge Tom Price Rang ell er Y 118o TELFER nbush iso e Po Rang Oa ko ve r R iv er LE 21o ss RS st Lake Waukarlycarly Nu ro ME ck Th HA AD Tr a ge he HILLS RO an ic 22o RIPON Marble Bar WESTERN AUSTRALIA R MAusIMM. T Hansen1. The mine falls within the boundaries of the East Pilbara Shire. high-grade operation. (Tyrwhitt. is a world-class gold and copper resource that has been mined continuously since 1977.Current Geological Understanding of Telfer Gold Mine G R Howard1. Newcrest Mining Ltd. some 485 km by road south-east of Port Hedland or 680 km north-east of Newman. however during the mapping no gold or copper mineralisation was identified. Qld. East Perth WA 6004. PO Box 6380.7 million ounces. I Kirchner1. The surface drilling program has completed 15 000 metres of HQ3 diamond drilling and over 30 000 metres of RC between last quarter of 1998 and late-1999. h er la 4. within the Great Sandy Desert (Figure 1). This paper summarises the geological component of the TEX pre-feasibility study. lH Great 1. R D Carlson3.Regional locality map. The Telfer Gold Mine is undergoing a renaissance with respect to understanding the geological controls on mineralisation as well as the potential application of alternative metallurgical process routes. In seeking to sustain the operation well into the 21st century a dedicated team of geologists.17 May 2000 135 . East Perth WA 6004.

G R HOWARD et al Summary of Telfer Gold Mines development history An intensive exploration and resource drilling program was undertaken by Newmont Pty Ltd during the period 1972 to 1975. Qld. 1990). FIG 2 . This program defined an open pit reserve of 3. This program increased the reserves to 2. 1980). 136 Coolum. 14 . 1990). The increase in ounces was at the expense of gold grade which dropped from 10 g/t to 2 g/t (Chamberlain. Following a feasibility study. Newmont brought BHP into the project and mining commenced during 1975 at Main Dome and reached full production of 0.Telfer – Main and West Dome plan.5 Mtpa in 1977.6 g/t Au containing in excess of 1 Moz (Turner. By the early-1980s. Resources and reserves were maintained at 2 and 1 Moz respectively in the early part of Telfer’s mine life (Chamberlain.8 Mt @ 9.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .5 Moz and resources to 5 Moz by the end of the 1980s. reserves were nearing exhaustion and an accelerated exploration program commenced in Main Dome and West Dome (Figure 2).

In 1989 a sulphide flotation circuit was established to process Middle Vale Reef (MVR) supergene-sulphide ore. and focus discussion in this chapter. 1995). M30. the Lower Limey Unit (LLU) and the Lower Isdell Member (LIM) (Figure 3). This high-grade mineralised system lying 1000 m below the surface was discovered in 1992. a 40 cm package of sheared and laminated sandstone and siltstone between the M10 and M12. Detailed mapping of the M10 . Upper Malu Member The UMM is conformably overlain by the Telfer Formation (TFM).CURRENT GEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF TELFER GOLD MINE Extensive testwork was conducted during the early-1980s on heap and dump leach technology. calcareous. low-grade metasedimentary rocks that form part of the Neoproterozoic Yeneena Group in the Paterson Province (Chin and Hickman. M60. 1992).4 m. Lower Malu Member The LMM is conformably overlain by the ULU and overlies the Isdell Formation. The IDF is comprised of a sequence of very fine to coarse-grained interbedded quartz sandstone and siltstone beds with varying amounts of dolomite and carbonaceous material. Internal fabric displays a penetrative schistosity. REGIONAL GEOLOGY The Telfer Gold Mine occurs within weak to moderately deformed. from underground. The MQM is subdivided locally into three main stratigraphic units: the Upper Malu Member (UMM). altered sandstone unit. the Minyari Granite Complex and the O’Callaghans Granite. with the main plutons being the Mt Crofton Granite Complex. The Yeneena Group unconformably overlays the intensely deformed Mesoproterozoic Rudall Complex (Williams and Myers. the Upper Limey Unit (ULU) and the Lower Malu Member (LMM) (Figure 3). Blockley (1979). M35 and M38 Reefs. Exploration programs during the 1990s successfully delineated additional reefs on the eastern flank of Main Dome. These processes were weighed against the alternative of expanding the milling operation. with shear fabrics up to mylonitic levels. M67 and M70 Reefs. The latter option was chosen and in 1985 Telfer Gold Mine made the transition from a low-volume. Resource definition drilling during the late 1980s defined additional resources of submill-grade material (1. which include the M10. the ore gradually changed from oxide to supergene-sulphide material. 1990). Early genetic models for Telfer mineralisation invoked syngenetic-exhalative processes (Tyrwhitt 1979. M50.2 g/t Au). An interpretation of the structural geology of Telfer is compiled in Hewson (1996). The tectonic setting of the Paterson Province is described in Williams and Myers (1990) and by Etheridge et al (1987). 1982). This is in contrast to the interpretation of Hall and Berry (1989) and Rowins (1994) which suggests that granites acted as heat sources to circulate hydrothermal fluids through the sedimentary sequence. high-grade operation to a high-volume. Individual sandstone beds are commonly massive but can display sedimentary features such as cross bedding. The UMM hosts the M10. M12 and M50 reefs are currently being mined using narrow-vein underground mining methods. M30. Commercial dump leach treatment commenced in 1988. accompanied by muscovite flakes with interstitial micritic dolomite and calcite. Malu Quartzite Member stratigraphy The Malu Quartzite Member (MQM) is conformably overlain by the Telfer Formation. M28. The LMM hosts the M45. A veneer of Neopaleozoic to Holocene sediments forms the cover rocks in the Telfer district. This change was accompanied by an increase in the content of cyanide soluble copper minerals. Exposures of sulphide mineralisation in deep exploration drilling and open pit/underground headings resulted in the development of the epigenetic replacement models presented in Levet (1986) and Dimo (1990). The LMM is a sequence of very fine to coarse grained interbedded quartz sandstone and argillaceous siltstone. with an initial processing rate of 4 Mtpa. MINE GEOLOGY The stratigraphy and lithology of the Telfer Formation is described in Dimo (1990). 1995). graded bedding and flame structures. 14 . As the pits deepened. Turner (1982) and Hill (1989). 1985. These units form the local mine stratigraphy below the Telfer Formation (Figure 3). Since 1990 there has been considerable progress in the understanding of the lithology and controls on mineralisation in the Malu Quartzite Member and the Isdell Formation. Qld. initially from open pit sources and in 1990. This was expanded to 17 Mtpa during 1996. provide a useful stratigraphic marker for distinguishing between the M10 and M12 Reefs (Inglis. The ratio of sandstone to siltstone is 3:1. In addition. The UMM sediments are similar in lithology to the LMM. the Deserts Revenge Granite. 1977). 4th International Mining Geology Conference Granitoid intrusives make up approximately 20 per cent of the Telfer district (Goellnicht. low-grade operation by expanding the mill to 1. Isdell Formation stratigraphy The Isdell Formation (IDF) is the lowest unit of the Upper Yeneena Group that occurs within the mine sequence. Both bedding and veins can be folded and boudinaged. Royle (1985) proposed a variation of this with the MVR being formed as an evaporative horizon in a sedimentary basin. Turner.M12 reef system has changed the focus of the genetic models from the replacement of fine grained siltstone units to mineralisation being structurally controlled (Inglis. The IDF is subdivided into three main stratigraphic units: the Upper Isdell Member (UIM). M12. PREVIOUS GEOLOGICAL MODELS The Paterson Province regional geology and lithology is described in Wells (1954). The evaporite horizon was subsequently replaced by quartz-sulphide assemblages. decline access is currently being established to the I30 reef system. Upper Limey Unit The ULU is a light grey. This treatment circuit was modified to its current configuration in 1996 to treat mainly sulphide ore from the underground M10 and M12 reefs. M20. This increase led to further extensive metallurgical testwork on the feasibility of establishing a dump leach operation. M55. The average thickness of the ULU is 0. Sand grains are dominantly angular to rounded clastic quartz grains. The ‘Tiger Beds’. the Wilkie Granite. M35 and M40 reefs. These reefs. Ongoing resource assessment is being undertaken on the M20. fine to coarse-grained.5 Mtpa. Coolum. Goellnicht (1987. The ULU hosts the M40 Reef. M65. Quartz sandstone units are commonly greater than ten metres thick with siltstone units typically thinly banded or laminated and less than a few metres thick.17 May 2000 137 . Consequently the current open pit resources are process constrained. 1992) proposed that mineralisation was derived dominantly from magmatic fluid sources.

138 Coolum.Mine area stratigraphic column.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 14 .G R HOWARD et al FIG 3 . Qld.

Lower Isdell Member The Lower Isdell Member (LIM) is the deepest stratigraphic unit intersected by mine based drilling programs.Main Dome – I30 Project cross-section 11 325 N. a north-south trending reverse fault and a near vertical north-east trending fault corridor. grey. galena. with a shear fabric reminiscent of a mylonite. The quartz reef has a maximum true thickness of 10 m in the hinge of the I30 Monocline. The unit varies from massive to bedded with occasional thin dark silty laminations. Interpretation of diamond drill holes has identified four concordant quartz-carbonate-sulphide veins (reefs) in the LIM. Both bedding and veins can display folding and boudinage. This reef occurs 20 m to 25 m below the LLU and has been traced 400 m along strike along the eastern limb of the fold. The dominant sulphide minerals are 4th International Mining Geology Conference pyrite and chalcopyrite. accompanied by muscovite flakes with interstitial micritic dolomite and calcite.2 m and is hosted by a 2 m to 3 m thick carbonaceous silt bed. fine to coarse-grained carbonate altered sandstone unit.17 May 2000 139 . A25. stibnite. Qld. The average true thickness of the LLU is 9 m but it can vary between 1 m and 22 m in thickness. white and pink dolomite. Coolum. calcite and rare siderite. The geometry of the I30 Quartz Reef is controlled by the intersection of the I30 monocline fold structure. Drilling has delineated the I30 Quartz Reef over an area of 875 m (north-south) by 160 m (east-west) in the south-east corner of Main Dome. In places the LLU contains intense veining concordant and discordant to bedding. I30 Quartz Reef The I30 Quartz Reef is a massive stratabound quartz-carbonate-sulphide vein that occurs approximately 900 m to 1000 m beneath the surface at the contact of the UIM and the LLU. The hangingwall Black Silt (BZ) is the lowest bed within the UIM. A20. The average thickness of the UIM is 280 m and it hosts the I30 Quartz Reef and eight associated hangingwall reef structures (A10. Internal fabric displays a penetrative schistosity. Visible gold is commonly logged in the diamond core. B20 and B30. These are named B10.CURRENT GEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF TELFER GOLD MINE FIG 4 . Upper Isdell Member The Upper Isdell Member (UIM) is conformably overlain by the Malu Quartzite Member and overlies the Lower Limey Unit. The hangingwall reefs vary in thickness from 5 cm to 3 m and occur within 50 m of the I30 Quartz Reef. A40) (Figure 4). A35. The B10 reef has an average true thickness of 0. The LLU is a light grey. chalcocite and rare telluride minerals. Sand grains are dominantly angular to rounded clastic quartz grains. It is a 2 m to 5 m thick dark grey or black laminated and carbonate spotted. The I30 Quartz Reef also contains trace amounts of bornite. Lower Limey Unit The Lower Limey Unit (LLU) conformably overlies the LIM. B15. 14 . covellite. A15. A30. scheelite.5 m on the flanks of the fold structure (Figure 4). carbonaceous siltstone which directly overlies the LLU and hosts the I30 Quartz Reef. and reduces to a true thickness of approximately 0. The I30 Quartz Reef mineralisation is characterised by a gangue consisting of quartz. A22.

G R HOWARD et al Footwall reefs are not developed in the hinge of the fold. acid mine drainage (AMD) and metallurgical models for the project. These collectively form the basis of the Telfer Extension (TEX) Project. whilst the ISP is evaluating the economic potential of the I30 Quartz Reef and associated narrow-vein hanging wall reef structures. The conceptual study indicated that there was potential for a resource of at least 130 Mt. The drilling programs focussed on testing the south-east corner of Main Dome (Figure 2 and 5) with reconnaissance drilling programs in Pit 9 and 10 in West Dome. TELFER EXTENSION PROJECT PRE-FEASIBILITY STUDY In 1998. MD2) and two in West Dome FIG 5 .5. approximately 1000 m below the surface in the south-east corner of Main Dome (Figure 3).Main Dome – SEP Project cross-section 11 050 N. completed in December 1996.2. MD1. These included three estimates covering Main Dome (MD1. Surface Extension Project The primary geological objectives for the SEP project include: • complete drilling programs in Main Dome and West Dome to confirm the potential for a bulk open pit minable gold and copper resource. Qld. based on the first generation Main Dome 1 (MD1) and West Dome 1 (WD1) resource estimates. MD1 and WD1 were the first resource estimates undertaken at Telfer that incorporated all of the drilling to 300 m below the surface in two seamless models. The TEX Project consists of the Surface Extension Projects (SEP) and the I Series Project (ISP). Drill hole spacing has averaged 50 m × 50 m. The deepest reef intersected to-date is the B30. • estimate gold. SEP Resource estimation Five model updates were completed as part of the SEP Pre-feasibility Study. hydrological. Prior to MD1 and WD1 there were 22 separate resource models and these were not optimal for evaluating the economic potential of the Telfer mineralised system. and • co-development of geotechnical. The SEP pre-feasibility study was estimated to take 15 months to complete and commenced in late-1998. The justification for the Pre-feasibility Study was the favourable SEP Conceptual Study (Thompson et al. Newcrest Mining Limited Board approval was given to undertake the evaluation of significant gold and copper mineralisation below the current open pits at Telfer. Drilling A total of 30 000 m of reverse circulation drilling and 15 000 m of HQ3 or HQ3. This occurs 65 m stratigraphically below the LLU Lower Limey Unit.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 14 .68-3 diamond drilling was completed by November 1999. copper transitional (cyanide soluble copper) and sulphide resources for Main Dome and West Dome. 1998) which focussed on the south-east corner of Main Dome. 140 Coolum. The SEP is evaluating the potential for deeper open pit gold and copper mining.

Drilling identified significant potential to expand the 1996 I30 Quartz Reef resource estimate in the hinge area. A systematic geological evaluation was undertaken from November 1997 to June 1998. WD1.10/lb. • one M10/M12 link structure. The model parent cell size (X=12.5 km below the surface. Copper and cyanide soluble copper distributions are modelled into three domains reflecting the copper depletion. and • undertake a study of the optimal drill hole composite size and drill hole spacing.68-3 and HQ3 diamond drilling was completed over 12 months with the average intercept spacing being 50 m. The primary objectives for developing MD2 and WD2 were to: • utilise linear geostatistic techniques such as ordinary kriging to compare with ID techniques and to minimise conditional bias and other effects. Measured Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) Indicated Copper grade (% Cu) Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) 36 1. copper. • update the models with additional drilling data and a revised geological interpretation.9 km and includes all material from surface to the M35 reef structure. The Z direction reflects the 4 m bench height used in the current open pit operation.9 km by 1.9 Inferred Copper grade (% Cu) Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) 110 0. Block grades are back-calculated by dividing the kriged accumulation by kriged density and true width. Qld. Table 1 outlines the resources delineated in the study. The drill holes targeted the I30 Quartz Reef hinge zone and eastern flank from underground drill cuddies at the base of the decline approximately 500 m above the target. Sample preparation. MVR.3 km by 1. I Series Project The geological objectives of the ISP pre-feasibility study include: • to confirm the geometry. with occasional drill holes and associated wedge holes intersecting the eastern flank of the I30 Quartz Reef. and • to identify the overall geological potential of the deep mineralised system. The MD2 model is constrained by geological interpretations based on cross-sections 25 m or 50 m apart.2 were interim estimates using Inverse Distance (ID) interpolation techniques to estimate the distributions of gold.9 Copper grade (% Cu) Copper and Gold resources Total Gold 2. and • one surface regolith domain.5 and WD2). This method results in greatly improved variography without compromising the spatial integrity of the model.64 7. these include: • 12 reef structures (E reefs.4 km below the surface. Y=25 m and Z=4 m). true width and density). • model the gold. number of samples used and distance criteria.5 and MD1. TABLE 1 SEP (MD2 and WD2) 1999 Resource estimate (press release 27 September 1999). Prior to release of the MD2 estimate a series of qualitative and quantitative validation processes were applied to the final grade model.8 0. M10/M12. M30 and M35 reefs). Drilling A total of 15 000 m of HQ 3. with the aim of re-interpreting the available geological data for the I30 Quartz Reef and associated narrow-vein reef structures. uses approximately half the drill hole spacing in both the X and Y directions.16 Note: Figures are not additive due to rounding. It was this study that provided the justification to proceed with the ISP pre-feasibility study. The MD2 estimate comprises 28 primary geological domains. ISP Resource estimation Resource estimation of the I-Series reefs has been carried out using Ordinary Kriging of a metal accumulation variable (the product of grade. for future Telfer resource estimations. These drill holes are steeply dipping and generally intersected the I30 Quartz Reef on the western flank of the monocline fold structure. • develop AMD models for the mine area. Resource classification was conducted individually for each element with the resources being classified based upon geological confidence. several targeted diamond holes were completed from the decline to confirm the apparent thickening of the mineralisation associated with the monocline fold and the eastern flank of the I30 Quartz Reef. these proceedings).7 9.5 km and includes all material from surface to 0. approximately 0. In addition. distribution and tenor of the gold and copper mineralisation within the I30 Quartz Reef and proximal reefs.17 May 2000 141 . Historic drilling targeted the I30 Quartz Reef from the surface. 14 . The WD2 resource estimate covers an area of 3. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. All of the lithological units are wireframed to provide geological control on the distribution of mineralisation. cyanide soluble copper and sulphur distributions.5 1. Figures are based on a lower cut-off using a gold price of $A450/oz and copper $A1.2 Total Copper 0. copper and cyanide soluble copper. The MD2 resource estimate encompasses an area of 3. An ‘unfolding’ approach has been applied to modelling which essentially unravels the complex overturned geometry onto a plane. Variography including kriging neighbourhood analysis was used to determine kriging parametres for each domain. The resource was constrained spatially by $A650 notional gold pit shells. QA/QC. The ISP pre-feasibility study was estimated to take 15 months for completion and commenced in late-1998. • one M10/M12 stockwork vein domain. MD2 and WD2 are ordinary kriged estimates and as such form the basis for the Telfer June 1999 Mineral Resource statement.23 80 0. M20.5 m. It is important to use an accumulation variable in the case of I-Series reefs so as to create an additive variable suitable for kriging from unequal length samples of varying density. supergene enrichment and the primary hypogene distribution.CURRENT GEOLOGICAL UNDERSTANDING OF TELFER GOLD MINE (WD1. assay and QA/QC procedures are the same as for the SEP Pre-feasibility project (Carlson et al. interpretation.

Results of the ISP pre-feasibility study resource estimate were released in September 1999 and are summarised in Table 2. Hewson. 1977. Telfer. CONCLUSIONS The TEX projects have the potential to extend the mine life of the Telfer operation. PhD Thesis(unpublished) The University of Western Australia. 1989. 1987. First International Conference. L E. Great Sandy Desert. Western Australia.A Case Study of Transition at Macquarie Bank Gold Conference. The Telfer Gold Mine has played an important role in the development of the gold industry in Western Australia. 2000. Dedicated management of geological issues.7 0. Telfer. Internal Newcrest Mining Limited Report. Western Australia. D S. C C. pp 109-127. Internal Newmont Australia Pty Ltd. Carlson. Western Australia and its significance to mineralisation and regional tectonics. 142 Goellnicht. G. BSc (Hons) thesis. University of Western Australia (unpublished) 63 p. stratigraphy. Tyrwhitt. N M. Measured Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) Indicated Copper grade (% Cu) Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) Total Gold 1 19 Total Copper 1 Inferred Copper grade (% Cu) Dry tonnes (millions) Gold grade (g/t Au) 1. Late Proterozoic Fractionated Granites and their Role in the Genesis of Gold and Base-Metal Mineralisation in the Telfer District. N M. Western Australia. Newmont Australia Ltd Rep (unpublished) 8 p. Goellnicht. 1986. The development of geological/structural interpretations and improved resource estimation techniques have led to a 50 per cent increase in gold and 70 per cent increase in copper resources for the ISP project since 1996. D Z. Chamberlain. Orogenesis and tectonic processes in the Early to Middle Proterozoic of northern Australia. J G and De la Hunty. Sydney. Western Australia. WA. Chin. 1996. B K. 1975. Western Australia. Systems and Protocols of Geological Information Management at Telfer Gold Mine. pp 274-275. 1995. Western Australia. 1990. Tyrwhitt. A discussion of the Telfer exploration model. REFERENCES Blockley. Constraints on the Timing and Source of Gold Mineralisation at Main Dome. 14 . development. 1989. A P. Northwest Mining Association. S A J. Morocco. R D. P. Record 1977/11 (unpublished).88 Note: Figures are not additive due to rounding. L A I. Telfer gold deposits. BSc (Hons) thesis (unpublished). in Prospecting in Arid Areas.G R HOWARD et al TABLE 2 I Series 1999 Resource estimate (press release 27 September 1999). 296 p. D S. Genesis of Telfer ore bodies – some alternatives. Stratabound gold deposits of Proterozoic age at Telfer. Hall. and it is hoped that it will continue to contribute for a long time to come. J S. 1979. R and Hickman. A H. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This paper was compiled from the dedicated efforts of many geologists from the Telfer Geology Department. R W R and Wyborn. in Geology of Western Australia. Telfer internal report. Rutland. Howard. and is published with the permission of the CEO of Newcrest Mining Limited. Newmont Australia Ltd Rep (unpublished). Telfer . 1992. Coolum. in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed: F E Hughes) pp 643-651 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). and continued support from the Newcrest Board have contributed to identifying this world class gold and copper resource. The resource was constrained spatially by a $A650 notional gold shell. 1990. in Geology and Mineral Resources of Western Australia. Memoir 3. The University of Western Australia. Geological Survey of Western Australia. D H and Berry. Western Australia. Proterozoic geology of the Paterson Range. Dimo. Washington (American Institute Mining Engineering). Desert Gold: The discovery and development of Telfer (Louthean Publishing Pty Ltd: WA) Williams. Report (unpublished) 7 p. Newmont Perth and Melbourne Staff. C C. 1985. 1998.10/lb. Amer Geophys Union Geodynam Ser. Structure of West Dome. 85th Annual Convention. understanding of critical path elements in resource evaluation. in Proceedings 4th International Mining Geology Conference (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Etheridge. Gold mineralisation at Telfer and its environment within the Proterozoic Paterson Range Province. Paterson Orogen.8 Copper grade (% Cu) Copper and Gold resources 3. BSc Hons Thesis. Memoir 2. Telfer. 1985. 1990. PhD thesis (unpublished) University of New England. Levet. 8 p. M A. Exploration. pp 11-19 (The Institution of Mining and Metallurgy: London). Tyrwhitt. 17:131-147. sedimentology and gold mineralisation of the Proterozoic Yeneena Group.3 1. Western Australian Geological Survey. Inglis. 1987. M. Paterson Province. Rabat. 132 p. G R and Back. The Telfer Gold Deposits. G. Qld. Telfer Gold Mine Sulphide Extension Project Conceptual Study.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Spokane. I R and Myers. Turner. Report on Exploration of Paterson Range Gold Prospect Western Australia.7 6. Royle. D S. northwest Western Australia: The Role of Polyphase Orogenic Deformation in Ore-deposit Development and Implications for Exploration. Figures are based on a lower cut-off using a gold price of $A450/oz and copper $A1. Geological Survey of Western Australia. The paragenesis and structural evolution of the M10 Reef. Hill. 1982. 1995. and geology of the Telfer Gold Mine. Thompson. A Structural Examination of the Telfer Gold-Copper Deposit and Surrounding Region. 1:250 000 Sheet. R J. 1972. University of Tasmania (unpublished).

Much of this geology has been captured in a digital format and has been used extensively in this study. The felsic intrusion defines an opposing fold to that in stratigraphy with a similar axial surface. and 2. 14 . 1. 39 Fairway. Major vein packages are closely spatially associated with the felsic/mafic contact and an interpreted early structure which appears to have partitioned early dilation. highly deformed veins within zones of intensely foliated country rock that result in localised. are the latest stage of a progressive deformation which approximates bulk flattening. The mineralised zones associated with thick folded veins are typically predictable over many tens of vertical metres. boudinaged and some folded veins which consolidate to form tabular. Qld. 2. irregularly distributed high-grade gold zones (eg 02 orebody). N Archibald2. recognisable by intense foliation development and highly deformed veins. 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 1 . To the north and west of the Morning Star orebodies is the Latecomer fault zone which comprises a series of discrete strike slip (dextral) faults. Some of the Morning Star orebodies referred to in the text are shown approximately. The second and third types of ore zone is generally less predictable. D Holden1. Initial geometry of felsic bodies relative to orientation of the primary lithological layering and the bulk shortening direction is interpreted to be critical for initiation and development of strongly dilatant zones within this package of rocks. The basalts belong to the Viqueries Formation (Thompson et al. FAusIMM. and • zones containing the above vein types and thin. This structure is now obscured by strong deformation but is currently represented by a zone of planar veins. Mineralisation is usually hosted 1. in a strongly quartz-carbonate veined sequence of mafic rocks (interpreted as basalt lavas) near their contact with a felsic intrusive body. Continued deformation resulted in folding of these veins with strong strain partitioning. Much of the work described in this paper is a continuation of work carried out by previous geologists who worked at. Mt Magnet. Structural controls on mineralisation can be defined at two different scales. Detailed mapping and structural kinematic studies indicate all ore zone types are affected by progressive deformation involving strong strain partitioning. INTRODUCTION The Morning Star mine is owned by Hill 50 Gold NL and includes a number of historically mined pipe-like ore shoots. Gold is hosted in quartz-carbonate ± stibnite ± molybdenite veins that occur in a series of deformed. Fractal Graphics.Geology and Structure of the Morning Star Mine. 1982) have provided useful constraints on the regional structure of the Mt Magnet area. PO Box 1547.Map showing interpretive geology on pit maps for Star and Nathan Pits. • those comprising planar. Regional accounts of the geology by Archibald (1980. Geological investigations such as the honours thesis by Henderson (1981). They are: • those associated with strongly folded. Western Australia (see Figure 1).17 May 2000 143 . and mapped the lodes of the Morning Star mine. WA R Mason1. T Blyth3. Coolum. S Huffadine3. generally felsic. Three types of mineralised zones can be discriminated based on the morphology of the veins within. Understanding the structural evolution of the orebodies and the contemporaneous and later structures that affect the orebodies has been very useful in this context. Regional scale folding has deformed a sequence of mafic volcanics with interlayered sediments and felsic intrusives. Hill 50 Gold NL. R Bradey3. It is interpreted that high strain zones. 39 Fairway. The irregular gold distribution and its relationship to structure and alteration intensity makes the definition of stoping limits difficult. This paper reports on a detailed mapping exercise (as part of a more extensive and on-going investigation) and the integration of this mapping with other geological and grade control data in a 3D modelling environment to provide an expanded basis for stope design. Interpretation of Evening Star chert between Nathan and Star Pits represents stratigraphic form surface. Local scale dilation is evidenced by development of several vein sets whose range in orientations and opposed vergence relationships suggest a pre-folding origin comprising both extensional and hybrid shear-extensional types. steeply dipping bodies (eg 010 orebody). Nedlands WA 6009. 3. A Jones3 and P Androvich3 ABSTRACT The Morning Star mine is owned by Hill 50 Gold NL. breccia unit that occurs to the east of the Morning Star orebodies. thick veins (approximately 1 m thick eg 05 orebody). the report by Ward and Evans (1985) and the paper by Thompson et al (1990) have detailed various interpretations of the geology considered during this study. Nedlands WA 6009. Fractal Graphics. altered and metamorphosed mafic volcanics with subordinate sediments and felsic intrusive rocks. The backs mapping carried out by these geologists has provided invaluable records of the geology of the Morning Star lodes. It is located approximately 3 km NW of the township of Mt Magnet. 1990) which also includes the Nathan-Easter chert and a polymict. West Perth WA 6872.

The rocks in the area consist of a series of metamorphosed and deformed mafic and felsic rocks with minor sedimentary units.Sequence illustrating buckling of felsic intrusion and stratigraphy forming ‘opposed’ folds sharing the same axial surface and generating significant bulk dilation in the Morning Star area. This paper describes the geology of the Morning Star lodes with emphasis on a detailed underground mapping and 3D computer modelling program as part of a more exhaustive but as yet incomplete study of the geology and mineralisation. detailed geological mapping and 3D modelling was undertaken in order to characterise the geology. These hinge zones are joined by discontinuous. These bodies are typically occupied by folded and faulted cherts and typically have ‘trailing’. That is. analysis and modelling was undertaken to develop a predictive geological framework for understanding the distribution of mineralisation based on the nature of structures. narrow belts of chert and together form the only well defined stratigraphic marker in the area. Interpretation This arrangement of folded lithologies with two folds essentially opposing each other is interpreted to have formed because of the initial geometry of the felsic body and its relationship to the 144 FIG 2 . The hinge areas. This study is aimed at a better understanding of the mineralisation and will continue to result in better sampling parameters. 1990). This distribution along linear belts is interpreted to reflect the pre-deformation stratigraphy which has been dismembered mainly by boudinage and extension on fold limbs. of the Morning Star orebodies. A detailed sampling program together with a microstructural study has been initiated with the aim of finding out exactly where the gold occurs in relation to the systematically mapped geological features. Two hinge areas have been recognised. by contrast. Simultaneously. These are in the Nathan Pit and the Evening Star part of the Star Pit. to be established. Qld. the main Morning Star felsic body comprises a synform plunging to the south (Figure 1). veining and alteration. Sediments in the area comprise chert and ferruginous chert. The cherts form discontinuous. Overall. and the structure in particular. faces with detailed sampling are being mapped at 1:25 scale. To accomplish this. form large bodies with dimensions in tens of metres. The south plunging. thus allowing 3D geological models to be built. narrow. The result of this geometric arrangement of ‘mechanical stratigraphy’ is a significant space problem between the two amplifying folds such that accumulating shortening results in concomitant dilation between the folds (Figure 2). Several distinct marker lithologies and important structures have been recognised. known locally as both the Evening Star and Easter cherts (Thompson et al. The purpose of the mapping and modelling was to provide a factual record of geological features which could be used to study and interpret their relationship to mineralisation. 14 . Geological attributes have been recorded consistently and graphically represented so that each of these could be manipulated visually in a computer environment. This mechanism is proposed to account for the large amount of dilation. the initial shape of the felsic body must have approximated a low amplitude synform plunging south such that E-W compression resulted in amplification of this shape. the stratigraphy (as outlined by the Evening Star chert) must have contained an amplifying fold that formed from an initial low-amplitude buckle whose shape was a south plunging antiform. as well as foliation development and alteration. The detailed sampling and microstructural studies are incomplete at this time. GEOLOGICAL SETTING Geometry Mapping in the Morning Star area has been carried out at 1:500 scale for open pit exposures in both the Star and Nathan pits (Figure 1) and at 1:100 scale for underground exposures accessible at the time of mapping campaigns. antiformal hinge zone exposed in the Nathan Pit is immediately south of the Morning Star system of orebodies and the Morning Star felsic synform. Coolum. linear belts of chert (ie the limbs of the fold). The microstructural study should enable the relationships between gold precipitation and vein formation. A question that arises from this interpretation is: ‘Is dilation concentrated near the felsic/mafic contact or is it distributed in some systematic way between the two folds?’ It is clear that significant dilation is taken up near the felsic/mafic contact (ie in the vicinity of the Morning Star orebodies) and this may be due to a large competency contrast between the felsic rocks and the mafic rocks which focuses dilation on the contact.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . evidenced by the quantity of veining in the Morning Star area. stope definition as well as better risk assessment and management. initial buckling geometry of the stratigraphy. The two folds approximately share a common axial surface parallel to the main foliation in the area.R MASON et al In this study. After the 3D geological mapping was completed. Mapped contacts and the gross geometric shapes of the various felsic bodies suggest that most are intrusive. irregular bodies which are confined to narrow linear belts and large folded pods.

veins however it is not yet clear that an entire vein package is mineralised.Veins mapped in shaft-developed levels showing consistent vein geometries over significant vertical distances. Qld. by previous mine geologists. The correlation of vein packages from level to level is based on vein thickness and fold amplitude and wavelength. Current development is from a decline and overlaps. A planar (NNW oriented) vein zone is readily interpreted through the shaft-developed level mapping. Reconstruction of the 3D shape of the felsic contact in some detail has been possible from old and current mapping and drill core (Figure 5). approximately 300 m below the surface). Many veins mapped in the shaft-developed levels can be correlated with FIG 4 . Historically these orebodies are numbered from 01 through to the 011 and are generally disposed about the felsic/mafic contact. Here the zone appears as both highly strained veins and as planar. we use a terminology that discriminates vein packages from ore (viz the 03 vein package comprises a series of closely spaced veins.Correlation of 01W vein package from 2050 level through the 2075 and 2100 levels (good correlation) up into the shaft-developed level mapping (reasonable correlation). Coolum. All mapping has been digitised and accurately registered in 3D space. part or all of which may be mineralised forming the 03 orebody). PREVIOUS MAPPING Many of the Morning Star lodes have been mined from a shaft with a series of levels and sublevels that were developed from the shaft. has provided an invaluable record of the geology of this deposit from surface down to approximately 100 mRL (2100 level. Visualisation of all mapped veins in 3D demonstrates consistent and repeatable geometries over significant vertical distances. In addition. albeit with some anomalous zones (Figure 3). Many veins are remarkably similar over great vertical distances and this gives much confidence in predicting down plunge continuity. 14 . with the shaft development.GEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE OF THE MORNING STAR MINE. often folded. MT MAGNET. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The backs and walls of the nominal 5m × 5m development of all available current development levels were mapped at 1:100 scale. The orebodies generally comprise large packages of subparallel. in part. some of these vein packages can be confidently interpreted throughout the mine although some apparently discontinuous zones occur. veins mapped in the current development with a high degree of confidence (Figure 4).17 May 2000 145 . DETAILED MAPPING AND GEOLOGICAL OBSERVATIONS Data collection FIG 3 . this planar vein zone appears to have had a very marked effect on the terminations and shapes of old stopes. Because of this. Importantly. Mapping of these exposures. WA The veining in the vicinity of the felsic/mafic contact forms the majority of the lode deposits mined in the Morning Star area. moderately deformed veins that terminate other vein sets.

Some lithological types are interpreted as highly deformed and strongly altered variants of pillowed and massive basaltic lavas and are so coded to reflect this deformation and alteration. F-type Fuchsite (bright green). as weak. The vein types discriminated in the mapping are described in Table 1. These are interpreted as a series of basaltic lavas with intermittently developed pillows. Vy Quartz carbonate molybdenite ± stibnite ± chlorite ± sulphides. Recorded ductile structures include foliations and their intensity. Variation in foliation intensity is assumed to be due to differential shortening. Two foliations have been recognised in some areas. felsic rock of generally uniform composition. Vb Quartz carbonate ‘clean’ veins with brown carbonate on vein margins associated with reverse faults. which is partly dependent on rock type. Foliation intensity has been categorised 146 Description Vu Vein undivided.5 m spaced interpreted horizontal sections. Strong foliation is recognised by the development of very continuous foliae in fine-grained mafic rocks and. 1980) is developed. Qld.R MASON et al FIG 5 . 4. Most of the relatively undeformed and weakly altered fine-grained mafic rocks are identifiable as pillowed lavas or their ‘unpillowed’ equivalents. Felsic contact reconstructed from drilling and mapping. The first formed foliation (based on overprinting relationships) has been recorded as SI and the second as SII. Four main alteration types have been discriminated and are shown in Table 2. Lithologies comprise two main groups. Coolum. Vc Vein. if very strong. alteration. folding and fold asymmetry are represented. veins. However.Detailed model of felsic contact showing irregular nature of the contact suggesting an intrusive (but later folded) origin. Many of the lithological variants are possibly derived from the same. clean quartz carbonate undivided. or similar. 3. Veins have been subdivided on the basis of composition. and shear zones. Vqc Vein. The felsic rocks are likely to have been derived from a single. The mapped geological features fall into five groups: 1. many small veins exist which cannot be represented at the scale of mapping. Schemes for discriminating vein types based on orientation become ambiguous when final orientation depends largely on initial orientation and fold shape. Veins were mapped as accurately as possible at 1:100 scale and deformation features such as boudinage. moderate and strong with a moderate foliation intensity the most common and weak foliation generally developed in competent lithologies. Looking approximately North. quartz carbonate. felsic and mafic rocks with an intermediate dyke cutting both groups. Alteration Description O-type Molybdenite and/or stibnite in Vy veins and silver dusting (? Fine molybdenite) on foliation surfaces. Occur in subhorizontal sets. foliation boudinage (Platt and Vissers.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . TABLE 1 Vein types. 2. 14 . lithology. 5. and brittle structure (faults and fractures). Intense and strong-moderate variations have been discriminated. The second of these two foliations is by far the most penetrative and forms the dominant fabric in mafic rocks. Vein ductile structure (foliations and other fabric elements). protolith but have been discriminated because of mappable differences due to variations in deformation and alteration. Vm Quartz carbonate ‘dirty’ veins. S-type Strong sericitic alteration of felsic rocks. obliterates primary fabrics. TABLE 2 Alteration types. Note the cuspate lobate fold shapes. B-type Development of khaki-brown-yellow phyllosilicate mineral in mafic rocks (sericite). and are common in less altered felsic rocks. Based on 1 .

FIG 6 . Distribution of lithologies The contact between the felsic rocks and mafic rocks within the main mineralised zone has an irregular. They are generally not discrete structures and so have poorly defined boundaries and terminations that can be difficult to discern from moderately foliated zones. strike-slip faults which are steeply dipping and strike NE. and 3. It is unclear what controls the location of areas of greater strain accommodation. The dyke is deformed and two foliations have been observed in it although it is oriented subparallel to the main foliation (SII). These data are stored as databases in the modelling environment where they can be viewed in various formats. It may be a contiguous part of the volcanic stratigraphy or it may be an intrusive dyke. The foliation within high-strain zones is generally parallel to foliation in moderately strained zones (Figure 7). which often develop within strongly foliated zones.Equal area projection of poles to foliations: a) in high strain zones. Distribution of strain The amount of strain accommodated by a particular volume of rock is assumed to be reflected by the intensity of the foliation. lineations and other structural elements. fine-grained mafic rocks have very continuous foliation. These structures comprise: 1. The dyke is often non-continuous and complex. These include orientation measurements of foliations. ie volcanics (Figure 5). b) outside high strain zones. High-strain zones intersecting the Morning Star felsic commonly contain ‘fingers’ of felsic material. strong parallel alignment of phyllosilicates such that the rock has a very platy look and sometimes develops foliation boudinage. 14 .17 May 2000 147 . however its origin is uncertain. Strongly foliated zones (high strain zones) are intermittently developed and appear to form anastomosing arrays. thrust faults. A broad zone containing intermittently developed pillowed basalts trends NNE in the eastern parts of the mine. and preserved in the felsic rocks. A medium grained massive basalt unit locally forms a marker horizon. but generally arcuate shape that has the form of a steep south plunging synform. Strongly foliated. barren fractures (eg joints or other fractures with no infilling). 2. An intermediate dyke develops consistently along an approximate N-S zone although its detailed shape is often non-continuous and complex (Figure 6). Coolum. Two foliations developed. attest to a complex deformation history. This assumption allows rapid mapping of strain variations to be carried out and is based on readily observable characteristics of the foliation. Folds in the felsic/mafic contact typically have cuspate-lobate forms characteristic of folding a competent/ incompetent interface. The current shape of the contact has been determined partly by its initial geometry and partly by deformation events subsequent to emplacement of the felsic intrusion.Detailed model of intermediate dyke based on current level detailed mapping and diamond drilling. WA Brittle structures are defined here as those which constitute a discontinuity in the rock mass (ie veins are treated separately).GEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE OF THE MORNING STAR MINE. possibly reflecting the strongly sericitised nature of the felsic. High-strain zones are generally parallel to the foliation in strike but can have a shallower dip. Weakly foliated rocks show faint or discontinuous cleavage surfaces whilst moderately foliated rocks have continuous well-developed cleavage defined by subparallel alignment of phyllosilicate minerals. This may be subparallel to the local trend of stratigraphy. Surprisingly. The irregular shape of the felsic body is suggestive of an intrusion rather than a conformable part of the stratigraphy. especially since it is not solely 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 7 . the form of these folds suggests that the felsic was less competent at the time of folding than the mafic. Several other features are recorded during the mapping as point measurements. Qld. MT MAGNET.

There are relatively few high strain zones near the felsic contact but 100 m to the south. Commonly. The majority of veins observed in the area of the Morning Star orebodies are deformed.Coalescing high strain zones away from (to the south of) the felsic contact. Such packages indicate significant dilation over. 14 . These two types may have been part of an orthogonal array of extension veins. Early veins commonly occur in packages which comprise multiple interconnected and overprinting. several fracturing episodes.or syn-SII formation. However.Maps of Vy and Vm veins showing their relationship to the SII foliation. This relationship is obvious from stope shapes and the veins mapped from parts of the shaft-developed workings. composite veins and vein sets generally with similar orientations. Critical relationships Pre. NW-SE oriented segments of the felsic contact suggesting that parts of the felsic body acted as buttresses to the deformation. Folded veins would have formed initially with an orientation at a low angle to the SII compression direction while boudinaged veins would have formed with an initial orientation at a high angle to the SII compression direction. Veins with an initial low angle to the compression direction may have originated as conjugate sets of hybrid shear-extension veins. 03. exposed rocks are dominated by high strain zones. Moreover. b) Folded and weakly boudinaged veins of the 010 vein package showing geometric relationship to SII foliation. 148 Coolum. FIG 9 . veins are folded or boudinaged with the main SII foliation either axial planar (folded veins) or parallel (boudinaged veins) to the veins. Folded and boudinaged veins are interpreted to have formed pre. away from the felsic contact (Figure 8).or syn-SII veins FIG 8 . low strain domains occur adjacent to relatively straight. Deformed veins are usually compositional types Vy or Vm. Qld.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . In general.R MASON et al due to intrinsic rock properties. Mapping of strongly foliated (dark shading) zones and veins from 2075 level. 01W) and there appears to be a spatial association between large vein packages and mineralisation. high-strain zones appear to coalesce to the south. at least. many of these large vein packages occur in strongly mineralised zones (eg 05. a) Folded Vy veins of the 01W vein package showing axial planar SII foliation both strongly (closely spaced continuous lines) and moderately (dashed lines) developed. Figure 9 shows the geometries of early-formed Vm and Vy vein types relative to the SII foliation.

Planar. these are: 1. FIG 10 . Vc veins are essentially undeformed and appear to post-date all Vb veins. This is because they are at a high angle to the compression direction yet clearly spatially (and probably genetically) related to the reverse shear zones (Figure 10). Where the 02 vein package is well developed it coincides with a similarly oriented. but where perturbations in the contact occurred the veins continued straight through. a Vc vein. foliation parallel veins.17 May 2000 149 . a series of generally planar veins formed on the contact. The veins form reverse shear arrays and foliation parallel arrays. Zone of planar veins 2. This timing is important because 4th International Mining Geology Conference 02 vein package and the felsic/mafic contact An important geometric relationship is observed in the shape of the felsic contact and the 02 vein package.Planar vein zone defined by long relatively continuous planar veins amongst foliated zones (current level mapping 2075 level showing planar veins). Unlike the reverse shear array Vb veins. formed pre-SII and have been strongly flattened. and therefore clearly post-dates. but have been so strongly deformed during SII (high strain zones) that they are now transposed and parallel with SII. foliation-parallel veins. both in high strain zones and near the felsic contact. NNW or NW segment of the felsic contact. planar. below this Coolum. MT MAGNET. a reverse shear.GEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE OF THE MORNING STAR MINE. 2. planar. formed post-SII parallel to the foliation. Post-SII veins Vc veins commonly fill a series of subhorizontal fractures. then the veins and contact were folded together during DII deformation. foliation parallel veins could have been formed in several structural settings. Qld. foliation parallel Vb veins related to reverse shear zones in high strain zones are difficult to interpret. together with folded veins. This area is notable and may be distinguished from adjacent zones by the common occurrence of generally continuous. These observations are interpreted as follows: the Vc veining event clearly separates (in time) reverse shear zone and high strain zone formation from strike-slip faulting. and deflected by. Both the veins and the contact are folded. or formed pre-SII at a high angle to SII. 4. 14 . 1. In places these vein packages occur entirely within the felsic (as evident in the shaft-developed level mapping) whilst in other areas they form on the contact zone. 3. Quartz-carbonate veins commonly occur in strike-slip faults.Sketch showing relationships of Vb veins to reverse shear zones in high strain zones. formed late in SII and have been weakly flattened. WA Some large vein packages (such as the 03 and the 05) are developed near the felsic/mafic contact. Although they may have a common maximum principal stress (σ1) direction the timing relationship described above clearly separates their development. Shear zone related veins Vb veins are commonly associated with high strain zones and occur as either west dipping reverse shear arrays or as foliation parallel arrays within. Some may also be strongly deformed in high strain zones but are probably not transposed from initially high angles to SII. These veins are generally slightly boudinaged to planar and so are probably formed late in SII at a high angle to σ1 (ie type 2 above). such that in some areas the entire vein package is within the felsic rocks. In one critical exposure a strike-slip fault offsets. However. A zone of approximately NNW striking. occurs in the area between the eastern end of the 05 vein package and the 01W area (Figure 11). FIG 11 .

vein geometries in some areas suggest the planar vein zone is part of a high strain zone. However. STRUCTURAL SYNTHESIS General The felsic/mafic contact appears to have been the locus of significant dilation evidenced by the intermittent development of large vein packages. Moreover. The 01. c) approximately 50 mRL. this is appears not to be a simple case of offset but rather the vein packages do not exist on both sides of the planar vein zone. Alteration Coarse molybdenite in and around veins (O-type alteration) is strongly associated with gold mineralisation. and subsequently partly concentrated DII deformation. 06). NW oriented segment of felsic contact becoming less planar as part of a transition to a more WNW orientation and concomitant poorly developed 02 vein package. 010. as finely disseminated molybdenite which appears as a silver-grey dusting on foliation planes. 03. (20 m thick horizontal slice). These relationships suggest the possibility that the planar vein zone may represent a pre-DII structure that influenced early vein development by partitioning dilation. Such a connection suggests that this may be form a significant part of the ‘plumbing system’ responsible for fluid flow leading to mineralisation (Figure 13). However. 14 . 04. O-type alteration also occurs in zones outside veins. (20 m thick horizontal slice) (Veins mapped by previous mine geologists). 05. S-type alteration occurs in felsic rocks and is mineralogically different to B-type alteration but is also referred to as a sericite alteration.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . The 04 orebody also appears to be developed in the vicinity of the contact whilst the 010 vein package is a series of planar veins which probably cut the contact but appear to be mineralised south of the contact. Well-developed NW contact segment and well-developed 02 vein package. FIG 12 .R MASON et al level that segment of the felsic contact becomes more aligned with the felsic contact immediately to the east (at the 05 vein package) and the 02 vein package becomes less well-developed (Figure 12). 2075 and 2050 levels this zone is represented by planar veins that trend NNE amongst folded veins. It is partly defined by veins in high-strain zones. Timing relationships between foliation development and alteration are difficult to constrain in hand-specimen but it appears that O-type and S-type alteration may post-date or form in late stages of SII development. The origin of the planar vein zone remains enigmatic. In the previous mapping from shaft-developed levels. a) 150 mRL. Qld. B-type alteration may have pre-dated SII development. (10 m thick horizontal slice) (Veins mapped by previous mine geologists). often near reverse shear zones in high-strain zones.A series of horizontal sections depicting the geometric relationship between a NW oriented segment of the felsic contact and the 02 vein package. B-type alteration is widespread in mafic rocks particularly around the 02 and 05 to 01W orebodies. the planar vein zone and the felsic/mafic contact together ‘connect’ all of the above mentioned Morning Star orebodies (01. b) 130 mRL. 01W. These include the 03 and 05 which develop along the contact and also the 02 which is developed from the western end of the 05 and to the south (see discussion below). 02. 150 Coolum. The interpretation of this relationship is that the far-field stress tensor is perturbed by the 02 aligned segment of the felsic/mafic contact. On the 2100. 01W and 06 vein packages appear to terminate at this zone and. As this felsic/mafic contact segment becomes less planar and more east west at depth. The contact geometry is an important control on orebodies that are developed in vein packages on the felsic/mafic contact. extension is accommodated by the enhanced development of the 05 vein package. oblique view of well-developed NW contact segment and well-developed 02 vein package. other planar veins have been mapped although their continuity as zones is less persistent. To the west of this planar vein zone. in many cases. This alteration together with high-strain zones is also strongly spatially associated with Vb veins. The 01 and 01W (and the 06) orebodies are somewhat different in that they are not proximal to the felsic/mafic contact. each of the vein packages associated with these orebodies terminates at the zone of planar veins which itself intersects the felsic/mafic contact just east of the 05 vein package. and locally extension is accommodated by the NW oriented 02 vein package.

Planar vein zone defined by long relatively continuous planar veins amongst foliated zones. The DII deformation is a progressive. two groups of hybrid shear-extension veins. basalt pillow margins and by veins. Thus. WA 13B 13A FIG 13 . initial Coolum. initial buckling of the felsic/mafic contact occurred and early veins formed in response to dilation between the Morning Star and the Nathan fold. The next increments of shortening resulted in further buckling of the felsic/mafic contact. Early folds have not been recognised in the Morning Star area. It is uncertain what macro-scale structural features may have resulted from this early deformation event but it may have influenced. much is known about the main foliation forming structural event (SII/DII) the following discussion on the structural evolution is focussed mainly on the DII event. 14 . The acute angle between these sets is dependent on the differential stress and intrinsic rock properties. It is likely that the amplitudes and wavelengths of folded veins are related to vein thickness as well as to the amount of shortening. In the first increments. 2. veins formed early in DII will be shortened more than veins that have a comparable orientation but that formed late in DII. Structural evolution The earliest recognisable deformation in the Morning Star area is represented by an early foliation (SI) which is commonly observed in felsic rocks but less so in mafic rocks. That is. however their recognition probably relies on interpreting the larger scale structural geometry. folded veins may exhibit different amounts of shortening if they formed at different times during a progressive shortening event (eg DII). a group of approximately E-W steeply dipping extension veins. b) interpretation of planar vein zone through shaft-developed level mapping showing relationship of planar vein zone to old stopes. No other suitable markers exist in the current development of the Morning Star underground mine area.GEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE OF THE MORNING STAR MINE. as evidenced by intermittent development of high-strain zones. MT MAGNET. in part.17 May 2000 151 . early veins will probably comprise three spatially distinct groups: 1. Apart from different areas accommodating 4th International Mining Geology Conference different amounts of shortening. approximately E-W shortening event can be considered as occurring in a series of incremental steps. the shape of the felsic/mafic contact prior to DII deformation. Folds are defined by the felsic/mafic contact. Qld. Early veins may have cut across an incipient SII foliation. Because little is known of this early deformation and. further foliation development. Most of the early foliation has been strongly overprinted by the main foliation (SII). a) current level mapping 2075 and 2100 levels showing planar veins. forming conjugate shear arrays trending approximately NE and approximately SE. by contrast. Penetrative deformation resulted in the development of an axial planar foliation.

These zones progressively accommodate more strain than can be accommodated by foliation development alone. Alternatively. Figure 14 shows the progressive deformation in increments from incipient SII development through to reverse shear zones and finally discrete reverse faults. In this case the distribution of gold within the vein package may be more complex and will be influenced by structures that formed during gold deposition. At some time during the development of these fractures the nature of the pore fluid changed such that some fractures are filled and some are not. however observed relationships (high strain zones and Vb vein types) indicate strong flattening with (at least) transient periods of high fluid pressure.Sketch showing interpreted progressive development of high strain zones during increased shortening: a) incipient SII foliation. Reverse shear zones develop en-echelon shear arrays and foliation parallel veins within the shear zones (discussed previously). c) shortening is no longer accommodated by foliation development and foliation boudinage forms and reverse shear zones form. and perhaps near. d) discrete reverse faults accommodate further shortening and vertical extension. Gold may have been precipitated during vein formation. These processes are depicted in Figure 15. they are: • folding of the felsic/mafic contact. This association may be interpreted in several ways. Further deformation results in development of west dipping. and • some zones accommodated relatively greater bulk shortening and formed high-strain zones. The development of discrete reverse faults is essentially the last increment of deformation in the DII event. • veins formed progressively and were folded accordingly.R MASON et al buckling of early formed veins and the formation of new veins (given that every increment of shortening produces some amount of dilation between the two macro-scale folds). Qld. reverse shear zones whereby strain accommodation is achieved by movement across the shear zones and finally if the strain rate becomes too high. Following the DII deformation. the next structures to form are flat lying fractures often filled with vein material. The final increments of shortening appear to be complex. in which case there should be an equal chance of finding gold anywhere in that particular vein or contemporary veins.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . • formation of the SII foliation. Strong flattening is indicated by the presence of high strain zones. • dilation between the Morning Star synform and the Nathan antiform. These fractures are commonly developed in zones of strong foliation (high strain zones) and this is interpreted to be due to the increased anisotropy in these zones. 14 . RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN GEOLOGY AND MINERALISATION Introduction There is a clear association between old stopes and large vein packages. zones of strong dilation. This may also coincide with O-type alteration of wall rocks as this alteration is frequently associated with high-strain zones. Such a strong anisotropy would tend to concentrate subvertical extensional strain in the strongly foliated zones and hence develop subhorizontal fractures. brittle failure occurs and a discrete reverse fault develops. Coolum. the large vein packages may have acted as a competent host lithology and gold may have been introduced during a later deformation (or increment of deformation) than that which formed the vein. Consequently foliation boudinage develops where small amounts of slip on curved foliation surfaces helps to accommodate additional increments of strain. Several important processes appear to have operated contemporaneously during the DII deformation. 152 FIG 14 . This suggests that mineralisation is contained in. Strike-slip faults are interpreted to post-date development of the subhorizontal fractures because of one clear overprinting relationship. b) well developed SII foliation.

Large extensional veins form along felsic/mafic contact and abut interpreted early structure (planar vein zone). low to moderate strain. a) initial shortening.Cartoon showing three incremental stages of the interpreted evolution of major structures and veins in the Morning Star mine (map view). MT MAGNET. c) maximum shortening now results in attenuated folds in felsic/mafic contact and veins with foliation well developed and partitioned into high strain zones with lower strain zones buttressed by felsic/mafic contact. b) increased shortening.GEOLOGY AND STRUCTURE OF THE MORNING STAR MINE. WA FIG 15 . 14 . forms various sets of veins including orthogonally arranged extension veins and conjugate sets of hybrid shear-extension veins. very low strain.17 May 2000 153 . new veins form and SII foliation is incipient to well-developed. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. early-formed veins and felsic/mafic contact have initiated significant buckle folds. Qld.

The nature and genesis of quartz-gold vein systems in the Morning Star deposit. Mt Magnet area. N J. Goodgame. in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and New Guinea. Structure. The association between O-type alteration and high strain zones (ie late DII deformation) has been highlighted earlier. P J. 14 . Watchorn. 3D modelling has allowed: • better down plunge predictions. The description of this model follows. Carpenteria Exploration Company. and • better management (and use of) collected geological data. 1980. N J.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . C A. Because of the association between O-type alteration (molybdenite) and gold mineralisation it may be inferred that gold was also introduced during late DII deformation and post-dated many of the veins in the large vein packages. By better comprehending the nature of the geology and mineralisation: • sampling procedure has been fine tuned. Morning Star is an operating mine and it is important that information gathered has been developed into operating knowledge. M J. temperature and strain rate conditions. Because some high strain zones develop discrete faults (ie brittle deformation) it is likely that late-DII deformation was near the brittle-ductile transition given the prevailing pressure. pp 221-241 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Review by Bill Power significantly improved the paper. resulting in efficient use of the input of many geologists over a vast time span and a common environment for all geological data. Untitled. Coolum. Molybdenite bearing (Vy) veins together with O-type alteration are the key indicators of mineralisation. Qld. • the development of a tool for the interpretation and exploration of undiscovered ore zones. J P and Vissers. Further work (detailed sampling and microstructural studies) should establish what parts of large vein packages are best mineralised and whether this is systematic and can be predicted. Unpublished report. deformation of the considerably more competent vein material would have been brittle enabling enhanced fluid flow via fracture induced permeability. Therefore. This model is consistent with late-DII deformation being strongly ductile (eg high strain zones) and yet dominantly brittle in vein packages. Implications of the model If the model for gold mineralisation described above holds true then several geological features are important for outlining mineralised zones. Frewin. Geology and structural controls to Gold Mineralisation. (Ed: F E Hughes). while deformation in the wall rocks was largely ductile (albeit with some brittle behaviour as reverse faults). • the significance of drill intersections is better understood. Unpublished company report. Archibald. 1980. Extensional structures in anisotropic rocks. 154 Whilst the aim of this study is to better understand mineralisation. V R. and continues to be a profit augmenting mining tool. M O. Mt Magnet. C M. REFERENCES Archibald. J Struct Geol. lithological association units and gold mineralisation. G. 1990. M J and MacGeehan. Perth. Gold deposits of Hill 50 Gold Mine NL at Mt Magnet. This would also imply that the molybdenite in Vy veins was introduced after vein formation and that Vy veins may have formed originally as just quartz-carbonate veins. Henderson. The study has combined all historical data with current data and interpretations into one coherent database. Western Australia. Pyle. • decreased risk in all stope and development designs. 1982. Ward. Bonwick.R MASON et al Model for gold mineralisation The observations described above and those pointed out in earlier sections have been developed into a model for gold mineralisation that. BSc (Hons) thesis (unpublished). large vein packages. at this stage of the study. M and Evans. 2(4):397-410. This mechanism has the potential to develop significant fluid conduits within continuous. R B. R L M. Early-DII deformation appears to have been dominantly ductile and may have coincided with higher pressure and temperature conditions and/or a lower strain rate. If all O-type (molybdenite) alteration post-dated Vy vein formation then molybdenite must have been introduced during late DII. 1981. Mt Magnet Area. 1985. Clearly. University of Western Australia. Fluid flow is interpreted to have been primarily controlled by the felsic/mafic contact and the planar vein zone because of the spatial link these features provide between all orebodies in the Morning Star deposit. must be considered preliminary. ensuring common structures are connected by design between levels. Platt. The geometries of large vein packages are critical for outlining the shapes of mineralised zones. The knowledge accumulated has manifest itself as real economic benefit. many of the veins in the large vein packages are deformed by the DII deformation. These geometries may be predicted from fold vergence and the plunges of nearby folds but will also be influenced by high strain zones and late faults. If the pore fluids were transporting gold at this time it would have been preferentially deposited in the large vein packages perhaps due to pore fluid pressure drops associated with vein package fracturing episodes. in Archaean Geology of the Southern Murchison (Compiler: J L Baxter) pp 15-27 (Geological Excursion Guide 1982 GSA (WA Division)). Thompson. • confirmation of stope design. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The authors acknowledge Hill 50 Gold NL for permission to publish this paper. • mine personnel are now quickly able to discern what structures and alteration types are important.

M Noppé and M Titley 195 Ore Definition at the Henty Gold Mine Tasmania N Schofield 207 Computer-Based Resource Estimation in Accordance with the 1999 JORC Code J Duke and P Hanna 215 . B W Cuffley. D Guibal and M Harley 187 Mining Bench Height Evaluation for the Wallaby Resource — A Conditional Simulation Case Study I M Glacken. A E Annels and I M Platten 169 Multiple Indicator Kriging — Is it Suited to My Deposit? J Vann.Resource and Reserves The 1999 JORC Code — What Does it Mean for Today’s Mining Geologist? P R Stephenson 157 Resource Evaluation of Nuggety Slate-Hosted Gold-Quartz Reefs S C Dominy. G F Johansen.

now the Minerals Council of Australia (‘MCA’). Recognising the warning signs. by setting standards for the classification and reporting of Resources and Reserves and for qualifications of Competent Persons. a number of reports were issued by JORC which made recommendations on public reporting and Ore Reserve classification and which gradually developed the principles now incorporated in the JORC Code. May 2000. The paper includes a number of quotes from the 1999 JORC Code and extracts from the 1999 Australian Stock Exchange (‘ASX’) listing rules. It is pleasing to note that the 1999 JORC Code has been used as a model by these countries in developing their latest standards. for the first time. detailed and practical check list of criteria to be taken into account in the preparation of Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates. are sometimes not fully aware of the importance of the Code to their activities and responsibilities. JORC was formed because regulators hinted that unless the mining industry developed appropriate reporting standards. The recommendations had the status of guidelines only. two key non-JORC documents were published which had a fundamental effect on the development of the JORC Code. Two years later. readers should refer to the original documents for authoritative information. It establishes a framework within which those preparing and publicly reporting Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates must operate. commonly known as ‘Circular 831’). thereby becoming binding on companies listed on the ASX. It is worth noting that the core concept on which the Code is built. the United Kingdom and South Africa. was presented. For more details. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The author is Chairman of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee. or that it includes many features which are of positive benefit to their careers. FAusIMM. In spite of the ten-year history of its operation in Australasia. It was promptly joined by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (‘The AusIMM’). Principal. INTRODUCTION The JORC Code has become well accepted within Australasia as a standard for public reporting. but did not materially alter the fundamentals of the Code. The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (‘AIG’) became JORC’s third parent body in 1992. and has been a major influence in the formulating of international reporting standards. 1982). Finally. While care has been taken to ensure that the quotes and extracts are accurate. become increasingly used as a template for other countries’ reporting standards. Qld. was introduced in JORC’s first publication in 1972. the Australian Mining Industry Council (‘AMIC’). Bendigo Vic 3552. mining geologists are interested in practical assistance and guidance in carrying out their duties. the mining geologist. following public. 1997 and Stephenson and Glasson.The 1999 JORC Code — What Does it Mean for Today’s Mining Geologist? P R Stephenson1 ABSTRACT The 1999 edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the ‘JORC Code’) became effective in September 1999 and is the latest revision of a Code which was originally issued in 1989. JORC issued. resulting in the formation of the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (‘JORC’). Canada. the first version of the JORC Code (Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Australian Mining Industry Council. 14 . over time. It establishes the division of responsibility between the company’s Board of Directors and Competent Persons with respect to the preparation and reporting of Resources and Reserves. The JORC Code is primarily a document covering the reporting of the results of mining companies’ activities to the public. it provides a strong measure of due diligence protection in the event of litigation if it is followed with diligence and honesty. Queensland. entitled ‘A Guide to the Understanding of Ore Reserve Estimation’ (King. Stephenson and Miskelly. The JORC Code provides this in four ways. and the requirements and guidelines for public reporting of Resources and Reserves. but which has an ancestry dating back to the first JORC report released in 1972. which set out many of the concepts which now underpin the Code. 1999. However. a clear division between Resources. MMICA. It was immediately incorporated into ASX listing rules.17 Mayl 2000 157 . Essentially. Apart from updating and improving previous documents. 1992. and particularly mining professionals. It was also immediately Coolum. 1980. substantially improved the document. and has. but were. 1. in which. industry and regulatory concern with unacceptable reporting practices associated with the nickel boom and bust in Western Australia in the late-1960s. During this period. 1989). this publication differed from those preceding in two critical ways. they (the regulators) would do so instead. The first edition of the JORC Code was released in 1989. representing economically extractable material. the US Geological Survey released a document entitled ‘Principles of a Resource/Reserve Classification for Minerals’ (US Bureau of Mines and the US Geological Survey. Codes or guides similar to the JORC Code exist or are under development in other countries. but the views expressed in this paper are his own and should not be taken as official guidance from JORC. gradually adopted by most Australasian mining and exploration companies. This paper examines the JORC Code from the perspective of one of those stakeholder groups. Conzinc Riotinto Australia Ltd (‘CRA’) released a seminal document. and as a de-facto world standard. these being the Mineral Resource/Ore Reserve classification framework and terminology. It has been prepared for the 4th International Mining Geology Conference. which are briefly discussed in this paper. and Reserves. and empowers Competent Persons to materially influence how their Resource/Reserve estimates are reported to the public. PO Box 805. the Competent Person. CPGeo. readers are referred to Stephenson and Miskelly. but the committee itself originated in 1971. Coolum. McMahon and Butjor. some stakeholders. including the United States of America. BRIEF HISTORY OF JORC CODE The following description is a brief summary of the history of the JORC Code. In 1980. It provides an extensive. representing in situ material. in recent years. the professional who is often at the cutting edge of Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation. The modifications introduced in 1999. Between 1972 and 1985. Consulting Geologists. in February 1989. P R Stephenson Pty Ltd. Following two years of review. established a committee to examine the issue.

and are expanded upon in sections following. • adjustment to the provision for public reports to fairly reflect documentation prepared by Competent Persons. It takes less than an hour to read the Code from front to back. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. • expansion of Table 1 to include a check list for the reporting of exploration results and to provide a more comprehensive check list for the reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. to base the report on documentation prepared by a person who does not qualify as a Competent Person because he or she is not a Member or Fellow of The AusIMM or AIG (but who would qualify in terms of relevant experience). A major revision was completed in early-1999. The JORC Code is also the mining industry’s accepted standard in this field.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . • improvements to the definition of a Competent Person to make it more clearly applicable to those estimating Ore Reserves as well as those estimating Mineral Resources. in relation to mining professionals: • establishes minimum standards for the public reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves which are binding on members of The AusIMM and AIG and on companies listed on the ASX and NZSE. and the 1999 edition of the JORC Code became effective in September 1999 (Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. a very unwise move. thus removing duplicated and superfluous text. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. or additional to. a worthwhile investment of time given its importance to the industry and to professionals practicing in the industry. as this paper will show. Coolum. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. ‘Proved Ore Reserve’ and ‘Probable Ore Reserve’ to reflect agreements reached between organisations participating in an initiative by the Council for Mining and Metallurgical Institutions (‘CMMI’) to develop international standard Resource/ Reserve definitions (Miskelly. through its incorporation into stock exchange listing rules. with restrictions on its use (Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. provides a measure of due diligence protection to the Competent Person and company in the event of litigation arising from such public reports (a point often not appreciated). an Appendix covering diamond reporting was issued and in 1996. was incorporated into New Zealand Stock Exchange (‘NZSE’) listing rules. and this has been the dominant factor underpinning its success. as an introductory comment. Guidelines to the Code were published in 1990 and the two documents were revised and released in a combined form in 1992 (Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. in the same year. • establishes a framework for the classification of Resources and Reserves. In 1993. The main changes were: • introduction of a clause (Clause 4) covering the underlying principles of the JORC Code. Briefly. 1999). Ore Reserves. • simplification of diamond reporting requirements by incorporation of diamond-specific clauses into the main body of the Code. was major. Materiality and Competence. as long as that person is a member of a recognised overseas professional body that has agreed to sanction the person if he or she does not comply with the JORC Code. incorporating the Diamond Appendix and changing the term ‘Pre-Resource Mineralisation’ to ‘exploration results’. but none of the modifications materially altered the fundamentals of the Code. ‘Measured Mineral Resource’. in order to maintain compatibility with the 1999 ASX listing rules which were modified to remove a previous inconsistency (this is dealt with more fully later in the paper). and it therefore has legal ramifications. • recognition that Measured Mineral Resources may. in certain circumstances. and therefore became binding on members of The AusIMM. Many users of the Code may have read an earlier edition. rather than listing them as a separate section. the ASX introduced in its 1999 listing rules the concept of the ‘recognised mining professional’ (refer to Appendix 1). now a mandatory requirement. In brief. • merging of the Code and Guidelines into a single document in order to make it more concise and user-friendly. in a mine situation. However. the JORC Code was again slightly revised. those being Transparency. which had over ten person-years of committee and industry input. a mine geologist). ‘Indicated Mineral Resource’. • requires that public reports are based on documentation prepared by a Competent Person (often. In addition to these changes. 1997). • clarification of the types of reports covered by the JORC Code. 1996). the JORC Code. The main aspects of the 1999 JORC Code relevant to mining professionals are summarised below. ‘Inferred Mineral Resource’. and have assumed that the 1999 Code contains nothing new of relevance to them. • adjustments to the definitions of ‘Mineral Resource’. It is therefore of vital importance to mining geologists’ professional interests and they should be thoroughly familiar with its content and implications. its role and importance is fundamental to their activities. • simplification of the section on coal reporting by the insertion of several coal-specific clauses rather than the inclusion of a separate Coal Code which formed an appendix in previous editions of the Code. thereby indirectly giving these rules and the JORC Code the force of law. this allows a company reporting to the ASX on Resources or Reserves for an overseas deposit. Others have probably filed it without any intention of examining it. the author urges all mining geologists and Competent Persons to read the 1999 Code. carefully. from beginning to end. Qld. THE 1999 JORC CODE AND THE MINING GEOLOGIST So what does the JORC Code mean to today’s mining geologists? What is its relevance to their functions and responsibilities? In brief. with guideline notes appearing indented and in a different type face to Code clauses immediately after the clauses to which they refer. 1992). This would be an incorrect assumption. having been adopted as a Code by The AusIMM and AIG and accepted as a contribution to best practice by other key organisations. Through these processes.P R STEPHENSON adopted by The AusIMM as an Institute Code. be convertible to Probable Ore Reserves. MAIN DIFFERENCES BETWEEN 1996 AND 1999 CODES The 1999 revision of the JORC Code. ‘Ore Reserve’. it became mandatory for both individuals and companies to conform with the Code. It was adopted as an AIG Code in 1992 and. 158 • strengthening of the provision to explain whether Mineral Resources have been reported inclusive of. • empowers the Competent Person to influence the content of public reports based on their documentation. It is a key regulatory standard. The Corporations Law requires a listed company to comply with the ASX listing rules. • if followed with diligence and honesty. for those mining geologists involved in Resource/Reserve estimation. 14 .

estimates must not be reported in terms of contained metal or mineral content unless corresponding tonnages and grades are also presented. regardless of cut-off grade. And all in 16 pages! subdivide the estimates into the appropriate categories. on whose work the public report of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves is based. but are not limited to. quarterly reports and other reports to the ASX or NZSE or required by law. if a Competent Person ‘signs off’ a Mineral Resource or Ore Reserve estimate prepared by a person who does not qualify as a Competent Person under the Code. the Code is also a recommended standard for other reports such as environmental statements. and must include the name of the person’s firm or employer if that person is not a full-time employee of the reporting entity (ASX listing rules 5. • public releases include.13). it is therefore essential that he or she is thoroughly familiar with the Code and with the relevant ASX or NZSE listing rules. must have ‘reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction’. The report or attached statement must say that the person consents to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on their information in the form and context in which it appears. Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves must be included in public reports (Clauses 18. in whole or in part. in order to minimise the likelihood of non-complying documentation being used as a basis for public reports (guidelines to Clause 5). It is a ‘realistic inventory of mineralisation which. although it is a relatively recent development in the history of the world mining industry. but all are based largely on real public reports released in Australia in the last ten years. this requires preliminary judgements by the Competent Person(s) in relation to such factors as a lower cut-off grade and minimum mining parameters (guidelines to Clause 20). In short. • if Resource or Reserve estimates are reported after allowing for adjustments such as cutting of high grades. Information Memoranda. and these categories must not be reported in a combined form unless details for the individual categories are also provided. he or she should appreciate that they are accepting full responsibility for the estimate and supporting documentation under ASX or NZSE listing rules and should not treat the procedure merely as a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise (guidelines to Clause 10). a Mineral Resource. However. empowerment. not Competent Persons. or affect. there are specific requirements when publicly reporting on diamonds (Clauses 19. One way of illustrating how the JORC Code should. take responsibility for public releases of information.17 Mayl 2000 159 . Standards: minimum standards for public reporting The whole of the Code is the minimum standard for public reporting of exploration results. separate Competent Persons should accept responsibility for their particular contributions (guidelines to Clause 10). having first been introduced in Circular 831 of the USA Geological Survey/USA Bureau of Mines in 1980 (although JORC was the first to apply the concept to individual companies and deposits). company • • • • • • • Annual Reports. be aware of certain specific requirements of the Code covering such public releases. protection and guidance. therefore. to quote from the guideline to Clause 20. by definition. Three such examples. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Classification: framework for classification of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves Figure 1 of the Code depicts graphically the terms and categories used in the Code and the inter-relationship between these categories. Company Directors. become economically extractable’. or additional to the Ore Reserves (Clause 35). the JORC Code is a mixture of minimum standards. and recommends that. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in Australasia. Mineral Resources must not be aggregated with Ore Reserves (Clauses 26 and 34). The public. An extract from the current (September 1999) ASX listing rules which relate specifically to mining and exploration activities is attached as Appendix 1. The reason for applying preliminary economic criteria at the Resource stage is that the JORC Code is a primarily a document which specifies standards for reporting to the public. mandatory provisions.THE 1999 JORC CODE • provides a comprehensive check list and guidance notes to • public reports of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves must assist the Competent Person in preparing and reporting exploration results and Resource/Reserve estimates. and should not be used in public reporting is by hypothetical examples of inappropriate reporting. 27. The concept of Mineral Resources as the pre-cursor to Ore Reserves is now well accepted in Australasia and in most western countries. when presented with an estimate of Coolum. 1999. where there is a clear division of responsibilities within a team. Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves. taken from Stephenson and Miskelly. might. Competent Persons should. this should be clearly stated in a public report and the nature of the adjustment or modification described (Clause 27).12 and 5. To the extent that a mining geologist’s activities result in. likely mining dimensions. In addition. 36) and coal (Clauses 37 to 40) estimates of tonnage and average grade must not be assigned when reporting exploration results which are not part of a Resource or Reserve estimate (Clause 17). As previously mentioned. The more important of these are: • public releases on Resources and Reserves may use only the terms specified in the Code (Clause 12). ASX listing rules require the Competent Person(s). the Code encourages the concept of team responsibility in both Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation. under assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions. Qld. it is important to appreciate that a Mineral Resource is not ‘an inventory of all mineralisation drilled or sampled. 27 and 36). public reports of tonnage and grade figures should be rounded to reflect the order of accuracy of the estimates (Clauses 25 and 33). 14 . • in situations where figures for both Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves are reported. are presented in Appendix 2. it may be necessary under ASX listing rules and Clause 8 of the JORC Code for listed companies to obtain the approval of Competent Persons in respect of public releases based on their Resource/Reserve estimates (discussed later). the documentation should include a statement that it does not comply with the Code. They are simplified and exaggerated in order to help get the message across. a clarifying statement must be included in the report which clearly indicates whether the Mineral Resources are inclusive of. location or continuity’. • if a Competent Person prepares documentation for internal company purposes that does not comply with the JORC Code. if they have been prepared for the purpose of informing investors or potential investors: (guidelines to Clause 5). Expert Reports and technical papers in respect of reporting on exploration results. Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve classification is the responsibility of the Competent Person (Clauses 24 and 32). a public report on these matters. to be named in the report. • any matters relating to criteria listed in Table 1 which might materially affect a reader’s appreciation of public reports on exploration results. or factoring based on reconciliation with mill or other data.

A technique which mining geologists may find useful in focusing the mind when making classification decisions is to try to imagine the effect which additional sampling data (usually infill drilling) might have on the tonnage.continuity of geology and continuity of metal values (Sinclair and Vallée. the Code has been deliberately non-specific in specifying the level of study required to convert Resources to Reserves. Qld. listed in the Code as mining. As long as the study is sufficiently rigorous to ‘demonstrate at the time of reporting that extraction could reasonably be justified’ (Clause 29. Continuity has two components . legal. 1995. At this stage. economic. for its own internal purposes. the conversion would be in accordance with the Code. there currently appears to be no accepted definitions in the industry for the varying levels of feasibility studies). and technical/economic circumstances (in addition. While a company may. if it is felt that closer drilling or sampling would not greatly affect the geological interpretation and/or confidence in grade distribution. For example. must have confidence that the figures represent material which has either been shown to be economically extractable (Ore Reserves) or which may reasonably be expected to become economically extractable (Mineral Resources). Prior to a company acquiring sufficient data on a deposit. If he or she does not have sufficient confidence for the estimate to be used for these purposes. 1999). then the portion of the deposit in question can probably be classified as Indicated. 14 . If the Competent Person has sufficient confidence in the Resource estimate for it to be used for decisive mine planning and for investment decisions. However. marketing. the public release of such estimates could be extremely misleading in terms of potential economic viability. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. reporting of tonnage/grade estimates are prohibited. grade. 1994). definition of Ore Reserve). commodity. Stephenson and Stoker. then it probably meets the requirements for Indicated Resources. shape and location of the mineralised bodies.P R STEPHENSON tonnes and grade. then (assuming that the quality of the data on which the estimate is based is acceptable) the particular section of the deposit under question can probably be classified as Measured. shape and location of the mineralised bodies (Stephenson. since this may vary according to the company. social and governmental. in effect. environmental. metallurgical. If it is thought that additional drilling or sampling could significantly affect the shape and/or distribution of the mineralised zones. or having sufficient confidence in geological and/or grade continuity to classify any tonnage/grade estimates as at least Inferred Resources. The most important criterion to be considered in separating mineralisation at the exploration results stage from Inferred Resources relates to assumptions regarding continuity. it should probably be classified as Inferred. intuitively classified it accordingly. 160 Coolum. Deciding between classifications Classification requires the Competent Persons to consider many factors. A similar approach can be taken in deciding between Indicated Resources and Inferred Resources. and it is easy to lose sight of reality or common sense in such a situation.1999 JORC Code General Relationship between exploration results. information may only be reported under ‘exploration results’ (Clauses 17 to 19). but not substantially affect the tonnage-grade estimate. Any tonnage/grade figures mentioned in this context must be clearly order-of-magnitude and conceptual in nature and expressed so as not to misrepresent them as an estimate of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves (Clause 17).17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . This would usually be undertaken as part of a feasibility study. An even more basic approach to this decision can also be used. grade. prepare estimates based on cut-off grades or minimum mining dimensions well below any likely to apply in practice. would not result in a significantly different estimate of tonnage. The conversion from Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves is achieved by considering and applying a number of relevant technical and economic factors. At the FIG 1 . or even if it could affect the interpretation or grade distribution. and the Competent Person has probably. although this does not restrict a company from providing indications of its exploration targets or exploration potential.

they may become part of court evidence. Given the serious responsibilities attached to acting as Competent Persons. At the Inferred Resource stage. Directors take responsibility for any such public statements. obligatory membership of either The AusIMM or AIG provides the mechanism by which Competent Persons can be brought to account. or are introducing. Any internal company reports which support public reports may become ‘discoverable’ in the event of litigation arising from such public reports. Qld. and to the author’s knowledge has resulted. In both situations there must be sufficient sampling data available on which to base the judgement of continuity. it should simply be standard practice that internal documentation is prepared to high standards with a full audit trail. experience. the guidelines to Clause 10 state that Ore Reserve estimation is almost always a team effort. usually mining engineers. but. any such public questioning of a Competent Person’s competence or professionalism can have damaging consequences for that person’s reputation and employability. combined with accountability and a clear separation of responsibilities between professionals and company directors. translating such detailed computational data directly into Mineral Resource or Ore Reserve categories without the application of over-riding judgements by the Competent Person can result. Hence the requirement for the involvement of Competent Persons and for the Competent Person to have ‘a minimum of five years experience which is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity which that person is undertaking’ (Clause 10 of the 1999 Code). the mining geologist’s employer is not likely to be amused. As long as classification is carried out by Competent Persons and as long as they take into account relative confidence in tonnage/grade computations. as it has been common practice in the past (and perhaps still is) for geologists to be expected or required to sign off Ore Reserve estimates as well as Mineral Resource estimates. however it is done. In any event. Increasingly practitioners in the industry appear to becoming fixed on the latter process as if it was somehow mandatory or the only acceptable approach. should be acceptable and in accordance with the JORC Code. in erroneous or even nonsensical classifications with all the serious consequences which can flow from misunderstanding the confidence with which the Resource and Reserve estimates are known. If this frustration leads to costly delays. There is no doubt that this requirement has been instrumental in achieving high standards of reporting in Australasia. since a mining company’s Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves are its fundamental asset. similar accountability provisions Coolum. Competent Person: requirement that public reports are based on documentation prepared by a Competent Person As previously mentioned. Competent Person accountability The Code gives Competent Persons freedom to use their experience to decide appropriate estimation and classification approaches. there would usually be some confidence in assumptions of geological continuity but possibly some doubts regarding assumptions of continuity of metal values. the author suggests that there would usually be doubts as to assumptions that could be made with respect to both of these components due to the sparsity and/or quality of data. to be economically exploitable. geologists should be careful to ensure that they have the required qualifications and experience to accept liability for Ore Reserves estimates. to accept responsibility. There have been instances in which the Ethics Committees of The AusIMM or AIG have investigated complaints made in respect of reporting by ‘Competent Persons’ and action has been taken when deemed justified. and possibly other concerns of a technical nature.17 Mayl 2000 161 .THE 1999 JORC CODE exploration results stage. or to be based on a particular procedure such as. other national Ore Reserve committees have introduced. This is an important clarification for mining geologists. Resource/Reserve estimation requires a combination of knowledge. as most mining geologists would know. the use of statistical data available from a block model estimation method. In Australasia. 14 . and failure to comply can have legal consequences for the company. with mining engineers usually occupying the pivotal role. As a consultant who has been involved in expert witness activities in litigation. Nothing is more frustrating to a Resource/Reserve auditor than an inability to follow the practices and procedures employed in the estimation process. for example. and the quality. that is. 4th International Mining Geology Conference One of the improvements made in the 1999 revision of the Code was to amend the definition of a Competent Person (Clause 10) to refer to Ore Reserves as well as to Mineral Resources. Regardless of the outcome of the litigation. science and art which would rarely be found on the Boards of most mining and exploration companies. confidence in continuity of geology and metal values. since both organisations are national professional bodies which have effective and enforced codes of ethics. If in doubt. the author can assure readers that it can be an unnerving experience for a professional to have to defend his or her actions in the witness box. The reasoning behind the Competent Person concept is that the public must have confidence that tonnage/grade estimates presented to them have been professionally compiled. quantity and distribution of the data on which the Mineral Resource or Ore Reserve estimate is based. or has a reasonable prospect of being shown. Inferred Mineral Resources may also reasonably be estimated on the basis of little or no sampling data where the mineralisation being considered covers limited extensions beyond identified Indicated and/or Measured Mineral Resources. are soundly based and represent mineralisation that either has been shown. and are often the basis on which debt finance is raised. the concept of the Competent Person has been a core principle of JORC documents since 1972. Overseas. This system is likely to be effective only if the Competent Persons can be made to account for their actions. they should decline to sign and should encourage those with the requisite experience. The requirement for professional experience and competence in Resource/Reserve estimation. Knowledge of the adjoining Resources would usually be sufficient to support such estimates of Inferred Resources. The Corporations Law requires a listed company to comply with the ASX listing rules (which incorporate the JORC Code). the resulting classification. gives the Code the flexibility to be applicable to a wide range of commodities and situations without the need to become unreasonably prescriptive. It therefore behoves mining geologists preparing internal Resource/Reserve reports to ensure that such documentation is prepared to the highest standards. In addition. It is important to keep any such extensions to reasonable extrapolations which can be clearly supported by the adjoining data. Such action would not have been possible if the person(s) concerned had not been members of The AusIMM or AIG. and provides extensive guidance. even though the conversion from Resources to Reserves involves mainly mining-related decisions. and this experience can be extremely demoralising if the work they are having to defend is sub-standard or sloppy. a requirement for additional (otherwise unnecessary) work or to the bank declining finance. An important point to bear in mind when classifying Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates is that there is nothing in the JORC Code which requires classification to be a complicated process. In addition.

Competent Person guidance: the JORC Code as a guide to good practice As has been previously mentioned. it leaves Competent Persons free to exercise their professional judgement as to the best techniques and methods to apply in their particular circumstances.P R STEPHENSON for qualified professionals. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. the Code is not silent on this issue. the company had to obtain his or her written approval to the release of a public report which included information based on the Competent Person’s work. JORC identified this inconsistency during the revision of the 1996 Code and brought it to the attention of the ASX. The Table is described as a Check List of Assessment and Reporting Criteria. 14 . such as mining geologists. Several are worthy of special attention by mining geologists acting as Competent Persons (some of these have been mentioned previously in this paper. if the person is not a full-time employee of the entity. contain the name of the person and. • ‘The Competent Person or Persons undertaking this activity (signing off a Resource/Reserve report prepared by others) should appreciate that they are accepting full responsibility for the estimate and supporting documentation under ASX or NZSE listing rules and should not treat the procedure merely as a ‘rubber-stamping’ exercise’ (guideline to Clause 10. This change was a significant strengthening of Competent Persons’ rights.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . no such approval was necessary. Clause 8 of the 1999 JORC Code reflects this listing rule change. the person should either seek opinions from other colleagues or should decline to act as a Competent Person’ (guideline to Clause 10. definition of a Competent Person). If doubt exists. However. It has the following introductory comment: ‘The order and grouping of criteria in Table 1 reflects the normal systematic approach to exploration and evaluation. definition of a Competent Person). If 162 professionals/Competent Persons. and encouraging progress is being made. but bear repeating): • ‘As a general guide. while maintaining the strict qualification requirements which apply to Competent Persons. The author himself uses it as a check list when he undertakes audits and due diligence reviews.11 who compiles the information must consent in writing to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on the information in the form and context in which it appears. and in the estimation of Resources and Reserves. extensive guidance is provided on matters which should be taken into account in the reporting of exploration results. there was a difference between the treatment of the Competent Person as a consultant and the Competent Person as a company employee. and to ensure that such public reports do not misrepresent their work. The introduction of the ‘recognised mining professional’ by the ASX in its 1999 listing rules will assist some companies with overseas deposits to report more easily in Australia. The report or attached statement must state that the person consents. It is subdivided into five sections: • Sampling techniques and data • Reporting of exploration results • Estimation and reporting of Mineral Resources • Estimation and reporting of Ore Reserves • Estimation and reporting of diamond mineralisation. classifying and reporting. If a Competent Person was a consultant. persons being called upon to act as Competent Persons should be clearly satisfied in their own minds that they could face their peers and demonstrate competence in the commodity. Hancock and Dewar. Although the means of enforcing this accountability may vary from country to country due to different regulatory and professional regimes. They are now empowered to materially influence public reports based on documentation prepared or supervised by them. and it provides an invaluable list of criteria for the mining geologist and others involved in the relevant fields to use when preparing and reporting exploration results. it would be in Competent Persons’ interests to be able to demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to exercise this right. However. if the Competent Person was an employee of the reporting company. as is the VALMIN Code with respect to assessment and valuation of mining and exploration properties (Lawrence. Criteria in the first group ‘Sampling Techniques and Data’ apply to all succeeding groups. It is also an invaluable tool for a due diligence defence. criteria listed in preceding groups would often apply to succeeding groups and should be considered when estimating and reporting’. Mining geologists who act as Competent Persons should ensure that their companies are aware of this listing rule provision and should exercise their right to review public reports based on their work. but particularly in Table 1. the JORC Code does not constrain Competent Persons in terms of the technical procedures and practices involved in the preparation of Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates. Coolum. These are important and should be read by all those involved in Resource/Reserve estimation. Qld. Throughout the Code. and was revised with considerable industry input. The JORC Code represents industry best practice in Australasia in the field of public reporting of exploration results. In the remainder of the table. the principle is accepted as fundamental to effective reporting codes. 1995). In respect of such matters. they will have provided themselves with a strong due diligence defence in the unfortunate event that litigation arises or is threatened as a result of the public report. It was only required that the public report fairly reflect the Competent Person’s work. In the event of litigation arising from such public reports. with rights come responsibilities. International negotiations in the challenging area of reciprocal recognition of Competent Persons across international boundaries have been underway for some time. Table 1 in the 1999 Code is a major expansion of the same table in previous versions of the Code. All definitions and key clauses in the Code have accompanying guidance notes to assist in their interpretation. Competent Person protection: the role of the JORC Code in providing due diligence protection It is often not appreciated that the JORC Code is not just a document setting out minimum standards for reporting and providing extensive guidelines for estimating. type of deposit and situation under consideration. involved in these fields diligently and honestly comply with the JORC Code and ASX (or NZSE) listing rules to the best of their ability when preparing documentation which will form the basis of a public report. However. the name of the person’s firm or company’.10 and 5. Competent Person empowerment: the rights and responsibilities of Competent Persons to influence the content of public reports based on their documentation In the 1996 ASX listing rules. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.13) now states: ‘The person referred to in rules 5. The ASX rectified the situation and the relevant 1999 listing rule (5.

Metallurgy and Petroleum). D W and Butjor. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. G J A. International Standard Definitions for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Reserves. The History of Ore Reserve Classification and Reporting in Australia. Qld. A J. This familiarity should be in respect of the entire document. Stephenson. Stephenson. and will maintain its commitment to keeping Australasian reporting standards at the forefront of world best practice. Stephenson. or after the application of modifying factors arising from reconciliation with mill data. with which the ASX and NZSE require compliance. pp 435-431 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). definition of a Mineral Resource). Supplement to The AusIMM Proceedings. The JORC Code. Stephenson. bauxite and other bulk minerals or commodities. It does signify that there are reasonable expectations of such approvals’ (guideline to Clause 29. CONCLUSION For all mining professionals. The Joint Committee welcomes all contributions. to the commitment of JORC’s parent bodies and the ASX. in Exploration Mining Geology. Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. 3(2):95-108. Sydney. not just selected clauses. Liability and the Technical Expert. • It is a source of extensive guidance on matters to be taken into account in Resource/Reserve estimation and reporting of exploration results. 4-6 March 1997. or if the estimate is subsequently adjusted. likely mining dimensions. Kalgoorlie. and Vallee. Computer Applications in the Mineral Industries. regardless of cut-off grade. King. US Bureau of Mines and the US Geological Survey. 1982. 1995. J. Miskelly. definition of a Mineral Resource). Hancock. it may be reasonable to envisage ‘eventual economic extraction’ as covering time periods in excess of 50 years. Lawrence. Mr D Nicholls and Mr A Vigar. G J. 1999. This evolution is 4th International Mining Geology Conference greatly facilitated by the active participation of interested parties such as the delegates to this mine geologists’ conference. Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. in Proceedings JORC Code Seminar. The term ‘Ore Reserve’ need not necessarily signify that extraction facilities are in place or operative or that all governmental approvals have been received. a joint seminar sponsored by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. R G and Dewar. Geological Survey Circular 831. this should be clearly stated in a Public Report of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves and the nature of the adjustment or modification described’ (guideline to Clause 27). become economically extractable’ (guideline to Clause 20. • It provides professionals with a strong due diligence defence at law if followed with care and honesty. companies. a Mineral Resource is not an inventory of all mineralisation drilled or sampled. Sinclair. USA. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. P R and Miskelly. 1999. in Proceedings The Australasian Gold Conference. for many coal. Denver. including the approximate mining parameters. For example. M.THE 1999 JORC CODE • ‘The term ‘reasonable prospects for eventual economic • • • extraction’ implies a judgement (albeit preliminary) by the Competent Person in respect of the technical and economic factors likely to influence the prospect of economic extraction. 1999. Reviewing Continuity: An Essential Element of Quality Control for Deposit and Reserve Estimation. 1992. ‘The term ‘economic’ implies that extraction of the Ore Reserve has been established or analytically demonstrated to be viable and justifiable under reasonable investment assumptions. December 1995. Stephenson. P R. 1994. In other words. However for the majority of gold deposits. Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. P R and Stoker. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. P R and Miskelly. • It is a minimum standard for public reporting. This is testament to the robustness of the original concept established over 25 years ago. Resources and Reserves. in Proceedings Ethics. Australia can be proud that the JORC Code is being used as a model for national reporting standards in many countries and for developing international standards. in Proceedings AusIMM 1992 Annual Conference. K R. • It is a Code which has been adopted by both The AusIMM and the AIG. and which is therefore binding on the majority of professionals in Australasia. If any of the data are materially adjusted or modified for the purpose of making the estimate. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author expresses his appreciation to Mr N Miskelly. in Proceedings PACRIM ’99. ‘Mineral Resource or Ore Reserve estimates are sometimes reported after adjustment by cutting of high grades. P R and Glasson. ‘Interpretation of the word ‘eventual’ in this context may vary depending on the commodity or mineral involved. 14 . who kindly reviewed a draft of the paper. The Due Diligence Defence against Personal Liability for Consultants. No 2. held as part of Mining Week Victoria. but particularly for geologists involved in Mineral Resource and/or Ore Reserve estimation. It is a realistic inventory of mineralisation which. (Canadian Institute of Mining. P T. 1989.17 May 2000 163 . 1996. Colorado School of Mines. A Guide to the Understanding of Ore Reserve Estimation. March 1982. Ms R Phillips. Classification of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. Reporting Standards and the JORC Code. October 1999. New South Wales Section of the Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association. N. No 281. (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Reporting using the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’. March 1995. McMahon. Mineral Industry Consultants Association. definition of an Ore Reserve). comments and constructive criticisms. might. Principles of a Resource/Reserve Classification for Minerals. November 1999. in whole or in part. P R and Vann. 1987-1997. the 1999 JORC Code is a very important document. Melbourne (Victorian Chamber of Mines and The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). iron ore. application of the concept would normally be restricted to perhaps 20 to 30 years. pp 121-125 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Common Sense and Good Communication in Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimation. Close familiarity with the JORC Code should therefore be mandatory for all mining geologists. Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. professionals and regulators in the industry. Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. in The AusIMM Bulletin. N. Coolum. under assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions. 1992. Stephenson. Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. N. in Proceedings APCOM ‘99. The JORC Code is a dynamic document which will continue to evolve to meet the needs of investors. 1997. and to the many hours of voluntary effort by members of JORC and contributors to revisions of the Code. 1999. M J. 1998. H F. 1995. 1980. and frequently to much shorter periods of time’ (guideline to Clause 20. in Geology of Australian and Papua New Guinean Mineral Deposits (Eds: D A Berkman and D H Mackenzie) pp 45-51 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). REFERENCES Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and Australian Mining Industry Council. location or continuity.

Introduced 1/7/96. Paragraph 14 of the JORC Code says: ‘…A company must promptly report any material changes in its Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves’. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d). the +mining exploration entity. Introduced 1/7/96. Listing rules relating specifically to oil and gas have not been included in these extracts.5. or whose +child entity has.18 Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code) Details of the exploration activities of the entity or group (including geophysical surveys).P R STEPHENSON APPENDIX 1 EXTRACT FROM AUSTRALIAN STOCK EXCHANGE LISTING RULES AS PUBLISHED 1 SEPTEMBER 1999† CHAPTER 5 Additional reporting on mining and exploration activities Mining exploration entities and others 5. † 164 Introduced 1/7/96. Deleted 1/7/98. or an entity which has or whose +child entity has an interest in a +mining tenement. Note: The obligation in this rule will apply to all quarterly reports from the time when ASX asks until ASX no longer requires it.1. other entities must comply with requirements in this chapter. The report must include each of the following. Paragraph 15 of the JORC Code says ‘Companies must review and publicly report on their Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves annually’. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(9B). Origin: Listing Rule 3A(24). and a summary of the expenditure incurred on those activities. must complete a report (consolidated if applicable) concerning each quarter of its financial year and give it to ASX.1. Usually the disclosure is required from an entity which has. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(10). that fact must be stated.5 Introduced 1/7/96. Amended 1/9/99. and in any event within 1 month after the end of each quarter of its financial year.17 Terms of a mining tenement joint venture Appendix 5A + Appendix 5B Mining exploration entity quarterly report Introduced 1/7/96. or entity which has or whose subsidiary has +acquired an interest in a +mining tenement. that fact must be stated. and a summary of the expenditure incurred on those activities. must include each of the following items in each quarterly report. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d).1 If ASX asks. • The location of +mining tenements held. that fact must be stated.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Qld.5. It must do so immediately the information is available. REQUIREMENTS FOR REPORTS Reports to comply with Appendix 5A 5. 3M(13).it requires an entity to comply Coolum. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d). and a summary of the expenditure incurred on those activities. Note: This rule also applies to statements in the annual report. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d). Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d). WHEN TO REPORT 5. Notes by P R Stephenson. If there has been no exploration activity. Where indicated. Rule 5.2.4 5. 5. If there has been no production or development activity.6 A report prepared by a +mining entity. Deleted 1/7/98. Mining exploration entity to complete Appendix 5B (Quarterly report) Mining producing entities and others 5. Note that the superscript ‘+’ denotes a term defined in Chapter 19 of the listing rules. Appendix 5A is the 1999 JORC Code. Origin: Listing Rule 3B(6). must be prepared in accordance with Appendix 5A if the report includes a statement relating to any of the following.6 . Origin: Listing Rule 3B(5) and 3B(6)(d). 5. and a summary of the expenditure incurred on those activities.3 A +mining exploration entity must also complete Appendix 5B and give it to ASX. A +mining entity includes a +mining producing entity and a +mining exploration entity. Origin: Listing Rule 3C(5). +acquired an interest in a +mining tenement. Introduced 1/7/96.2. must complete a report (consolidated if applicable) concerning each quarter of its financial year and give it to ASX.3 Requirements for reports 5.1 A +mining producing entity. It must do so no later than 1 month after the end of the quarter. Introduced 1/7/96. • +Mineral resources or +ore reserves. Introduced 1/7/96.6 does not require entities to comply with these paragraphs . 5. Details of the mining production and development activities of the entity or group relating to mining and related operations. and any other entity that ASX asks. mining exploration and related operations.2 A summary of the exploration activities (including geophysical surveys) of the entity or group. • Beneficial percentage interests in farm-in or farm-out agreements +acquired or +disposed of during the quarter.2 5.3 EXPLANATORY NOTE This chapter sets out disclosure requirements additional to those in chapter 3 (continuous disclosure) and chapter 4 (periodic disclosure) that +mining entities and others must satisfy. 14 . 5. • The location of +mining tenements +disposed of during the quarter.1 . If there has been no production or development activity. that fact must be stated. Introduced 1/7/96. The report must include each of the following. Introduced 1/7/96.1 TABLE OF CONTENTS The main headings in this chapter Rules When to report 5. and an entity which has or whose +child entity has +acquired an interest in a +mining tenement. (14). Information for release to the market must be given to ASX’s +company announcements office. If there has been no exploration activity. Interested readers are urged to obtain a full copy of the 1999 ASX listing rules and should not rely on the accuracy of these extracts. It must do so no later than one month after the end of the quarter. Introduced 1/7/96. 5. Details of the mining production and development activities of the entity or group relating to mining. • Exploration results. 5. nor have all accompanying notes.2.2 A +mining exploration entity.

Competent person or recognised mining professional to compile information about minerals 5. The requirements of Appendix 5A applying to a +competent person apply to the +recognised mining professional. Introduced 1/7/96. acquired an interest in a mining tenement. Introduced 1/7/96. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(9)(b). 5. Introduced 1/7/96. As well as the rules in chapter 5. • The type and method of sampling.1 If true dimensions (particularly width of mineralisation) are not stated in the report. Introduced 1/7/96. and has practised or taught one of them for at least five years. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(9)(b). • Any liquids recovered. Amended 1/9/99. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(7).7 During the exploration stage.10 allows a report to be based on information compiled by a recognised mining professional. petroleum engineering or a related discipline. indicating clearly how the grade was calculated. statement or assessment on +hydrocarbon exploration must include the following information. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(7). or whose child entity has. 5. • The choke size used during testing. or be accompanied by a statement to that effect signed in the same manner as the report. Method 2 The weighted average grade of the mineralised zone. other listing rules that may requiring reporting include rule 3. 14 .6.1 The report must either state that it is based on the information. dimensions. for example. they must be given in context. the name of the person’s firm or company. Example: Paragraph 32 of the JORC Code requires a competent person to approve categories of ore reserves. 5.1 However. Introduced 1/7/96. When high values are recorded. in the case of mineral resources and ore reserves not located in Australia. Qld. Introduced 1/7/96. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(9)(d). (a) A statement by the +recognised mining professional that the report complies with Appendix 5A (except paragraph 9).13 The person referred to in rules 5. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Introduced 1/9/99. Note: Paragraph 9 of the JORC Code says: ‘Documentation detailing Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves estimates from which a Public Report on Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves is prepared. or whose child entity has. the report need not be prepared by or under the direction of and signed by a +competent person. • The flow rate. acquired an interest in a mining tenement. Introduced 1/7/96. or whose child entity has. However. Content of reports 5. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(7) and 3M(8). Amended 1/9/99. The report or attached statement must state that the person consents. 5. Introduced 1/9/99.1.2 If the report is based on information compiled by a +recognised mining professional. (b) A statement by the entity that the person is a +recognised mining professional and the basis on which each of the requirements for a +recognised mining professional are met. acquired an interest in a mining tenement.1 The report must either state that it is based on the information. acquired an interest in a mining tenement. Amended 1/9/99. is practising or teaching geology. the recognised mining professional must approve the categories of ore reserve. Note: This rule applies to an entity which has. if appropriate. However.11 who compiles the information must consent in writing to the inclusion in the report of the matters based on the information in the form and context in which it appears. Introduced 1/7/96. a report in the field of mineral exploration must include the following information. Coolum. • Any other relevant basic data. Note: This rule applies to an entity which has. with sample widths or size in the case of bulk samples. Person compiling information to be identified 5. • The depth of the zone tested. 5.10 allows a recognised mining professional (as defined in the listing rules) instead of a competent person (as defined in the JORC Code) to compile information. Introduced 1/7/96. must be based on information compiled by a +competent person. with full supporting data. 5.10 and 5.8 Assay results must be reported using one of the following methods. Person compiling information about hydrocarbons Cross reference: paragraph 15 of Appendix 5A. it must include each of the following statements. Method 1 All assay results.17 May 2000 165 . or whose child entity has. geophysics or petroleum engineering. and signed by. Introduced 1/7/96. If rule 5.11 who compiles the information is a full-time employee of the entity. 5. or be accompanied by a statement to that effect signed in the same manner as the report. or whose child entity has. acquired an interest in a well. 5. Amended 1/7/98. a report. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(8). The method used must be the most suitable according to the entity’s geologist or mining engineer and must be stated. if the person is not a full-time employee of the entity. must be prepared by or under the direction of. acquired an interest in a well. under a listing rule requirement. an appropriate qualification must be included. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(10)(b).10 allows a report to be based on information compiled by a +recognised mining professional. contain the name of the person and.9 During the +pre-hydrocarbon reserve stage. a Competent Person or Persons’.7. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(7) and 3M(8). the report or attached statement must say so and name the person. the report may be based on information compiled by a +recognised mining professional. The guidelines under paragraph 10 of the JORC Code say that a listed entity with overseas interests must nominate a competent person to take responsibility for mineral resource and ore reserve estimates and the guidelines in Appendix 1 to the JORC Code include sample statements relating to the person being a competent person. Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has.11. listing rule 5. if the resource or reserve is not located in Australia.10.THE 1999 JORC CODE with requirements of the JORC Code when it does report. an entity need not comply with Appendix 5A to the extent that if rule 5.11 A report relating to an entity’s +hydrocarbon reserves must be based on information compiled by a person who has a degree (or equivalent) in geology. or whose child entity has. Note: This rule applies to an entity which has. • Any other relevant basic data. geophysics. Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has.10 A report relating to an entity’s +mineral resources or +ore reserves. • The distribution. Note: This rule applies to an entity which has.10.12 If the person referred to in rules 5. 5. • The age and. assay results and relative location of all relevant samples. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(8).10 and 5. the rock type and formation name of the zone tested. Amended 1/9/99.

14 A report on the progress of any geophysical survey must include the name.1. and may not be sufficient to satisfy the ASX provision for a ‘recognised mining professional’. the company has great confidence that further drilling will prove up these Resources and has therefore included them in Ore Reserve calculations’. therefore. There is no Ore Reserve equivalent of Inferred Mineral Resources in Australasia.0 2. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(6). The relevant ASX listing rule requires that the professional body has agreed to sanction the person if the person does not comply with JORC Code. by definition. Introduced 1/7/96. This is one of the most basic reporting requirements of the JORC Code. Origin : Listing Rule 3M(12). Deposit Hydrocarbon reports 5. acquired an interest in a mining tenement.8 2. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(4). 2. The statement that ‘the Resources and Reserves have been calculated in accordance with the JORC Code’ is not applicable. and that the information may be given to ASX for release to the market if necessary for the entity to comply with the listing rules. because the report states that a substantial proportion of the Resources are in the Inferred category which.3 Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has.1 2.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . or whose child entity has.5 718.15 +Probable hydrocarbon reserves must only be reported in conjunction with +proved hydrocarbon reserves. or whose child entity has. Introduced 1/7/96. Qld. There is no breakdown of the Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves into component categories.9 2. Mineral Resources have been added to Ore Reserves. The conversion of Inferred Resources to Ore Reserves is not permitted under the Code. Although the Mineral Resources include a substantial amount of Inferred Resources. • at least five years experience in the estimation. The Resources and Reserves have been calculated in accordance with the JORC Code by Mr V Sanguine. 5. The estimator would not qualify as a Competent Person under the JORC Code. TERMS OF A MINING TENEMENT JOINT VENTURE 5. Mineral Resources Ore Reserves Total Tonnes Gold Tonnes Gold Tonnes Gold (000s) (g/t Au) (000s) (g/t Au) (000s) (g/t Au) Promising 450.8 2. assessment and evaluation of the type of mineral resource or ore reserve referred to in the report. Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has. Origin: Definition of hydrocarbon reserves. 14 .4 4. mining engineering or a related discipline relevant to the estimation of the type of mineral resource or ore reserve referred to in the report. EXTRACT FROM CHAPTER 19 OF 1999 ASX LISTING RULES INTERPRETATION AND DEFINITIONS Definition of a ‘recognised mining professional’ Recognised mining professional A person who has each of the following: • a degree or an overseas equivalent in geology.7 Auspicious 386.0 4. 5.7 1 611.1 351.18 An entity must not enter a joint venture agreement to investigate or explore a +mining tenement. In addition.8 2.5 2.5 2. being a ‘member of a recognised professional association’ is not sufficient to qualify as a Competent Person in terms of the JORC Code.3 737. Total 893. ‘The Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves for the ‘Propitious’ epithermal gold deposit are presented in the above table. and who is a member of a recognised professional association. or whose child entity has. HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE 1 Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has. and he would not. 4. and is particularly important in this case. Encouraging 56.P R STEPHENSON Note: This rule applies to an entity which has.0 2.6 5. nature and status of the survey. APPENDIX 2 HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLES OF INAPPROPRIATE REPORTING UNDER THE JORC CODE Hypothetical Example 1 Introduced 1/7/96. Introduced 1/9/99. Analysis of non-compliance with the JORC Code 1.17 A report relating to the results of exploratory investigations which have reached the stage where a +hydrocarbon reserve can be estimated must use the expressions for categories of +hydrocarbon reserves in the listing rules. Progress report on geophysical survey 5. or whose child entity has. is of low confidence. acquired an interest in a well. acquired an interest in a well.16 A report relating to the +pre-hydrocarbon reserve stage must not use the word ‘reserves’ in isolation. unless the agreement provides that if the entity requires it the operator will give the entity all the information the entity requires to comply with the Listing Rules. Resources and Reserves cannot be ‘calculated’ in accordance with the JORC Code. since it does not Introduced 1/7/96. Mr Sanguine’s experience has been in the coal and bauxite industries. acquired an interest in a well.2 40. Cross reference: rule 3.6 327. meet the ‘relevant experience’ criteria of the JORC Code. Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves are ‘apples’ and ‘pears’ and should never be added together. Note: This rule also applies to an entity which has.2 Introduced 1/7/96. +Possible hydrocarbon reserves must only be reported in conjunction with +proved hydrocarbon reserves and +probable hydrocarbon reserves.4 4. 3. and the permit under which the survey is being conducted.5 96. • membership of a recognised overseas professional body that has agreed to sanction the person if the person does not comply with Appendix 5A. 166 Coolum. who has had extensive experience in the coal and bauxite mining industries. Origin: Listing Rule 3M(10)(a). or whose child entity has. acquired an interest in a well.9 777.

An estimate has been made of ‘pre-resource mineralisation’. however the Company is confident that these problems will be readily resolved’. ‘estimated’ would be preferable. The 1999 Code requires such a statement (the 1996 Code strongly encouraged such practice). There is no statement that the public report of Mineral Resources is based on information compiled by a Competent Person. context of a description of exploration targets or exploration potential. Where such large differences occur.THE 1999 JORC CODE regulate estimation techniques or procedures. The tabulation presents only contained metal figures. 14 . The 1999 JORC Code does not permit reporting of contained metal without corresponding tonnes (or volume) and grade (in the 1996 Code. and in particular on any matters which might significantly affect confidence in an estimate of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves. the Ore Reserves. and 1 605 527 tonnes @ 2. No information has been provided on the consulting geologist’s concerns with regard to the quality of the drilling data. 5.382 Ore Reserves Proved Probable Possible Total Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) 359 927 2. In addition. and so the Reserves have been factored upwards’. nor is the Competent Person named. These are specific requirements of Australian Stock Exchange Listing Rules. 3. The mine has a history of positive reconciliation between Reserve estimates and mill production. or additional to. in which case any figures mentioned must be clearly order-of-magnitude and conceptual in nature and expressed so as not to misrepresent them as an estimate of Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves.633 421 156 2. ‘The Geological Resources for the ‘Flawless’ gold deposit are tabulated above. The tabulation includes Possible Ore Reserves.382% copper. Analysis of non-compliance with the JORC Code 1. with a prohibition on the reporting of tonnage/grade/contained metal figures. There is a very substantial difference between the tonnages of Mineral Resources and the tonnages of Ore Reserves. a member of the Harmonium Institute of Engineers.866 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.6 million ounces of pre-resource mineralisation has been delineated. 2. The only situation in which reporting of tonnage/grade figures not classified as a Mineral Resource or Ore Reserve is permitted is in the Analysis of non-compliance with the JORC Code 1. 3.322 4 566 778 1.713 12 857 215 1. such reporting was strongly discouraged). The figures have been calculated by Mr M Convivius. ‘The Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves for the ‘Congenial’ copper mine in Outer Harmonia are 12 857 215 tonnes @ 1. The term ‘pre-resource mineralisation’ was deleted from the JORC Code in 1996 and replaced with ‘exploration results’. The Code requires that a public report should include information on any matters that might materially affect a reader’s understanding or interpretation of the estimates being reported.154 3 923 114 1. The Company’s consulting geologist has expressed reservations about the quality of the drilling data on which these estimates are based. It establishes a system of Resource/Reserve classification and sets minimum standards for public reporting. In addition to these Resources. HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE 3 Mineral Resources Measured Indicated Inferred Total Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) Tonnes Cu (%) 4 367 323 1. There is no statement as to whether the Mineral Resources are reported inclusive of.866% copper respectively (see table below).17 May 2000 167 . a further 4. the public report should provide a brief explanation to assist the reader in assessing the likelihood of the remaining Mineral Resources eventually converting to Ore Reserves. Gold (ounces) Gold (ounces) Gold (ounces) Gold (ounces) The company has used the term ‘Geological Resources’ which has no meaning under the JORC Code. Qld.916 1 605 527 2. so any such statement should refer to ‘classified and reported’ in accordance with the Code. Hypothetical Example 2 HYPOTHETICAL EXAMPLE 2 Deposit Mineral Resources Measured Indicated Inferred Total 4.967 824 444 2. Impeccable 495 000 656 000 542 000 1 693 000 Exquisite 210 000 398 000 987 000 1 595 000 Total 705 000 1 054 000 1 529 000 3 288 000 Hypothetical Example 3 See Table ‘Hypothetical Example 3’. 2. It is critically important that a reader is made aware whether a quoted quantity of contained metal is the product of a large tonnage of low grade material or of a small tonnage of high grade material. Geologists and Tractor Mechanics. a category not recognised or permitted under the JORC Code. use of the word ‘calculated’ in this context is inappropriate.

No information is given on how and by how much the Ore Reserves have been adjusted to match mill performance. 6. then an unrealistic degree of accuracy is implied and unreasonable expectations may be generated in the mind of the reader. Geologists and Tractor Mechanics would not qualify Mr Convivius to be a Competent Person under the JORC Code. the company must nominate a Competent Person to review and sign off the Resource and Reserve estimates.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . If tonnages and grades are not rounded so as to reflect the uncertainty surrounding their estimation. Coolum. 14 . 168 Membership of the Harmonium Institute of Engineers. and assuming that that Institute was not able or willing to sanction Mr Convivius for non-compliance with the JORC Code (a qualifying requirement under the ASX’s ‘recognised mining professional’ provision). The tonnages and grades are given as very precise figures. which is a poor and potentially misleading practice. Qld. 5.P R STEPHENSON 4. In such a situation.

ac. with underground development.20 m) • Structural variability: splitting and branching • Coarse free gold • Slate/shale hosted Data characteristics • Surface drill holes on typically >40 m centres • Difficult to get representative samples • Low average concentration and high variance of Au • Highly skewed grade distribution • Large grade range Evaluation data sources • • • • Spatial continuity • Low to high geological continuity • Low-grade continuity Domaining • Often sharp definition of overall vein structure although internally there may be complex intermingling of ore and waste • Vein outlines. University of Greenwich. in-fill drilling and bulk sampling required to define indicated/measured resources and reserves. England. MAusIMM. To account for variability it is recommended that a best estimate be reported within a grade range. Kent ME4 4TB.90° • Highly variable width (<0. though can reach 30 g/t with resource 1. Within a particular deposit. Underground development. Exploration Manager .17 May 2000 Geological mapping Diamond core drilling Underground development Underground bulk sampling/trial mining 169 . the nature of nuggety slate-hosted gold-quartz reefs and problems of resource evaluation. Cardiff University. G F Johansen3. 5. erratic occurrences of coarse-free native gold (Johansen. though computer software is now being used to produce three-dimensional models. Large variations in grade ranging from <0. Grade interpolation has generally been undertaken using classical methods. Wales. further drilling and probably bulk sampling will be required to delineate inferred and indicated resources.SRK Consulting. Qld. high-grades and in many cases coarse free-gold.Resource Evaluation of Nuggety Slate-Hosted Gold-Quartz Reefs S C Dominy1. Head grades are often in excess of 8 g/t. only an inferred resource is likely to be estimated from surface drill data alone. Geometrical and grade complexities are often observed. as this more accurately reflects the uncertainties involved. REEF GEOLOGY AND DEVELOPMENT Quartz-dominated slate-hosted reefs show variations in width from narrow (<3 m) up to 20 m or more. The resource evaluation process must driven by a clear geological model that should attempt to understand the controls to reef geometry and grade distribution. etc • Understanding geology Grade estimation requirements • Handling extreme high-grades • Nuggety distribution • Estimation along folds and across faults Grade estimation techniques • Classical methods • Inverse distance weighting • Geostatistics (rarely used) Coolum. 1998. INTRODUCTION Around the world. zone of influence weighting and polygonal/sectional blocks.School of Earth and Environmental Sciences. A E Annels4 and I M Platten5 ABSTRACT Nuggety gold-quartz reefs are characterised by localised. and display grade and sometimes-geometrical complexities (Table 1. 9 . Tonnages can generally be calculated from diamond drill and development information with a reasonable degree of confidence. faults. Exploration Manager . Ballarat and Tarnagulla) of Australia and the small Dolgellau Gold-Belt of Wales.1 . typically weighted averages. 3. 4. Cardiff CF10 3SR. B W Cuffley2. UK. Email: dominys@cardiff. grade control and resource reporting are discussed through a series of case studies.Bendigo Mining NL.1 Mt) to large (>1 Mt) (Table 2). Grade is much more difficult to define with confidence because of its highly erratic and discontinuous nature. Mineable values are either related to erratically distributed highs throughout the orebody or as erratically distributed highs throughout discrete oreshoots. The high-grade regions are generally erratic and have a low continuity. Drilling is an effective measure of geological continuity. Visiting Fellow . UK. 4th International Mining Geology Conference tonnages of a single reef ranging from small (<0. Principal Mining Geologist . 1999). though may make the deposit economic. Commercial Road. 14 . Dominy et al. which are surrounded by barren/low-grade material. Reporting should be undertaken within the framework of the JORC code. Chatham Maritime.1 up to 8000 g/t are common. UK. Nuggety slate-hosted gold-quartz reefs are characterised by the presence of highly-localised. however grade distribution can only be reliably obtained from underground development and bulk sampling. Viable grades are generally contained within discrete oreshoots. Summit House. Closely spaced development with bulk sampling is likely to be the best way to determine a probable reserve. the geological development of a reef is likely to have involved a unique sequence of events that localise rich-gold domains. MAusIMM.Reef Mining NL. Characteristic General features Geological characteristics • Dip between 0 . Mines in the same district may share a number of common factors as their deposits formed in the same general geological environment. Significant production has also come from reefs hosted in low metamorphic-grade Palaeozoic and younger turbidite sequences (slate-belt and black-shale type) such as the world-class Central Victorian Goldfield (eg Bendigo. Figure 1a/b).Department of Earth Sciences. Cardiff CF10 3YE.10 Windsor Place. Bendigo Vic 3554. Geological interpretation has traditionally been undertaken in two-dimensions. Surface diamond drilling is generally only able to define an inferred resource. PO Box 2113. gold production from reef systems hosted in metamorphic terrains has dominantly come from greenstone sequences such as the Yilgarn Block in Western Australia. The factors controlling TABLE 1 Characteristics of nuggety slate-hosted gold reefs. In this paper. Tarnagulla Vic 3551. vein splitting and faulting • Presence of oreshoots Interpretation focus • Characterising grade distribution • Identifying extreme high-grades • Study of grade distribution along folds. Wales. Lecturer in Mining Geology . MAusIMM. but should involve special consideration of grade reliability.uk 2. PO Box 914. 1997. In general terms. United Kingdom. The critical role of geological understanding is emphasised.

This means that interpretation of the core data will be significantly improved if the gold-rich structures and the controls on their distribution can be characterised by study of the old working and production data for the site. • The primary shape and dimensions of the immediate host reef.2 m wide. Geology. Australia. Comparison between surface diamond drilling. These geological features generate the erratic and short-range characteristics observed during statistical analysis of gold grade in this style of mineralisation. Qld. and • linear and panel sample results understate bulk sample results. 4. Fracture pattern and deformation style may be controlled in part by the behaviour of the rest of the reef and the reef host rock. G F JOHANSEN. Tarnagulla Project. Dominy and Cuffley. unpublished data): • assays using small assay charge sizes (25 . The importance of drilling lies in the determination of local geological structure. the results of which enable grade and geological continuity to be assessed. Victoria.5 . UK. • wide-spaced drilling results consistently understate close-spaced drilling results. etc. localisation are at a scale intermediate between that available on old workings and that provided by a drill core. RESOURCE EVALUATION Sampling Diamond drilling of nuggety gold reefs generally gives a good indication of reef location. Assay of drill core gives a feel for grades. Poverty Reef. Vein (under hammer head). Underground development permits detailed mapping and sampling. comprises quartz intergrown with massive auriferous sphalerite and coarse gold grading about 1500 g/t. 14 . 2000). Link Zone). Coolum. • Relationships of the carrying structure to the whole reef.Chidlaw Lode (40 level. There are three levels of geological complexity involved in localisation of the nuggety gold in many of these deposits: • The internal distribution in the immediate host structure may be controlled by reef thickness and/or textural development of the major reef filling components to give an irregular distribution of gold. Drilling generally enables estimation of a resource tonnage. (Source: Welsh Gold PLC). 170 FIG 1B . 1997. 1998. etc but is generally not an effective measure of grade. Gwynedd. • close-spaced drilling results consistently understate bulk sample results. but not an accurate assessment. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN FIG 1A . which are mostly controlled by slip directions and initial fracture shape. underground linear/panel and bulk sampling. 1997.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . B W CUFFLEY. In summary. Interpretation of the Nick O’Time shoot at Tarnagulla (Cuffley et al. 1994).5 m off footwall of a larger. 1996) interpretation during recent workings was severely restricted by the lack of detailed geological data on previous mined rich-gold pockets. High-grade laminated hangingwall vein with spurs. particularly the effect of later deformation and veining on its position relative to the gross reef envelope. forms a key part of resource evaluation (Dominy et al. Footwall of FGV in black Clogau shale and hangingwall in lighter greenstone. about 0.5 m wide mother reef. its interpretation and understanding. 1999). shows that bulk sampling is the best method for grade evaluation in nuggety gold reefs (Dominy et al. the general observations are (Johansen. Dominy et al.100 g) consistently understate assays using large assay charge sizes (1. Of major importance is the investigation of both geological and grade continuity during the resource evaluation process (Sinclair and Valee.150 tonne samples) and trial mining (up to 10 000 tonnes). 1996.Nick O’Time shoot (Block 2E/1/mRL990-994).3 kg). Development permits evaluation of the orebody by bulk sampling (5 .S C DOMINY. Gwynfynydd mine. but at Gwynfynydd mine (Dominy and Phelps. This footwall gold vein (FGV) lay about 2. 1998) has been successful because of detailed data from the mine openings.

Drill inferred resource – includes a number of reef structures. In most cases the following characteristics are observed: • the tonnage of mineralisation can be defined with reasonable accuracy. and an elliptical search area is used whose long axis is aligned parallel to the oreshoots and whose axial ratios may be defined by preliminary variographic analysis. An orebody can include one or more oreshoots. • it is only possible to define a global grade for each zone of mineralisation. Bulked tonnage from a number of oreshoots. *Historical/recent milled grades/tonnages. Coolum. Reporting resources and reserves The classification and reporting of reserves and resources in a mineralised system dominated by erratically distributed gold is not straightforward. Inferred resource. 8.0 *122 000 92. Kriging may.6 Poverty Reef *8 000 7. Conventional evaluation methods that have been applied to nuggety reefs in the past include weighted averages and triangular and polygonal techniques (eg Annels.0 *1 230 000 10.6 5 6 Deborah Williams 40 120 000 7. the nature of these reefs makes variography difficult and the estimation of parameters unreliable. From West oreshoot. Recent inferred resource estimate .17 May 2000 171 . All other grades/tonnages based on resource estimates. Poverty Shaft oreshoot. Inferred resource. This is also a problem where composite or hole-effect variograms are anticipated but where these cannot be defined because of the inadequate sample coverage at the exploration stage. Nick O’Time oreshoot – global production estimate and 11. Inner & Rowes Reefs *465 000 14. 1992). 5. Frequently the drilling density is inadequate to define the structure of 4th International Mining Geology Conference variograms at low lags. Inferred resource.0 16. Bonanza oreshoot. inverse distance cubed weighting is applied. become more applicable during the operational phase of a mine when more detailed sampling has been undertaken. and 12. • gold grade shows a high nugget effect and short range. and • drilling and other small volume sampling techniques significantly understate bulk sampling grades and most likely the true grade of the mineralisation. and is particularly useful when attempting to interpret historical stoping and geological information. Typically for very nuggety structures with least grade continuity.0 Gwynfynydd Gwynedd UK Maxwells Victoria Australia New Bendigo Victoria Australia New Bendigo North Star Victoria Australia California USA Chidlaw Lode 3 4 Collett Reef 10 000 8 Maxwells Lode 51 000 8.0 Victoria Australia Outer. 14 . 1991. however. Computer-based 3D geological and resource modelling is being applied to this style of mineralisation more.3 800 000 6.larger historical tonnage.0 S Poverty reef 433 000 5. 6. Vallee. Inferred resource. Resource evaluation Most reefs are relatively narrow tabular structures amenable to 2D representation and evaluation on plans and vertical longitudinal projections.7 Central Deborah Structure 2 Tonnage(tonne) Grade(g/t) Clogau Gwynedd UK Main Reef *160 000 Cohens Victoria Australia Cohens Reef *1 400 000 33. 3. 10.7 20 000 36.RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS TABLE 2 Tonnage and grade of selected nuggety vein gold deposits. More recently IDW methods have been found to be most suitable/acceptable for reefs as they are easy to apply. 2.0 7 South German Victoria Australia South Gordon Victoria Australia Tarnagulla Victoria Australia 9 Poverty Reef *56 000 28.5 German-Beehive Reef *116 000 36. 1.5 Cefn Coch Gwynedd UK Cefn Coch Lode *2 500 17. Qld. 9. often combined with indicator kriging where high-grade subpopulations exist. Though 2D-block kriging has been applied. Mine name County/State Country Ballarat East Victoria Australia 1 Various 3 300 000 9.8 Gwynfynydd Gwynedd UK Chidlaw Lode *113 000 11.1 Cassidy Creek Colorado USA Cassidy Vein *50 000 38. 7.5 8 South Gordon Reef Poverty Reef Tarnagulla Victoria Australia 10 Tarnagulla Victoria Australia 11 Tarnagulla Victoria Australia Wattle Gully Victoria Australia 12 Phillips Reef Where possible an individual named orebody is given.9 Gwynfynydd Gwynedd UK 3 180 000 15.3 Eaglehawk Victoria Australia Eaglehawk Reef *338 000 28. 4.9 North Star Vein *1 500 000 16.5 Ballarat East Victoria Australia Various *4 100 000 9.

eventually closing in 1989. Previous studies demonstrate that complex interaction of auriferous fluids with the carbonaceous rocks led to gold precipitation. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN Resource evaluation aims to produce an estimate of the deposit grade and tonnage within the framework of a classification such as the JORC (1999) code. 1999. with a particularly rich patch 12 m below 6 level (Figure 1a). Recent activity began in 1981 under the auspices of Gwynfynydd Mine Ltd. Later 1. Welsh Gold PLC. Gold was found throughout the structure. The oreshoot is dominantly low-grade. Dolgellau Gold-Belt. and as a consequence better informs investors and the stockmarket. Metadolerite sills known locally as greenstones intrude the sediments. Coolum.05 g/t. The operator.50 m wide (true width). The driveage. 15 m down-dip (below 6 level) and 10 m up-dip (above 6 level). Local grades within an FGV may reach 6000 g/t. followed sphalerite-galenarich mineralisation along the footwall. The oreshoot position is partly controlled by the bedding-reef intersection. and sometimes intimately associated with sphalerite. Qld. For instance grade may be rounded to one decimal place within a grade range rounded to the nearest g/t. 1996). 172 though highly variable. A key part of the grade control process is the effective following and local exploration of the footwall zone. Underground production was based in an isolated fault-bounded block of the Chidlaw Lode known as the Chidlaw Link Zone (Dominy et al. Gold produced was turned into Welsh Gold jewellery. Within the Chidlaw Lode gold occurs in rich pockets or subshoots found within an overall easterly plunging oreshoot (Dominy et al. CASE STUDIES The following section presents case studies of nuggety slate-hosted gold reef operations. In many cases it is still impossible to estimate the grade of a block even when it is fully developed and sampled (Dominy and Phelps. 1996). This is hosted in the footwall of the larger 4 6 m wide mother structure (Figures 2. In some of the older (1860-1900) Chidlaw workings. UK The Gwynfynydd mine is located 8 km to the north of the town of Dolgellau in North Wales. Small background shows will typically yield between 30 . The last period of working commenced during 1992 and terminated in March 1999 due to lack of accessible resources and environmental constraints. Multi-stage book and ribbon. overall the FGV yielded 31 kg gold from about 2000 tonnes (mill head grade about 17 g/t). 14 . Indicated and measured resources require much higher levels of geological data/exposure which are only likely to be achievable during underground development. essentially describing a fertile-zone in which gold-bearing pockets are likely to be encountered (Dominy et al.5 . and represents the FGV. Geology and mineralisation The east-north-east-trending Chidlaw Lode is a quartz-sulphide-bearing reef. The largest recorded pocket (1887) was in the form of a westerly plunging subshoot which produced approximately 373 kg of gold from 8400 tonnes of rock. B W CUFFLEY. 1996. Within the high-grade veins over 65 per cent of the gold reports to the +300 µm fraction and over 80 per cent to the +150 µm fraction. Elsewhere within the oreshoot isolated specks of gold are sometimes observed.S C DOMINY. subshoots are reported to be related to reef branching/intersections. The company currently (May 2000) operates a tip reprocessing plant on the site producing gold for the premium jewellery market. It is felt that this approach better reflects the current situation than reporting a single grade.2 m wide zone of sheared shale/greenstone containing a discontinuous gold-bearing quartz vein. which yields a substantial premium on the London Bullion Price. Figure 2) in 1981 pursued a sharp contact between the mother reef footwall and Clogau shale. The FGV are laterally and vertically impersistent (in most cases no more than 10 . Economic accumulations within the oreshoot are related to highly localised pockets of gold hosted within a FGV. Initial development of the Chidlaw Lode (Link Zone. G F JOHANSEN. with location of pockets related to variations in reef geometry and local geology. By their nature. 1996). An FGV can lie immediately on the mother footwall or diverge from it.5 million under Rule 4. 3 and 4). Localised zones of reef flattening are often gold-bearing and related to dilational zones proximal to a rigid greenstone body. The reef occupies a normal fault and possesses variable strike.5 tonnes of gold have been produced.30 g/t*.50° east-plunging oreshoot.5 m slashing along the footwall zone revealed a 0.3 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . North Wales. Smaller high-grade pockets can contain from 6 kg upwards. In this case grades from historical production data will probably form the basis of the estimate.2 of the London Stock Exchange in January 1995. Gold is generally coarse (up to 3 mm). Historical and recent production in the Chidlaw Lode show that the pockets are generally found in a narrow (<0. 1996.3. The examples are drawn from the authors’ practical experience and report how the difficulties of resource evaluation and grade control were approached. 6 level. This zone was traced for 25 m along strike. 1996.6 m off the true mother reef footwall. Grade distribution Gold grade distribution within the Chidlaw Lode is complex. Dominy and Phelps. and pinch and swell structures combine to give the reef a complex geometry. The importance of the footwall zone was realised early-on during recent activities. Studies of historical and recent production areas have shown that grades are located within a 40 . • very-low/medium-grade: oreshoot background grades in mother reef >0. Late-stage barren quartz veins intersect and displace the gold-bearing structure by metre-scale amounts (Platten and Dominy. 1997. though the mill head grade was likely to have been nearer 60 g/t. approximately 50 m long. The shoot produced at metallurgical grade of 44 g/t. Overall three gold domains are present: • barren: mother reef outside the oreshoot <0. 40 . Johansen and Stephenson. Since production was first reported in 1863 over 1. dip and width according to the host rock type. 1999). Historical records show that the oreshoot contained less than five per cent high-grade pockets. Gwynfynydd Mine. Both grade and tonnage figures will be rounded to reflect the levels of precision of the estimations. The footwall zone is considered to be the region up to 5 . raised £1.1. Approximately 8000 tonnes were milled annually from underground and surface (old tips) sources. Gold mineralisation is most likely to occur where the reef is hosted in the Clogau Formation (carbonaceous black-shales).60 grams of gold from less than one tonne of rock. Dominy et al. it is extremely difficult to estimate measured resources (and proven reserves) in nuggety gold reefs especially at the surface exploration stage when only inferred and perhaps indicated resources are possible. which is hosted by Cambrian sediments.6 .4 m wide) footwall gold-vein (FGV . Figure 2).40 m along strike and up dip). and display changes in dip from 80° to subhorizontal (Figure 3). It is recommended that a possible grade range be presented in a bankable document as well as a grade estimate (Johansen. Chidlaw Lode (Link Zone). and • high-grade: oreshoot gold-pockets associated with FGV »30 g/t.Figure 1a). Dominy and Phelps. but failed to find any visible gold or notable assays. Less than five per cent generally reports to the –53 µm fraction. 1999). Tonnage may be rounded to the nearest 10 000 tonnes.

4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Schematic section showing reef shape as observed in the CLZ 110 level-west stope. Gwynfynydd mine. Levels in the Chidlaw Link Zone are measured in feet below 6 level. mother reef. Composite level plan showing location of major block bounding A-B and C faults. (Source: Welsh Gold PLC).17 May 2000 173 . UK. Gwynedd. a small show of gold was encountered in the FGV yielding about 30 g gold. section through 990E (see Figure 2). Levels in the Chidlaw Link Zone are measured in feet below 6 level. stopes and major gold pockets between the upper 6 level and lower 110 level. Gwynedd.Chidlaw Link Zone. UK. 14 . FGV (marked quartz leader vein) is seen to flatted and then rise towards the 40 level above. Qld.Chidlaw Link Zone. (Source: Welsh Gold PLC). Gwynfynydd mine.RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS FIG 2 . At the base of the raise to the 40 level. FGV (marked quartz leader vein). FIG 3 .

S C DOMINY. Gwynedd.80 m vertically below 6 level. though would provide an estimate of potentially mineable tonnage.3. All holes were advanced by at least 10 m beyond the intersected reef footwall to investigate footwall geology and were surveyed every 6 m using a Reflex Fotobor system.2 .6. Channel sampling across the stope back yielded low grades (less than 1 g/t over stope width). and • the Chidlaw Link Zone contained 24 000 tonnes of potential ore below 6 level. The bulk mineable grade range generally lies between 0. Strike extent of reef was controlled by the faults and the lower limit of likely gold mineralisation by the boundary. Later stope lifts corrected for this position. A small show of gold was located approximately 9. The FGV (marked quartz leader vein) is well exposed in the first 10 m of the stope. • the position of the A-B and C-faults which diverged with depth. and the reef showed only a small variation in dip and strike. though within the FGV grades were locally 17 g/t over 0. However. UK. In most cases grades were less than 0.2 g/t. as discussed later. Prior to full-scale re-opening in 1992. on average 3. • reef wallrocks were not likely to provide any serious geomechanical problems. and • geomechanical nature of orebody and wallrocks. Resource evaluation Geological and tonnage evaluation. Twelve holes were drilled on approximately 174 15 m centres to intersect the reef between 30 .5 m along the stope in the FGV yielding 30 g gold. A total of 810 m of BX-core was drilled from 6 level Little-Lode drive.5 m. The drilling program was successful. where it lies on the base of a Clogau Shale horse on the mother reef footwall. Location of the A-B/C faults and Gamlan/Clogau Formation boundary was of major significance. an underground diamond-drilling program was undertaken to guide the proposed development in the Chidlaw Link Zone. G F JOHANSEN. A global specific gravity of 2. Reef intersections were cut into 1 m lengths and the core sent for gold and silver assay after detailed logging. Coolum. (Source: Welsh Gold PLC). • reef structure (book and ribbon-type) and mineralogy (quartz dominated with sphalerite-galena. • structure and mineralogy of the reef and nature of the footwall zone.0 g/t range. • Gamlan/Clogau Formation boundary was 70 m vertically below 6 level. Beyond 10 m. it passes further into the footwall greenstone body. Levels in the Chidlaw Link Zone are measured in feet below 6 level. Geological plan of the CLZ 110 level-west stope sublevel (8 m above 110 level). • location of the stratigraphic boundary between the Gamlan and Clogau Formations. Qld. It was well understood that drilling would not enable the estimation of grade. • orientation and position of the A-B and C faults bounding the Chidlaw Link Zone.6 .Chidlaw Link Zone.3 g/t over 1 m were found. etc often on the footwall zone) was comparable to that seen elsewhere in the Chidlaw Lode.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Gwynfynydd mine. though values up to 30 g/t are occasionally found. 14 .5 g/t which would be achievable by milling all stoped very-low/medium-grade rock within the oreshoot. showing that: • reef true-width varied between 1 . The presence of high-grade pockets would raise the overall grade to nearer the historically mined average grade of 15 g/t. In situ grades are generally within the >0.4 m. In 1992 the classification of reserve (proven and probable) was applied to the mineralisation defined in the Chidlaw Link Zone. B W CUFFLEY. this terminology was subsequently considered inappropriate considering the extremely low confidence in the grade estimate. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN FIG 4 .65 t/m3 was used for all tonnage calculations. The program was aimed at determining the: • width and geometry of the Chidlaw Lode below 6 level.35 m. though a few grades of 1 .

though were occasionally used to monitor muck-pile or truck grades. As mill head grade was highly variable (eg no reserve estimate). As previously discussed. crushed. 14 . Between 1863-1916 stoping on the Chidlaw Lode 2 level (above 6 level and the west of A-B fault) yielded 105 000 tonnes of ore with an average grade of 11.20 m down dip and along strike. Daily chip-panel face samples (drives and stopes. Where assays indicated an anomalous (with respect to other nearby samples) grade (generally 2 . the latter collecting up to 40 per cent of the gold. Historical records and recent production experience showed that it was easy to develop along an incorrect footwall structure or loose it during mining (Figure 4). Whichever class used.5 tonnes/hour.2 . Channel samples in the 1. Underground mill .1.bulk sampling facility The underground gravity-based mill was able to process up to 3. about 50 75 kg) were taken and processed in a surface laboratory. During 1984 . Preliminary estimate of tonnage based on inferred geological continuity from drill holes.5 m wide stope were taken on a 1 . Some geological evidence (probably historical) to suggest that the oreshoot is present.649 g/t). and • inferred resource (fully developed) – developed on at least three sides (preferably four). Geological data was digitised into DATAMINE. Main Reef. At best only an inferred resource was present.5 m grid revealing a wide range of values (<0. slashes and/or sludge holes were driven 4th International Mining Geology Conference periodically into the stope footwall and hangingwall to check reef position and possible splitting. It was however used to monitor local grades and to confirm the presence of the oreshoot which carried a low-medium grade background value. In most cases a 15 kg sample was taken. The original mill design used the smaller Knelson. An individual round(s) of ore could be batch milled as a bulk sample if required (minimum practical sample size five tonnes). Some development mullock batch-milled as bulk samples and backs/faces sampled. In 1985 a trial stope centred on the projected oreshoot yielded 550 tonnes from the Chidlaw Link Zone above 6 level. As a result the following was undertaken: • after stripping and cleaning of the mill circuit flush through with waste to fill gaps in mill liners (eight tonnes).and foot-walls (sampled every 0. and • flush the mill through with waste between samples (minimum 3. Subsequent estimates by the technical staff for company reports. mill recovery was monitored through the smelter gold return and controlled tailings assay.3 g/t was calculated from the tonnage throughput. Grab samples were not routinely taken. Grade control activities were critical in expanding the geological database and developing a better understanding of the mineralisation. A bench-scale 3″ Knelson Concentrator was trailed. a box cut was fired into the backs to check for visible gold. As previously noted. Grade control As no formal resource grade could be estimated. These were jaw-crushed (-6 mm). enabling plans and cross-sections to be produced. in general the mill recovered between 94 .5 m). A proportion of the 12″ Knelson outflow (about 40 per cent) was passed through a smaller 7. ball-milled (-1 mm) and a concentrate produced using a half-size Wilfley table and spiral panner. sublevel and raise(s) allowing vein continuity and geometry to be tested.97 per cent.8 g/t. etc used the terms: • potential resource (undeveloped) – generally undeveloped with drill hole intersection(s). The decision on which fire assay method to employ was based on local geological knowledge and expected grade. This usage was flawed for this deposit. Clogau St Davids Mine. The final mill concentrate (including material from both gold traps) was composed of gold and galena with minor amounts of pyrite.8 g/t). Sludge holes were drilled into both hanging. as best as possible.1. Sections were produced on which the final stope design was based.93 stoping on the Chidlaw Link Zone (6 level and below) yielded 7000 tonnes at an average grade of 15 g/t. linear/panel sampling was of limited value for resource grade evaluation. 1994). For any block. Tonnages were determined in the usual way. footwall evaluation was undertaken by the development of upper and lower lode drives and raises.17 May 2000 175 . grading up to 6500 g/t. because the degree of confidence implied for a reserve grade was not there. Prior to mining. A mill grade of 16. Ore was passed through jaw (-70 mm) and gyratory (-6 mm) crushers prior to grinding in rod mill (-1 mm) and then into a 12″ Knelson Concentrator. based on drill hole intersections and geological interpretation. the nature of the footwall zone prior to mining.5″ Knelson.5 m. which was taken as the adopted historical grade (Unpublished consultants report. the mine has produced in excess of 2. a block was defined by the development of a lode drive. The original evaluation used to raise capital in early-1995 reported a grade based on historical production and bulk sampling and quoted proved and probable reserves (Unpublished consultants report. or a panned concentrate produced. Only small stoping blocks were used approximately 15 .01 . It was thus important to understand. Weighted averaging of the uncut data yielded a geological in situ grade of 10. The target horizontal stope width was 1. Resource grade estimates have been based on bulk sampling/trial mining and historical production. gold grades at Gwynfynydd are particularly complex and difficult to predict. recent production and historical data showed the presence of a discontinuous FGV within the mother reef footwall. panned and sometimes sent for fire assay. North Wales. reconciliation was irrelevant.6 tonnes of gold. etc. replacing the 7. Products from both Knelson Concentrators was further cleaned-up using a half-size Wilfley Table prior to on-site smelting and refining. Coolum. All development muck within the oreshoot zone was milled and a mining grade back-calculated. 1994). mapped and sampled. Indicated and measured resources and reserves were never defined.ready to mine (highest degree of confidence. Gold traps were located immediately after the gyratory crusher and rod mill. milled and either split and sent off for analysis. the caveat was always that there was no guarantee of a high-grade gold pocket(s) being present and that the mined grade may only lie within the low-grade background range of the oreshoot. UK The Clogau St Davids mine is located 4 km to the northwest of Dolgellau in North Wales. Dolgellau Gold-Belt. Short cuddies. Development mullock batch milled as bulk samples and backs/faces sampled . Since production was first reported in 1854. • inferred resource (partly developed) – partly developed (one level).1990 and 1992 . Development drive backs were chip sampled (about 15 kg) every 3 m and submitted for triplicate standard fire assay externally (sometimes SFA).7 g/t. but still low confidence with respect to grade).5″ as the primary concentrator. 1997).5 tonnes). this proved highly effective in processing about 45 kg/hour of pulverised sample (-1 mm). evidence that an oreshoot is present (possibly historical data or data extrapolated down-dip).RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS Grade evaluation. In this style of mineralisation. There was always the likelihood of gold particle lock-up in the rod mill liners. with expansion of the operation in 1995 the 12″ Knelson was purchased. Grade control studies were central to the mining of a stope panel. Geological mapping of development was used to delineate reef geometry. Qld. recovered gold and tailings assay. the effects of faulting and identify areas of poor ground conditions (Dominy and Phelps.

Less than two per cent generally reports to the -53 µm fraction.1-15 g/t high-grade: oreshoot gold-pocket grades »15 g/t Activities during the 1980s followed the Llechfraith-No 1 shoot down dip. This approach enabled access to the entire strike length of the workings (1. describing fertile-zones in which gold-bearing pockets are most likely to be encountered. they have a deleterious effect on structure and grade. Gold mineralisation is hosted in the Main Reef and its associated branches (John Hughes. As with the mineralisation at Gwynfynydd. with the channel samples understating the bulk samples. is approximately 10 m along strike and can be traced 40 m down-dip from surface to the No 4 level below. 176 Resource evaluation and grade control During its recent periods of operation (post-1984) the mine has been run as an exploration project with little resource evaluation sensuo-stricto undertaken. In early-2000. The shoot plunges 60° southwest. During 1984 . Qld. etc).1987.1 g/t). though the reef is notably narrower (0. The sample was then passed over one of the Micron Mill Wave Tables to produce a concentrate for visual assay.75 tonne/hour gravity mill allowed batch milling of bulk samples backed up by chip-channel samples where appropriate. This caused portions of vein to be downthrown by up to 10 m. G F JOHANSEN. The latter showed poor grade correlation. Where this occurs within rich sections of an oreshoot. Bulk mining of reef proximal to oreshoots was not routinely undertaken (unless free gold was present). and relationship between.6 g/t).1998 by Clogau St Davids Gold Mines Ltd. Gold is extremely erratic with high-grades (>3000 g/t) within 10’s mm of very low-grades (<0. Cambrian Goldfields Ltd acquired the mine and are currently evaluating its potential for a premium Welsh gold jewellery business. Gold can be preferentially deposited on the footwall. Ten-tonne bulk samples were used to overcome the erratic grade distribution and thereby establish reasonably realistic grades.1998 mining was on a small-scale (<1500 tonnes per year) and driven by geological control. activities have been centred on underground exploration. Activities during 1984 . A small on-site gravity mill was used. Within the mine. 1999) occur as thick developments of white quartz. Diamond drilling has rarely been used at Clogau. More recently the mine has been operated on a small scale during 1989 . Grade control samples were either sent externally for assay or treated on-site. Grade control channel and bulk sampling was undertaken as part of the development process. A split of underground samples were crushed and panned by hand to give an indication of gold content.1986 During this period a systematic comparison was made between 1 m spaced-channel samples (in ore shoot area) and five tonne bulk samples (box cuts).S C DOMINY. reef splits and greenstone bodies. Mining was guided by geological mapping which aimed to locate the presence of. The shoot is related to a split in the reef with high-grades within the immediate split zone. Gold is generally coarse (up to 5 mm) and is variably associated with tellurides (principally tellurobismuth and tetradymite) and galena.15 m long (along-strike).80° southwest-plunging oreshoots. Historical records show that the most productive oreshoots contained gold-rich pockets in less than five per cent of the total shoot volume.05 g/t very low/ medium-grade: oreshoot background grades >0. Platten and Dominy. Coolum. Because of the extremely nuggety nature of grade. The overall grade of ore mined was approximately 9 g/t. 14 . A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN Clogau Gold Mines PLC undertook the first comprehensive. employing air-leg development of raises. Paraffin. A small 0. B W CUFFLEY. a ball mill (-1 mm) and two Micron Mill Wave Tables (Mark II) for final concentration.5 km) allowing geological mapping and sampling in these areas to identify potential oreshoots. The small surface mill comprised jaw (-50 mm) and gyratory (-10 mm) crushers. When gold was encountered a small over. It must be stressed that like Gwynfynydd oreshoots. however one stope on the Upper Level yielded a continuous low-grade source (2 . 20 . The company was floated on London’s Unlisted Securities Market in 1984 raising £2. generally collecting up to 40 per cent of the liberated gold.1 . three gold domains are generally recognisable: barren: reef outside the oreshoot <0.or under-hand stope was developed. The program was terminated in 1987 when it was concluded that the highly erratic. Clogau has the added advantage that the reef is narrow (ie all reef exposed in development) and the gold is hosted within it (there are no footwall leaders).5 million to finance an exploration program. The oreshoots are related to zones of vein branching or refraction by metadolerite (greenstone) sills. >50 m along plunge. these results generally correlated well with assays. the Clogau shoots are not dominantly economic. gold occurs in rich pockets (or subshoots) found within a series of southwest plunging oreshoots. modern evaluation of the mine during 1984 . Since 1984 over 800 m of new development has been completed. All mill concentrate fractions were assayed to enable the back calculation of the geological grade for each bulk sample. geologists have been pre-occupied in understanding the geology and controls on oreshoot/gold pocket localisation rather than trying to define resources. Geology and mineralisation The general geological characteristics are comparable to those previously reported in Gwynfynydd mine. pockety-nature of the deposit would not support a viable bullion mining operation. Grade distribution Gold pockets are located within a series of 3 . Overall.5 m wide). effectively diluting grades within gold-rich areas of an oreshoot. Within high-grade zones (grades >30 g/t) over 75 per cent of the gold reports to the +300 µm fraction and over 85 per cent to the +150 µm fraction. particularly in shallower dipping sections and associated with footwall irregularities.3. Some 12 000 tonnes of material has been mined and processed in a gravity mill on-site. Mining was highly selective. Mine plans were digitised into DATAMINE in an attempt to model local geological conditions around oreshoots. Post-mineralisation faulting resulted in normal movements which occurred on reef margins and fracture planes within individual reef elements. only an inferred resource could possibly be defined based on the position and continuity of an oreshoot.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Activities post-1989 During 1989 . On-site samples were prepared with a lab-scale jaw crusher (-5 mm) and ball mill (-1 mm).1987 some 2000 m of surface and underground drilling was undertaken for structural/location purposes. dislocating and sometimes folding the gold reef. winzes and/or sublevels into the geologically defined target zones. Minor controls that influence oreshoot geometry and gold localisation are related to the dip of the reef and irregularities in its walls. Gold traps were located on the outflow of both crushers. locally truncating. Late post-gold reef veins (elephant quartz. because of the impracticability of obtaining representative samples. As most of the known oreshoots have already been worked at surface.

where torsional.2). 1998). Gold. Diamond drill core assays from both surface (NQ) and underground (BQ) drilling indicated a grade in the 1 .1a).5 kg samples that were sent for fire assay. Approximately 46 per cent of the gold reports to the +425 µm fraction. gold specks are disseminated and generally up to 7 mm in size. It is estimated that a further 7000 tonnes remains at a grade of 33 g/t which will be extracted by March 2000. The low. Goldfield. Qld.4 tonnes.FW) and south (hangingwall reef . Rather. From 1995 until October 1999. Victoria Poverty Reef.2 tonnes were mined in 1853 . The primary phase is associated with the laminated reefs of the shoot and two other phases are associated with cross-cutting quartz and quartz-albite veining in faults and fractures. The gold generally occurs in laminated reefs associated with pyrite. shortly after the initial alluvial gold rush. Nick O’Time Shoot. The competency contrast between the pre-existing massive quartz and the enclosing metasediments has created an environment in which mineralised crack-seal quartz reefs have developed. as the density of drilling did not justify this.6 tonnes contained gold). Vein grades can be in 1000s g/t (up to 6000 g/t) and commonly in 100s g/t. Three of the first 25 drill holes were direct hits down the vertical axis of the shoot. Resource evaluation During 1989. arsenopyrite. pyrite and arsenopyrite also occurs in stylolitic fractures developed around the massive quartz core of the shoot. Gold-bearing quartz reefs (Poverty Reef and Specimen Reef) were discovered in 1853.to medium-grade resource was purposely not assigned a definite overall grade. Detailed geological interpretation and mapping has resulted in a clearer picture of the structural development of both reef and oreshoot (Cuffley et al. The Bonanza Shoot was worked to a depth of 120 m from a small outcrop. The estimate was based on limited drilling plotted on a vertical longitudinal projection. Underground grade control methods included face chip-channel sampling of each cut (15 . the grade was quoted as ranging up to 10 g/t (ie further exploratory work could define orebodies within the inferred resource up to 10 g/t in grade).1 . This gives a global resource of 56 000 tonnes at 28.65 t/m3 was used.3 and 7). the resource estimate for the high-grade shoot has been progressively modified and elevated to measured resource category on the basis of 15 . oblique reefs splaying off to the north (footwall reef . Figure 5 . Overall.5 g/t High-grade: HW and FW laminated reefs >20 g/t Geologically these statistical units correlate with early phase low-grade massive quartz reef and late phase shoots characterised by the laminated reefs formed along reactivated structures. Geology and mineralisation The Poverty Reef is one of a number of ellipsoid. The drilling also demonstrated the continuity of the Poverty Reef to the south of the old workings. Grade The highest grades within the Nick O’Time Shoot occur in the narrow laminated. of which 11.5 m in width and occur as oblique hangingwall and footwall reefs in an en-echelon pattern around a central core of low-grade massive quartz. Several phases of gold mineralisation are apparent. 1998.20 m spaced underground drilling. the Nick O’Time Shoot is a vertical pipe like body extending from 70 m below the surface to 370 m. to a depth of 250 m below the surface. This is consistent with a torsional stress field setting. with the Bonanza Shoot at the north end and Nick O’Time Shoot at the South end (Figure 5 .3). Grades are erratically distributed throughout the laminated reefs (Figures 1b and 7) and appear to be in two distinct domains: Low-grade: central massive core 0. along an interpreted south plunging zone south of the old Poverty Reef workings. en-echelon quartz segments. Tarnagulla The Tarnagulla Goldfield is located 45 km west of Bendigo in the Central Victorian Goldfield.RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS Current activities (May 2000) involve historical research and refinement of the geological model based on detailed mapping prior to a program of trial mining. galena. The steep west dipping Poverty Reef segment is 650 m in strike length and up to 300 m in down-dip extent. Western Mining Corporation carried out an evaluation of the Poverty Reef. The segment plunges at 20° south. A top-cut of 30 g/t was selectively used to remove the influence of abnormal high-grades in the areas of lower grade mineralisation. since uncertainty existed regarding the overall grade. The nature of the mineralisation in the discovery holes (disseminated specks in laminated quartz rather than isolated specimen gold) was very encouraging.3 g/t range. An allowance for mining Coolum. During 1994. The laminated high-grade structures range up to 1. for a production of 122 000 tonnes at a head grade of 92 g/t gold (Figure 4 . Some 30 000 tonnes at 30 g/t was defined in the Nick O’Time Shoot (inferred resource) and 497 000 tonnes of low-medium grade elsewhere in the Poverty Reef (inferred resource). the effects of which can be observed down to mine scale. A 970 tonne bulk sample yielded a head grade of 7 g/t. which ranges up to 7 m in width (Figures 5 . Total primary gold production from the Tarnagulla Goldfield to-date is estimated to be 14. sphalerite and chalcopyrite.6 g/t (1. narrow. 57 per cent to the +300 µm fraction and 79 per cent to the +100 µm fraction.17 May 2000 177 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference With the high-grade laminated reefs. The upper 180 m of the shoot is high-grade and below that a rapid transition to lower grade occurs. The gross oreshoot has been broken up into blocks by post-mineralisation reverse faults (Figure 6). The Poverty Reef dominated the field for high-grade and gold yield. In 1995 a preliminary estimate based on weighted averages and polygonal blocks projected to a midpoint between drill holes was calculated. Less than ten per cent generally reports to the –53 µm fraction. laminated reefs have developed at each end of a massive quartz segment. The combined strike length of the structure varies from 20 m at the top of the shoot to 70 m at the bottom. The face samples provided two to three 1. High-grade. Both the drill core and face samples generally understated the mill grade. A global specific gravity of 2. The Poverty Line of Reef has developed as an en-echelon fracture system located between en-echelon anticlinorial domes. oblique strike-slip movement has occurred.HW) of the central quartz core (Figure 7). The Poverty Reef is a typical fault vein within tightly folded Ordovician quartz turbidites (Figure 6). Classification in the inferred resource category was regarded as prudent. Since mining of the Nick O’Time Shoot commenced in 1996. Reef Mining NL milled 49 000 tonnes at a head grade of 28 g/t from the Nick O’Time Shoot.1866 from the high-grade Bonanza Shoot within the Poverty Reef.20 tonnes) and truck grab sampling. Larger gold-quartz specimens have been found in the supergene zone. which make up the Poverty line of Reef (Cuffley et al. Reef Mining discovered the Nick O’Time Shoot by surface diamond drilling on a 50 m grid pattern. development and bulk sampling.1b). Isolated gold specks can also occur alone in quartz. tetrahedrite. Only the high-grade section has been mined. 14 . creating zones of dilation (Figure 5 . The study was based on a small 8000 tonne shoot located 150 m below surface adjacent to the Poverty Shaft.

A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN SOUTH C ry st al Hi ll D NORTH RMD 105 RMD 85 RMD 83 RMD 112 RMD 111 RMD104 RMD 107 RMD 107A RMD 104A 1a. (Source: Reef Mining NL).Schematic Plans FIG 5 . Poverty Reef Quartz Segment . Victoria. Author : B.118 RMD 84 RMD 106 RL(metres) 0 W1 RMD 79W2 RMD 81 RMD 87C RMD 87 RMD 67 RMD 74 RMD 79 RMD 87C RMD 72 500 Unexplored to 1000 metres 1000 North Yorkshire Shaft Poverty Shaft See 2. 2 – Poverty Reef quartz segment showing Bonanza and Nick O’Time shoots and low-medium grade massive reef. 1a – Long section of the Poverty line of reef showing location of Bonanza and Nick O’Time shoots.Medium Grade massive Quartz Reef PRINCE OF WALES SHAFT 2. Nick O'Time Shoot. Nick O'Time Shoot Plan Low . Poverty Reef Quartz Segment Plan MIN 4756 / EL 3640 0 1b.Tarnagulla Project. 3 – plan of Nick O’Time shoot on 990 m RL in mining block 2E/1. Poverty Line of Reef .L. G F JOHANSEN.Long Section NICK O'TIME SHOOT BONANZA SHOOT RMD 116 RMD 114. 14 . Qld. 1b – Poverty line of reef plan showing individual reef segments.Plan 0 Scale 100 m North Nick O'Time High Grade Shoot Scale Bonanza High grade Shoot 1000 m POVERTY SHAFT See 3. 178 Coolum.5924 500N 5925 000N 5925 500N ec l in e 5926 000N 5926 500N 5927 000N 5927 500N 5928 000N 5928 500N 5929 000N 5930 000N 5929 500N S C DOMINY. Poverty Line of Reef . B W CUFFLEY.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . regional to mine scale structural data.Inclined Plan View (down 20o S plunge) 0 25 m Scale North Low grade Massive Quartz Core High Grade Footwall vein High Grade Hangingwall Vein Footwall Structure 3. Australia. Cuffley Date : August 1999 MIN 4756 TARNAGULLA GOLD PROJECT POVERTY REEF QUARTZ SEGMENT & SHOOTS Mine Scale to Regional Setting . Block 2E/1 (mRL990m) Level Plan REEF MINING N. Poverty Reef quartz segment and oreshoots.

POVERTY SYNCLINE 753050E 752900E 752800E RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS BIRTHDAY ANTICLINE mRL 1200 OCK RE HAV EL ? POV ERT Y ZO EEF TY R 'A' Fault NE mRL 1100 ? West Poverty 'Black Wall' Structure EF REE F VER T PO WES Block 4 Block 3 'B' Fault Concrete Sill pillar mRL1070 NICK Block 2W 'D' Fault O'TIME BIRTHDAY REEF Crystal Hill Decline Loops SHOOT Block 2E/1 mRL 1000 REE F Cemented sandfill Sill pillar mRL990 mRL 965 HAV ELO CK Block 2E/2 Block 2E/3 mRL940 Footwall Vein ? Hangingwall Vein mRL 900 Footwall Fault Structure ? 0 50m Scale ? REEF MINING N. This figure exemplifies the possible structural (brittle and ductile deformation effects) complexities confronting operators. The high-grade laminated reefs are seen on the margins of the low-grade core reef. (Source: Reef Mining NL). Late-stage reverse faults displace the Poverty Reef (Nick O’Time shoot) by 8 .Tarnagulla Project. 14 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Cuffley Date : August 1999 CROSS SECTION 5926220N FIG 6 .16 m into a series of isolated blocks.POVERTY & PARALLEL REEFS Author : B. Qld. Victoria. Australia.17 May 2000 179 . Cross-section 5926220N through the Poverty Reef (Nick O’Time shoot) and parallel reefs.L. MIN 4756 TARNAGULLA GOLD PROJECT NICK O'TIME SHOOT .

Victoria.2g/t 2 405 t / 1. HIGH GRADE NICK O'TIME SHOOT LEVEL PLAN mRL 990 .g/t. with metal accumulation values ranging from 0.8g/t 981 tonnes 2. Plan of the 990-m level showing gold-bearing quartz reef and grades within the high-grade ore shoot. B W CUFFLEY. The maximum channel sample grade is 759 g/t. (Source: Reef Mining NL). 180 Coolum.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Tarnagulla Project.S C DOMINY. MIN 4756 TARNAGULLA GOLD PROJECT CRYSTAL HILL DECLINE. 14 .4g/t 3.3g/t 'Oblique Vein' (visible gold) FOOTWALL VEIN D69.4g/t 1. Australia. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN SCALE 1 : 500 N 55O-65O 1 2 Calculated Milled 1 576 t / 0. low-grade massive quartz core. The system comprises two en-echelon reefs (footwall and hangingwall veins) around a central.L. BLOCK 2E GEOLOGY PLAN FIG 7 . Qld.18 to 773 m.2 NICK O' TIME MASSIVE QUARTZ CORE SHOOT HANGINGWALL VEIN GRADE OF NICK O'TIME SHOOT 60m STRIKE LENGTH Preliminary Estimate 20g/t Bulk Grade (Treatment in progress) REEF MINING N. G F JOHANSEN.Nick O’Time ore shoot.

A weighted average of tonnes/grade for each block along the 3. if data on size distribution of gold is required. in this case double the initial estimate. 4. historically. 1999).5 m stoping lift is then made. 1988). as compression progressed. Studies undertaken in 1989 involved grab samples from rail trucks. Grade control New Bendigo Project.0 4th International Mining Geology Conference The Bendigo Goldfield is centred on the urban area of Bendigo in Central Victoria. Chip-channel samples are taken across the face every cut. Victoria Mining and milling Grade control is essentially geological.8 Mill (350 tonnes) 7. In 1993 Western Mining relinquished the title which was taken over by Bendigo Mining NL. Qld. Lower Sublevel (49 m drive) Face Average Grade (g/t) 4. Bendigo Goldfield. but did not define any resources (Johansen. Each sample is crushed. 1998). the grade boundaries can be difficult to pick around the massive quartz core or where high-grade laminated reefs are associated with earlier massive quartz spurs.3 Truck 5.0 m high. a 1 kg SFA is performed. split to 3 kg. as mining and exploratory development is concurrent. 80 per cent of gold is recovered in the gravity circuit and the remainder in a CIP circuit. using uncut assays. However. Resource and geological modelling is undertaken using Gemcom software.2.2 .17 May 2000 181 . with work in progress. Coolum. AAS finish). Reconciliation The Nick O’Time Shoot is accessed via a 2 km decline that allows exploratory development of the whole of the Poverty Reef. leaving the massive quartz core as a pillar. pulverised to -75 µm then subjected to a BLEG assay (solvent extraction. is simply determined by averaging the face grades either end of the block. The famous saddle reef structures of Bendigo actually only accounted for ten per cent of historic production. dewatering and accessing historic workings and bulk sampling. Ore is trucked to surface and then transported to an off-site mill run by Reef Mining on a dry-hire basis. Geology and mineralisation The Bendigo Goldfield is a classic slate-belt style of mineralisation with sediment hosted auriferous quartz reefs closely associated with anticline axes and reverse faulting. The narrower airleg stope faces are 1. The Goldfield is the second largest in terms of total gold produced (~529 tonnes) in Australia after Kalgoorlie’s Golden Mile. Other grade interpolation methods have been considered. some of the reefs and other quartz-filled structures became hosts for subsequent gold mineralisation.5 m wide. Victoria. which have continuous along-strike extents of many kilometres. Mechanised mining faces are 3 . With later re-fracturing of the ribbons and an influx of gold-bearing fluids.1 Upper Sublevel (18 m drive) Face 3. This simplistic classical mining block-modelling method. A geological model has been developed to explain the development and distribution of reefs within the Goldfield (Figure 8). Grade control is very much visual and experienced based.6 Mill (250 tonnes) 7.4 m wide and usually four 5 . or in close proximity to the anticlinal axes at vertical intervals of 150 250 m.7 m wide and three 7-kg samples are taken. supported by a database of retrospective face assays of the various vein types and styles of mineralisation.5 . some 130 km northwest of Melbourne.4 Truck 7.7 m long). using either mullock or tailings as backfill.7 m advance in the mechanised operations and 1. All samples were bulked together to make a larger 10 . and a general consistency in grade. the correlation with mill grade is good.0 m widths) and conventional hand-held (airleg) methods (1.10 kg samples are taken. 2. Australia (Source: Reef Mining NL). Alternatively. Experience has shown that by applying a 100 g/t top cut to the calculated block grades (not the individual unit grade assays) and applying the appropriate dilution factor for the particular stoping level. a well-known feature of the Goldfield (Figure 8). Underground development has increased the resource. Two duplicate 1 kg samples were taken out of each truck at the shaft station. 14 . truck (grab) and mill grades for the Poverty Shaft Shoot. TABLE 3 Comparison between face. RC and diamond drilling.15 kg sample. Tarnagulla Gold Project. The company estimate that in excess of 120 million tonnes of quartz existed in the historically mined areas. Gold was discovered in the area in 1851 and production continued until 1954. Hand-held methods have been used where geological parameters have allowed selective mining of high-grade laminated reefs. which was pulverised and split down to 1 kg. Recent exploration started in 1978 until 1993 when Western Mining Corporation Ltd held title over the Goldfield (Sharpe. The structures so formed became the focus for siliceous mineralisation. are termed ribbons and the regular repetition of the ribbons at depth was. A 98 per cent recovery is achieved. The grade of a block. resulting in the development of various types of quartz reefs on.8 m in the airleg stopes. of which approximately 40 million tonnes was mined. A cut is 2. The new model envisages that. No gold occurs within the altered metasediment wall rocks. The project will also involve 1000 m of exploration driving.1.RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS dilution is included in the measured resource. Since then Bendigo Mining have undertaken an extensive re-evaluation of the area including detailed 3D geological modelling (using Gemcom). Ore has been mined using a combination of mechanised methods (3. In November 1997 Bendigo Mining raised $A35 million to fund the sinking of a decline to investigate targets on the Deborah and Sheepshead Lines of Reef. The majority of the gold inventory is contained within the generally clearly defined laminated reefs. usually overstates the grade by about 15 per cent in relation to mill grade. These structural zones. They undertook extensive historical research together with RC and diamond drilling. stress was released through reverse faulting of the anticlines at regular vertical intervals. In both cases flat-back cut and fill mining has been the predominant method.0 m widths). representing one cut (3. 5000 m of underground fan drilling and 3500 tonnes of bulk sampling (Syddell.7. Despite the apparent random nature of this method they often provided a grade nearest to reality (Table 3). Overall the history of resource evaluation compared with actual mining suggests a general tendency for an increase in actual tonnes relative to the estimate. Structurally the region is comprised of compression-ruptured chevron folds.2 . The face grade is determined by weighting according to the proportion of the face occupied by a particular geological/grade domain.

Deborah and Garden Gulley Lines of Reef. Three kilograms were split from each subsample and assayed for gold by BLEG (3 kg). Deborah tonnage estimation. Williams 40 Foot Spurs and New Chum (NC6). Each sample was crushed to -10 mm. The Coolum. Schematic 3D block diagram showing potential mineralised quartz-reef ribbons at depth on the Sheepshead. This mapping. Qld. Sheepshead (S2). computerised 3D models of the quartz reefs. This confirmed the high nugget effect seen elsewhere at Bendigo. The accessed portion of the reef was divided into 30 m blocks and assay data within these blocks length weighted. Victoria. Tonnages for individual reefs were determined by applying an average specific gravity (calculated from samples collected underground) to their volumes from the models.S C DOMINY. Drill core from two diamond drill holes were assayed by 3 kg BLEG on the whole core. slightly oblique structures and as a result stoping patterns may occur as 20 . after removing the volume of historic stoping and development. in conjunction with reconstruction of historic workings and geology from historical data and three diamond drill holes. Grade The gold within the quartz reefs is typically both coarse-grained and erratically distributed. B W CUFFLEY. Moving away from the stoped regions. enabled the construction of 182 detailed. small-scale displacement.3 to 1. All the Bendigo reefs contain low-grades from 0. with the remaining diamond drill hole assayed by fire assay on half core.8 g/t). The historic workings and geology of the southern Sheepshead Line of Reef (including the S2 ribbon located 500 metres below surface) were reconstructed from the available maps.100 m wide zones pitching gently across reef strike. high-grade ore shoots can contain as much as 95 g/t (Laidlaw. though erratic in a local sense.15 g/t. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN FIG 8 . The Deborah workings were dewatered to approximately 400 metres below surface allowing detailed geological mapping of the accessible portions of the historic workings. As a result of the nugget effect. 1993). a high-grade core to the stopes can be discernible. Current estimates are that historic operators extracted approximately one-third of the reefs accessed. G F JOHANSEN. Tonnage estimates are considered to be reasonably accurate. Deborah grade estimation. plans and managers reports. Australia. Historic production grades for the entire field were 10 .New Bendigo Project. Where sufficient information is available. Sheepshead (S2) tonnage estimate. small samples such as drill core will not detect this broader pattern.5 g/t with higher grade areas above 8 g/t. Investigation of historical stoping patterns and bulk sampling data indicate that the grade. tends to be more gradational on a larger scale. This provided the best estimate of the grade of the reef and fell within a range of possible grades depending upon the estimation methodology employed. (Source: Bendigo Mining NL). It is possible to generate a range of grade estimates for the reef depending on the statistical treatment of the data and the inclusion. riffle split into two equal subsamples and each subsample pulverised to -75 µm. Comparison studies between the subsamples of the rock chips and also the bulk sample results were completed. A total of two-hundred and twenty-four 25 kg chip samples were collected from the accessible reefs. with the remaining two-thirds deemed to be too low-grade (their cut-off was around 6 . Deborah. Resource evaluation There are currently four separate areas of deep remnant mineralisation with identified resources. exclusion. associated structures and historic workings.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . historic bulk sampling values drop off in a fairly regular fashion. High-grade oreshoots may relate to late. 14 . or weighting of the various sample types. The bulk sample data was included in the calculations as pseudo-chip samples over the bulk sample width. This effectively de-clustered the data. The methodology for estimating resources varies slightly depending on the data available. In addition three historic bulk samples each of approximately 100 tonnes were investigated.

however. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Victoria. This estimate. The new geological model has been used to support the resource potential estimate of ten million ounces for the New Bendigo Goldfield. Orientated diamond fan diamond drill holes on 120 m spacings will be collared on the Swan Decline to provide an initial tonnage estimate. Assay results from the Western Mining drilling were not included in the calculations due to their small sample size and poor repeatability on re-assay. Proposed resource evaluation methodology Based on the experience gained from exploring and defining resources and reserves within the Bendigo Goldfield. An estimate of the remnant tonnage remaining in the Big Blue Neck Reef was determined by applying the SG of quartz to the volume of the reef remaining within the model after removing areas of historic development and stoping. Once the decline reaches the target area. stoping.New Bendigo Project. Tonnage estimates are considered to be reasonably accurate. A range of grade estimates could be calculated from these data by varying the statistical treatment. As underground development continues. FIG 9 .17 May 2000 183 . This provided a best estimate grade within a range of possible grades depending on the statistical treatment chosen. fan drilling on 60 m sections will be completed to refine the tonnage estimates. conservative exploration target. located well above the target reefs (Figure 9). After careful consideration the reef was divided into three geological domains and a grade determined for each domain. (Source: Bendigo Mining NL). faults and reefs. Initial diamond drilling utilising orientated core on 120 m spaced sections will be undertaken from the current decline. though they did confirm the tenor of mineralisation. Tonnage estimation. As reefs display good continuity along strike. does not constitute reserves or resources as defined by the JORC Code. 14 . considered to represent a soundly based and technically supported. Two Western Mining diamond drill holes provided confirmation of reef dimensions. this will be sufficient drilling for an initial tonnage estimate. Qld. Sheepshead (S2) grade estimate. Australia. an exploration strategy has been developed to overcome the expected sampling difficulties in the New Bendigo allowing the estimation of resources and reserves. Schematic 3D block diagram showing the potentially mineralised quartz-reef D3 (Deborah Line of Reef).RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS computerised 3D model included all recorded mine development. Research located a total of 17 historic bulk samples within the Big Blue Reef. It is. which covers only part of the Goldfield. and therefore does not form part of Bendigo Mining’s published resource base. simple averaging or weighted averaging of the data and by dividing the reef into geological domains and generating grade and tonnages for each domain. This level of drilling is expected to produce reasonably accurate tonnage estimates suitable for resource definition. For instance. fan drilling will be closed down to 30 m sections for mine planning enabling further refinement of the tonnage estimations.

1997. Small-scale vein-gold exploitation in Gwynfynydd mine. S C and Platten. S C and Phelps. 108:52-70. A E. Trans Inst Min Metall (Section A). 14 . Bendigo Mining NL. S C. It is hoped that following the processing of many bulk samples. 436 p (Chapman and Hall: London). 175(6):325-333. Elenith Mining Co Ltd. R. Battersby. 108:73-76. P and Barr. B W and Hodkinson. It is likely that only probable reserves will be reported. Geology in the resource and reserve estimation of narrow vein deposits. 184 REFERENCES Annels. reef texture and drilling results to enable inferred resources to be defined through drilling. Welsh Gold PLC and Reef Mining Services. When presenting resource statements. Tonnage may be rounded to the nearest 10 000 tonnes. B W. Coolum. A E. Roland Phelps (Welsh Gold PLC) and AusIMM referees are thanked for their critical review of this contribution. Central Norseman Gold Corporation Ltd and OCX. 1996. it is extremely difficult to estimate measured resources (and proven reserves). Samples will be an entire individual round of between 60 . Eventually it is anticipated the sampling plant will be relocated underground to facilitate sampling and grade estimation. I M. Bulk sampling will always be required to estimate reserves. Cuffley. • an indication of the grade distribution. Evans. Clogau Gold Mines Ltd. Camm. but grade must be evaluated from underground development through face sampling. pp 133-139 (A A Balkema: Rotterdam). Proposed resource/reserve classification and reporting practice It is anticipated that resources will be restricted to the inferred and indicated categories due to the difficulty in estimating grade (Johansen. A new structural model for fault-hosted gold mineralization: an example from the Nick O’Time oreshoot. which has clear negative implications for project financing (Spark. Bulk sampling is considered crucial to grade estimation within the New Bendigo. Annels. Gwynfynydd’s gold veins: geology plays an important role in the mining of complex narrow veins. trace element geochemistry. Wheeler. Criteria for the recognition of a pre-cleavage age for gold-bearing quartz veins in weakly cleaved terrains. Both grade and tonnage figures will be rounded to reflect the level of precision of the estimations. Trans Inst Min Metall (Section B). Detailed geological interpretation supported by 3D computer modelling is critical. 105:151-158. 1999. Drilling is an excellent indicator of position and structure. Dominy. Battersby. The current bulk sampling plant is being modified to enable the minimum sample size to be determined for both crushed and broken ore for a variety of grade ranges and ore types. It is anticipated that a reasonable estimate of grade and grade distribution within the reefs will be possible by using a combination of close-spaced drilling and bulk sampling information. underground development and bulk sampling. David Pelham (Consultant) and Ian Gilmore (AMMTEC Ltd) are acknowledged. Dr Steve Henley (Resources Computing International Ltd). and as a consequence better informs investors and the stockmarket.100 tonnes depending upon development size. The location of samples will be based on the interpretation of drilling results. 6(4):317-333. Wales. They will be crushed to -8 mm and passed through a splitter where 1 to 20 per cent (up to 100 per cent possible if required) will be split off to a small pulveriser (hammer mill) and gravity circuit (Knelson Concentrator). Discussions with Roland Phelps (Welsh Gold PLC). and • a correlation between gold grade and a suite of trace elements A systematic program of bulk sampling will be undertaken to provide grade data. G S. mindful of both structural setting and assay data. Inferred and indicated resources will require differing levels of diamond drill intersection. Explor Min Geol. in VICMIN ‘98: The Second GPIC Conference on Developments in Victorian Geology and Mineralisation. For instance grade may be rounded to one decimal place within a grade range rounded to the nearest g/t. Tonnage can be determined to a reasonable level of confidence but not grade. I P. Dr Bon Royle (Consultant). Mineral Deposit Evaluation. G F JOHANSEN. in Mine Planning and Equipment Selection 1997. reflecting the degree of uncertainty with determining grade.S C DOMINY. S C. It is vital to get the geology right before doing the sums – this cannot be over-emphasised. in particular from SMC Resources Ltd. CONCLUSIONS Nuggety coarse-gold reefs are arguably one of the most challenging types of mineralisation to evaluate and exploit. pp 53-63 (Australian Institute of Geoscientists: Perth). R F G. Resources. Qld. Dolgellau. UK. it is recommended that a best estimate grade be defined within a grade range. 1991. A Practical Approach. Initially bulk sampling will be required to define resources. however it is anticipated that the drilling will provide: • an indication of the grade of mineralisation. etc and bulk sampling. Annels.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Dominy. The bulk sampling will provide: • a reasonably accurate estimate of grade. 1997. it is therefore difficult to produce bankable documents. pp 107-108 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). G S. By their nature. Statistical treatment of grade data sets derived from drilling and bulk sampling will be undertaken. Camm. Resource evaluation of narrow gold-bearing veins: problems and methods of grade estimation. Krokowski de Vickerod. Dominy. Geological controls on gold grade distribution in the Chidlaw Link Zone. North Wales. Discussions with numerous company personnel are noted. SRK Consulting. 1990. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This on-going work benefits from the support of Cardiff University. G S. Cuffley. • a correlation between gold grade and indicators such as gangue mineralogy and textures. in Proceedings Narrow Vein Mining Seminar. and • a correlation between bulk sample grade and drill grade. S P. Dominy. J. All mineralised drill core will be halved and assayed for gold and a suite of trace elements. R F G. 1993). 1999). S C and Phelps. Indicated resources will most likely always require bulk sampling. J. A E ANNELS and I M PLATTEN Grade estimation. gangue mineralogy. S C. 1997. Tarnagulla. University of Greenwich. The Inglewood Goldfield. It is envisaged that every second or third development round in ore will be taken as a bulk sample. 1996. Phelps. Trans Inst Min Metall (Section B). UK. B W CUFFLEY. 1998. A E. Presentation of this paper at The AusIMM Fourth International Mining Geology Conference was supported by a Royal Society Travel Grant and the Cardiff University Earth Sciences Staff Development Fund. Geological understanding is the key to improved confidence in the operation. Mining Mag. This approach better reflects the current situation than reporting a single grade. Reef Mining NL. Reporting of probable reserves will be as a best estimate within a grade range with the proviso that all of the nominated grade range falls within the economic parameters. Johansen and Stephenson. Simon Camm (Camborne School of Mines). Poverty Reef. Dominy. Dominy. Gwynfynydd mine. 1999. 1993. The classification and reporting of reserves and resources in a nuggety reef is not straightforward. The grade characteristics of the deposits make sampling difficult. It is not expected that reef grade can be determined directly from this drilling. R F G and Camm. a correlation will be established between bulk sampling. This is generally because of their inherent grade complexities. T and Fraser.

1997. 1999. Australasian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia (JORC). pp 47-51 (Australian Institute of Geoscientists: Perth). M. 2(2):95-108. Reviewing continuity: an essential element of quality control for deposit and reserve estimation. 16 p. 10-11 August. Johansen. G F. The New Bendigo Goldfield. M. Sinclair. paper presented to the 7th Victorian Resource Conference. Guide to the Evaluation of Gold Deposits. Johansen. 1998. Qld. 1993. spurs and backs on the Bendigo Goldfield. S C. Syddell. UK. North Wales. November. Aus Mining. 34(4):369-391. assaying and reporting in a coarse gold environment. P R. Coolum. 1999. Some considerations in the mining of saddles. Planning nuggety vein-gold operations: the role of underground exploration. 1994. R F. JORC. Re-evaluation of quartz vein history in the Dolgellau Gold-Belt. Johansen. Bendigo . B W and Johansen. G F and Stephenson. in Bicentennial Gold 1988 Excursion Handbook: Central Victorian Gold Deposits. Estimating and reporting reserves and resources in the Bendigo Goldfield. G F. N. 1988. Geol Journ. 1990. in Ore Reserve Estimates: The Impact on Miners and Financiers. G F. bulk sampling and trial mining. Australasian Code for Reporting of Identified Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. S C. 300 p (Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy). in press (A A Balkema: Rotterdam).17 May 2000 185 . A J and Vallée. Sharpe.RESOURCE EVALUATION OF NUGGETY SLATE-HOSTED GOLD-QUARTZ REEFS Dominy. in Proceedings Narrow Vein Mining Seminar. Platten. M. Cuffley. Explor Min Geol.poised for its moment of truth. 14 . Bendigo gold project. paper presented to the Assaying and Reporting Standards Conference. The Ballarat East project. E. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Laidlaw. pp 32-38 (University of Western Australia: Perth). 1999. Spark. pp 25-34 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 1999. Report of the Joint Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. May 1999:8-12. I M and Dominy. Singapore. pp 57-62 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Sampling. 2000. in VICMIN ‘98: The Second GPIC Conference on Developments in Victorian Geology and Mineralisation. in Mine Planning and Equipment Selection 2000. Vallée. 1992. Special Volume 45. Melbourne.

which are discussed below. non-linear function of the known grades. OK’s advantage over IDW as a linear estimator is that it ensures minimum estimation variance given: 1. In such a case we wish to estimate the mean grade (expectation) at some location under the condition that we know certain nearby sample values (conditional expectation). Multiple Indicator Kriging (MIK) has become the most frequently applied non-linear geostatistical estimation method. Only in the very particular case where the distribution of the grades is multi-gaussian is the conditional expectation linear (simple kriging). the ‘geometry’ of the problem). Linear estimators have a number of inherent limitations. Minimum estimation variance simply means that the ‘spread’ of estimation errors is minimised by OK. In particular: MIK’s assumptions about spatial distribution of grade. West Perth WA 6872. the best possible estimate of a function of the grade is the conditional expectation. and further the conditional distribution of grade within a panel by using a broader class of estimators than the traditional linear estimates. PO Box 55291. the presence of extreme values making any linear estimate very unstable. From a mathematical viewpoint. the behaviour of indicator variograms. significant deskewing of the histogram and variance reduction occurs when transforming between sample and block support. This is true for linear geostatistical estimators. It is especially widely applied in Australia by both consulting companies and in-house resource estimation teams. application of change of support models. When dealing with a strongly skewed sample distribution. Many sample value distributions are highly skewed and present variograms with high relative nugget effects and/or short-range structures. order relationship problems. MAusIMM. linear estimation of non-linear functions of the grades does not work well. OK is a more sophisticated linear interpolator than IDW and was proposed by Matheron (1962. 2. the location and support of the informing samples. 1963a. Given an appropriate variogram model. At present. Geostatistical non-linear estimation is an attempt to estimate the conditional expectation. West Perth WA 6872. Uniform Conditioning (UC). 2. INTRODUCTION Since the early-1980s. what is the shape of the tail of the distribution?) even in situations where we are ostensibly ‘distribution free’ (for example using MIK). if at all. Northlands 2116. Note: In many cases where we require an estimate of recoverable resources (ie need to account for future selectivity at mining stage) we are also dealing with highly skewed sample distributions. In consequence. estimating the mean by a linear estimator (for example by OK) is risky. Linear estimators cannot do this. is described. in particular at exploration/feasibility stages. SRK Consulting. eg Ordinary Kriging (OK) and Inverse Distance Weighting (IDW). The selective mining unit (SMU) refers to the minimum support upon which ore/waste allocation decisions can realistically and practically be made. This usually involves making assumptions about the distribution (for example. and the search (or ‘kriging neighbourhood’) employed. In a non-linear estimate. 4th International Mining Geology Conference a specified model for spatial variability (eg variogram). where blocks are of significantly larger volume than samples. 3. In effect. An example is the estimation of recoverable resources. and We may want to estimate the ‘distribution of grades’ within a block rather than simply estimate the average (or expected) grade. OK will outperform IDW because the estimate will be smoothed in a manner conditioned by the spatial variability of the data (known from the variogram). in essence. The MIK technique is described and a number of theoretical and practical implementation issues are examined. Some simple tests are described which allow us to determine the suitability of different estimators for a given deposit and criteria to identify a preferred estimator are also examined. as the weights do not depend on the sample grades. Criteria 2 above involves knowing the block dimensions and geometry. MMICA. Limitations of linear estimators Linear estimates have well known limitations: 1. an alternative estimator which may be used instead of MIK. and modelling the tail of the distribution. Non-linear geostatistical estimators contrast with linear estimators in that they allocate weights to samples that are functions of the grades themselves. Qld. D Guibal2 and M Harley3 ABSTRACT 1. Note that OK is. a specified data/block configuration (in other words.17 Mayl 2000 187 . Technical Director. ie the proportion of smaller ‘selective mining unit’ (or SMU) blocks within a larger block (often called a ‘panel’) that exceed some cut-off grade. In this situation. simply a regression approach to obtaining the ‘best’ weights for a linear estimator. 14 . tin and uranium deposits. A series of proportions above cut-off defines the SMU distribution. SRK Consulting. 2. for each large block (by convention called a ‘panel’) we estimate the proportion of SMU-sized parcels above a cut-off grade threshold. which is a complex. Multiple Indicator Kriging (MIK) is the most widely used technique for performing estimation of recoverable resources. ie not solely dependent on the location of data. PO Box 943. Use of such non-linear estimates reduces distortion of grade-tonnage curves and provides a better basis for mine planning and economic decision-making. 1963b). More generally. Interested readers can get a good overview of the mathematical background to non-linear geostatistics from Rivoirard (1994). Technical Director. South Africa. eg many gold. MIK is not the only approach available and it has some potentially serious limitations. This paper presents the underlying motivations and concepts of non-linear estimation and outlines some of the potential problems with MIK. When making estimates in the mining industry we usually wish to estimate on the basis of block support rather than sample support. in general. PO Box 943. knowledge of the distribution of grade within a block may improve our estimate of the mean grade of that block. The SMU is usually significantly smaller than the sampling grid dimensions. CONCEPTS Linear versus non-linear A linear interpolator has the following important property: the weights assigned to each of the N sample locations inside the estimation neighbourhood are independent of the specific data values at these locations. Principal Geostatistician.Multiple Indicator Kriging — Is it Suited to My Deposit? J Vann1. SRK Consulting. FAusIMM. Coolum.

the difference in support between the samples and the proposed SMU must be accounted for in any estimate to obtain achievable results. A series of proportions above cut-off defines the SMU distribution. 5 m × 5 m × 5 m blocks in a deposit drilled on a 30 m × 30 m grid. The proportion above cut-off is shown on the figure by shading. Definition of support effect ‘Support’ is a term used in geostatistics to denote the volume upon which average values may be computed or measured. Ravenscroft and Armstrong. for each large block (by convention usually called a ‘panel’) the proportion of SMU-sized parcels above a cut-off grade. Uniform Conditioning – UC – (Rivoirard. most of which are summarised and discussed by Vann and Guibal (in press). However. D GUIBAL and M HARLEY In summary. Once we know (or approximate) this distribution. Indicator Kriging – IK – (Journel. It is interesting that Krige has felt the need to re-issue his warnings in recent years (Krige. we can estimate the proportion of SMU-sized blocks above a specified cut-off. Lognormal Kriging – LK – (Dowd. 1982. The necessity for change of support Before committing the capital required to develop a selective mining operation. 1996a. 1986a. Perhaps the question most frequently asked of professional geostatisticians is: what is a ‘safe’ block size? This is a question that simply cannot be answered without knowledge of the spatial grade variability (eg the variogram). and a long range that is significantly longer that the drilling mesh. the concept of change of support is critical in most practical applications of non-linear estimation. 14 . For example. say SMU blocks. 2. 1994. Note that the overall (or ‘global’) mean grades on different supports (applying no cut-off) are the same. 1996a. The ‘small block problem’ Why not simply estimate small block (SMU) grades directly by a linear method? This is the ‘small block’ question. Qld. Multigaussian Kriging – MK – (Verly. 1990. below. small blocks may possibly be reasonably estimated using linear methods. an economic decision is made based on an estimate in which (usually) the only grade data are from exploration drill holes. There is a plethora of warnings in the geostatististical literature against estimation of small blocks by linear methods (Armstrong and Champigny. Rivoirard. In general. 1980. By small blocks we mean blocks that have small dimensions relative to the sample grid. Matheron. then the impact of change of support will be pronounced. Probability Kriging – PK – (Verly and Sullivan. 188 FIG 1 . if we apply a cut-off above the mean grade. many professionals estimating resources. or (equivalently) an important short-range structure. Those in current use in the mining industry form a more restricted list. within a panel. 1976. for example). In very high nugget situations (epithermal and shear hosted gold. and only in rare circumstances (ie strong continuity) can significantly smaller panels be specified. Grades of mineralisation measured on drill hole samples can be much richer or poorer than grades measured on larger supports. 1983. even blocks with dimensions approximating the drill spacing may still be highly risky. Journel. Even estimating very small blocks directly by a non-linear estimator may be incorrect and risky. 1976. 1994). 1979). Journel and Huijbregts. we define non-linear geostatistical estimators as those estimators that use non-linear functions of the data to obtain (or approximate) the conditional expectation. Non-linear estimation provides a solution to the ‘small block’ problem. 1989. In a non-linear estimation we thus estimate. the panels should generally have dimensions approximately equal to the drill spacing. Median Indicator Kriging. 1994. 1982). we make a few of generalisations. the variogram has no pronounced short-range structure. Available methods There are many methods now available to make local (panel by panel) estimates of such distributions. The commonplace practice of estimating blocks that are far too small is symptomatic of misunderstanding of basic geostatistics. Thus. or still don’t understand. 1997.Impact of support on the histogram. the earliest exposition of this problem by Krige (1951). 1986b). 5. Royle. we can predict grade tonnage relationships (eg ‘how much of this block is above a cut-off Zc? At what grade?). In (unusual) situations where the nugget effect is very low. David. However. 1989). However. 1988. In the authors’ experience. 1994. Coolum. 4. Armstrong and Matheron. the variance of smaller supports is larger. 1985). 1984. and 6. The authors strongly reiterate this warning. Because mining does not proceed with a selection unit of comparable size to the samples. Residual Indicator Kriging – RIK – (Rivoirard.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . and its generalisation to non-lognormal distributions. the recovered portion predicted from samples (v) over estimates the true recovered proportion on blocks (V). and include: 1. estimating blocks that are considerably smaller than the average drilling grid (say appreciably less than half the size) is potentially very risky. 1996b. We cannot precisely estimate small (SMU-sized) blocks by direct linear estimation. Figure 1 illustrates the impact of support upon the histogram. ‘Support effect’ is this influence of the support on the distribution of grades.J VANN. familiar to every geostatistician. 1988) and variants (Multiple Indicator Kriging. 1996b). 1972. When using non-linear estimation for recoverable resources estimation in a mine. 1985. David. The grades on smaller supports are said to be more dispersed (variable) than grades on larger supports. Note on Figure 1 that. Disjunctive Kriging – DK – (Matheron. 1983). When there is a large nugget effect. 1978. have not read. 3. Krige. etc).

For the grade (as opposed to the tonnage) estimation. for each panel. The tonnage is simply the proportion of the panel above cut-off multiplied by the panel SG. The end result of an estimation of recoverable resources is. With such variograms. • probabilities (the probability that the grade is above the specified indicator). An indicator variable I(x. in press). which can be shown to approximate a full cokriging of the indicators at all cut-offs. we see that the histogram of samples usually has a much longer ‘tail’ than the histogram of mining blocks. The number of variograms required may be large. Variography The variography of indicators presents several difficulties: 1. Multiple indicator kriging Multiple indicator kriging (MIK) involves kriging of indicators at more than one cut-off (see various publications by Journel. The major practical difficulties with MIK are summarised below. grade control drilling during production will usually be required to define ‘dig lines’. indicator variograms can be calculated easily by any program written to calculate an experimental variogram. The concept of recoverable resources involves both technical considerations. at the estimation stage. 3.and lower-cut-off boundary value. An IK estimate (ie kriging of a single indicator) must always lie in the interval [0. For example. in order to avoid conditional biases. This is certainly preferred. However. Qld. etc. A possible exception is the last class where often a different estimate is chosen: median or trimmed mean for instance. or • proportions (the proportion of the block above the specified cut-off on data support). etc. machinery selection. They give very valuable information on the geometry of the mineralisation. SMU definition. The common practice is to choose as mean grade of a class the average value of the samples belonging to that class.the variograms for higher cut-offs often tend towards pure nugget effect. The product of recovered grade and recovered tonnage yields recovered metal. the indicator variogram for a specified cut-off zc is physically interpretable as characterising the spatial continuity of samples with grades exceeding zc. 2. Now the consequences of this choice which is often arbitrary can be very significant and strongly impact the estimation of the richest zones of the orebody.MULTIPLE INDICATOR KRIGING — IS IT SUITED TO MY DEPOSIT? In practice.17 Mayl 2000 189 . 2. 1989). it is necessary to have estimates of the average grades of the classes. but there is little objectivity in choosing between models. The end result of a non-linear estimate tells us what percentage of the panel is likely to be mined above cut-off. at a location x. large search neighbourhoods should be used. ‘Destructuration of high-grades’ . MIK does not have the strict stationarity restriction of DK (see Vann and Guibal. The tail of the distribution generally has very few samples (for example in gold deposits). and so by definition does not contain extreme values. a tonnage and grade of material above cut-off within that panel. The problem here is that we may end up with a discretisation that does not adequately resolve the more critical parts of the histogram. for the cut-off zc as the binary function that assumes the value 0 or 1 under the following conditions: I(x. It is fair to say that it is currently the method most widely used in the mining industry for estimating recoverable resources. do not reflect the fact that. change of support also involves symmetrisation of the histogram. A simple. 1993). be a better basis upon which to estimate the cash value of each panel when performing economic optimisation or mine design (for example pit optimisation). assuming a specific SMU. such as cut-off grade. boundaries are set at the deciles of the distribution. MIK is an approach to recoverable resources estimation which is robust to extreme values and is practical to implement. Theoretically. A good survey of the indicator approach can be found in the papers of Journel (eg 1983. 1988 and Cressie. 1987. Particular problems occur in three regards: 1. and also economic/financial considerations such as site operating costs. In practice this leads to three possible solutions: Indicator kriging ‘Indicator kriging’ (or IK) is kriging (usually OK) of indicator transformed values using the appropriate indicator variogram as an input. The transformed variable has a binary distribution (everything is now a 1 or a 0). commodity prices outlook. bauxite and manganese deposits. Be aware that these are not merely theoretical points their impact on the reliability of results (in each case) can be significant. Choices between different models may materially affect the estimates at higher cut-offs. but does not tell us which part of the panel will be above/below cut-off. Alternative approaches include additional discretisation of these critical parts (the tail in particular) or discretisation such that equal metal is contained in each defined class. however. The impact of this is to distribute metal in the upper class(es) very smoothly. In other words. etc). The resulting estimate can be interpreted as either: 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. zc) = 0 if Z(x) ≤ zc I(x. Furthermore.1]. Hohn. The number of classes and the values of their bounding values is decided by the practitioner. in addition to variance reduction. This means that a model must be defined to give the ‘shape’ of the histogram in the tail. 14 . impurity variables for iron. The values are often selected to be evenly distributed with respect to the percentiles of the data distribution. An indicator variogram is simply the variogram of the indicator. for example affine corrections. Note that simplistic variance corrections. This is especially important in cases where the histogram of samples is highly skewed (eg most precious metal deposits. INDICATOR GEOSTATISTICS Indicators The use of indicators is a strategy for performing variogram analysis in order to characterise the spatial distribution of grades at different cut-offs. zc) is defined. zc) = 1 if Z(x) > zc After transforming the data. Recoverable resources ‘Recoverable resources’ are the portion of in situ resources that are selected as ‘ore’ during mining. The recoverable resource estimate will. easy to follow case study is provided by Hohn (1988). Adequate representation of the histogram In MIK we discretise the histogram of sample values into n classes each bounded by an upper. Indicator transformations may thus be conceptually viewed as a digital contouring of the data. uranium deposits. MIK gives a worse approximation of the conditional expectation compared to disjunctive kriging (DK).

The most obvious advantage of median indicator kriging over MIK is one of time (both variogram modelling and estimation). Thus. Note that this procedure is fairly complex and tends to become purely theoretical. this is not possible if the cut-offs are defined once and for all. the idea is to define cut-offs at a local level (for each search neighbourhood). Coolum. Most commercial and public domain MIK programs correct order relation problems by smoothing the grade-tonnage vector of a panel if they violate order relations. to say the least. it is a very rare occurrence that the indicator variogram at all cut-offs can be reasonably approximated by a single (proportional) model. While there has been emphasis in published literature on the triviality of order relation problems and the ease of their correction. Qld. Clear warnings can easily be found in the literature by Isaaks and Srivastava (1989). there is no guarantee that the corrections applied at a local level are consistent with the same type of correction applied at a global level. Median indicator kriging is an approximation of MIK which assumes that the spatial continuity of indicators at various cut-offs can be approximated by a single structural function.17 Mayl 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . In Median IK the indicator variogram at (or close to) the median is considered to be ‘representative’ of the indicator variograms at other cut-offs. 1992) propose to use the same elementary structures for all cut-offs. allowing the use of a single indicator variogram model (this is Median Indicator Kriging or ‘Median IK’ . Major changes in anisotropies are in particular Again this is the assumption made in Median Indicator Kriging. depending on the local data.J VANN. but this is completely impractical from a computational and time point of view. p 444). automated variogram modelling routines are employed. Vann and Sans (1995). and thus is not suited to situations where there is a large decrease in variance (ie where the nugget is high and/or there is a pronounced short-scale structure in the variogram of grades). 14 . The affine correction assumes no deskewing. and needs to be checked. which assumes that the shape of the distribution of SMU’s is identical to that of samples. b. Other approaches can be utilised with MIK. 1992). Order relationship problems can be reduced by ensuring that: Change of support in MIK 1. ‘If there are noticeable differences in the shape of indicator variograms at various cut-offs. the sole change in the distribution being variance reduction as predicted by Krige’s Relationship (David. because the indicator variables at various cut-offs are correlated. we say we have an order relation problem. The search volumes defined during kriging at various cut-offs are the same (identical shape/volume. in this manner. In particular (as we will see when we discuss order relation problems) we must ensure that the variograms at various cut-offs are theoretically compatible. and this is not very satisfactory. The most obvious case is when all the indicator variograms are proportional. but the partial sills are linearly interpolated between cut-offs (Deutsch and Lewis. in press). or c. The theoretical solution is to account for the cross-correlation of indicators at different cut-offs in the estimation by cokriging of indicators (Vann and Guibal. This has obvious advantages in speed (only one variogram model to deal with) and in reduction of order relationship problems (see above). the link with the experimental variograms getting very tenuous! Because indicator variogram models may be inconsistent from one cut-off to another we may estimate more recovered metal above a cut-off zc2 than for a lower cut-off zc1. ie the same informing data are used across all cut-offs).see below). Our experience suggests that this assumption may be true only for very high nugget situations. Change of support is not inherent in the MIK method. where ~ m is the median of the grade distribution. which need to be respected. Whatever the method used. When increasing cut-offs. they may have a material impact on the stated Resources. D GUIBAL and M HARLEY the job takes a lot longer (disliked intensely by management!). In the general case. many practical applications of MIK involve using the affine correction. 1988). The authors have also seen assumptions of normal (or Gaussian) block distribution. there are also relationships between the corresponding variograms. it is very important that the number and magnitude of the corrections are reported: if they are numerous and significant. at least one data in the search neighbourhood will change from 1 to 0. The last two options (b) and (c) can lead to compromised estimation of resources. among others. In the authors’ experience. From an auditing viewpoint. This may or may not be true. mechanical fixes (such as smoothing ‘misbehaving’ estimates!) may simply disguise the inherent distortion of the grade-tonnage relationship estimated by MIK. because the kriging results may be sensitive to the variography. However. Unfortunately. The authors find this disturbing and observe that such corrections are entirely arbitrary. 1989. the underlying assumption is that block grades are totally deskewed (symmetrical). It is important to note that order relation violations are problems of methodology. one should be cautious about using median indicator kriging’ (Isaaks and Srivastava. Aside: median indicator kriging 2. where zc1 < zc2. that ~ for zc = m . especially when anisotropies show significant changes and search neighbourhoods are modified from one cut-off to another. the authors have observed quite severe difficulties in this regard with MIK. In this case. Unfortunately. The same number and types of structures are used for all cut-offs. In the authors’ experience. most precious metal deposits do not even approximate this assumption of Median IK. a. the job is rushed and insufficient time is taken with variogram modelling. † 190 The variogram models at various cut-offs are ‘theoretically consistent’. Clearly. or results can be fatally compromised. which is clearly impossible in reality! If results are inconsistent from one cut-off to another. Order relation problems 3. The critical risk is in the adequacy of the implied approximation. The estimation and change of support are thus not ‘integrated’. We apply change of support in MIK as a post-processing step. about the inherent deskewing of the distribution when going from samples to blocks. this is only a good idea when the variograms for all indicators have roughly the same shape (or are proportional) which is not the usual case for mineral deposits†. the correction algorithms are not documented and/or not reported. dangerous and this is the reason why some authors (Deutsch and Lewis. Too often. eg direct or indirect lognormal corrections (very distribution dependent). with partial sills slowly changing. and can be reduced or eliminated by modifying the methodology. or conditional simulation (often perceived as too complex and costly in time).

4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. high-grade can be adjacent to sterile or medium-grade. The estimation of recoverable resources. Within most orebodies there are good reasons to suspect that the mineralisation will ‘stand-up’ within a broad envelope at a low grade or ‘geological’ cut-off. MIK presumes that this dependence does not exist. I(x. we say that there are ‘no border effects’. but experienced mine ‡ This situation is the underlying assumption for methods like Uniform Conditioning. discussed below. Geostatisticians say that in case of ‘Situation 1’ there are ‘border effects’ or ‘edge effects’ (see Figure 2a). zc) = 1 if Z(x) > zc The indicators are generally not independent: at a point x. like all other non-linear geostatistical methods. More concern arises when a cut-off is considered that is significantly higher than this ‘geological’ cut-off. ie that going from grade 1 we can meet grade 2 or grade 3.see text for discussion. FIG 2 .Spatial models for grade distribution . zc) = 0 if Z(x) ≤ zc I(x. zc1) > 1 then. Since the early-1970s several techniques have been used for estimating recoverable resources. if I(x. with more or less strict transitions. We will call such a situation ‘Situation 2’. In the case of ‘Situation 2’ (see Figure 2b). ie going from grade 1 to grade 3 one will encounter grade 2. zc2) > 1 and there is dependence between indicator values at these two cut-offs. Recall the definition of indicators introduced previously: I(x. The mineralisation can in reality exhibit more—or less—rapid change in grade at different scales. Let’s call the resulting model ‘Situation 1’. At the scale of an SMU.17 Mayl 2000 191 . with two cut-offs Zc1 > Zc2.MULTIPLE INDICATOR KRIGING — IS IT SUITED TO MY DEPOSIT? DISCUSSION: UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS OF METHODS MIK. A mineralised envelope is usually inferred from geological interpretation. Qld. and it commonly suits many metalliferous deposits. including the case of total independence between zones at different grades. Contouring grades may be helpful when interpreting possible geological trends in the mineralisation. and this is a fundamental source of order relation problems. 14 . with the highest grade in the centre and grade decreasing systematically towards the border in any direction‡. cokriging of indicators (DK) or kriging of indicators (MIK). corresponds to a two-fold problem: estimation of geometry and estimation of grade. Several other cases can occur. assumes a model for spatial distribution of grades (contrary to the assertions of many practitioners that MIK is ‘free of assumptions’). based on either multi-lognormal or multi-gaussian distributions. in the simplest case. geologists know that in some cases it departs completely from reality. in the authors experience. A traditional practice for mining geologists consists of drawing ‘nested’ envelopes (or contours).

J VANN, D GUIBAL and M HARLEY

When estimating by any non-linear technique, do we
implicitly choose a particular ‘border model’, or can we identify
simply in which situation we are: ‘border effect’ or ‘no border
effect’, to determine which estimating technique is more suitable
for our deposit? The answers are given in some detail in
Rivoirard (1993), but in short, the basic solution consists of:
1.

Computing the variograms and cross variograms at
different cutoffs z0, z1, z2, … zi. This can be automatically
performed with modern software (eg Isatis™, from
Geovariances).

2.

Comparing the cross variograms of indicators γz0z1(h),
γz0z2(h), ... γz0zi(h) to the variograms of the lower cutoff
indicator γz0(h).
Then the following situations can occur:

1.

If the ratio γz0zi(h)/γz0(h) increases with (h) there are
‘border effects’, and a ‘diffusion-type’ model is applicable
(eg discrete gaussian model, lognormal model).

2.

If the ratio γz0zi(h)/γz0(h) is constant for a given cut-off zi, ie
γz0zi(h) and γz0(h) are proportional, then the different
cut-offs are nesting without edge effects one within the
other, we are in a ‘no border effect’ situation. In such case a
residual indicator kriging (RIK) method is applicable
(Rivoirard, 1989).

3.

If all variograms and cross-variograms are proportional to
the same model γ(h), we have a particular model called
‘mosaic model’ (see Figure 2c), which corresponds to a
situation where the separate kriging of indicators can
theoretically be applied (Journel, 1982). This is the implicit
assumption made when using Median Indicator Kriging.
This type of calculation has been performed in a detailed
variographic study of a Western Australian gold deposit by two
of the authors (see Figure 3). The results show that a complex
situation can occur with a ‘border effect’ model occurring in two
main directions of variogram anisotropy, and a ‘no border effect’
occurring in the third direction of anisotropy. In this case the use
of both ‘multi-gaussian’ and ‘indicator residuals’ would have to
be tested and the results carefully compared.

Aside: Uniform Conditioning
Uniform conditioning (UC) is a variation of Gaussian disjunctive
kriging DK more adapted to situations where the stationarity is
not very good.
In order to ensure that the estimation is locally well
constrained, a preliminary ordinary kriging of relatively large
panels is made, and the proportions of ore per panel are
conditional to that kriging value.
All three authors of this paper have concluded through
experience that UC is a robust technique. However, it does
depend heavily upon the quality of the kriging of the panels. As
for DK, the discrete Gaussian model ensures consistent change
of support.
The authors believe that this method (which has seen increased
in usage in Australia in recent years) has much to recommend it.
It is more theoretically consistent with the observed geological
distribution of grade in many deposits, it has a robust change of
support and it suffers much fewer order relationship problems
than MIK. For more details on UC refer to Rivoirard (1994).

RECOMMENDATIONS
This papers title asks a question ‘is MIK suited to my deposit’?
As with most worthwhile questions in geology and geostatistics,
the answer requires that we ask further questions. The key
questions are:
1.

What are the relations between indicator variograms and
cross variograms in my deposit?

2.

Is there significant deskewing of the histogram when
changing support?
If the answer to question one above suggests that we have a
‘border effect’ situation then we should be wary of MIK. If the
answer to question two is ‘yes’ than we should worry about
affine corrections. In both cases we would recommend UC as an
alternative method (which is, coincidentally, faster to
implement).
If the answer to question one above, suggests that we have ‘no
border effect’, then we recommend consideration of RIK
(because of the improved change of support compared to MIK).
Both UC and RIK require additional knowledge and skill in
geostatistics, compared to MIK. However, when large
investments are made on the results, this is a small price to pay
for more realistic assessment of mineral deposits.

CONCLUSIONS

FIG 3 - Variogram across veining of indicator at cut-off 0.5 g/t and cross
variogram of indicators at higher cut-offs.

192

1.

‘Small block’ OK or IDW estimates should no longer be
acceptable as inputs to important financial decisions.

2.

Understanding
the
underlying
assumptions
and
mathematics of these methods is critical to making
informed choices when selecting a technique.

3.

Testing of assumptions is rarely performed, in our
experience. We therefore recommend that such tests be
implemented (see Rivoirard, 1994).

4.

The issue of change of support is critical in estimation of
recoverable resources. Our major criticism of MIK, the
most widely applied non-linear estimation method at the
end of the 20th century, centres on change of support. The
whole problem of recoverable reserves is the problem of
change of support. We recommend that practitioners
become very familiar with the issue of change of support
and bring a sophisticated appreciation of this problem to
their practice.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 Mayl 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

MULTIPLE INDICATOR KRIGING — IS IT SUITED TO MY DEPOSIT?

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
The authors wish to acknowledge Henri Sanguinetti, an old
colleague of two of us (DG and JV) who contributed ideas to the
final discussion part of our paper. All three authors have
benefited from discussions with our professional geostatistical
colleagues at SRK. We also wish to acknowledge the support of
SRK in the preparation of this paper, and the valuable experience
gained by working over many years with clients making real
decisions on real projects.

REFERENCES
Armstrong, M, 1989. Geostatistics, in Proceedings of the 3rd
International Geostatistical Congress, Avignon, France. September,
1988, (2 volumes) (Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dordrecht).
Armstrong, M and Champigny, N, 1989. A study on kriging small
blocks, CIM Bulletin 82(923):128-133.
Armstrong, M and Matheron, G, 1986a. Disjunctive kriging revisited,
Part 1, Mathematical Geology, 18(8):711-728.
Armstrong, M and Matheron, G, 1986b. Disjunctive kriging revisited,
Part 2, Mathematical Geology, 18(8):729-742.
Baafi, E and Schofield, N A, 1997. Geostatistics Wollongong ‘96.
Proceedings of the 5th International Geostatistical Congress,
Wollongong, NSW, Australia, September, 1996, (2 volumes).
Cressie, N, 1993. Statistics for spatial data (revised edition) 900 p (John
Wiley and Son: New York).
David, M, 1972. Grade tonnage curve: use and misuse in ore reserve
estimation, Trans IMM, Sect A, 81:129-132.
David, M, 1988. Handbook of applied advanced geostatistical ore
reserve estimation. Developments in Geomathematics 6, 216 p
(Elsevier: Amsterdam).
Deutsch, C V and Lewis, R W, 1992. Advances in the practical
implementation of indicator geostatistics, in Proceedings 23rd
APCOM, pp169-179 (Port City Press: Baltimore).
Dowd, P A, 1982. Lognormal kriging – the general case. Mathematical
Geology, 14(5):475-489.
Dowd, P A, 1992. A review of recent developments in geostatistics.
Computers and Geosciences, 17(10):1481-1500.
Guarascio, M, Pizzul, C and Bologna, F, 1989. Forecasting of selectivity,
in Geostatistics Proceedings of the 3rd Int Geostatistical Congress at
Avignon (Ed: M Armstrong) pp 901-909 Volume 2 (Kluwer
Academic Publishers: Dordrecht).
Guibal, D, 1987. Recoverable reserves estimation at an Australian gold
project, in Geostatistical case studies, (Eds: G Matheron and M
Armstrong) pp 149-168 (Reidel: Dordrecht).
Hohn, M E, 1988. Geostatistics and petroleum geology, 264 p (Van
Nostrand Reinhold: New York).
Isaaks, E H and Srivastava, R M, 1989. Applied Geostatistics, 561 p
(Oxford University Press: New York).
Journel, A G, 1980. The lognormal approach to predicting local
distributions or selective mining unit grades, Mathematical Geology,
12(4):285-303.
Journel, A G, 1983. Non-parametric estimation of spatial distributions,
Mathematical Geology, 15(3):445-468.
Journel, A G, 1982. The indicator approach to estimation of spatial data,
in Proceedings 17th APCOM, pp 793-806 (Port City Press: New
York).
Journel, A G, 1985. Recoverable reserves – the geostatistical approach,
Mining Engineering, June 1985, pp 563-568.
Journel, A G, 1987. Geostatistics for the environmental sciences. United
States Environmental Protection Agency Report (Project CR
811893) 135 p (USEPA: Las Vegas).
Journel, A G, 1988. New distance measures – the route toward truly
non-Gaussian geostatistics, Mathematical Geology, 20(4):459-475.
Journel, A G, 1989. Fundamentals of geostatistics in five lessons. Short
Course in Geology: Vol 8, 40 p (American Geophysical Union:
Washington).
Journel, A G and Deutsch, C V, 1998. GSLIB Geostatistical software
library and users guide, Second Edition, (Oxford University Press:
New York).
Journel, A G and Huijbregts, Ch J, 1978. Mining geostatistics.
(Academic Press: London), 600 p.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

Krige, D G, 1951. A statistical approach to some basic Mine Valuation
Problems on the Whitwatersrand, Journal of the Chemical,
Metallurgical and Mining Society of South Africa (Dec 1951, March,
May, July and August 1952).
Krige, D G, 1994. An analysis of some essential basic tenets of
geostatistics not always practised in ore valuations, in Proceedings of
the Regional APCOM, Slovenia.
Krige, D G, 1996a. A basic perspective on the roles of classical statistics,
data search routines, conditional biases and information and
smoothing effects in ore block valuations, in Proceedings of the
Regional APCOM, Slovenia.
Krige, D G, 1996b. A practical analysis of the effects of spatial structure
and data available and accessed, on conditional biases in ordinary
kriging, in Geostatistics Wollongong ’96, in Proceedings 5th
International Geostatistical Congress, Wollongong, NSW, Australia,
September, 1996, pp 799-810.
Krige, D G, 1997. Block kriging and the fallacy of endeavouring to
reduce or eliminate smoothing, in Proceedings of the Regional
APCOM, Moscow.
Lantuejoul, Ch, 1988. On the importance of choosing a change of support
model for global reserves estimation, Mathematical Geology,
20(8):1001-1019.
Marechal, A, 1978. Gaussian anamorphosis models. Fontainebleau
Summer School Notes C-72, 22 p (Centre de Morphologie
Mathematique: Fontainebleau).
Matheron, G, 1962. Traite de geostatistique applique, Tome I. Memoires
du Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et Minieres. No 14 (Editions
Technip: Paris).
Matheron, G, 1963a. Traite de geostatistique applique, Tome II: Le
Krigeage. Memoires du Bureau de Recherches Geologiques et
Minieres. No 24 (Editions Technip: Paris).
Matheron, G, 1963b. Principles of geostatistics, Economic Geology,
58:1246-1266.
Matheron, G, 1973. Le krigage disjonctif. Internal note N-360. 21 p
(Centre de Geostatistique: Fontainebleau).
Matheron, G, 1976. A simple substitute for conditional expectation: The
disjunctive kriging, in Advanced Geostatistics in the Mining
Industry. Proceedings of NATO ASI. (Ed: M Guarascio) pp 221-236
(Reidel: Dordrecht).
Matheron, G, 1984. Selectivity of the distributions and ‘the second
principle of geostatistics’, in Geostatistics for natural resources
characterisation (Eds: G Verly et al) pp 421-433 (Reidel Publishing
Co: Dordrecht).
Matheron, G and Armstrong, M, (Eds), 1987. Geostatistical case studies,
247 p (Reidel: Dordrecht).
Ravenscroft, P J and Armstrong, M, 1990. Kriging of block models – the
dangers re-emphasised, in Proceedings of APCOM XXII, Berlin, pp
577-587.
Rivoirard, J, 1987. Geostatistics for skew distributions. South African
Short Course Notes, C-131, 31 p (Centre de Morphology
Mathematique: Fontainebleau).
Rivoirard, J, 1989. Models with orthogonal indicator Residuals, in
Proceedings of the 3rd International Geostatistical Congress,
Avignon, France. September, 1988, (Ed: M Armstrong) (2 volumes).
Rivoirard, J, 1993. Relations between the indicators related to a
regionalised variable, in Geostatistics Troia 92, (Ed: A Soares) pp
273-286 (Kluwer Academic Publishers: Dortrecht).
Rivoirard, J, 1994. Introduction to disjunctive kriging and non-linear
geostatistics, 180 p (Clarendon Press: Oxford).
Royle, A G, 1979. Estimating small blocks of ore, how to do it with
confidence, World Mining, April 1979.
Soares, A, (Ed) 1993. Geostatistics Troia ’92, in Proceedings 3rd
International Geostatistical Congress, Troia, Portugal, (Kluwer
Academic Publishers: Dordrecht) (2 volumes).
Sullivan, J, 1984. Conditional recovery estimation through probability
kriging – theory and practice, in Geostatistics for natural resources
characterisation, Part 1 (Eds: G Verly et al), Reidel (Dordrecht), pp
365-384.
Vann, J and Guibal, D, in press. Beyond ordinary kriging – An overview
of non-linear estimation, in Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve
Estimation - The AusIMM Guide to Good Practice, (The
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 Mayl 2000

193

J VANN, D GUIBAL and M HARLEY

Vann, J and Sans, H, 1995. Global Resource Estimation and Change of
Support at the Enterprise Gold Mine, Pine Creek, Northern Territory
— Application of the Geostatistical Discrete Gaussian Model, in
Proceedings APCOM XXV, pp 171-179 (The Australasian Institute of
Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).

194

Verly, G, 1983. The multigaussian approach and its applications to the
estimation of local reserves, Mathematical Geology, 15(2):259-286.
Verly, G and Sullivan, J, 1985. Multigaussian and probability krigings –
an application to the Jerrit Canyon deposit, Mining Engineering,
June, 1985, pp 568-574.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 Mayl 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

Mining Bench Height Evaluation for the Wallaby Resource —
A Conditional Simulation Case Study
I M Glacken1, M Noppé 2 and M Titley3
ABSTRACT
A study on the feasibility of mining the recently discovered Wallaby gold
deposit is due for completion by mid-2000. Open pit mining is the
favoured method. Determination of the impact of mining bench height on
the recovery of ore, including the estimation of dilution and ore loss, is
critical to the economics of the operation.
Conditional simulation was used to derive a number of gold estimation
scenarios within a typical volume of the deposit. These scenarios were
interrogated for a selection of mining bench heights and ore block
dimensions. The results were reported as a range of grade tonnage
relationships and compared to the kriged resource model. This allowed
the resource model to be calibrated to a specific mining bench height and
ore block size. Once calibrated, more realistic dilution and ore loss values
for a number of mining bench heights were calculated from the resource
model. These values were then used to determine the economic
sensitivity of particular mining methods.
The spread of results from the simulations also provided an indication
of the confidence in the kriged grade estimates for the different zones of
mineralisation within the deposit and highlighted areas of any significant
uncertainty.

INTRODUCTION
Wallaby is one of Australia’s largest gold discoveries in recent
years. Two exploration tenements cover the deposit. The Granny
Smith Joint Venture (Placer Dome Asia Pacific 60 per cent and
Delta Gold Ltd 40 per cent) (GSJV) holds Wallaby, which is
situated within the southern lease and includes the majority of
the resource. Homestake Gold of Australia Ltd holds Just In
Case which is in the northern lease. The Wallaby Mineral
Resource (Indicated and Inferred) as at 31 December 1999 was
52 million tonnes at 2.7 g/t for 4.5 million ounces of gold at a
1.0 g/t cut-off. The GSJV is completing an open pit mining
feasibility study that is due for completion around June 2000.
The nature of gold mineralisation in a deposit determines the
dilution (waste mixed with ore) and ore loss (ore lost to waste)
for different mining block sizes, referred to hereafter as the
selective mining unit (SMU). A feasibility study must optimise
the economic benefits gained from using larger ore mining
equipment, hence larger SMUs, against the potential loss of
revenue due to dilution and ore loss.
Conditional simulation is a tool which will generate a number
of equally-likely images of the interpolated data. Importantly,
simulation honours the statistical distribution of the input data.
This differs to other estimation techniques which usually produce
a single output image with a smoother statistical distribution than
that of the input data, particularly when the spacing of the input
data (drill holes) is much larger than the SMU. This smoothed
model does not adequately represent the actual grade tonnage
relationship of the deposit, and so cannot be used to determine
the impact of different SMU sizes. By deriving a number of gold
estimation scenarios using conditional simulation, a range of
possible grade tonnage relationships for a given SMU can be
1.

FAusIMM, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, PO Box 77,
West Perth WA 6872.

2.

MAusIMM, Snowden Mining Industry Consultants, PO Box 77,
West Perth WA 6872.

3.

MAusIMM, Placer Granny Smith, PO Box 33, Laverton WA 6440.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

calculated. These simulated models can then be compared to the
resource estimate and used to calculate more realistic dilution
and ore loss values to assist in determining the economic
sensitivity of a particular mining method.
Time constraints on the study meant that the entire model area
could not be simulated, so a representative volume of the
resource was selected. To ensure that the results can be used in
the feasibility study, the kriged resource model was calibrated to
a specific SMU, and adjustment factors provided for alternative
SMUs.
The spread of results from the best, median and worst
simulations also provide an indication of the confidence of the
kriged grade estimates for the different zones of mineralisation
within the deposit and highlights areas of significant uncertainty.

THE WALLABY DEPOSIT
Background
Wallaby is located in the North Eastern Goldfields region of
Western Australia, approximately 27 km south-southwest of
Laverton and 11 km southwest of the Granny Smith Mine, at
latitude 28º 51′S, longitude 122º 19′E (Figure 1). The deposit lies
on the northeastern shore of Lake Carey, which is a large salt
lake. The discovery history is complex and has been published in
Nielsen and Currie (1999).

FIG 1 - Wallaby deposit location plan.

Recent exploration history
The GSJV commenced fieldwork at Wallaby during November
1997. The program comprised reconnaissance aircore drilling.
Follow-up drilling in June 1998 confirmed continuity of grade
between the initial anomalies. Reverse Circulation drilling began
later that month but had difficulty penetrating the thick
water-saturated lacustrine clays. A combination of aircore
pre-collars with diamond tails proved to be the most cost

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

195

I M GLACKEN, M NOPPÉ and M TITLEY

effective method of drilling. By December 1998, 65 holes for a
total 22 500 m were completed on 100 m centres. This drilling
broadly outlined the lateral limits of the deposit. An inferred
resource of 30 Mt at 2.4 g/t for 2.3 Moz was reported at a cut-off
of 1.0 g/t.
Drilling continued through 1999, concentrating on; infill to
increase grade confidence, determination of open pit mining
limits, improving geological understanding, collection of core for
metallurgical testwork, de-watering pump tests and geotechnical
evaluation.

Project status
An open pit mining feasibility study is due for completion
around June 2000. The current combined Indicated and Inferred
Mineral Resource is 52 Mt at 2.7 g/t for 4.5 Moz gold at a 1.0 g/t
cut-off. The potential open pit mine covers an area of 1300 mNS
× 1000 mEW × 300 m vertical.
A program of diamond drill holes is being completed to test
extensions to the Wallaby mineralisation at depths down to
1000 m below the surface. Preliminary exploration of possible
southern extensions of the mineralisation system beneath the
Lake Carey sediments is on-going.

Regional geology of Wallaby
The Wallaby deposit is located within the Eastern Goldfields
Province of the Archaean Yilgarn granite-greenstone terrain of
Western Australia. The geology within this zone has been
divided into two associations; association 1, comprising mafics,
ultramafics and banded iron formations, and association 2,
comprising andesitic volcanics and volcaniclastics interbedded
with mafic volcanics and overlain by clastic and chemical
sediments. Association 2 occurs in the western and eastern parts
of the district, while association 1 occurs in a north-south
corridor through the central part of the Laverton area. Wallaby
occurs within association 1 and is located on the eastern flank of
the Mt Margaret Anticline. Figure 2 shows the location of
Wallaby and the regional geology around the Laverton area

FIG 2 - Wallaby deposit regional geology.

Mineralisation occurred after the emplacement of the felsic and
alkali intrusives but prior to the emplacement of the carbonatitic
fractionate. Figure 3 shows the geology in schematic section.

Structure, mineralisation and alteration
Deposit geology
The Wallaby deposit is covered by 1 to 20 m of aeolian dune
sands and between 24 to 120 m of Tertiary lake clays and sands.
This transported cover is shallowest on the eastern margin and
steadily thickens to the west. A deep regional palaeochannel
trending south-southeast runs through the western side of the
Wallaby deposit. No economic gold mineralisation is hosted in
the transported cover.
Oxide saprolitic material occurs mainly in the eastern part of
the deposit. Saprolitic material in the west has been mostly
stripped by the palaeochannel. Approximately ten per cent of the
gold in the Wallaby deposit is in oxide material.
The host rock at Wallaby is an Archaean matrix-supported
polymict conglomerate. The dominant clast type is mafic
volcanics. Other clast types include felsic porphyries, sediments
(mostly banded iron formations and cherts), and carbonate and
quartz clasts. The conglomerate is predominantly massive,
although occasional graded bedding, grit beds and clast
alignment indicate the unit is upright and has a dip of around 45°
to the south east. The conglomerate has been metamorphosed to
upper greenschist facies.
Two north-south trending subvertical dyke swarms have
intruded the conglomerate. The dykes represent a fractionated
alkali syenite suite and range in composition from various
monzonites through syenites, to carbonatitic syenites and a
carbonatite. A number of the more alkali-rich fractionates have
been emplaced as sills within the shear structures. These
generally have an east-west orientation and southerly dip.

196

Mineralisation occurs along shears formed during a dominant top
block north to north east thrust regime. The shear zones display
limited shear foliation. This is due to the ability of the host
conglomerate to absorb large amounts of strain with limited
physical deformation The main shears are relatively flat lying,
with a gross gentle dip towards the south east. Lower grade
mineralisation is associated with steeper on echelon linkage
structures, with a dominant dip to the north east. The shear zones
are defined more by alteration than foliation, and range in size
from 1 to 40 m.
The alteration at Wallaby can be classified as an inner,
intermediate, or outer halo.
The inner halo defines the dominant ore-zones and is a
dolomite-albite-pyrite-chalcopyrite and gold assemblage. It is
bleached, lacks a significant magnetic response, and primary
textures are often obliterated. Small amounts of visible gold
occur in small, late-stage quartz/carbonate veins. Gold is closely
related to pyrite content. The highest grades tend to be related to
abundant fine pyrite. Mineralisation behaves differently in the
intrusives than in the conglomerate, with the grades tending to be
lower in the intrusives.
The intermediate halo comprises biotite, pyrite, magnetite and
chalcopyrite. It is dark green to brownish grey and may have a
significant magnetic response. This alteration is derived from the
same fluids as the inner zone but with a lower fluid to rock ratio.
A petrological study of the magnetite shows magnetite and pyrite
are in textural equilibrium throughout the deposit at all scales.
This implies they formed at the same time.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

4th International Mining Geology Conference

MINING BENCH HEIGHT EVALUATION FOR THE WALLABY RESOURCE

FIG 3 - Wallaby deposit: schematic east-west section – regolith and geology.

The outer halo is generally unmineralised conglomerate. It is
split into a chlorite-albite assemblage and an actinolitemagnetite-pyrite alteration. The actinolite assemblage has a
significant magnetic response and is the distal alteration from the
mineralising fluid. The chlorite-albite assemblage is from the
regional upper greenschist facies metamorphism.

Description of mineralisation zones
There are two main flat lying ore-zones, termed 50 and 60,
which are separated by about 100 to 150 m. These zones range in
thickness from 5 to 35 m. Ore-zone 40 is thought to be a flat
lying above ore-zone 50, but is almost entirely in oxide and is not
as well constrained as the other ore-zones.
The north east dipping ore-zones, 240 and 250, lie above and
below ore-zone 50 respectively. Ore-zone 240 is well
constrained, is very strongly mineralised, and ranges in thickness
from 3 to 25 m. Ore-zone 250 comprises a series of stacked
northeast dipping structures which cannot be easily correlated
between holes. There is structural evidence indicating that parts
of ore-zone 250 flatten, and in some cases dip to the south.
Ore-zone 250 is not well constrained and has the lowest grades.
The individual ore-zone 250 structures range in thickness from
2 to 7 m.
Ore-zone 70 lies directly below ore-zone 60 and being the
deepest, is not well defined by drilling. The current interpretation
of ore-zone 70 is a series of gently northeast dipping stacked
planar zones. The stacking suggests it may be similar to ore-zone
250 but with areas of better grade continuity.
The ore-zones cross intrusive/conglomerate boundaries with
little change in geometry. There is a subtle increase in gold
dispersion through the felsic intrusives, especially for the very
low gold values. Figures 4 and 5 show the ore-zones in schematic
north-south and east-west section.

4th International Mining Geology Conference

RESOURCE ESTIMATION
Solid 3D triangulations representing the major mineralised
ore-zones were created. Mineralised ore-zones were based on a
structural model and defined by alteration, depleted magnetic
susceptibility and a gold grade cut-off around 0.2 g/t. Ore-zone
250 consists of a number of small, poorly defined mineralisation
zones that could not be adequately linked to form a
homogeneous interpretation. The ore-zone lies between the base
of ore-zone 50 and the top of ore-zone 60 and there is a relatively
high proportion of unmineralised material included within this
profile.
The geometry of the intrusives could not be interpreted in
enough detail to create a solid wireframe, as it is not uncommon
for a drill hole to intersect intrusives having a thickness greater
than 100 m while surrounding holes may not contain any
intrusives greater than 1 m thick. Also, the majority of the
intrusives are unrooted, ie drilling continued through them and
back into conglomerate. The geometry of the intrusives is an
important issue as the intrusives have a different gold grade
distribution. An intrusive lithology code was assigned to samples
from the geology logs. This code was initially used for statistical
analysis and then later, during block model construction, to
estimate the proportion of intrusive material in a model block.
Drill hole samples were assigned weathering, lithology and
ore-zone codes, by using the wireframe models and logging
codes. The three codes were combined into a single unique open
pit ore-zone code (OPDOM) representing the different
combinations of codes. Two metre downhole composites were
created for statistical analysis, variography and grade estimation.
The 2 m composite length was selected as it provides the best
resolution of the ore-zone geometry while minimising the mix of
short and long composites. All composites were terminated on
changes within the OPDOM code to ensure different materials
were not mixed.

Coolum, Qld, 14 - 17 May 2000

197

198 Coolum. Qld.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . east-west section.I M GLACKEN. FIG 5 . 14 . north-south section.Wallaby deposit ore-zone geometry. M NOPPÉ and M TITLEY FIG 4 .Wallaby deposit ore-zone geometry.

schedule analysis or cashflow forecasting. such as a cut-off grade or minimum level of contaminants. Applications of conditional simulation The applications of conditional simulation in the mining industry fall into four broad categories: Probability and confidence interval analysis In this field of application. 1987. the samples were unfolded for variography and an in-house anisotropic modelling package was used for the grade estimation. In contrast to simulation. or the range of tonnage expected to be delivered to a plant from one bench of a nickel laterite deposit. while ensuring that the outcome is conditional to the input data and the geological model. The typical application of optimisation of conditional simulation output is in grade control applications. A case study of this type of approach is presented in Coombes et al (1998). In particular. high-grades were not oriented differently to the lower grades. 3. The anisotropy model is a block model containing local azimuth. Only 0. The Placer Open Pit software allows construction of an anisotropy model. taken in isolation. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Simulation generates many equally likely scenarios. it uses the principles of Monte Carlo simulation. and it is only with the advent of fast. 2.1 per cent of high-grade composites required trimming. as it has a different grade distribution and different variogram parameters. 1996). Although the principles of simulation in other fields have been known for decades. ordinary kriging or indicator kriging. Using this approach. also uses the spatial variability of the data to derive the weighting scheme for each unknown point to be informed. using such techniques as pit optimisation. or coefficient of variation. A geology block model was constructed using a constant 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL block size. 4. or any value using simulations – for example. underground stope optimisation. This local information is used as directions for the search and variogram calculations when performing grade estimations. A final average tonnage-weighted gold grade was calculated for each model block. each simulation honours the statistical distribution of input grades (the grade returned at any point where a data value exists is that data value) including the variability. • The alkali intrusive samples could be combined with the conglomerate samples for the following reasons: 1. However. a single kriged estimate provides the minimum variance set of values. Glacken. This is especially relevant for ore-zones 50. shoots or any structures within the ore-zones. 14 . random number drawing from a specific distribution. As an accurate geology model of the felsic intrusives could not be created. which is theoretically the most optimal estimation technique. • Hard mineralisation boundaries must be used to constrain the mineralisation within ore-zones. These criteria are often presented as a loss function. and in Chilès and Delfiner (1999). This involves ranking each individual simulation in some way – average grade above a cut-off. with the following significant conclusions: • The grade of felsic intrusive hosted mineralisation needed to be estimated independently of the conglomerate-hosted mineralisation. An OPDOM code was assigned from the relevant wireframe models. an indicator method was used. whereby an optimal Coolum. 3. variance. Optimisation Optimisation of simulations takes the entire range of outcomes and produces a ‘best’ result. Where significant number of samples are available the grade distribution is similar to the conglomerate. Thus. it also has the benefit of providing the risk dimension to resource evaluation studies that kriging cannot readily provide. in veins. either high or low. Kriging. the suite of simulations generated are used to provide indications of the range of likely outcomes. provide more information than kriging. Qld. based on the proportions of conglomerate and felsic intrusive within each block.17 May 2000 199 . The ore-zones have considerable local variation. conditional simulation in the mining and petroleum fields has been practised for only 20 to 25 years. the conglomerate and alkali intrusive material were combined. which is optimal for a given set of known criteria.MINING BENCH HEIGHT EVALUATION FOR THE WALLABY RESOURCE Statistical analysis and variographic analysis of the composites was completed. Each individual simulation. treated together. as typified by the range. Each simulation also honours the spatial continuity of the raw data as represented in the variogram. but the ensemble of simulations (typically between 20 and 100 are generated). and any other features of the geological model which have been built in. the extreme cases can be further processed to yield ‘best and worst’ outcomes. and are referred to as ‘conglomerate’ in the rest of the paper. maximum tonnage. The proportion of felsic intrusive within each block was calculated using ordinary kriging of conditional 0 (absence of felsics in a sample) and 1 (felsic sample) indicators. Simulation preserves more characteristics of the input data than other estimation techniques. The alkali intrusive geometry was difficult to model separately and too few samples were available to use proportional indicator modelling. As the name implies. To avoid having to split these ore-zones into numerous smaller zones. in contrast to estimation which provides one only. inverse distance weighting. It is also possible using the suite of simulations to derive the probability of exceeding any particular key value. The number of alkali intrusive samples within some ore-zones is insignificant. or more generally an economic function combining profit and loss components (Srivastava. but the output kriged map does not preserve the variogram. 60 and 240 as their orientations are not consistent throughout the deposit. affordable computers and memory that practical simulation has been available to the mining industry. Good descriptions of simulation are provided in Goovaerts (1997). ore-zones that intersect each other (such as 240 and 50) may use samples from either ore-zone. • Ordinary Kriging with cutting would be suitable for grade estimation for the following reasons: 1. CONDITIONAL SIMULATION Objectives of conditional simulation Conditional simulation is a technique which has developed as an alternative to estimation techniques such as polygons. so the average orientation does not give the best result for variography and grade estimation. is more variable than any one kriging estimate. by Srivastava (1994). It is possible to generate a true probability or confidence interval around a median. Lack of geological evidence for the alignment of grades. That is. Both the conglomerate and felsic intrusive grades were estimated for each model block using ordinary kriging. The variography study showed no spatial grade anisotropy. 2. the 95 per cent grade and tonnage confidence interval around the cut-off at 1 g/t in a gold deposit. or maximum metal – and then tabulating or processing the extreme values. The distributions within each ore-zone and lithology have a relatively low degree of skewness. mean. dip and plunges for each block.

or structures to any significant degree.East-west cross-section of the test area at 808 200 mN showing the arrangement of grade ore-zones. led to the choice of sequential Gaussian as the simulation algorithm. This was particularly important given the strong ore-zone control on mineralisation at Wallaby and the potential for more or less dilution at various mining scales. A typical cross-section through the test area is shown in Figure 6. 14 . Reblocking/Resampling This application of conditional simulation takes one or several of a suite of simulations and treats that simulation as reality. and also to allow sufficient vertical extent for the effects of dilution and ore loss to be modelled over a range of bench heights. and has been adopted in a number of available proprietary software systems. The grades within the conglomerate and intrusive suites were simulated separately and twenty simulations were produced for each of the five ore-zones within each suite. M NOPPÉ and M TITLEY ‘dig-line’ is generated according to the balance of economic criteria applied in designating a block to either ore. The global data sets for the entire resource. together with the low degrees of skewness displayed by the data. it is possible to calibrate the kriged model (effectively increase or decrease the selectivity) to more accurately represent the likely mining conditions. In other words. this should be the case. providing that the variable under study can be linearly averaged (which is certainly the case for most mining applications). A variogram model based upon these indicator Coolum. Generation of conditional simulations The variography study established that the degree of rotation of anisotropy between the high. The variograms are characterised by low to moderate nugget variances (25 to 40 per cent of total variability) and overall ranges up to 100 m. 200 FILTER Category Background Rcode 50 Rcode 60 Rcode 240 Rcode 250 FIG 6 . but also small enough to be completed in a reasonable time frame.5 mN × 2. or also to represent production over a range of timeframes or production intervals.5 mRL. Calibration of a resource model By comparing the selectivity of a resource model with that of a similar kriged model. DETAILS OF STUDY Selection of test area One downside of simulation is that it can be a fairly time-intensive technique as multiple realisations of very small blocks are required. composited to 2 m. This can be readily achieved as simulations do not smooth the data as with kriging. and given the accurate reproduction of statistical and spatial characteristics. This approach was further supported by the lack of geological evidence for strong connectivity of high-grades or low-grades. in other words. It is this application of simulation which was used to investigate the range of bench heights at Wallaby. these units were treated independently within each ore-zone. in other words. waste. Since the style of mineralisation in the intrusive suite is different to the conglomerate. coupled with the optimal change of support for simulation and lack of conditional bias. The flat structures (ore-zones 50 and 60) show southerly strikes on the mineralisation. a best and worst case scenario (actually the 5th and the 95th percentile of the simulations when ranked by average grade) were considered in order to assess the extra dimension of the uncertainty due to the risk in the overall grade. with the grades simulated into a fine grid of 2. Qld.5 mE × 2. The fine-scale simulations can be sampled to represent various grade control or drilling patterns. A block model of the spatial occurrence of the intrusive and conglomerate suites was created from the proportion of intrusive determined using categorical kriging (indicator kriging of the presence or absence of a single variable). a model of the phenomenon under study. To this end all composites within the extended area were coded to either one or zero depending on whether they were felsic intrusive or conglomerate. shoots. This information. It was therefore decided that the simulation should be carried out within a representative volume of the Wallaby orebody which was large enough to allow meaningful analysis of results. and also by the fact that it is possible to simulate into very small volumes (essentially nodes or points) without encountering conditional bias.and low-grades was small. were used for the variography. by simulating at a fine-scale. The test volume was selected to include representative areas through the main ore zones in terms of grade and thickness. Instead of reblocking a single simulation. but the link structures (ore-zones 240 and 250) have primary directions of continuity which dip shallowly to the northeast. it is possible to assess the effective selectivity of the kriged model. it was possible to aggregate the node values over a range of bench heights and then to investigate the ore loss and/or dilution relative to the kriged model.I M GLACKEN. Validation of the results can also be a lengthy exercise. This assumes that the simulation is a more accurate representation of reality than the kriged model. or one of a number of stockpiles. The use of sequential Gaussian necessitated the generation of normal scores variograms for the gold grades for both the conglomerate samples and the intrusive samples within each of the five ore-zones represented in the study area. Care was taken to ensure that the directions of maximum continuity coincided both with the known structural directions and with those directions previously modelled in the traditional variography used for the kriged resource estimate. This approach was also adopted in the Wallaby study. neither the high-grades nor the low-grades appear to be aligned in veins. This approach has been explored by Shaw and Khosrowshahi (1997) and by Schofield (1998). which can easily be generated by reblocking or averaging of a fine-scale simulation. Another typical application is the analysis of a range of mining unit (SMU) sizes. By comparing the simulation tonnage-grade curve with the kriging curve on a similar block size.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . the continuity of the high-grades was not oriented particularly differently to the low-grades within any or all of the ore-zones.

since ranking of individual ore-zones could cause unrealistically conservative worst case and overly optimistic upper case models.316 1.11 2. or median.Diagram of three 25 m spaced east-west cross-sections through the median simulation. and the average of all simulations after merging was also generated.325 1. The simulation has been reblocked to 10 mE × 10 mN × 5 mRL. tonnage weighting of the grades was not considered to be necessary.45 2. Ore-zone 2 m composites Median simulation Wallaby kriged model Mean COV Mean COV Mean Ore-zone 0 0.514 2.11 2. TABLE 1 Comparison of gold statistics: composites. and the second lowest and second highest simulation models (effectively the 5th and the 95th percentile models) were selected to represent worst and best case scenarios respectively.284 2.607 2. particularly when benches span boundaries between ore-zones. The middle.11 2. simulation and kriged model. The simulation models were ranked according to the grade at zero cut-off. FIG 7 . Each of the 20 simulations was merged in this way. with a steeply orientated sample search. together with the means from the kriged resource model.48 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Q-Q plots indicated very good correlation between the input data and the simulated values per ore-zone. As an additional validation. The median simulation data clearly honours the input data.17 May 2000 201 .039 0. All of the simulations for each ore type were validated by comparing the input data histograms with the output simulated values by ore-zone.039 0.269 2.83 Ore-zone 250 0.66 1. while some of the kriged model results display more significant differences.MINING BENCH HEIGHT EVALUATION FOR THE WALLABY RESOURCE codes was modelled and used to estimate the proportion of intrusive material for each block using ordinary kriging. the mean grades and coefficient of variation (COV) per ore-zone for the input data and the median simulation.25 Ore-zone 50 2. The ordinary kriged proportion model was then used to weight the relative grades of conglomerate and intrusive when the simulations were merged.66 1.03 Ore-zone 60 1. using the following formula: Simulated grade in block = proportion of intrusive × simulated intrusive grade +(1 – proportion of intrusive) × simulated conglomerate grade The densities are similar between the rock types (three per cent difference) and. Note that the ranking is based on the average grade at zero cut-off over the entire test area. reblocked to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL. and not for any particular ore-zone. Qld.609 0. spot checks on the variography showed good reproduction of variogram models. given the variability generated by the simulations. In addition. The merged density was allocated using the proportion of intrusive in a block and the density for pure intrusive and for pure conglomerate.69 1. are compared in Table 1. model was selected as a middle case scenario.10 2.69 1. 14 .53 Ore-zone 240 2. which are constrained by the wide spaced data.45 2. Three 25 m spaced east-west sections through the test volume for the overall median simulation are shown in Figure 7.609 0.

1 g/t cut-off has larger symbol. the slopes and positions of the curves indicate that the kriged model for ore-zone 50 is oversmoothed. an increase in simulation block size results in a general increase in tonnes and a decrease in grade. These differences are important since they highlight where the kriged model may be expected to under. and probably represents the selectivity to be expected from blocks of at least 20 m × 20 m × 15 m. The decrease in grade is most dramatic for higher cut-offs in ore-zone 250. Qld. The grades for the reblocked simulation (10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL) and the kriged model at 0 g/t COG are similar. it is clear from the comparison of grade-tonnage curves for ore-zones 50 and 250 that there are differing degrees of smoothing per ore-zone in the kriged model. Implications for kriging The comparison of the reblocked simulations and the kriged model indicates that the kriged model performs reasonably well overall. The ore-zone 50 results show that the grades for the reblocked simulation (10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL) and the kriged model at 0 g/t cut-off grade are very similar. However. when individual ore-zones within the simulations are compared with similar blocks in the kriged model. Because the simulations were generated at a fine-scale.I M GLACKEN. at 0. overall. whereas the kriged model does not. The results for the overall study area. at 2.03 g/t. the results are different. This is not generally expected from a kriged model. The comparison of kriging results and various reblocked (median) simulations for ore-zone 250 show a different result (Figure 10). respectively. with the degree of smoothing commensurate with blocks in the order of 5 mN × 5 mE × 5 mRL to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL. M NOPPÉ and M TITLEY CALIBRATING THE RESOURCE MODEL One of the desirable outcomes from the simulation study was the ability to investigate the selectivity of the kriged resource estimate. An explanation for the lower grade of the simulations reblocked to larger block sizes compared to the kriged model is that the reblocking includes the effect of boundary dilution with increasing bench height. and an explanation may be found in the search and sample selection applied during the kriging. are shown in Figure 8. This shows that. Based on this overall comparison. The slope and nature of the curves suggest that the kriged model for ore-zone 250 is insufficiently smoothed and represents the selectivity to be expected from blocks of less than 5 m × 5 m × 5 m. However. and which can be used to look at the smoothness of the kriging. The implication is that it may be difficult to achieve high-grades if large selective mining units are used. tonnage and grade factors were prepared relative to the 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL reblocked simulation so as to report the grades and tonnages expected for a range of block size and bench height scenarios at a range of cut-off grades.Tonnage-grade curves for selected simulations reblocked to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL together with kriged model (in bold). While it would be possible to ‘factor’ the model to reflect the differing degrees of smoothing. Figure 9 shows the results for ore-zone 50. a better approach would be that the kriging parameters first be examined to identify whether the necessary modifications can be effected by changing certain kriging parameters. However.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . and Figure 10 shows the results for ore-zone 250.45 g/t and 0.06 g/t and 2. 202 Coolum. including all ore-zones. FIG 8 . in contrast. A large increase in tonnes with increasing block size is evident in ore-zone 250 for low cut-offs. respectively. each of which is free of conditional bias. and honoured both the statistical and spatial variability of the input composite data. As expected. when reblocked to the dimensions of the kriged estimate (ie 10 mN × 10mE × 5 mRL) they provide a range of outcomes. This is to be expected from the volume-variance effect.or over-perform relative to the actual selectivity of the modelled block size. very little smoothing.48 g/t. the kriged model sits within the range of the 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL reblocked simulations. 14 . with the comparison for ore-zone 50 suggesting a moderate degree of smoothing and ore-zone 250. and contrasts with a larger change in grade for increasing block size at the higher cut-offs.

FIG 10 . 14 .Ore-zone 50 kriged model (in bold) and median simulations at various block sizes.MINING BENCH HEIGHT EVALUATION FOR THE WALLABY RESOURCE FIG 9 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.17 May 2000 203 . Qld.Ore-zone 250 kriged model (in bold) and median simulations at various block sizes.

8 0. The dilution and ore loss factors were tabulated for a range of cut-off grades. Dilution and ore loss factors FIG 12 . and high-grade scenarios. 1. Ore loss was defined as the change in grade between the larger blocks and the base case blocks relative to those base case blocks. The grade factors for ore-zone 250 are also fairly insensitive to changes in cut-off grade.5 10x10x15 15x15x15 Factor FIG 14 . In contrast. Overall. The other simulations were presented as tonnage and grade factors for a range of cut-off grades. for ore-zone 250. median. For tightly constrained ore-zones such as 50.9 1. reflecting the much greater uncertainty in the definition of the 250 ore-zone. M NOPPÉ and M TITLEY BENCH HEIGHT STUDY 1. The dilution was defined at a given cut-off as the difference between the tonnage from larger blocks and the base case (10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL) blocks.Tonnage factors for ore-zone 50 relative to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL blocks.5 10x10x10 10x10x12.6 0. This is effectively the relative change in tonnage above a given cut-off. The tonnage curves for ore-zone 250 show that the larger blocks show a drop-off in tonnage as the cut-off grade increases. suggesting that the homogenisation of the higher grade and lower grade portions of the mixed ore-zone 250 occurs more quickly at larger bench heights. 14 . with larger block sizes incurring more dilution. the change in dilution and ore loss is relatively small moving from smaller blocks to larger blocks.4 1. and the issue of risk was introduced by examining the differences between the low.30 The reblocked simulations were used to investigate the effects of using different bench heights for the proposed Wallaby pit. larger block sizes incur proportionally more dilution.3 1. This enabled the factors to be built directly into the pit optimisation. Qld.Tonnage factors for ore-zone 250 relative to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL blocks.90 0. beyond which the tonnage relative to the base case remains constant. The dilution and ore loss results show that recovery from ore-zone 250 would be maximised with smaller benches. The spread of outcomes between the high and low simulations is much greater for ore-zone 250 than for ore-zone 50.1 1. The results show that the choice of bench height may be more consequential for ore-zone 250 than for ore-zone 50. This ore loss is directly proportional to the percentage change in revenue per tonne with changing block size.5 0.0 1. Cut-off Grade g/t FIG 11 . The results from the various reblocking exercises were presented relative to the 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL reblocked simulation which has been compared to the kriged results above.I M GLACKEN.6 Cut-off Grade g/t 5x5x5 5x5x10 10x10x7. and that the cut-off grade in this ore-zone has relatively little effect on the tonnage and grade factors relative to the base case.00 0.Grade factors for ore-zone 50 relative to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL blocks. The results show generally that block sizes larger than the base case generate more tonnage for any given cut-off grade.20 1.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .Grade factors for ore-zone 250 relative to 10 mN × 10 mE × 5 mRL blocks. However.10 1. The results for ore-zones 50 and 250 are presented in Figures 11 to 14. reflecting the dilution shown in the tonnage factor chart. dilution rates vary between ten and 25 per cent relative to the base case block size. FIG 13 . Coolum. 204 The results of the reblocking were also presented as percentage dilution and ore loss.5 1. The tonnage and grade factor curves were each modelled by a polynomial regression method so that the tonnage and grade relative to the base case could be determined for any intermediate cut-off. For ore-zone 50 the tonnage increases with increasing cut-off grade up to a point. the choice of bench height for ore-zone 50 appears to be less important than the cut-off grade.7 0. but at lower grades than the base case.40 Tonnage and grade factors 1.2 1.80 0. relative to the base case blocks.

Schofield. The visualization of spatial uncertainty. W J and Khosrowshahi. Nielsen. cut-off grades. 1997. 696 p (John Wiley and Sons). the application of conditional simulation has lent an extra dimension to the feasibility study through the quantification of risk. Tim Keleman and Mathew Matheson at Granny Smith assisted with geological and grade control aspects of the study. Goovaerts. pp 63-68 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Srivastava. 1998. and the important information for the economic and mining evaluation of suitable bench heights. G S. Vivienne Snowden acted as project reviewer. Principles. S. Qld. Steve Potter. Geostatistics for Natural Resources. 1998. Laverton District. pp 87-92 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). A further application of conditional simulation. would be to sample a chosen simulation or simulations on various grade control grids. The calculation of dilution and ore loss percentages for various ore-zones. low. This could be used as a first pass analysis of the implications and costs of different grade control patterns and could be used to optimise drilling costs. 1999. pp 1-13. Finally. 1987. the analysis of high. Overall. and simulation scenarios has shown the sensitivity of the ore-zones to bench heights and cut-off grade combinations. pp 131-134 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Change of support and use of economic parameters in block selection. (Eds: J M Yarus and R L Chambers) pp 339-345. The optimisation of end-member simulations. 4th International Mining Geology Conference REFERENCES Chilès. in Proceedings New Generation Gold Mines ’99 Conference. the analysis of different bench heights as provided by the reblocked simulations has led to the generation of a range of tonnage and grade correction factors which can be used in reserve optimisation scenarios and over the range of expected cut-off grades. 14 . Firstly the resource estimate has been validated. K I and Currie. 1999. Secondly. The myth of mine reconciliation. 80(901):63-68. Assessing the risk of incorrect prediction – a nickel/cobalt case study. and median scenario simulations has highlighted those areas which are very robust (low range of outcomes) and those areas which are high risk (high range of outcomes). Jacqui Coombes. in Proceedings Mine to Mill 1998. I M.and oversmoothing highlighted. and Case Studies. N A. 1997. the validation and calibration of the resource.17 May 2000 205 . Volume 3 of AAPG Computer Applications in Geology. Coombes. November 1999. The discovery of the Just In Case/Wallaby gold deposit. R M. and Elizabeth Haren completed the variography. D A. Srivastava. J. Coolum. and Craig MacDonald of Snowden helped generate and post-process the simulations. Modelling Spatial Uncertainty. 1996. Minimum variance or maximum profitability? CIM Bulletin. Western Australia. Grade control sampling and ore blocking: Optimisation based on conditional simulation. Thomas. not yet used at Wallaby. 483 p (Oxford University Press: New York). Methods. Shaw. Glacken. Gifford. 1994. in Stochastic Modeling and Geostatistics. The management of Placer (Granny Smith) and Delta Gold have given permission to publish these findings. in Proceedings Mine to Mill 1998. R M. ranked on those critical areas (such as the grade and tonnage of ore-zone 250) will reveal the robustness of any pit design. geological modelling and data preparation. Upon the input of mining costs based on the predicted equipment and blasting scenarios for the various bench heights it will be possible to generate actual forecast revenue figures. L. J-P and Delfiner. Geostatistics. M and Jepsen. in Geostatistics Wollongong ’96 (Eds: E Y Baafi and N A Schofield) 1997 pp 811-821 (Kluwer: The Netherlands). and areas of potential under.MINING BENCH HEIGHT EVALUATION FOR THE WALLABY RESOURCE OUTCOMES OF THE STUDY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The use of simulation at Wallaby has provided a number of benefits for the mine planning and feasibility study activities. P. in Proceedings Third International Mining Geology Conference. P.

For many reasons including computational efficiency. lack of consistent geological information. MV. The orebodies are disrupted by numerous south trending. the histogram is strongly positively skewed with a coefficient of variation in excess of six and a maximum grade exceeding 7000 grams per tonne. INTRODUCTION The Henty Gold mine is located approximately 30 km north of Queenstown on the west coast of Tasmania (De Mark and Callaghan. However. Adjacent to the South Henty Fault. 4th International Mining Geology Conference 200 metres high. unit sampling costs are higher and usually smaller numbers of samples are available for ore definition compared to open pit ore definition. Options allow the geologist to include or exclude underground geological mapping and face sampling depending mainly on the abundance of drill hole sampling and the quality of the face sampling. dividing the geology into segments to the east and west of the faults. Figure 2 shows the spatial distribution of gold grades in a number of drill holes and underground samples at the 2142RL. and shallow at depth toward Mt Julia. Nearly all of the stratigraphic units of the Tyndall Group present at the Henty Gold Mine have undergone hydrothermal alteration. and a package between the splays. The sample symbols show the alterations types mapped at each sample location. Qld. Que River. The mine encompasses four major zones of gold mineralisation trending along strike and down plunge within a package of highly altered volcanic rocks. The alteration units are mappable from diamond drill core and underground workings. Higher underground mining costs generally increase the cut-off grade at which ore is defined. Consequently. Rosebery. Hellman and Schofield Pty Ltd. MA. foliation intensifies and lithologies become brecciated and mylonitised. MP and CB. PO Box 599. The structure of the Henty Gold Mine is dominated by the steeply west dipping Henty Fault Zone. followed by the Intermediate Zone. a rich mineral zone that hosts the Hellyer. most commonly diamond drilling in fans. Henty is contemporary with the high grade Cambrian Pb-Zn-Cu-Au-Ag mineralisation in these deposits. In contrast to the open pit environment however. Ore definition drilling in underground mines. Diamond drill core provides a better basis for lithological and structural mapping at the larger scale while mapping and sampling of the backs and faces of drives provide more detailed information strongly focused on the main areas of Coolum. 1997). Near the mine. the Intermediate and Mt Julia Zones being explored extensively over the past three years. MAusIMM. 30 metres wide and 1. Ultimately however. The approach allows the mine geologist to model both the spatial geometry of the alteration types and the gold grades associated with each alteration type in a single process. ‘A Zone’ alteration types include MA. Figure 3 shows the histogram of sample grades in the MQ and MV alteration types in Zone 96. the Henty Fault splays into the North and South Henty Faults. Beecroft NSW 2119. Gold mineralisation is hosted in the Tyndall Group rocks to the east of the Henty Fault. An optimisation algorithm based on maximisation of profit from mining is used to assist in ore definition. the high-grade gold deposits at Henty are a new style of mineralisation in the Mt Read Volcanics and are the only known economic deposits hosted in the Tyndall Group rocks. The Henty orebodies are hosted east of the Henty Fault on the steeply west dipping overturned western limb of a shallowly south plunging asymmetric syncline trending into the Henty Fault. The orebodies plunge at around 45 degrees to the south between the Sill Zone and Zone 96. ORE DEFINITION IN UNDERGROUND MINES The problem of ore definition in underground mines. the solutions to these problems are based on the same spatial modelling methods and economic concepts. and lack of familiarity with ideas and methods among mine geologists. The most intense quartz-sericite-sulphide alteration and gold mineralisation has affected the Lynchfold Member of the Comstock Formation and is referred to as the ‘A-Zone’ type alteration. Conditional simulation and optimisation techniques for ore definition have found considerable success in the open pit gold mining environment. The 20 metre wide South Henty Fault forms the upper boundary to mineralisation. can be significantly more difficult when compared to the problem of ore definition in open pit mines. Modelling is commonly reduced to treating the sample data as a single geologic population. This paper discusses the application of the MP method (a particular implementation of conditional simulation and optimisation) to modelling the distribution of potential ore blocks in the Henty gold mineralisation. Limited access to the mineralisation to be mined and the high-cost of underground development are not always compatible with highly selective mining practices. is usually carried out from sites located some distance from the mineralisation. implementations of these methods in open pit mining have been comparatively simplistic. Zone 96 and Mt Julia.17 May 2000 207 . Henty lies within the Cambrian Mount Read Volcanic Belt. particularly gold mines. Of these. the Henty Fault Sequences and the Tyndall Group rocks of the Mount Read Volcanics and the overlying Owen Conglomerate. 1997) shows a schematic cross-section through the Henty deposit and surrounding geology. 14 . MZ. The Henty mine lease covers rocks of the Central Volcanic Sequences. Figure 1 (after De Mark and Callaghan. Typical of gold.Ore Definition at the Henty Gold Mine Tasmania N Schofield1 ABSTRACT The Henty Gold Mine is a good example of a situation where conditional simulation and optimisation techniques may have useful impact on modelling of mineralisation distribution and ore definition. The lithologies and regional foliation strike at 340 degrees with a steep westerly dip. cream or pink massive to recrystallised brecciated quartz rock carry most of the gold mineralisation with MQ carrying around 80 per cent. MV and MZ and these are the alteration types followed in the underground drives in Zone 96. Zone 96 has been the focus of initial production. steeply west dipping brittle-ductile faults with displacements of up to a few metres. geological mapping can often play a more important role in ore definition in the underground mine. The shallowest zone is termed the Sill Zone. MV alteration comprising a yellow-green fine grained and highly foliated quartz-sericite-pyrite rock and MQ comprising a grey. and swing parallel to the Henty Fault as they approach the structure. The figure illustrates the very narrow intersections in drill holes and the underground sample grades provide a reasonable illustration of the grade continuity between drill hole intersections. There are several reasons for the greater difficulty. Much of the gold mineralisation at Henty is concentrated within an alteration zone which is both physically discontinuous and forms only a small fraction of the overall mineralised volume. Hercules and Mt Lyell mineral deposits. The main mineralised zone comprises MQ. Zone 96 is up to 300 metres long. and truncates it to the south.

Qld. 14 .N SCHOFIELD FIG 1 .17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 208 Coolum. 1997).Schematic cross-section at 54 900 mN through the Henty deposit and host geology showing the Henty fault and the distribution of the main alteration types (after De Mark and Callaghan.

4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Qld.Plan showing the distribution of alteration types and gold grades in drill hole and underground sampling. 14 .ORE DEFINITION AT THE HENTY GOLD MINE TASMANIA FIG 2 .17 May 2000 209 . 2142RL.

ore is defined with the help of conditional simulation models of the alteration geometry and the gold grades within each alteration type. 1992). 1992). Similar properties apply to the generation of conditional simulations which represent the distribution of geological variables such as the distribution of MV. conditional simulation methods for generating models of distribution of alteration types and grades are the only methods which can consistently reproduce these fundamental properties of the sample data. The spatial distribution of alteration types such as MQ. At the Henty Gold mine. Inclusion of the underground mapping and assaying information is optional. WHY CONDITIONAL SIMULATION AND OPTIMISATION? MODELLING THE SPATIAL GEOMETRY OF THE ALTERATION TYPES Conditional simulation methods for building models of grade in mineral deposits are designed to generate models that reasonably reproduce certain average properties of the sample grades. MV and MZ are generated using the method of Probability Field simulation (Froidevaux. represented by the indicator variograms is also represented in the indicator simulation.N SCHOFIELD FIG 3 . Qld. Presently. The distribution of gold grades within each alteration type is simulated using the Sequential Gaussian Simulation method (Gomez-Hernandez and Journel. This property is integral to the definition of ore. An optimisation algorithm similar to that described by Schofield and Rolley.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 1997 (the MP Method) and Glacken. 1996 is applied to a set of multiple simulations to provide the mine geologists with an optimal definition of ore prior to final geological interpretation and stope design. MQ and MZ at locations in the model in proportions similar to those present in the data. ore bearing mineralisation. Both of these methods are presently too slow for practical 210 Coolum. 14 . The spatial distribution of the three main gold bearing alteration types.Histogram of gold grades in drill hole and underground samples in the MV and MQ alteration types. when compared to the open pit environment. Reproduction of the histogram is important because it provides some guarantee that a model will be globally and conditionally unbiased. specifically the histogram of the grades and the spatial continuity of the grades. MQ. MQ and MZ in the Henty deposit. The greater uncertainty in locating the ore that is introduced by wider drill hole spacing. MV and MZ may be simulated at an appropriate scale using a number of conditional simulation methods such as Sequential Indicator Simulation (SIS) and Simulated Annealing (Deutsch and Journel. inherently clustered underground sampling and higher cut-off grades. Reproduction of the spatial continuity is also important because it provides some guarantee that the way in which high and low grades are grouped together in the sample data will be reproduced in the model. The continuity of each alteration type. can be mitigated to some extent by better quality sampling from core and the potential for better geological modelling. The quality of assay information generated from face and back sampling is usually inferior to that generated from diamond drill core. The advantage of the additional optimisation procedure in assisting the definition of ore is that it introduces the local variable costs and revenues into the ore definition in a better way than simply applying a previously defined cut-off grade to the estimate of grade in a block in a deposit. Indicator simulations and Pfield simulations generate MV. These models use both the geological logging of alteration types from the drill core as well as the underground mapping of the drives. 1992).

MV and MQ is similar and that the differences between the gold grade distributions in each alteration type are entirely reflected in the histogram of sample gold grades for each type. MODELLING THE GRADE DISTRIBUTIONS IN EACH ALTERATION TYPE Conditional simulation of the gold grades in each alteration type allows the reproduction of the histogram and variogram of the gold grades in each alteration.Indicator variograms of the alteration transitions and a level plan of a conditional simulation of alterations types in Zone 96 (easting scale is exaggerated). Figure 5 shows a level plan of a conditional simulation of gold grades with traces of the underground drill holes overlain and the locations of underground samples shown. The figure also shows directional indicator variograms describing the continuity of the MZ to MV. MQ transition and the MZ. the latter transition is significantly less continuous than the former. Qld. ORE DEFINITION USING CONDITIONAL SIMULATIONS OF GRADE In the traditional practice of resource estimation and grade control. In the underground fan drilling at Henty. In this approach. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.ORE DEFINITION AT THE HENTY GOLD MINE TASMANIA implementation in a producing mine with current computing capabilities. Each pair of simulations is designed to reasonably reproduce the average univariate and spatial properties of the input sample data and honour the known sample grades and geological classification. Figure 4 shows simulations of the distribution of alteration types in small blocks within Zone 96 of the Henty deposit. the proportion of samples that are MQ averages around eight per cent and the proportion of samples that are MV averages around 15 per cent. Another approach which provides reasonable indicator simulations in a fraction of the time taken for both of these methods is Probability Field Simulation (Pfield). The MP modelling at Henty assumes that the spatial continuity of gold grade in MZ. some assumptions regarding the spatial continuity of gold grades in the MQ must be made because the amount of information about grade in MQ and the discontinuous nature of the MQ geometry does not permit any reasonable calculation of the variogram of gold grade within the MQ. Consequently. Each simulation model reasonably reproduces the histogram of gold grades for each alteration type as measured from the diamond drill hole sample grades in that type.17 May 2000 211 . the single FIG 4 . As might be expected. 14 . the economic cut-off grade is applied to an estimate of the grade of a mineable volume to decide if the volume should be accepted as ore or rejected as waste. The grade control process allows for up to 100 pairs of conditional simulations of the gold grade distribution and the alteration type distribution to be generated in the first stage of the modelling process. The traces of drill holes in close proximity to the level are also plotted showing the sample alteration type. MV to MQ transition. This is the approach currently taken at Henty to generate models of the distribution of alteration types in the mine sequence. Directional variograms of the normal scores of gold grade used to generate the conditional simulations are also shown in the figure alongside the level plan.

with production ranging from 13239 oz at $434 per oz in the June 1998 quarter to 26199 oz at $217 per oz in the March 1999 quarter. The mine geologist can choose to include or exclude underground mine sampling and mapping in the modelling. The improvement was largely due to the modified mining method being employed which has allowed mining of the higher grade central portions in 212 Zone 96 whilst minimising dilution and lead to an increased mining rate’. the process takes into account the probability that the block will have a grade exceeding the cut-off grade.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . RECENT RECONCILIATION INFORMATION The MP grade control system was introduced at Henty in December 1998 and became operational in early-1999. the set of conditional simulations is used to build an estimator of ore and waste that is implicitly customised to each individual deposit. some 84 900 tonnes of reserve have been mined at a predicted grade of 19. The application of the conditional simulation and optimisation method known as MP at Henty provides tools to allow the mine geologist the ability to model both the distribution of the main mineralised alteration types and the gold grade associated with those types. In the current year to the end of February. CIBC World Markets magazine (July 1999) reported that ‘The operating performance at Henty showed significant improvement over the course of the past year. This is part of the information provided by the conditional simulations. The method is comparatively fast and allows re-modelling of large areas of the deposit within several hours. The optimisation method uses the information contained in all the simulations to decide the economic advantage of accepting a block of mineralisation as ore or rejecting it. Ounces produced are within three percent of ounces predicted. There is no prior assumption that an estimator such as the polygonal estimator of grade is the best for grade modelling in a particular deposit. Qld.6 grams per tonne for 53 500 oz of contained gold. CONCLUSIONS The Henty Gold mine presents some difficult challenges to ore definition which are related to the high-cost of mining and the concentration of most of the gold within a very small proportion of the mineralised rocks.Variogram of gold grade and a level plan showing a conditional simulation of gold grade. Figure 6 shows the result of applying the optimisation process to the set of conditional simulations to help define ore on two levels in Zone 96.N SCHOFIELD FIG 5 . some 100 300 tonnes were actually mined at a grade of 17. Coolum. 14 . Allowing for overbreak (dilution). The approach has potential for application to other underground gold mines where the alteration characteristics associated with mineralisation can be readily mapped and where underground mine sampling and mapping can play an important part in ore definition. In doing so. model of block grades produced by a particular estimation method (such as kriging or polygonal estimation) is assumed to provide the best representation of the block grade for the purpose of deciding ore and waste. With optimisation approaches like MP.1 grams per tonne for 55 130 oz of contained gold.

in Geostatistics Troia ’92. C V and Journel. Volume 1 (Ed: A Soares) pp 85-94. CIBC World Markets Australian Gold Book . in Proceedings Third International Mining Geology Conference . A G. pp 25-29 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).Plan and section plots showing ore defined by simulation and optimisation. Change of Support and Use of Economic Parameters for Block Selection. He also thanks the conference reviewers for their thoughtful comments in improving the presentation of this paper.ORE DEFINITION AT THE HENTY GOLD MINE TASMANIA FIG 6 . I M. 1996.17 May 2000 213 . Schofield. in Proceedings of the Third International Mining Geology Conference. P and Callaghan. Joint Sequential Simulation of Multigaussian Fields. N and Rolley. in Geostatistics Wollongong ’96. 14 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Deutsch. Geology and Mineralisation of the Henty Gold Mine. 1992. REFERENCES De Mark. Volume 1 (Ed: A Soares) pp 73-84 (Kluwer Academic Publishers: London). pp 811-821. 1997. Probability Field Simulation. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The author acknowledge the contributions of colleagues at Hellman and Schofield and the Henty Gold Mine in preparing and reviewing this paper. A G. T. pp 93-97 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Optimisation of Ore Selection in Mining: Method and Case Studies. 1997. Froidevaux R 1992. in Geostatistics Troia ’92. 1992. (Kluwer Academic Publishers: London). J and Journel. Gomez-Hernandez. 340 p (Oxford University Press: New York). 1999. Goldfields Limited. Coolum. P. Glacken. GSLIB – Geostatistical Software Library and Users Guide . Qld. Tasmania.

the additional information in the guidelines has highlighted a number of issues for consideration by geologists undertaking computer-based resource estimations. The database should well documented. At the end of the day. Geologists should recognise the fact that the database will evolve with a project as it develops from exploration to development through to the mining stage. gas data. to accept that some ore was missed in the estimate than to admit to mine management and the mining engineers that the estimate ‘over stated’ the resource. such as the borehole names.Computer-based Resource Estimation in Accordance with the 1999 JORC Code J H Duke1 and P J Hanna2 ABSTRACT Following the Busang fiasco. Comments such as micro-faulting. assumptions. On an exploration project however. It is easier. and Transparency. but also with respect to the modelling algorithms and resource calculation methods of the computer software system involved. what investors and mine management need are resource estimates which are as accurate as possible so they can realistically assess the geological ‘risk’ of the project. the accumulated knowledge of the existing mineralisation provides a solid basis for the predictive resource model on which the estimate is made. MMICA. International Pty Ltd. verification of laboratory results and listings of the data. It is also important that the database agrees entirely with the final geological model. the geologist argues. Coolum. etc. as it will inevitably be scrutinised by external auditors. even if it is not related to a borehole (Figure 1). The first nine points are concerned with the integrity of the geological data. assaying and data location. assay tests. either way it is not necessarily the ‘best’ estimate based on the available data and geological understanding. site visits. Senior Geologist – Coal. DATA INTEGRITY The 1999 JORC Code provides us with guidelines (refer to Table 1 of the JORC Code) which are recognised as industry standard procedures for resource estimators. impurities. This implies that the resource geologist not 1. and lost water circulation in borehole (possible breccia/fractured zone). sampling procedures. more detailed guidelines were appended to the latest revision of the JORC Code released in September 1999 (JORC. There are two important criteria to consider whilst developing a geological database for resource estimation. hydrogeological data. it is essential that the Competent Person undertake a reality check on the resource estimation itself. Bowral NSW 2576. grade. INTRODUCTION It has long been accepted practice amongst mine geologists to provide ‘conservative’ resource estimates. the exploration geologist is often prone to provide a more ‘optimistic’ resource estimate. They should also check that the borehole spacing is in accordance with the level of continuity for each critical parameter (such as structure. H2S odour emitted from borehole. MAusIMM. Often. 1999). logging. PO Box 160. will carry out resource estimation using specialised ‘resource modelling’ software. analytical data. etc.17 May 2000 215 . but that they should be prepared to sign-off on the database itself and that this should become a standard practice for the industry. It is the authors’ opinion that geologist should not only sign-off on a Resource Statement. FAusIMM. • Geological Interpretation – is the Competent Person applying the appropriate software interpretation to the deposit in accordance with the regional setting. At all stages it is important that the investors. stratigraphic sequence. PO Box 160. geologists should ensure adequate data validation has been conducted. any shortcomings of the data. 2. 4th International Mining Geology Conference ECS only works to understand the deposit but can use the appropriate software methods to model it accurately. Materiality. Today’s geologists need to fully understand how data can be manipulated with the software system they are using to store the data. Principal Geologist – Metals. which data is relevant to the project and the reliability of the information. the extent of validation. The documentation should note. Are the correct computer-based tools being applied and are they producing the desired result (without compromise) to the satisfaction of the Competent Person? • Modelling Technique – the importance of the relevant experience of the Competent Person not only in regard to the geology. whether attached to an existing mine or assigned to an exploration project. etc) for which the resources are categorised. The three main issues are: • Data Integrity – details such as drilling and logging techniques. Consequently the knowledge base for the resource model is very limited and grows only by further exploration. Additionally. For these reasons it is essential that geologists know why data was collected. ECS International Pty Ltd. data recording and aggregation methods need to be considered. Bowral NSW 2576. Qld. For many years now the resource geologist. geotechnical logs. among other things. integrating all types of information including lithology. 14 . Some systems use an extract summary file of the database to generate a model. Although the definitions and terminology essentially remained unchanged. It is essential that the geologist remains focussed on these criteria when designing and compiling a geological database. The mine geologist does not usually have to wait very long before mining reveals what is actually in the ground. There is usually a long lead-time to development and hence to any reconciliation of the resource to mine production. Applying the appropriate methods involves both having access to those methods in the available software and being able to use them to generate a realistic and accurate model. The best method to check the integrity of the database is to plot the data onto sections and plans of the final model (Figure 2). should be stored in an appropriate form in the database. A database should be all encompassing. Whether the resource estimate is conservative or optimistic. downhole geophysical logs. When compiling the database. such as. According to the JORC Code. but neglect to update the database with the same edits. a geologist may edit the extract file to update the model. Every piece of geological information that has an impact on the project should be retrievable from the database to be placed on appropriate plans or cross-sections. This is regarded as poor practice. project managers and the mine planners are aware of the impact of geology on the viability of mining the resource. as it often complicates an independent audit of the resources. sampling.

In the case of a single coal seam deposit for example. and • relevant information to the mine planners who will determine a reserve estimate based on the geological conditions.Comments on a conceptual mine plan highlighting geological hazards to mine planners. interpreted seam intercepts from downhole geophysical logs in ‘open holes’ (see Figure 4). Qld. Nature of data used FIG 2 . 14 . In computer-based resource estimation the geologist’s understanding of the structure and grade continuity of the resource are translated as defined zones or ‘domains’ with their unique geometric shape. For example. The nature of the relevant data used for the interpretation often dictates how the geologist conducts the interpretation and what assumptions are derived about the geology.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . 216 Geological interpretation for mineral resource estimation is always based on both the available data and the geologist’s knowledge of the deposit. It is assumed that enough cored holes have been logged and compared to geophysical logging data such that the geophysical ‘signature’ of the seam can be accurately recognised. GEOLOGICAL INTERPRETATION Geological interpretation is a fundamental part of the resource estimation process. and needs graphical capability in software systems. Software would often need to be able to handle faulting and seam thickness complexities such as washouts and seam splits. coal intercepts might be either visually logged by the geologist from drill core or. interpretation might involve defining the floor and thickness of the seam (domain) and a boundary to limit its extent either at subcrop or at depth. Ultimately. the database will be the basis for which the geologist will communicate: • the level of confidence an investor can ‘bank on’ from the Resource estimate reported. in the single seam deposit shown in Figure 3. Coolum.J H DUKE and P J HANNA FIG 1 .Validation of borehole data against the geological model is critical.

Because overall data density is often sparse. underground stope channel sampling. In modelling a sedimentary uranium deposit it was found that interpretation of lode intercepts based on ‘economic’ grades only. the data used to carry out the geological interpretation is derived from a variety of sources – surface costean sampling. The lower grades at the margin of the lode prevented the higher grades from being extrapolated out to the margin as it did with the zero thickness intercept (see Figure 6). reverse circulation borehole sampling data and diamond borehole sampling data.Downhole geophysical data is often used to define splitting and coalescing coal seams. FIG 4 . as grades diminished at the margins of the deposit it was important to include a lower grade intercept at the edge rather than a zero thickness intercept. resulted in some problems with the grade model. caused problems of ‘smearing’ high-grade and low-grade gold estimations. whilst easier to define. Grade and geological continuity FIG 3 . The 3D approach. The factors that affect grade and geological continuity need to be understood and this understanding carried through to both the geological interpretation and modelling process. In the gold vein example both a 3D block model vein ‘envelope’ and a 2D gridded high-grade vein interpretation were compared. especially in an effort to arrive at the best resource estimate. Alternative interpretations It is sometimes useful to compare alternative interpretations.17 May 2000 217 .Accommodating seam splitting in a single seam interpretation by splitting seam A in DH2 into three seam splits with a complex father-son relationship. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. all available data is used in the interpretation and the grade estimation even though there are differences in sample size and technique.COMPUTER-BASED RESOURCE ESTIMATION In the case of a complex gold vein deposit (see Figure 5). For example. The definition and correlation of 2D high-grade veins (see Figure 5) to generate a vein model resulted in a much more accurate and useful model for mine planning than the block model derived from the envelope interpretation. 14 . Qld.

Using geology to control estimation The use of geology in guiding and controlling mineral resource estimation is particularly relevant to folded and faulted deposits. These controls are incorporated into the computer model using such tools as wireframes. choosing the appropriate estimation techniques involves finding ways of modelling the spatial distribution of grades and other attributes within the domains. The resource model is then built by filling these domains with blocks and estimating block grades in such a way as to accurately reflect the geologist’s understanding of spatial distribution within each domain. such as lode boundaries. base metal vein-type deposit. triangulated and gridded surfaces and grade estimation procedures adapted to emulate grade distributions. This study involves examination of data spacing. and trends in values displayed on sections. plans and in 3D.Section through a complex gold vein deposit showing the hangingwall and footwall surfaces derived from vein ‘envelope’ intercepts interpreted from a variety of exploration data. metal lode (see Figure 7) use was made of transformed blocks (a proprietary method called Z-Grid Control – see Cram and Duke. It is important that block models are constrained by the controlling geological elements of the deposit. 1997) geological interpretation involves the geologist in using all relevant data to define geological domains which differentiate the various types of mineralisation in the deposit and which stand up to the scrutiny of statistical and variogram analysis.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . For example. ESTIMATION AND MODELLING TECHNIQUES As discussed in some detail in our earlier paper (Duke and Hanna. along with statistical and variogram analysis. Choosing the appropriate estimation technique Having defined the geological domains during the geological interpretation stage. in modelling a steeply dipping gently folded base 218 Data analysis within domains A study of the spatial distribution of assay data that lies within each domain usually increases the geologist’s understanding of the nature of mineralisation and provides the basis for determining grade estimation strategies. structure and spatial distribution of grades and other attributes.allowing for local changes in orientation of the search ellipsoidal. 1992) to control grade estimation within the fold.Alternative geological interpretations of a sedimentary uranium deposit affect the grade continuity in the resource model. Coolum. Transformed blocks are used to control grade estimation within the fold . FIG 5 . FIG 6 . Qld.J H DUKE and P J HANNA FIG 7 .Block model of a folded. 14 .

Without this knowledge. Coolum. This has provided the geologist with the ability to recommend to the reserve estimator that although a resource is considered as Measured.COMPUTER-BASED RESOURCE ESTIMATION Treatment of extreme grade values Reconciliation and mine production records If extreme grade values exist within a single domain. This is the ultimate test of a resource estimate. variograms and confidence models. sample/sector selection criteria and anisotropic ratios and rotation. It is particularly useful for this checking to be carried out both by the Competent Person who will sign off on the resource estimate and a geologist who has good knowledge and geological understanding of the deposit (if not the same person). which are discontinuous and impossible to domain separately. RESOURCE REPORTING CONCLUSIONS The old adage ‘Give six geologists one data set and you will end up with seven different interpretations’ reflects the true nature of our profession. and 2. and area of influence plots are usually quick and easy to produce by computer-literate geologists today. such as indicator kriging. then the blocks will need to be much smaller than one-quarter the average data spacing in order honour the folded geometry of the lode. In practice however it is often difficult to provide accurate reconciliation data. This technology know-how needs to cover two areas: 1. whereby further drilling would not alter the estimate of tonnage or coal quality by more than say ten per cent. will provide an abundance of support material to assist the estimator in classifying the resources into their appropriate categories. However if regularised blocks are used in folded domains. and has given rise to the international acceptance of the JORC Code itself. The real test of a resource model’s validity is how it reconciles with what is actually mined. Although this would be considered as a Measured Resource in the coal industry. Previous estimates Previous estimates must be used as a means of checking and comparing any resource estimate. such as the complex gold vein shown in Figure 5. when used correctly. Differences need to be explained satisfactorily which maybe attributed to such factors as a revised geological interpretation. It is particularly important to use the appropriate set of search strategies for each domain. but also in the technology behind the software system used to produce the resource model. Grade interpolation methods include inverse distance weighting and kriging. 14 . Maximum scan distance Choosing the maximum scan distance for grade estimation in any domain involves both geological and practical considerations. as the first step is to compare the reserve estimate with production so as to eliminate the differences between predicted and actual mining losses and dilution. Strategies to rectify this include cutting high grades. Qld. which has been explored to the extent. In the case of the complex gold vein deposit it proved to be very important that the 3D block model of the vein envelope be checked against the 2D vein model. the methodology of estimation of resource tonnage and associated grade. the geologist should at least review the results to determine whether they appropriately reflect the Competent Person(s)’ view of the deposit. at the end of the day. the maximum scan distance should provide for sufficient samples in each search ellipsoid in order to generate a valid block grade in each block. there is a danger that these values will cause undue influence on local grade estimation. One such example could be an underground coal resource. as the JORC Code points out in Table 1. garbage out). it was the 2D vein model that proved to be the most accurate and useful model. it is easy to produce enough statistical evidence to prove whatever result we want. Model validation – The reality check To validate the resource model there is no substitute for comparing between the model and the relevant borehole data plotted systematically on a full set of plans and sections. it is quite likely that the ‘computer’ will produce the wrong result (garbage in. Histogram and cross-correlation graphs. It is important that the check estimate is carried out using an entirely different method (often a more manual method such as polygonal or sectional method) so that it provides a valid basis for comparison. Geologically. However. Today’s sophisticated geological and mine planning software systems are designed with great flexibility to be able to produce those seven different interpretations.17 May 2000 219 . require larger block sizes. other factors. etc may require further drilling data to confirm their effect on the mining viability of the resource. Check estimates A check estimate is carried out as a way of validating the model on which the resource estimate is based. In this day and age. therefore. Anisotropic control is particularly useful for modelling deformed deposits (Figure 7). geological control techniques and extrapolation algorithms. Some grade estimation techniques. Interpolation parameters In compiling a resource estimate. additional data or differences in modelling method. Computer systems. As we know with the interpretative nature of geology. Therefore the geologist should ensure that their report reflects these concerns that may lead the reserve estimator to classify the reserves as Probable rather than Proved. These extreme values are often due to smaller scale structures such as mineralised stockwork veins. such as roof or floor conditions. In fact. materiality and competence. there may be other factors that will influence the extraction of the resource thus reducing the confidence of the reserve estimate. Block size vs borehole spacing As a ‘rule of thumb’ blocks should be no smaller than a quarter of the average data spacing in each direction. multiple estimations using different search parameters for different grade ranges and use of indicator kriging. A reality check will assist the Competent Person in determining whether they believe their peers would agree with their classification. gas regime. Grade interpolation parameters include such parameters as scan distance. the maximum scan distance is in the direction of greatest grade continuity as determined by the geologist’s knowledge of the data. Kriging is a geostatistical method of allocating optimal weights for local estimation based on the variogram model. One change of the 1999 JORC Code was the addition of the diagonal arrows in Figure 1 linking Measured Resources to Probable Reserves. Practically. the JORC Code specifies that the main governing principles are transparency. 4th International Mining Geology Conference the methodology used to create an accurate resource model including such tools as database validation. it is essential that the Competent Person should be experienced not only in the geological interpretation of a deposit.

Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in the 1999 JORC Code. J L. Australia. D. 14 . it is essential that the Competent Person conduct a reality check before publicly reporting any resource estimate. Duke. REFERENCES Cram.General relationship between exploration results. A A and Duke. 1997. 1997. in Proceedings Thirty First Newcastle Symposium on Advances in the Study of the Sydney Basin. pp 99-109 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. An Introduction to Applied Geostatistics (Oxford University Press: New York). J H. April 1997. Duke.J H DUKE and P J HANNA FIG 8 . in Proceedings The Resource Database Towards 2000. pp 85-91 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. pp 851-854 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Illawarra Branch: Wollongong). Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia. pp 53-55. Hanna. P J. in Proceedings The Resource Database Towards 2000. Variography. The Joint Ore Reserves Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. 1999. 1992. 1987.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . JORC. Coolum. More importantly. Newcastle. Computer Database and Geological Modelling of Hunter Valley Geology. Sydney. Qld. Geological Interpretation for Resource Estimation. Geological Control in Computer-Based Resource Estimation. R M. SMEDG/AIG Resource Evaluation Symposium. 220 Guibal. E H and Srivastava. Geological Modelling Techniques in Mine Planning. Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (The JORC Code). NSW. J H. P J and Cameron. Illawarra Branch: Wollongong). A Tool For The Resource Geologist. Isaaks. 1992. 1997. in Proceedings Pacific Rim Congress ‘87. with or without this technology know-how. J H and Hanna.

Present and Future W J Shaw 223 Evolution of Grade Control at KCGM V M O’Brien and T Cutts 229 The Use of Magnesium Oxide and Iron to Predict Host Units in Grade Control and Exploration at Bulong Nickel Operation W J Bollenhagen 239 .Grade Control Mining Grade Control — Past.

Application of sampling theory at many mine sites has made a significant improvement to the quality of that data. Qld. In analysing different approaches to grade control it becomes apparent that there are similarities and differences between various mining styles. Drilling companies have also responded to pressure to reduce costs while meeting higher standards of sampling quality. 14 . Principal Consultant. Underground face sampling continues to rely mainly on manual methods. In many cases now the sampling quality is stipulated in drilling contracts and mine sites routinely carry out validation tests on sampling equipment. Examination of the grade control process frequently stops after sample quality has been examined. or sampling muck piles of blasted material or trucked ore. and • timely (so that the results can usefully define the ore blocks). but now many successful mines take the view that such dedicated drilling provides better quality data in a more timely manner. although very little has been published. • unbiased. various commodities and between the old ways and the new. leading to poor precision and bias) are not always easy to quantify and there are few good published comparative studies. 1990a). … ‘The objectives of mining geology are primarily to enable the mining company to maximise profits by reducing the risk associated with geological (and other) uncertainty. Coolum. There are variations on this approach depending on the orientation of sampling and whether channels are cut or samples are collected over an area. Reasons are discussed for the success of various improved practices. Where the geometry of the orebody and the mining method can support it. There is much more beyond this that can now be optimised using conditional simulation models. Other future directions of mining grade control are also suggested. Very successful grade control of high-grade underground gold mines relied in the past on panning of gold samples during mining. SAMPLING In most parts of the world grade control sampling is now done mechanically. 4th International Mining Geology Conference gold deposits. All sampling. Any other sort of sampling is really too late to have much impact on the grade of the ore blocks and is best described as reconciliation sampling. Case studies such as Pratt and Jankowski (1993) provide an insight into the importance of geological controls in deciding the correct orientation for grade control sampling. Blast hole sampling is attractive in hard rock mining because the holes are already available. Kirin Centre. it cannot help to control the grade. A number of problems in grade control have been solved recently however there are still issues that need to be addressed. or better trained than was the case in the past. The quality of RC drilling has improved significantly with the introduction of face-sampling hammers rather than crossover subs. Trenching techniques have changed from using rip lines to cutting sampling trenches using rotary saws or chain saws (both variants of DitchWitch equipment). drilling well in advance of mining enables design of the ore blocks to be based on true grade control sampling. We will try to identify concrete improvements in techniques that have contributed to improving grade control.17 May 2000 223 .’ (Shaw. Let us start by ensuring that we are in all cases talking about good practices. An extensive bibliography of published papers on grade control is included that will be maintained and updated on a website. Alternatives generally rely on sludge sampling of blast holes. In examining the various sampling methods we have defined some important considerations. leaving behind trenches in the richest parts of the ore. The progressive development of grade control is presented and the balance between quantitative and qualitative data is analysed. there is little to be gained by supposing that grade control is now done by people who are more dedicated. The disadvantages of blast hole sampling (contamination and sample loss. how it has developed and where it is going. There are always assumptions and unless these are stated at the outset they can remain hidden. although some new strategies are further discussed later. Some comparisons are presented here to explore what grade control is. Level 3. ie collecting rock chips using a hammer and chisel. cheap labour meant that sampling was done by hand. The trend setting operations often had to rely on subjective trials to justify a change to RC drilling. Large open pit gold mines currently exist where artisan miners using hand panning steal gold overnight. whether it is manual or by trenching or drilling. The smaller consistent particle size overcomes many of the disadvantages of trenching and enables samples that have demonstrably better repeatability to be collected systematically. enhancing their capacity for selective mining. Sampling broken ore often shows poor representativity and bias due to the particle size variation. It is not easy to balance the costs and the benefits of these methods.Mining Grade Control — Past. Mining and Resource Technology Pty Ltd. The primitive ‘grade control’ techniques that defined such high-grade trends are obviously very successful. Elaboration and improvements on this theory by Pitard (1993) and Francois-Bongarçon (1998) have made it more relevant to 1. It is remarkable today to see remnant underground workings that now define the high-grade trends in an open pit mine. to ensure that the sample collected is representative. Present and Future W J Shaw1 ABSTRACT The objectives of mining grade control are presented and examples of the techniques used in various open pit and underground mines are used to define the attributes of good grade control. Good grade control sampling must be: • safe. although in the past. There is little to be gained now by comparative test work between rip lines and DitchWitch trench samples. 15 Ogilvie Road. This was certainly not the case ten years ago when dedicated RC drilling (eg as discussed in Shaw. should conform to the principles of sampling defined by Gy (1979). Good grade control depends on good data. and still in some less developed countries. Mt Pleasant WA 6153. • representative (ie correct in terms of Gy’s sampling theory). This issue of risk management will be addressed later as it is now more amenable to quantitative analysis than it was ten years ago. One of the biggest issues that faces open pit mining operations is the balance between using blast holes and dedicated reverse circulation (RC) drilling for sampling. at the first Mining Geology Conference) was novel. Dedicated drill sampling is generally adopted in large underground mines once safety factors are seen as an issue. 1990b. FAusIMM. OBJECTIVES OF MINING GRADE CONTROL Objectives for grade control and for mining geology have been presented previously: ‘The objective of grade control is to maximise the value of ore mined and fed to the mill’. The skills and resources required for grade control on mine sites that are using best practice are also presented. Such sampling can only explain why the grade was different to expectations.

and • comprehensive so that all the required data is collected. rendering the testing technique less relevant. Where there is abundant assay data (for example in those operations that sample blast holes) there is often a tendency to discount individual assays. Problems in ensuring the useful application of consistent techniques for longer term reconciliations can also arise with partial extraction assays. ‘sand’ and ‘slimes’ at specific sieve sizes. Assaying is one of the most easily verified stages in grade control since the use of Standard Reference Samples and inter-laboratory checks can identify and control bias. Of course care should be taken to ensure that the digestion techniques have not been changed over time. Normative mineral analysis is being adopted for more and more deposits (Lipton et al. Such ‘metallurgical assays’ can all suffer from the same problem: they assume that the test mimics some part of the ore treatment or handling process. Finding the correct balance between soft geological data and hard assay data has proved difficult for many operations. Good mapping can significantly reduce grade control costs when the operation moves away from sampling everything towards targeting mineralised zones with high quality sampling. especially if assay turn-around times are critical to ensuring the ore blocks can be designed before the ore is dug. 14 . However even when consistently applied the use of partial extractions such as cyanide bottle roll tests (or even aqua regia) for gold can be misinterpreted when reconciling with the mill. good grade control assaying should be: • based on measurable attributes that may safely be used to predict metallurgical performance. A grade control system that is not built on a relational database to manage the assay data is heading for trouble. The ultimate reflection of poor confidence in sampling and assays (the hard data) is a total reliance on visual control (soft data) with close supervision of the contacts by mining geologists who make subjective judgements about whether material is ore or waste.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . a system that maximises the use of good quality information in an efficient manner can release staff away from the tedium of manually interpreting ore blocks in a subjective manner so that they can put effort into the mapping that will control future ore blocks. Qld. while the submission of field duplicates and pulp repeats can quantify precision at various stages of subsampling and assaying. Of course grade control must be orientated towards predicting those aspects of the ore processing that affect the value of the ore and there will always be a need for such information. 1999). 224 INTERPRETATION OF ORE BLOCKS The need to convert data to information (and eventually to knowledge and then wisdom) must not be overlooked. The balance between hard and soft data is dynamic. These aspects of the grade control process can be very time consuming and frustrating. when the data (hard and soft) is being under-utilised. Good assay data provides new insights into geological controls. Some mineral sands operations define attributes as ‘rock’. The Lump/Fines ratio of the ore changes with increased crushing. While this is hard to predict it is evident that the response of the ore to such physical treatment may be controlled by the mineralogy of the ore. It is often worth investigating whether the geology (soft data) is being effectively used. validation and subjective manual interpretations. This approach appears most prevalent in operations that use close spaced trenching or blast holes to sample every mining flitch. While this may be now well recognised. The impact of such a policy has been long appreciated in resource estimation with a significant move away from the ‘unconstrained kriging’ approaches that were prevalent during the 1980s. The problem with such tests is that the mill configuration can change over time. Sometimes there is such an emphasis on collecting hard assay data and interpreting it that the mining geologists do not have time to do mapping. even the average grades of the ore blocks may be regarded with some scepticism during mining and the ore blocks may then be radically altered. Again it is best to ensure that such metallurgical assays are constantly benchmarked. However the use of contouring or even kriging to define ore block boundaries is still evident at some sites. One of the big problems facing bulk shipping ores is the issue of the Lump/Fines ratio and partitioning of grades and penalty elements into various size fractions. A grade control system that disregards the geological controls will never be optimal. transport and handling. let alone incorporate the results into the ore block designs.W J SHAW ASSAYING GEOLOGICAL DATA A similar approach can be taken to examining assaying or indeed any other part of the grade control process. This will require accessible 3D-visualisation software built on a relational database. By assaying for a suite of elements and then combining these according to theoretical mineral compositions. Assaying for more than one element for grade control will become more common. • an appropriate balance should be achieved between hard and soft data for defining ore blocks. Adding to the criteria for good grade control: • all available data should be stored in a relational database with 3D coordinates (for integration with mining software). Many grade control systems get bogged down in data collection. On the other hand. Ferrous metal mines may use wet screening to emulate scrubbing or the effects of crushing and sizing in the mill. This imposes new demands on data management and interpretation. Assaying techniques vary significantly with different commodities. few operations perform well at collecting and managing soft data (mapping and drill hole logging). Adding to the previous list. The adoption of standard assaying techniques is usually unassailable. Tying the physical characteristics of ore to such normative mineral estimates may lead to a better understanding of such physical attributes as the Lump/Fines ratio. The geological data also provides the controls that enable the best balance between quality and quantity of sampling to be achieved. For example it is not unusual in bauxite operations to measure the silica that is digested by caustic soda at a specific pressure and temperature. Coolum. The incorporation of mapping data into mining grade control is still an important goal for most mines. reclassified to a lower grade stockpile or even set aside for resampling after mining. The use of modern assaying techniques such as the Leco furnace for S (which can provide assays for other volatile elements) and ICP assays (which can provide assays for a broad spectrum of elements) means that in many operations there is now more information available than in the past. the ratios of various minerals can be estimated. Some operations however opt for partial extractions or quasi-metallurgical testwork that may emulate some part of the mining or processing. If the sampling repeatability is poor. Effort has to be put into developing cost-effective techniques that can be reinterpreted as the mill configuration changes. Even standardised empirical tests (such as the ‘decrepitation index’ for iron ore) cannot account for changing practices over time and so need to be reinterpreted for different conditions. and • the gathering of expensive hard data (assays) should be guided by the availability of cheaper soft data (mapping). At the other end of the spectrum is a total reliance on the hard assay data with a complete disregard of geological controls.

From this we can make a decision based on how we perceive this distribution will affect us. Is the technique being widely used for grade control mark outs? No. Other innovations are also gaining in popularity. The process of defining ore block boundaries consisted of interpreting major lode directions and contouring the cut-off grade boundary based on the assays. Both the measurable benefits and the intangible advantages of conditional simulation will ensure that risk based definition of ore blocks will be adopted at more and more operations. more comprehensive ore tracking. Conditional simulation involves generating a set of independent possible outcomes (realisations) on a close spaced grid. however in the long run the most successful practices eventually get adopted and then persist. For underground mining based on drill sampling well in advance of ore block development. 1999 in Perth) for which the proceedings are still in press. the decision as to what will be mined has already been made and the sampling is of no value in controlling the grade. The author has run a grade control workshop course (Shaw. MRT currently has six sites using our Ore Block Optimisation (OBO) system. 1991) with over 450 participants. There is little published yet on the approach used or the results. As described.which one of these is correct? No single realisation is more valid than another. or sampling stoped ore. 1996. The most recent summary of the current state of the art was at the International Symposium on Geostatistical Simulation in Mining (28 . The approach to use is thus to generate many realisations and to use them to indicate the likely risk of grades being high or low at any point. that of a specific mining geology discipline with specialisation in mining grade control. for open pits the grade control assay data and mapping were plotted on cross-sections and bench plans for manual interpretation. It was apparent that different practitioners on the same mine site could interpret the same data quite differently and that there was no easy way to arbitrate or define the objective truth. Even five years ago there was less consideration given to validating assay quality than there is today because there are now more practitioners around that understand the problems that arise if data is ‘dirty’. they are not real new sample points and we would be foolish to believe them immediately since we have generated only one possibility (a first realisation) from the infinite number of alternatives that meet our target parameters. Many of the ideas presented are now implemented routinely in grade control all over the world. quality assurance and comprehensive reconciliation reporting for management.MINING GRADE CONTROL — PAST. at the expense of taking a bit more dilution. digitised and finally marked out on the ground. The dense grid of simulated values enables the final ore boundaries to be defined to a better resolution than the actual grade control sampling pattern. The mining industry has had a reasonably successful track record at adopting these many innovations. it is not yet common practice. For operations relying on face sampling of the next development cut. the distribution of the values at each point is used to represent our expectation at that point. If we have modelled the grade (and any attribute can be modelled) we could determine the probability that the grade will be above or below a nominated cut-off grade.17 May 2000 225 . Every realisation is ‘conditioned’ to the real data – this means that the real data influences every point. Without doubt this will happen as more practitioners find that a systematic approach to Coolum. Of course the new values are artificial. Since the risk is the 4th International Mining Geology Conference inverse of the confidence we can select our risk position according to our current circumstances. Other specialist courses in sampling and in geostatistical estimation techniques have also made a significant contribution. The reason for the success of various approaches is not hard to find. In areas where the real grades are mostly waste the effect is the opposite. 1997). A risk analysis approach enables the mining geologist to produce ore blocks that are less subjective. These new values should have a similar mean. At this stage the mining selectivity needed to be considered and so the mineable ore block boundary was then superimposed. If conditional simulation can give us possible realisations of the small-scale variability . The construction of a robust conditional simulation model that encompasses a large number of realisations can provide extensive information about the expected grade and the degree of variability at closely spaced points. Schofield and Rolley. audit trails. due to misallocation of resources or protectionism by their adherents. is at work ensuring that less successful practices (and mining companies) are gradually eliminated through open transparent competition. and that allow the risk profile (less dilution or less ore loss) to be varied for each ore type. The evolutionary process. SKILLS AND RESOURCES Training of mining geologists that supervise grade control is of major importance. A risk management approach to mining grade control can be developed based on conditional simulation (Dowd. That is why it is important to deal with a large number of realisations. These two separate sets of information were then merged and the final cut-off grade boundary was defined. 14 . the interpretation problem can be addressed using computer systems to ensure three-dimensional integrity of the interpretations. that honour the nominated cut-off grades. including better stockpile management. 1997. or 200). Shaw and Khosrowshahi. ie reducing it all to better than 90 per cent passing 75 microns before subsampling for assaying. Khosrowshahi and Shaw. this process involved a number of iterations and under the pressure of production it was not always possible to ensure that an audit trail existed that would validate the final ore blocks. ie ‘survival of the most fit’. and there are a number of other practitioners offering systems. dispersion and histogram as the available true data and should produce a similar variogram. Even in manual methods this is often done by the more experienced practitioners who push the ore blocks out a bit around the high grades near boundaries to be sure they do not lose any ore. If we have 50 realisations (or 100. In addition. OBSERVED IMPROVEMENTS IN GRADE CONTROL PRACTICES Ten years ago reverse circulation drilling was rarely used for grade control but now it is accepted as ‘best practice’. At operations that find this approach successful the geologists have been able to devote more attention to mapping and to incorporate real geological controls on grade. The same can be said for good quality sample preparation: it is now generally the practice to split 3 kg from the sample at the drill rig and to pulverise this split using ‘total prep’. In areas where there are a lot of high grades you can have a greater expectation of similar high grades. PRESENT AND FUTURE In the past. There is little evidence yet of the ultimate objective being reached.29 October. This frequently resulted in the definition of quite different ore block shapes on consecutive mining benches in open pits. A number of questions frequently come up that have not perhaps been adequately addressed in the literature: Conditional simulation appears to artificially increase the level of sampling – how can this be possible? The approach taken is to generate a series of new values between the true samples. This is intuitively acceptable. The approach taken is to use these to define the expected variability at each simulated point. In some places the older ways survive. 1997. that honours the real data (hence the word ‘conditional’) and models the spatial variability of the real data set. all the true values are retained and honoured. Qld.

1987. CONCLUSIONS Mining grade control has come of age in the last 15 years with recognition on many mine sites that it plays an integral part in the successful economic exploitation of mineral resources. • safer sampling underground. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin.W J SHAW grade control makes it a rewarding profession and more mine managers see the economic benefits of scientific grade control practices. Resources that enhance the ability of grade control practitioners to perform well are now commonplace on most mine sites. BIBLIOGRAPHY This bibliography includes references sourced from many publications and previous reviews (Bettenay and Shaw. Standards Australia. 1997) that indicate the application of conditional simulation to solving the problems of sampling grid optimisation and ore block optimisation. • more integration of mine and mill tracking systems with grade control predictions. • cut-off grade theory. and • reporting and communication. Strategies For Grade Control. • better integration of mapping and assay data at various scales. M. 1990. A check list for effective grade control. • a relational database. Bell. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. Kriging and geostatistics: a review of the literature available in English. There is much more beyond sampling that can now be optimised using conditional simulation models. • discounted cash flows (the time value of money). the relationship between the discrete geological controls and the continuous mineralisation controls must be clearly established. Since grade control is by definition about ‘controlling the grade’. This bibliography will reside on a web-site at www. The actual monitoring of ore movements will become easier as sites adopt truck-despatch systems based on Differential GPS survey control. While it is extensive at this stage it is strongly influenced by the authors personal views. Many operations develop and solve specific problems and the industry benefits when such advances are presented in open forums. • keeping a balance between hard and soft data. and • appropriate mining software for plotting and interpretation of data. • geological mapping. Bettenay.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Cases have been previously presented (eg Shaw and Khosrowshahi. W J. Practical methods of drill hole sampling. M. There is a clear relationship between the sampling density and costs of sampling. Qld. The relationship is less clear between the costs of sampling and the benefits in terms of reduced ore loss. • ensuring that grade control is optimal by continuously evaluating the costs and the benefits. Understanding and balancing the costs and benefits of various strategies is a major issue for many operations. Proc Australas Inst Min Metall. FUTURE DIRECTIONS OF MINING GRADE CONTROL Supervision of actual mining practices and control of the ore through various stockpiles will continue to improve. 1979. 14 . G D and Reeves. PROBLEMS IN GRADE CONTROL THAT HAVE BEEN SOLVED RECENTLY Examination of the grade control process often starts with sample quality but sometimes the analysis never progresses. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. • better representativity in gold mines with coarse gold. and • using risk based strategies to support decision-making. Ayris. • sampling theory.mrtconsulting. 226 In forecasting the future directions for grade control it is still apparent that there needs to be improvements in the following areas: • better sampling on drill rigs. • continuous survey control. This can be done by: • understanding all the various inputs to good mining. Standards Australia. The skills required of a mining geologist involved in good grade control are: • data management and presentation. 1979). and • mineral processing and metallurgy. ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Many of the ideas presented by the author on mining grade control over the last ten years have been developed in conjunction with mine site personnel and grade control course participants whose support is greatly appreciated. or by conditional simulation.10:37-41. Quality control: guide to the use of control chart methods including Cusum techniques. Bell and Reeves. Strategies For Grade Control. many different strategies can be trialled. A sound appreciation of the principles in a number of specialist areas is also required: • geostatistics and resource estimation. Meaningful Sampling in Gold Exploration. dilution and misclassification. This relationship can sometimes be defined for individual deposits by trial sampling or similar programs. 269:17-27. but include: • a data audit trail. and • better prediction of ore movement during blasting.au and new entries will be added to provide a comprehensive on-going reference to published work on mining grade control. Sydney. 1990. 1990. Australian Standards Committee QR/4. Mines cannot do without grade control because while geological boundaries may be sharp in many cases grades are continuous rather than discrete. Using conditional simulation. 7:145-170. • mining engineering. Coolum. • statistical analysis. 1990. However these systems need to interface with the data management systems used by grade control if they are to produce useful information. J F H. Determining drill hole deviation. Real time accessible survey control in all parts of the mine will also make geological mapping significantly more effective. Thus good grade control must be demonstrably cost-effective (ie it must show a positive cost-benefit). 10:91-93.com. While there is still much to do in refining such techniques a sound general approach has been established. Many of the real innovations leading towards a quantitative approach to mining grade control have been developed with the support and assistance of Dr Sia Khosrowshahi and my other colleagues at Mining and Resource Technology Pty Ltd and their support is gratefully acknowledged. Barnes. 59 p. In the former there are often many parameters and operational factors that cannot be controlled (for example the deposit can only be finally mined in one way). L F and Shaw.

17 May 2000 227 . 4th International Mining Geology Conference Journel. 1984 fall meeting of the Society of Mining Engineers of AIME. D G and Munro. 1989. 2nd Edition. 1986. Coolum. M J. Keough. The sampling of particulate materials: theory and practice. Developments in the valuation of gold mining properties from bore hole results. The use of sedimentology to improve valuation in gold mines. P and Korobov. Grade control procedures at the Iron Prince Quarry. Rep Invest. D. 22:1-10. D and Alexander. 431 p (Elsevier: Netherlands). 109 p (Australian Mineral Foundation: Adelaide). 1964. R I. T H and Eyde. in Proceedings PACRIM ’99. Robertson.Making the Transition. 1974.Cosmo Howley Gold Mine. Grades fluctuation at various scales of mine output. 26 October. in Applied mining geology. 7:171-180. W J and Waltho. in Proceedings 7th Comm Min and Metall Congress South Africa. Colorado 1974. Western Australia. WA. PRESENT AND FUTURE Border. Developments in Geomathematics. AIG Bulletin. Geostatistical ore reserve estimation. David. in Proceedings of a Symposium held in Quebec. in Proceedings 1971 Adelaide Regional Conference. stockpile management and reconciliation. Ore grade control in sub horizontal deposits. Collings. G C. Journel. Krige. 7:1-26. D G. in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. Coles. I G and Sehic. JORC. 1996. Dowd. WA (Selective blasting of ore and waste. effective September. in Proceedings Mining Industry Optimisation Conference. 1973. Gold Sampling . 1951. 59:317-331. CO (Ed: R Metz). 1968. Guarascio. US Bureau Mines.principles and practice. 14:95-102. G. in Proceedings 6th International Mining Congress. in Proceedings World Gold ’97. 1993. W C. The use of conditional simulation in grade control. A G. pp 195-206 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). D44-58. in Topics in Mathematical Geology. 1979. 466 p (Hutchinson Ross: USA). Grade control and ore selection practices at the Colosseum gold mine. Gill. D G. in Proceedings 10th International APCOM Symposium. M. Gold Mining Technology. Krige. J D R and Jankowski. Comparison of RAB. Special Publication. D G. P A. Eyde. D T. R A and Haw. 1959. pp 131-153. Proceedings of the First Joint International Meeting between SME and The AusIMM. Perth. Lipton. pp 35-41 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). in Proceedings 12th International APCOM Symposium. BHP Tech Bulletin. Application of geostatistics to construct a coal quality model. 1998. 1988. RC percussion and grade control drilling Gabanintha gold mine. Cook. Statistical determination of a safe sampling protocol: case studies at Granny Smith and Big Bell. South Africa. Economic Geology Research Unit. Mining Magazine. 1989. Characterisation of ore types and beneficiation behaviour using normative minerals. 14 .Conclusion of a New Phase of Research. I W. Colorado 1974. pp 300-314. 1967. Francois-Bongarçon. Cook. A review of the impact of statistics on mine valuation in the gold mining industry. P. pp 1-8. M and Verrezen.an integrated approach to blast design. prepared by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. Mining Engineers Handbook. 1984. Guibal. 1999. O A. 52(6):119-139. Pierre Gy’s sampling theory and sampling practice. 621. S W. M E. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. South Australia. (Ed: R Metz) pp 1-6. 1977. in Proceedings World Gold ‘89: Gold forum on technology and practices. J and McClure. 3rd Edition in 2 Volumes (John Wiley and Sons: New York). F78-94. in Proceedings Pacific Rim Congress ‘87. Geology Dept. Valuation and production optimization of a metal mine. S. H R and Levy. Hazen. 1979. Contribution of grade control costs to production costs in open pit gold mining. J O. Arizona. Krige. Optimisation of cut-off grades during design of underground mines. AIG Bulletin. R. Ore quality control for process optimisation. D G. 1987. Trimble. Reconciliations at the Kundana Gold Mine. problems of sampling and grade control. Krige. Krige. pp 21-27 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 1974. A study of the relationship between development values and recovery grades on the South African Goldfields. Gy’s Formula . Shaw. Johannesburg. 1987. Western Australia. 1993. US Bureau of Mines. S N. pp 855-857 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). J E. Open Pit to Underground . grade control. iron ore quarries. (Ed). A J. S W. 64:373-380. Colorado 1974. Colorado. November 5-8 (Eds: R B Bhappu and R J Harden). David. 1970. A statistical approach to some basic valuations problems on the Witwatersrand. D C and Hunt. J Chem Metall Min Soc South Africa. D G. 1990. Contribution 18. Carras. Applications of statistics and geostatistics in ore valuation in South Africa. Soc Min Eng Am Inst Min Metall and Pet Eng. 488 p (RC Press: Florida). pp 427-433 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Mining Geology. 1987. D G. F F. Queensland. J S Afr Inst Min Metall. Mining Engineering. Lacy. Krige. 1971. Forecasting departure from planning in open pit design and grade control. A G and Sans. the industry’s hope. J N and McIntyre. Lenartowicz. 1970. Dowd. J N. Reno. A Special Research Report (Eds: M A Romanova and O V Sarmanov). pp 83-89. James Cook University. Gillies. 1977. in Proceedings 11th International APCOM Symposium. D G. Meaningful Sampling in Gold Exploration. 364 p (Elsevier: Amsterdam). 19-22 September 1994.The importance of getting it right. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. 1968: CIM Special Volume No 9. Lacy. Denver. in Ore reserve estimation and grade control. M and Raspa. 16 p. Ore reserve estimation methods and grade control at the Scully Mine. P. 17(2):28-33. V A (Eds). Colorado 1974. pp 11-25 (Geostatistical Association of South Africa). W C. Qld. Proc Australas Inst Min Metall. 9. M. 1985. 6955. pp 227-234 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. SA. Use of computers for grade estimation. Short term mine management systems . 1944. 10:31-36. Davis. Transactions of Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. 1973. W J. Gy. O’Leary. 1:15-23. 1993. pp 275-282 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). D. F50-64. Dominion Mining Limited . pp 33-40 (The Canadian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy). in Proceedings 12th International APCOM Symposium. Hadlow. L. 1993. 83(812):A79-A84. United States. R J. Pitard. Conditional simulation for resource characterisation and grade control . Strategies for Grade Control. The geology and grade control at Bannockburn gold mine Leonora District. The application of geostatistics to mine sampling patterns. and its effect). 2. 1991. 1968. Some statistical techniques for analysing mine deposit sample and assay data. 1993. in Proceedings Mining Geostatistics Conference. Meaningful sampling in gold exploration. A D S. pp 243-261 (Consultants Bureau: New York). M. H. 1967. S and Shaw. Khosrowshahi. 1992. Krige. Mining geology. Newton. 69. Fietz. Dudley. Benchmark Papers in Geology. A review of some conceptual and practical implications of the use of valuation surfaces for gold ore reserve estimation. I T. Ore Reserve Estimation and Grade Control. The role of mathematical statistics in improved ore valuation technique in South African gold mines. Kruger National Park. B M. S N. A H. Pratt. The development of statistical models for gold ore valuations in South Africa. Blais. Assigning an area of influence for an assay obtained in mine sampling. 1983. Kavanagh. 1972. Application of geology to problems of sampling and grade control unique to industrial mineral deposits.MINING GRADE CONTROL — PAST.an integrated geological/geostatistical approach. Nami. Madrid.Canada . J S Afr Inst Min Metall South Africa. Krige. Developments in Geomathematics. pp 827-830. Nevada. Colorado 1974. 1961. Peele. S J. 1999. Battle Mt Gold Co. 1974. 1974. Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia (JORC). in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. Australasian code for reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (The JORC Code). Hazen. A E. K R. September 25-27. 1. Whyalla. 1997. pp 537-561. 4. D G. US Bureau of Mines Bulletin. paper No 4 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Procedure and example of grade control in open pit mining.

W J.Administration. More Meaningful Sampling in the Mining Industry. Predicting and monitoring errors in sampling. 44(4):343-351. S. 1993. in Proceedings Mine Geologists’ Conference. Shaw. 472 p (Chamber of Mines of South Africa: Johannesburg) Taylor. pp 93-97 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). G J. Shaw. Coolum. Optimising grade control procedures in large and small open pit mines. Does the mill control the grade? Strategies for Grade Control. Shaw. 1979. WA. 1998. 366 p (Mining Publications Ltd: London). Mine Economics. Feyerabend. Grade control for gold mining at Mt Magnet. S. Perth. Shaw. G B and Baxter. J and Waltho. WA. pp 251-254 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). M J. 1997. Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. 1990b. 1990. Management of grade control and mining geology an overview. Optimisation of sampling procedures at the Fimiston open pit Kalgoorlie. 228 Shaw. Inc: New York). 10:77-82. 1991. Shaw. in Proceedings Third International Mining Geology Conference. pp 131-134 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). K G. Practical solutions to some grade control problems and why they work: a few case studies. Schofield. Integrity of samples acquired by deep. N and Rolley. 1977. S. W J. W J and Khosrowshahi. W J. second edition. P. reverse-circulation drilling below the water table at the Chimney Creek project. Storrar. 1980. Sampling . Qld. W J. April. Siddall. Nevada (and subsequent discussion in Jan 1993). 1993. W J. sample preparation and assaying. Optimisation of Ore Selection in Mining: Method and Case Studies. W J and Khosrowshahi. 168 p (McGraw-Hill. pp 55-57. Reedy. S J. in Proceedings Third Large Open Pit Mining Conference.W J SHAW Royle. SW region WA. Grade control sampling and ore blocking: optimisation based on conditional simulation. pp 185-194 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Mining Engineering. Shaw. Khosrowshahi. Strategies for Grade Control. Stephens. Mining and Resource Technology Pty Ltd. 22:11-19. Grade control review at Boddington gold mine. Geostatistics. 1990a. Rothsay and Youanmi in the Murchison District. in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. 1947. A. pp 171-176 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Australian Institute of Geoscientists Bulletin. A G. Grade control course notes: mining geology. grade control and reconciliation.Valuation Organisation .World Mining. in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. in Proceedings International Mining Geology Conference. in Proceedings Third International Mining Geology Conference. 14 . C D. (Eds: B Davis and S E Ho) AIG Bulletin. pp 83-92 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). Estimating small blocks of ore: how to do it with confidence. A G. A short workshop course on grade control. Wright. 1993. Royle. pp 177-183 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). 1992. South African Mine Valuation. Truscott. R L. A J and Chapman. 1992. 1997. W C and Kastelic. A E. Horton. 10:1-7.

Senior Mine Geologist. This process was improved with the addition of infill drilling along blasthole rows to provide additional samples across strike. and • the angled RC drilling is capable of providing samples of near stope and stope fill material which often remains unsampled by blasthole drills due to the safety constraints around unstable underground openings.3 to 4. A textbook lode contains the highest gold grades within a siliceous/pyritic core with grades decreasing with distance from the central shear. MINE GEOLOGY The Kalgoorlie gold field of Western Australia is located within the NNW trending Archean Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt. (Clout et al. This study presents the development of systems and practices during implementation and the many challenges met. 2. 14 . Based on the success of this initial work RC based grade control was gradually implemented across production areas commencing September 1998. and ten metres wide. The mafic gabbroic sills locally termed dolerites are conformable with other rock units and as such are documented as part of the stratigraphy. MAusIMM. The Fimiston lode system consists of an extensive range of mineralised shear zones. 1990) The ore deposits which occupy an area of approximately 10 km × 2 km adjacent to Kalgoorlie-Boulder occur in two distinct forms. The main host rock for gold mineralisation is the Golden Mile Dolerite. the largest of the intrusive sills in the district.0 km thick volcano-sedimentary sequence. A single sample is taken from vertical production blastholes. Kalgoorlie WA 6430. Qld. drilled on ten metre benches. This is a differentiated gabbroic sill 600 . Black Street. Traditionally KCGM has used blasthole based grade control in the Fimiston pits. Current production from the Fimiston Open Pit is approximately 650 000 ounces per annum.17 May 2000 229 . KCGM has traditionally used blast hole based grade control at the Fimiston Open Pit. KCGM Pty Ltd. logging. The Fimiston style lodes of the Golden Mile and the younger Mt Charlotte type quartz stockworks. Approximately 80 per cent of gold production is sourced from the Fimiston Open Pit located adjacent to the city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder (Figure 1). Black Street. and • development of effective methods to evaluate the performance of RC grade control.900 m thick subdivided into ten subunits. However the limitations of adequately defining subvertical mineralised structures with vertical blastholes remain. 1. • requirement for integrated systems to handle either blast hole or RC data. These are grouped into lodetypes based on orientation. In 1997 the first of two trial areas were drilled with close spaced. The greenstone belt has been successively deformed and regionally metamorphosed to grades varying from lower greenschist to amphibolite rank. • obtaining adequate drill coverage due to mine scheduling constraints and restricted access around underground openings. 4th International Mining Geology Conference FIG 1 . INTRODUCTION Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines manages the open pit and underground Kalgoorlie operations owned by 50/50 joint venture partners Homestake Gold of Australia Ltd and Normandy Mining Ltd. These include: • improved delineation of mineralised structures.Location of the Fimiston operations. Approximately one thousand lodes have been identified at Fimiston. interpretation and modelling of the RC data. The lodes are divided by the Golden Mile Fault into the Eastern and Western Lode groups. These tests indicated that RC based grade control had the potential to provide significant advantages. The mine incorporates a multitude of narrow shear hosted. RC based grade control is delivering significantly improved lode definition. predominantly within Golden Mile Dolerite. subvertical lodes.0 km thick lower sequence of ultramafic to mafic volcanic rocks and mafic sills overlain by a 1. Project Geologist. 1990). Coolum. 1200 metres in vertical extent. KCGM Pty Ltd. Kalgoorlie WA 6430. Individual lodes may be up to 1800 metres long. Highest gold grades are also typically associated with tellurides and alteration minerals with higher vanadium content. particularly across strike.Evolution of Grade Control at KCGM V M O’Brien1 and T Cutts2 ABSTRACT Since 1989 Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines has managed the Kalgoorlie gold operations of joint venture partners Normandy Mining Ltd and Homestake Gold of Australia Ltd. 1976 in Clout et al. In late-1998 a transition to grade control based on angled RC drilling was implemented after trials indicated substantial improvements in ore delineation and grade estimation were achievable. inclined Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling. (Binns et al. Local geology consists of a 3. grade estimation and subsequent ore classification. Some of the many challenges faced include: • development of effective procedures and systems for the planning. • reliable short-term mine schedules based on the advance data available from drilling over three benches.

A legacy of this historic mine production is an extensive network of underground workings that extend down to 1300m below surface. 230 Coolum. however large open stopes (up to 50 m FIG 2 . blasting and excavation is carried out on 10 m benches. MINING HISTORY Historic The Fimiston operations are centred on the Golden Mile area which has been mined almost continuously since discovery by prospectors in 1895. 14 . This ore is refractory in nature and is all processed through the Fimiston Mill and the Gidji Roaster. This material typically averages gold grades in excess of 3.3 g/t.V O’BRIEN and T CUTTS The dominant lodetypes are the steep westerly dipping Main Lodes and the moderate westerly dipping Caunter Lodes. Amalgamation of all mining and milling activities. Further rationalisation of mining operations commenced in September 1999 with the transfer from contract based mining to owner mining operations. The dimensions of the ultimate pit design are approximately 4.2 Moz. Qld.Plan of interpreted lodes at -190 mRL with the current pit outline. Drilling. Based on current reserves the open pit has a mine life of 15 years. Stoping methods employed on the Golden Mile by the various operating companies included shrink stoping. Prior to the extensive open pit mining which commenced with the formation of KCGM in 1989 the Golden Mile had produced in excess of 38 million ounces at an average grade of ten grams per tonne.5 g/t. Fimiston’s current annual ore production target is approximately 10 Mt at a head grade of 2.3 km along strike by 1. The majority of the workings are stopes less than 2 m wide. The oxide and sand fill within the older cut and fill stopes is a gold reserve in its own right. The distribution of lodetypes within the central mining area is shown in Figure 2. cut and fill stoping and open stoping. The last of the underground operations were shut down in early 1994. The mining fleet consists of three Komatsu PC8000 hydraulic shovels with a bucket capacity of 60 tonnes and a fleet of 18 Caterpillar 793 trucks.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference .5 km wide and 610 m deep at its lowest level Remnant mining Modern Open pit mining in the Fimiston area commenced in 1983 with North Kalgurli Mines Limited’s Kemlo Pit followed shortly after with the Croesus and Eclipse Pits. subsequent upgrade of the Fimiston Mill and the removal of infrastructure constraints has seen the mining rate increase from 25 Mt per annum in 1989/1990 to the current 65 Mt. Since 1989 the Fimiston Open Pit has contributed 80 per cent of KCGM’s total production of 7. were mined by various companies during the 1980s but amalgamation of these pits was not possible until the leases were brought under common management with the formation of Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines. Numerous small-scale pits Open pit mining is complicated by the extensive historic underground workings within the pit which present a hazard to both personnel and equipment.

2 g/t Marginal 1. Areas unable to be sampled by blast holes can be large and mostly occur within mill feed blocks or near mill feed/subgrade or mill feed/waste contacts.2 g/t Low-grade mill feed 2. with the blast hole collars used as reference points.Plan of the -250 metre bench in the Western Lodes showing the extent of the safety exclusion zones. The most critical of these is the safety constraints which prevent collaring of blast holes near underground workings.EVOLUTION OF GRADE CONTROL AT KCGM Safety Exclusion Zone 25 0 25 Metres 19 100m E LEGEND Millfeed & Subgrade 19 000m E E-W by 150 m N-S by 120 m RL ) are of particular concern. Interpretation of ore zones utilising a 0. These decisions are further hampered by restricted access for geologists to visually inspect this material on broken shots. precluding the sampling of near stope and stope fill material. Grade estimation is performed using the multiple indicator kriging method.3 . Even where the mineralised margins of a lode are sampled the inability to sample potentially high-grade material adjacent to stope margins has a significant impact on grade estimation. Where underground workings are determined to be a potential hazard the working bench is clearly flagged with tape to delineate the area. The assay information is supplemented with logging of blast hole cuttings and mapping of blast faces. Shot movement is generally minimal and is reflected by the position of the preblast tape. There is poor sample resolution across the mineralised plane. GRADE CONTROL PRACTICE Blast hole based grade control The blast hole based grade control system at Fimiston has evolved over time. As blast holes cannot adequately sample stope fill material or define stope locations.17 May 2000 231 .2. Although most historic workings were well recorded. Historic information including underground level plans and mapping. The mining of contacts is supervised by geologists as required. No personnel or machinery may cross safety exclusion zones which are suspected void areas deemed to have insufficient cover. In 4th International Mining Geology Conference Blast hole based grade control has obvious limitations when sampling subvertical mineralised structures. 14 . Unless access constraints dictate otherwise ore and waste contacts are excavated across strike from the hangingwall side. After a 12-hour settling period the blast is cleared and Survey tape out the exclusion zones. After watering down and visually inspecting the potential ore zones blocks are marked out using taped peg lines and coloured flagging to delineate destinations. This is done to utilise the natural rill angle of the blasted rock which corresponds with the dip angle of most lodes (60 to 80°) (Figure 4). These areas are assigned the same density as the in situ ore and are not distinguished from in situ material during grade estimation. potential for downhole sample contamination and the inability to sample within the safety exclusion zones. resulting in local overestimation of grade and tonnage. The extensive network of safety exclusion zones in the pit restrict access for drill rigs and prevent complete sample coverage for grade control. Therefore voids and stope fill are treated as if they didn’t exist.9 g/t Subgrade 0. These larger stopes were predominantly mined in the later years of underground mining using long hole stoping methods. Qld. Limitations of the existing system 47 600m N 19 100m E 47 600m N 19 000m E 47 700m N 18 900m E 47 700m N FIG 3 . The delineation of mill feed blocks in such areas is therefore highly subjective.3 g/t cut-off boundary is undertaken for each blast pattern. the deterioration of openings over time has required the development of comprehensive systems to ensure safe mining through these areas.0. Geologists have to determine a suitable destination for the unsampled material and assign a grade without adequate samples. modelling of stopes is not possible.2 g/t High-grade mill feed Prior to blasting mining blocks are delineated on each shot using flagging tape weighted with rocks. Mining blocks are then designed using this model with mining selectivity in mind. The standard blast hole pattern is 5.2 .2 × 6.0 metres. The exclusion zones are prevalent within ore zones as seen in Figure 3. Drill rigs are not permitted to sit within these areas and any drill hole which intersects underground workings within the first ten metres must be abandoned. This ‘preblast’ delineation is used as a guide to the marking up of mining blocks on the blasted shot. Block boundaries are adjusted along lode contacts where required.0. 50 48 000m N 48 000m N 47 900m N 47 900m N 47 800m N 47 800m N 1997 drilling and sampling of infill holes along blast hole rows was implemented in known ore zones to aid in lode delineation and grade estimation. Coolum. Current block cut-off grades are: 0 . The tonnage and average grade of each block is calculated and a destination applied based on cut-off grade criteria. In areas of extensive stoping the subsequent broad safety exclusion zones often prevent the sampling of any mineralised material. A single blast hole sample is taken from each blast hole drilled on a ten metre bench.9 . in addition to bench above mining blocks is used to guide the interpretation.3 g/t Waste 0.1.

the resultant model grades tend to be oversmoothed and overestimated. Corrected grades are visually estimated by production geologists when the modelled grade doesn’t reflect what is seen on the broken blast. Grade control utilising inclined RC drill holes appeared capable of addressing many of the problems associated with blast holes.Plan of the -130 metre bench in the Eastern Lodes highlighting the poor correlation of mark-up blocks across blast boundaries. 14 . Qld. 19 650m E FIG 4 . These benefits included: 232 Coolum. however evaluation of the grade control models during this period revealed that approximately ten per cent of all mark-up blocks had a ‘corrected’ grade assigned. When variograms with high nugget effect values are used in the grade interpolation of areas containing irregular high-grade samples.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . As such the interpretation of face mapping. Reconciliations between the grade control estimate and bullion calculated grade for the 12 month period to December 1998 are within one per cent. Blast hole assays became available for each single blast shortly before being fired. blast hole cuttings and assay grades for each blast could not incorporate assays from any neighbouring blasts which hadn’t been fired. Blast holes have historically produced variograms with extremely high nugget effect values. a review of potential improvements was carried out in late-1997.Schematic of mining across strike to minimise dilution. suggesting poor correlation between samples flagged within ore interpretations.V O’BRIEN and T CUTTS 19 800m E 19 750m E 19 700m E 48 250m N 48 250m N 48 200m N 48 200m N 48 150m N 48 150m N LEGEND High Grade Millfeed Low Grade Millfeed 19 700m E Subgrade Stockpile 19 650m E Blast hole based grade control at Fimiston suffered from a system which focussed on individual blasts rather than geological domains. 25 0 25 50 Metres RC based grade control FIG 5 . The large majority of corrected grades are lower than the estimated grade. Acknowledging the deficiencies of the existing blast hole based grade control system. This often produced poor mark-up correlation from one blast to the next as seen in Figure 5. On face value this shows a remarkable correlation between predicted and actual grade. The problem of grade overestimation is evident in reconciliations of previous grade control models.

Mineralisation and structural models were developed on-site and Snowden Associates Pty Ltd were retained to analyse the drill hole data geostatistically and perform grade estimation using a range of methods. • By drilling multiple benches in a single pass RC based grade control would provide sample data in advance.17 May 2000 233 . Interpretation and modelling of these trial areas indicated that excessive external and internal dilution was being incorporated using blast hole sampling as shown in Figure 6. • The ability of RC drilling to accurately define stoped areas and sample stope fill material would allow modelling of the stopes. and modified as required. The RC sample data revealed a more complex mineralisation system than that anticipated by the mine geologists who had analysed the blast hole sampling on benches located above the test area. 10 18 950m E Blasthole Ore Grade control trials 49 000m N 100 0 49 000m N 100 200 Metres STO RES M A IN P IT O RO Y A NO RTH 48 500m N 48 500m N Implementation of RC based grade control Following the encouraging results of the two trial programs RC based grade control was gradually implemented across production areas commencing in September 1998 (Figure 7). Stope modelling incorporating independent estimation of stope fill grades and the application of realistic densities to stoped areas is a large advance on the blast hole system. The results of the trial were favorable and led to another small trial targeting ‘4 Lode’ in the Western Lodes area. improved grade estimation and confidence in the mark-up blocks. Challenges included the development of effective procedures and systems for the planning. It would require the geology department to manage the drilling programs and integrate these into the mining cycle. The obvious challenges associated with implementing RC based grade control would be to achieve adequate sample coverage and develop new systems to manage and interpret the RC data. In order to successfully implement the new system a range of issues had to be addressed to ensure both budget and technical requirements were achieved. Coolum. validation.coverage within safety exclusion zones.Plan of the various production areas at Fimiston. All systems were reviewed during implementation. Coverage of 30 vertical metres was preferred as it 19 500m E 19 000m E -80mBD Drill pattern and drill hole planning FIG 7 . This would give certainty to the scheduling of production equipment and mill feed with the associated cost benefits. O RO Y A SO U TH 48 000m N 48 000m N O FFICE HO RSESHO E -190mBD 47 500m N 47 500m N 4th International Mining Geology Conference 20 000m E The standard drill hole design was for holes 38 metres deep. Drill hole spacing along each section line was 6 m and samples were taken at one metre intervals. Most refinements were due to the site specific problems caused by the presence of underground workings while others were undertaken to achieve time and cost-savings. • The advance data obtained would be used for the short-term scheduling of production. dipping 60° towards 090° giving coverage over three mining benches. Furthermore the RC grade control system had to be fully integrated with the existing blast hole based system during this implementation phase. allowing accurate delineation of mineralisation contacts.Plan of the RC trial area on the -190 metre bench in the Western Lodes highlighting the dilution incorporated using blasthole based grade control. logging. Qld. 14 . 19 000m E In late-1997 a RC drilling program was conducted on a small test area (75 m by 150 m over three benches) targeting ‘2 Lode’ and ‘3 Lode’ within the Western Lode system. Ore interpretations could be conducted on a larger scale and in 3D as opposed to the individual blast focus of blast hole based grade control. interpretation and modelling of the RC data. 18 900m E • Inclined RC drilling would provide improved sample 18 950m E EVOLUTION OF GRADE CONTROL AT KCGM 47 800m N 47 800m N 47 750m N 47 750m N LEGEND 47 700m N Stope RC Ore 0 10 20 Metres 19 500m E 20 000m E FIG 6 . RC drill holes were drilled at a dip of 60° towards the east on 10 m E-W sections.

A one metre sample interval was used initially however this was soon increased to two metres. Drill hole depths are restricted to less than 70 metres. In addition a worktime rate is applicable for recovering lost equipment and hole conditioning around stopes. To maximise sample coverage the drill hole planning system involves a continuous process of review and infill drilling. The area below designed holes is reviewed and areas where safety exclusion zones are expected to restrict drilling are identified. Data processing Successfully managing and processing the enormous amount of grade control data generated is a formidable task. reduced sample handling and made interpretations easier. 1998) The drill pattern was reviewed prior to implementation and changed to 15 m sections with drill holes spaced at 8 m along section.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Coolum. The RC drill hole planning process has to be flexible to account for changes in access for drilling due to changes in safety exclusion zones or changes in production schedules. Drill hole deviation in drill holes less than 70 metres deep has traditionally been minor and single shot surveys were considered adequate. 14 . mining and geotechnical. Drill schedules are updated weekly and tie in with the weekly production plan. During initial interpretations the geologists attempted to model the mineralisation to match the intricate detail provided by one metre assays. Given the large area to be covered it was decided that it was impractical to maintain the drill pattern used in the trials. The collar co-ordinates. Implementing two metre samples carried a financial saving from reduced assay costs. A review in April 1999 saw the annual drilling budget revised up to 160 000 metres per annum. Orderly completion of drill programs requires continual liaison between all departments including survey. Considering the ten metre bench height and the mining equipment used this level of detail was not required. A review of the initial Oroya South drilling program prompted a change in the standard drill hole design from 60° to 55° to improve sample coverage on each bench. The initial area covered by RC drilling was the Western Lodes which hosted the two RC trials. (Snowden Associates. 234 FIG 8 . which covers up to six benches. Owing to the presence of the safety exclusion zones at Fimiston the planning of a RC drilling program is more complex than simply fitting a grid of standard holes on the pit floor. The contract calls for mobilisation of between one rig on a single shift to two rigs on double shift. drill and blast.V O’BRIEN and T CUTTS provides ample advance data and requires that production is seldom disrupted by RC drilling in any one pit.Section at 48265 N showing that a range of drill hole orientations are required to achieve adequate sample coverage. Another obstacle to obtaining complete sample coverage is the difficulty in successfully penetrating multiple stopes. Holes greater than 40 metres have single shot surveys taken every 25 metres. In a typical drill program only 70 per cent of holes designed through stopes successfully reach target depth. To-date drilling requirements have been met using one dedicated track mounted RC rig using a carousel system for rod changeouts. Drill holes which cannot be collared due to the presence of safety exclusion zones are deleted and replaced with drill hole fans from the margins of the safety exclusion zones. The drill pattern is under review with the aim to reduce the section spacing to ten metres for geologically complex areas and to rotate the drill pattern 20° in Oroya South so that drilling intersects the dominant NNW striking Caunter Lodes at right angles. A major undertaking was to devise a simplified logging system which would allow documentation of the significant geological features of each logged interval while minimising the time spent collecting and processing this data. The drill holes are then extended to obtain sample coverage in these areas. As seen in Figure 8 the combination of holes drilled from multiple bench levels can provide complete sample coverage across a bench. Before drilling can commence each drill hole site must be approved by the geotechnical department to ensure sufficient advance probing in an area has been completed and hazardous areas flagged off. This is required to ensure complete RC coverage in all cutbacks. Drill hole planning is conducted on screen using Datamine software. This variability in drill hole design is necessary in order to achieve representative sampling of ore zones. Drilling programs are managed by the mine geologist assigned to coordinating all grade control work within a particular cutback. The geologist designs a grid of standard holes which are then reviewed in conjunction with the safety exclusion zone perimeters for the bench and the sectional ore and stope interpretations based on Resource drilling. This flexibility is required due to mine scheduling and access constraints within production areas. Qld. Backup is provided by standard wheel mounted rigs which are utilised as required. Drilling programs The initial drilling contract called for 90 000 metres per annum with payment based on a flat rate per metre for all drilling activities. relatively discontinuous lodes in the vicinity of the Paringa Basalt contact. the design azimuth and dip and one single shot survey at the end of hole are used to trace drill hole location. The resultant drill pattern is often far removed from a standard grid. The next area to be drilled was the Oroya South cutback which is characterised by thin. During the initial trial it was reported that sixty to eighty percent of the gold variability occurred at less than ten to 15 metres in the along strike direction for indicator grades approximating mining cut-offs.

oxidation state and two alteration codes for each interval. Qld. Interpretation RC based grade control required the development of a new interpretation and modelling process which could be incorporated into the current system. Indicator variograms produced from the RC data had the lowest nugget effect values seen at Fimiston. Search ellipse ranges used during the first pass of estimation of Main and Caunter Lodes are 20 × 20 × 6 metres (dip × strike × cross dip).17 May 2000 235 .EVOLUTION OF GRADE CONTROL AT KCGM After a review of available logging hardware and software it was decided to develop a simplified site based logging system. Topcuts applied to sample data are based on statistical evaluation of each Lodetype within the different geological domains. Grade estimation is conducted using either Ordinary Kriging (OK) or Inverse Distance (ID) methods. Modelling and grade estimation Modelling of the grade control interpretations is performed using a menu driven macro with Datamine software. The Lodetype field is used to record the mineralisation style and geometry of each lode. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum. Estimation of the ore is performed using OK for all lodes except those that are poorly sampled. All Lodetypes except Cross Lodes are subcelled to one metre in the E-W orientation to improve representation of narrow ore zones in the model. Final drill hole validations are carried out on-screen using Datamine software.Downhole median Indicator variogram for Main Lodes in the Western Lodes Group. by five metres N-S and ten metres vertically. Each lode is identified by its Lodename value and interpolated separately. The third estimation pass is based on Lodetype rather than Lodename. thereby providing large time savings. A4 logging sheets were developed which recorded lithology. Perimeter projection of the plan interpretations is used for block and sample selection. Most Lodetypes in the Western Lodes have 25 g/t topcuts applied whereas the dominant Lodetypes in the Eastern Lodes have topcuts of about 20 g/t. Interpretation of ore. in the order of 30 per cent as seen in Figures 9 and 10. numeric Lodename value which is assigned to the corresponding ore perimeters.3 g/t assay boundary with a five metre minimum interpretation width enforced for plan ore perimeters. underground level workings and geotechnical data. stopes and lithology boundaries are carried out on screen using Datamine with initial interpretations conducted on 15 metre sections followed by plan interpretations every ten metres. Ore perimeters are defined by a nominal 0. This was supplemented by the development of a simple drill hole validation system which summarised the hole depths. The interpretation system links to the KCGM Oracle Database to provide access to the existing Resource Definition lode and stope interpretations. FIG 9 . final depth and sample numbers. number of samples. logged intervals and surveys. Any model cells not estimated during the first two passes may be estimated using samples from nearby lodes with the same Lodetype. This ensures all ore cells have an estimated grade. Any one metre drill hole samples are composited to two metre intervals prior to estimation. structural mapping data. The second and third estimation passes employ double and triple the search ranges respectively. Every known lode has a unique. The sheets are scanned using ‘Remark’ software with manual entry of the drill hole name. Standard ore and stope cell dimensions are two metres E-W. This system allows fast logging of drill cuttings in the pit followed by minimal data entry work. 14 . Pederson and Reardon (1999) outline the development of this system. Resource Definition drill holes are used to supplement RC grade control drilling during interpretation and modelling.5 metres in the N-S orientation. Cross Lodes are subcelled to 2.

The ore and stope models are combined and density values applied according to lithology and any previous stoping. A trial of split bench mining is planned to be performed in the Oroya North cutback in the near future. The advance three bench data leads to large voids being detected sufficiently in advance of mining to enable modifications to the mine plan if required. The ore/waste blocking. with any cells remaining unestimated given a conservative default grade. 236 The new scheduling models which incorporate the three bench RC grade control models correlate well with actual mine performance. Coolum. Since this date the proportion of mill feed delineated using RC grade control has increased significantly. Wireframing would allow improved representation of the flat dipping lodes in the model and refined flagging of lode samples. This evaluation is ongoing and several projects have been flagged including wireframing and the use of conditional simulation techniques. preblast and markout procedure is the same as used for the blast hole based grade control. FUTURE DIRECTIONS The introduction of RC based grade control has been a process of continual evaluation of systems and review of potential improvements. Prior to July 1999 there were long periods of significant overcall in the mine predicted grades. BENEFITS TO-DATE The primary benefit of the RC system is improved delineation of lode contacts and confidence in grade estimation. Qld. repeat assays and pulp standards. Owing to the heterogeneous nature of the lode system this can result in major differences between tonnages and grades predicted from the short-term scheduling model and those seen when the latest blast hole data is modelled just prior to blasting and markout. Another major benefit is the accurate ground condition data available from the RC drilling. Modelling can be conducted for entire mining benches or individual blasts and are then incorporated into the standard grade control computer system used for blast hole based grade control. 14 . The mine geologists can better correlate the ore block design based on the RC drilling with block inspection during markup. A single estimation pass is conducted using a 40 metre search range.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . The RC holes are also used for cavity monitor surveys which result in vastly improved 3D models of the previous mine workings.Along strike median Indicator variogram for Main Lodes in the Western Lodes Group. Wireframing of the ore and stope interpretations is being assessed. These incorporate the use of duplicate samples. Stope fill material is estimated independently using the Inverse Distance Cubed method. The improved lode definition from RC drilling has prompted a review of the economic benefits of split bench mining for narrow and shallow dipping lodes.V O’BRIEN and T CUTTS FIG 10 . This equates to improved block classification and more importantly reduces misclassification of material type. The application of conditional simulation techniques has potential and will be trialled in the near future. This has resulted in a dramatic reduction in the grade variance. waste standards. This has virtually eliminated the need to arbitrarily assign grade estimates due to poor confidence in the model estimates. This discrepancy leads to continual rescheduling of mining priorities in order to meet grade and tonnage targets. Comprehensive assay quality control procedures are currently being established for grade control. This leads to an environment of proactive and efficient mine planning and enables the operation to significantly reduce the costs associated with suboptimal scheduling. Previous short-term planning models were based on a combination of projected grade control data from previous mining benches and the Reserve model which is based on relatively sparse Resource definition drilling. Standard probe drilling conducted by the Geotechnical Department only provides information one bench in advance.

4th International Mining Geology Conference REFERENCES Binns. Snowden Associates. Adaptability – The key to an integrated grade control computing system. This confidence translates into a consistently close correlation between these predicted models and the actual ore/waste markup. Geology of the Kalgoorlie gold field. Western Australia. The implementation has been a major undertaking. L and Reardon. Coolum. in Proceedings APCOM Computer Applications in the Minerals Industries. R J and Groves. 1976. Thanks to all reviewers of this paper and to KCGM management for allowing us to present this paper. 1998. With the majority of issues now addressed the new system is expected to be in use across all production areas by January 2000. 1999. P C. Pederson. Kalgoorlie Consolidated Gold Mines Reverse Circulation Grade Control Conditional Simulation Study. Clout. Economic benefits of the new system are apparent in improved mine to mill reconciliations and more robust short-term mine schedules. 1990. Gunthorpe. pp 303-313 (John Wiley: London). in Geology of the Mineral Deposits of Australia and Papua New Guinea (Ed: F E Hughes). (Ed: K Dagdelen). 14 . R A. This is reflected in the confidence the mine geologists have shown in the grade control models. C. pp 601-609. From trial programs in late-1997 to full implementation of RC based grade control across Fimiston in December 1999 there has been a considerable effort by the Mine Geology group. in The Early History of the Earth (Ed: B F Windley). The authors would like to thank all those who have contributed to the development and implementation of RC based grade control. Cleghorn. Qld.EVOLUTION OF GRADE CONTROL AT KCGM SUMMARY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS RC grade control was implemented at Fimiston after trials indicated excessive dilution was being incorporated with existing grade control methods based on Blast hole sampling. D I. pp 411-431 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). The new system has led to more accurate ore interpretations and reliable grade estimates. with full coverage in all mining areas taking much longer than anticipated. We also appreciate the support and guidance of both Homestake Gold of Australia Ltd and Normandy Mining Ltd throughout the entire process.17 May 2000 237 . J H and Eaton. Metamorphic patterns and development of greenstone belts in the eastern Yilgarn Block. There was potential to improve ore delineation and grade estimation by utilising inclined drilling with two metre samples. J M F.

such as assayed magnesium oxide and iron. The project is located close to the abandoned Bulong townsite. temperature and pH. which improves confidence in resource and grade control delineation.The Use of Magnesium Oxide and Iron to Predict Host Units in Grade Control and Exploration at Bulong Nickel Operation W J Bollenhagen1 ABSTRACT At Bulong. • solvent extraction (SX). Qld. This allocation of host unit has relied upon visual interpretation by the geologist recording the information. approximately 30 km due east of the City of Kalgoorlie–Boulder in Western Australia. such as pressure. which can be very subjective by its nature. particularly peridotites and Coolum. Olivine-rich ultramafics. Geology 1.within a sequence of mafic volcanic and sedimentary rocks. Each clay lithology of the laterite bears its own unique physical and chemical characteristics.Bulong Nickel Operation location map. FIG 1 . A number of ‘high-grade’ nickel deposits have been identified that have characteristics that are unique to each other. With the passing of long periods of time nickel ‘mobilises’ from the parent minerals (olivine) of the bedrock and ‘relocates’ to other ‘vacant’ sites in the profile. Kalgoorlie WA 6430. It is very important to discriminate between the different host units for estimation purposes. termed ‘lithologies’. with infrequent very heavy rains. the mineralised (>0. Which results in the mineral lattice being modified to a different stable physical and chemical form. which can and do occur coincidently. The hydro-metallurgical processing comprises: • acid pressure leaching at 250°C. Bulong Nickel Operation Pty Ltd. which improves the confidence in the overall estimation and scheduling of the ore. This method allows for objective and consistent ore discrimination. from which it intends to develop the high-grade portions during the initial years of the project. the subjectivity of describing the host material of nickel laterite ore is reduced. The constraints permit consistent identification of the various host units. stockpiling and scheduling. This paper will investigate the characterisation of different lithologies using their direct relationship with iron (Fe) and magnesium oxide (MgO) values. It is because of these characteristics that each deposit needs to be investigated separately when considering the processes of nickel enrichment and mining scheduling. Ore containing high-grade nickel and cobalt is processed to produce London Metal Exchange (LME) grade nickel and cobalt cathode. to which these lithologies are enriched with nickel and/or cobalt. In the most simplistic way the laterite is described as being comprised of a number of different units.the Bulong Complex . Owing to high average temperatures. Project description Preston Resources NL has a large lateritic resource of nickel and cobalt at Bulong.17 May 2000 239 . This occurs because of a change in the surrounding environment. if any. Mine Resource/Development Geologist. with an average of 257 mm of rainfall per annum. The frequency of rainfall is low and the variability is high. and • electro-winning. The notion that these lithologies exist as completely ‘flat lying’ entities is a notion that should dispelled. The climate of the area is classified as arid. they can be highly irregular and strongly structurally controlled. the losses by evaporation exceed the rainfall amounts in all months of the year. At Bulong a number of variables influence the development of the laterite profile and many ‘types’ of laterite profile can develop in a selected area. 4th International Mining Geology Conference The bedrock comprises a thrust sequence (up to 4 km wide).8 per cent nickel) ore exists within numerous lithologies. PO Box 10391. INTRODUCTION The Bulong Nickel Project (Figure 1) has a nickel resource that is contained within the laterite profile of highly weathered ultra-mafic rocks. It is these characteristics that also determine the degree. This is a simplification of the process known as ‘nickel laterisation’. 14 . By using quantified constraints. of steeply dipping Archaean ultramafic volcanic flows . MAusIMM.

Whilst the rock is in a molten state (magma) below the earth’s surface conditions are right for nickel to partition into the lattice of available olivine minerals. as volcanic flows (often submarine) and harden as broad sheets. which is aluminium (Al) enriched. the talc units appear to form very important ‘buffers’ for manganese/cobalt mineralisation development. Qld. likewise cobalt (Co) partitions itself into available pyroxene lattice. 1976) The movement of ions occurs to maintain equilibrium in the rock profile and requires parent minerals to undergo chemical reactions that permit the formation of other more stable minerals. thus laws of thermodynamics can be applied to these exchanges. and 2. where these sheets now exist in an upright (near vertical) nature and due to deformation have been faulted and thrust past one another resulting in some thickening of the sequence. whereas the relatively less soluble ones (Al. and • chemistry.W BOLLENHAGEN dunites constitute the significant proportion of the sequence. Other later flows consequently are extruded and cover these original ones. Donaldson and Giorgetta. these are often dunites or peridotites. Co and Cr) are concentrated at the surface. • nontronite. The sequence has been extensively serpentinised. Burger. chemical. 1981. 1981). • input from vegetation cover (organic). pers comm). 1996). With a considerable passing of time. which in turn. and • geomorphology. These magmas are then extruded onto the earth’s surface. which re-organises itself to accommodate the new environmental conditions (chemical. physical. After tectonic movement and at relatively shallow crustal depths (<450°C and abundant H2O) the primary olivine and pyroxene minerals are altered to varieties of the mineral serpentine. physical and biological). these have undergone low-grade (greenschist facies) metamorphism. The degree of weathering influences what elements and volume of these elements are released into solution. • serpentine. These deposits have been identified by exploration methods. Donaldson and Giorgetta. Nickel laterite deposits are derived from olivine rich rocks (ultramafics). acidic (CO2 enriched) soil waters percolate downwards and react with the ultramafic rocks. Possibly in the future these physical and chemical factors will be comprised in a more unifying description – biological. The talc possibly reflects the zones where shearing was most active within the ultra-mafic suite. 14 . (Elias. At Bulong this geological situation exists. Reverse Circulation (RC) and Air-Core (AC) drilling. At Bulong this process has resulted in economical nickel deposits developing in the near surface part of the laterite profile. chemistry and physiography of the laterite profile development. • limonite. this causes SiO2 and MgO to be leached from the mineral lattice into a solution where it can become mobile. which can be grouped under two categories: 1. The degree of serpentinisation ranges from minor alteration around fractures to complete metasomatism of the rock. There is potential for nickel and cobalt laterite development to be a result of biological activity (Burger. another example of a laterite deposit is bauxite. These lithological divisions are based upon: • mineralogical composition. It is this ‘mass’ removal that contributes to the preferential enrichment of other elements into the sites made available by the leaching of the MgO and SiO2. the most important lithologies are referred to as: • ferricrete. Over large periods of time these sequences of rocks are subjected to various structural and metamorphic changes. Chemical Primary chemical influences are from: • bedrock composition (competing chemical solubility’s). Physical Is typified by water movement and environments that influence its rate and direction. and in places suffered talc and carbonate alteration. For nickel laterite at Bulong. resulting in the original ‘sheet’ appearance being greatly altered. NICKEL LATERITE This is one class of laterite and it hosts the primary ore encountered at Bulong. LATERITE Processes of formation The typical laterite profile is characterised by a number of distinct lithological subdivisions. The rate of ionic exchange of cations from the crystal lattice and hydrogen ions from water increases in humid environments (Twidale. but the effects of weathering and alteration often mask those signatures.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . Fresh rock is encountered at some point beneath these lithologies and the laterite profile stops. • talc. These rocks have magnesium oxide (MgO) and nickel (Ni) contents substantially higher than other crustal rocks (mafics and granitoids). The depth and extent of laterite development is quite varied and is influenced by a number of coincident factors. making them indistinguishable from each other. The Bulong laterite deposits developed in Mesozoic and Tertiary times under a climate more humid than at present. to changing water chemistry. defines the depth. Mg and Ca) typically mobilise to the base of the profile. Workers (Parianos and Rivers. Ni. • rock structure and texture. The physical and chemical factors determine the degree of ‘weathering’ that a rock undergoes. The individual flows have unique chemical signatures. This can be described as a chemical system achieving a metamorphic equilibrium. The rate of weathering is faster in the tropics because of the warmer and wetter environments. 1996) have identified these factors. a volume of mobile ions move out of the mineral lattice. Water flow is influenced by: • rainfall. including Rotary Air Blast (RAB). Fe. 240 The more soluble minerals (Si. Profile characteristics in places suggest multiple episodes of weathering while elsewhere the laterite has been partially eroded or covered by younger detrital clays and sands (Elias. and • chert. Coolum. During weathering. and • the relative resistance of different existing laterite mineralogies.

In the initial steps of processing the ore. which is overlain (in places) by a ferruginous ‘hard-cap’.5 cm) weathered. However. Smectite zone This clay zone is not always present. Flow of weathering An ideal representation of the path that olivine in ultramafic rocks undergoes during ‘weathering’ is presented below. These are as follows. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Relative to the nontronite clays. The serpentinite sample exhibits a grey-green colour and small (<0. MgO is significantly elevated in this lithology. the weathering process of ultramafic rocks preferentially enriches Fe in a profile as MgO is removed with silica from mineral lattices. with averages and tolerances calculated for each lithology. The nickel deposits at Bulong have unique location-specific ore and lithological characteristics as a consequence of the processes behind their development. the serpentinite is derived from an olivine rich ultra-mafic. To simplify the lithological representation. The goethite is present as dry. For nontronite development to occur. a relationship exists between both interpreted lithology (mineralogy) and bulk sample chemistry. so that the ore that is being scheduled for processing conforms to the specifications stipulated by the metallurgists. Mineral features and textures are preserved in this lithology and parent rock identification can be made. in addition to silica they comprise the dominant parts of the clay mineralogical composition. Fortunately. The complexity of these reactions is a direct result of the mineralogy being treated. transported clays. reactions are sensitive to the amounts of Fe. it has an ‘earthy’ texture. these are brown to red-brown in colour. Because of the high pressure and hot acid treatment of the lateritic ore. although some intervals report high Ni grades in serpentinite. the analysis was performed using drill hole and available grade control data. but characterised by strongly Ni enriched nontronite clays together with montmorillonite. These two elements are selected because. for the purpose of providing the required ‘ore feed blends’ to the auto-clave. To be practical for grade control and resource delineation any technique needs to be simple and flexible. ORE PROFILING Now that the complexity of the laterite has been introduced. however where species enriched with Fe++ exist. A wide range of chemical variation is reported in association with this lithology The clay zone is characterised by the presence of nontronite clays (). The nickel content is typically lower in this lithology than the smectite lithologies. Limonite zone Strongly enriched in Fe and depleted in MgO. Limonite development is greater where ground-water drainage is good. The presence of limonite in certain parts of the laterite profile is a strong indicator of structural complexity. The presence of magnesite can distort the background MgO values for the serpentinite. a ‘core-stone’ may have developed in situ. MgO.17 May 2000 241 . Mn and Cr present in the ore feed. considerably lower ore grades are encountered in this part of the profile. In the simplest terms. The Co content is typically higher in this lithology than the underlying smectite and serpentinite. depending on the degree of weathering that the rock has been subjected to. Subsequent steps in refining the ore are sensitive to the Cu and Mn levels. The geologist has to have a high degree of confidence in their ability to differentiate between different ore ‘types’. all assay data was sorted into its various different lithologies (provided by geological logging). The material can comprises a mixture of clays (nontronite and/or limonite) and partially weathered fresh rock (antigorite). The mineralogy of a selected part of a laterite profile will be reflected by the percentage of Fe and MgO present. loose clay. The nontronite is pale-green to deep green. In order to develop an understanding between chemistry and lithology. Olivine Ø MgO ↓ Serpentine Ø MgO + SiO2 Coolum. The physiography and extent of development of this unit is quite varied. in the form of chert or chalcedony. drainage has to be poor. Differentiation between the lithological units can become very subjective. The physiography and extent of the nontronite development is constrained by the amount of ground-water retained in the laterite profile. Nontronite is the primary smectite encountered at Bulong and for simplification all clays containing high moistures (+20 per cent) are referred to as nontronite. It is the transitional part of the laterite profile where there is a decrease in strongly weathered material and an increase in less weathered rock. This ‘core-stone’ exhibits mineralogy that is more representative of the unweathered bedrock. For selected areas of interest. thus its texture is dominated by the features of the weathered olivine crystals. At Bulong. which has its origin in the lateritic formation process. many chemical reactions occur during the ores ‘digestion’ in the autoclave. A minor to strong presence of silica with a lesser. often as remnant fragments. variable magnesite may also be encountered in this zone. Fe2O3 and the Mn-oxides are leached away. Towards the surface the goethite is replaced by hematite. ferricrete or limonite/goethite) and the level continues to rise down through the profile until the ‘background’ MgO level (between 25 and 40 per cent wt. This can lead to misclassification of the ore lithologies and consequent dilution or miss allocation of feed grade. The green colour is attributed to the presence of Fe+++. 14 . beidellite and saponite. Serpentinite zone The serpentinite zone contains relict bedrock mineralogy (serpentine) together with some smectite and secondary silica. This zone is characterised by goethite and hematite with minor kaolinite and quartz. Qld. The Bulong deposit is fortunate to have a number of areas that are dominated by nontronite rich profiles.THE USE OF MAGNESIUM OXIDE AND IRON TO PREDICT HOST UNITS The ore is typically partitioned into three types of lithology within the laterite profile. often with black Mn-oxides. The colour varies from light brown to dark brown. the relationship developed is restricted to the elements Fe and MgO. Any relationship developed between the chemistry and the lithological units remain unique to the deposit. this section will focus on the other complexities that have to dealt with by the geologist. so in a heavily fractured rock it would be expected that nontronite development would be restricted. The MgO level becomes elevated at the interface of the serpentinite and the unit above (smectite. sub-rounded olivine crystals can be seen in the rock fragments. if drainage is poor then limonite development is significantly restricted.) is reached.

Despite the scatter. 1. and 5. and Mn) is very important at all stages in the resources life. these new lithological codes are expressed as a numerical value. In Gemcom. and • 3764 limonite.Photomicrograph of ore grade nontronite within barren serpentine (scale = 100 mm). This data along with corresponding headers and lithologies were then read as drill holes into Gemcom (mining software). limonite and serpentinite recorded during grade control. FIG 2 . A total of 13 279 assays were extracted from grade control data sets representing three different mining areas. The presence of nontronite in a serpentinite dominant sample lowers the MgO value and relatively increases the Fe value being reported (Figure 3). Also reflected in the graph above is serpentine ore that contains subordinate nontronite. This can be attributed to the simplification of lithologies during data recording (logging) and the mineral complexity of the in situ materials. Qld. The sample intervals have been reported as being comprised of a dominant limonite mineralogy. The elevated MgO (>5 per cent) in the limonite sample lithology reflects the presence of magnesite (MgCO3). With good drainage conditions these compounds are removed away from the original site. 242 The biggest influence on the results is the accuracy of the original lithological descriptions (geological subjectivity). ie nontronite. Coolum. • 6338 serpentine. however with the passing of time and changes in the tectonic regime they can be retained within the system. sorting the data into its separate mineralogies and subordinate mineralogies.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . they can be then represented graphically. extraction of the data from the various databases. the following ranges for either MgO and/or Fe are used for lithological differentiation. One penalty mineral is highlighted in the graph. there is some correlation within each lithology to a range of Fe and MgO values. 3. Fe. The data was not selected on its economic viability. where significant volumes of magnesite and chert have been intercepted during drilling. RESULTS AND APPLICATIONS Figure 2 is a graph of MgO versus Fe for each of the three different lithological units. From the averaged data presented in Table 1. graphically presenting the data against field logging of lithologies. From the assay data. silica and/or magnesium oxide are released to the environment. calculating the lithological code in terms of the intervals MgO and Fe content. however they also have appreciable magnesite (MgO) (ie five to ten per cent). mean and standard deviation was calculated for each of the elements in each of the lithological units (Table 1). This was done irrespective of the nickel and cobalt grades. 4. This sample set comprised: • 3177 nontronite. Polygons were then created around the separated lithologies. 14 . Method of analyses The analyses were performed in a series of steps. calculating and presenting data to determine elemental ‘cut-offs’.Represents the lithologies as a function of their assayed MgO and Fe. Separately the exploration data was also manipulated into this format so that it could be presented along with the grade control data for comparison. the newly created lithological codes were brought ‘on screen’ graphically and coloured to distinguish them from one another. Being able to account for ‘penalty’ minerals (MgO. 2. ferricrete/limonite and serpentinite. this influences destination of the corresponding sample intervals. This circumstance has occurred at a number of locations within the Bulong laterite profile. Immediately obvious from the graph is the degree of scatter in the data points. The lithological codes created in step four were then read into a database with the rest of the assay suite. FIG 3 . The population means support the idea that there can be some distinction made between each of these lithological units in terms of their MgO and Fe contents. nontronite.W BOLLENHAGEN ↓ Nontronite Ø MgO + SiO2 ↓ Limonite Ø MgO + SiO2 ↓ Haematite Importantly at every stage during weathering.

THE USE OF MAGNESIUM OXIDE AND IRON TO PREDICT HOST UNITS • >10 per cent MgO • >30 per cent Fe • <10 per cent MgO and Serpentine Resource application Limonite The use of these Fe and MgO constraints ensures that the ore lithologies are delineated properly.Grade control trenches coloured by chemically derived lithology. dark grey – Limonite Ferricete and light grey – Nontronite. which is FIG 4 .43 3. To provide both accuracy for scheduling purposes and consistent ore feed to the auto-clave for processing.29 2. black – Serpentinite. Zones that are heavily fractured or sheared act as very ‘open’ systems for water movement. assisting in better pit design and scheduling. with standard deviations (SD).49 Serpentine 14. This is reflected in the variography performed during resource modelling. The blend of ore to meet processing requirements is very specific. Interpretation can be made using these chemistries to better understand and model the lithological units.00 Limonite 39.41 Serpentine 15. 14 . Limonite (Fe rich) and ferricrete (Fe-rich) reflect these zones of strong water movement and nontronite reflects zones of water flow restriction. as ‘poorly’ modelled data will show higher nugget effects and greater population variances.78 Iron (Fe) Lithology Mean (%) Standard deviation (%) Nontronite 18. Weathering is more pronounced in zones where ground water is free to move. By examining the laterites in terms of Fe and MgO a better understanding of the local geological structure can be gained. It also serves as a check on how well the different lithologies are modelled.41 5. Confidence in the nickel and cobalt grades is not the only focus. TABLE 1 Average MgO and Fe for the data population. Grade control application The primary aim of grade control is to deliver ore that meets all the processing requirements.64 It is these two aspects of ore delineation that are critical to the ‘smooth flow’ of ore through processing. Trench colouring. Structural complexities can be interpreted and modelled at the resource stage. 4th International Mining Geology Conference Coolum.64 1.81 2.17 May 2000 243 .36 2. The use of Fe and MgO constraints by the mine geologist improve the confidence and the required consistency of the ore. with recorded geological type projected against the trench. the host lithology and MgO content are as equally important. The different lithologies can be delineated and in a clear and consistent fashion. It enables the geologist to discriminate between nontronite units that have high MgO contents and those of high Fe contents. Magnesium Oxide (MgO) Lithology Mean (%) Standard deviation (%) Nontronite 6. Qld. Nontronite <30 per cent Fe The above cut-offs are used by geologists to assist in the ore delineation. Accurate delineation of ore prior to mining is very important for the mining sequence. shows a complex geological zone that can be delineated by the use of chemistry. These have different mineralogies and material behaviour characteristics in processing. where lower population variances and ‘nuggets’ are estimated on application of these constraints.95 Limonite 2. Other factors such as the ore’s temporary destination on the stockpiles. Figure 4. whereas more geologically ‘quiet’ zones restrict water movement more. The percentages of ore lithologies delineated by the geologist need to be very precise so that the sequence and scheduling of mining equipment can be prioritised to ensure maximum profit is gained.

Economic Geology. The remainder of the population below these two values is assigned to the nontronite lithology. M. The samples with greater than 30 per cent Fe can be considered limonite. 76:1775-1783. potential problems can arise in scheduling of both the identified resource and the stockpile destined for processing. large relative differences in elements are important. At the mining scale.17 May 2000 4th International Mining Geology Conference . P A. Understanding the mineralogical complexities away from the field and being able to make informed decisions about mineralogical changes needs to be consistent and modestly accurate. Situations exist where the individual collecting the geological information may not be the same person responsible for the modelling of the data. At Bulong because of the variation in the individual deposit mineralogy. 1996. An unfortunate function of this approach is that sub-ordinate mineralogies are ignored.68 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). REFERENCES Burger. Twidale. By understanding and modelling the complexities the geologist can aid in the ‘front end’ materials handling of the ore within the mill. J M and Rivers. as well as understanding discrepancies in sample values at this point of processing. the step towards using chemistry as a constraint against mineralogy has proven to be an important ore control tool. and Giorgetta. but by understanding the many other facets of the ore lithologies it enables greater ore definition. Geology. for a two metre lateral and vertical sample composite shown. Western Australia. This approach is to ensure the performance of the ore feed through the processing phases in the plant is maintained at an optimum. C J. 136 p (Thomas Nelson: Australia). Parianos. Donaldson. 1981. It can be seen that both the recorded (by geologist) lithology (displayed next to the trench (line) and the calculated geology (colour of trench) correlate well. Coolum. Without accounting for changes in chemistry. The orebodies can appear complex and have the potential to cause some difficulties. Mineralogy and Chemistry of Lateritic Nickel-Cobalt Deposits near Kalgoorlie. N. Geology and Mineralogy of the Brolga Laterite Deposit Central Queensland. pp 63 . 1996. 1976. clays (transported or in situ) and talc units from the three primary ore lithologies. 244 FIG 5 . 14 . A complete lithological picture provided by chemical delineation is shown in Figure 5. C R. pp 179 . Elias. Qld. There are however some discrepancies at the lithological contacts where the geologist may not have identified the probable dominant mineralogy. Origins and characteristics of Lateritic Nickel Deposits. The simplification of lithology is necessary in both the mining and resource modelling phases. since they contribute directly to our understanding of the deposit.W BOLLENHAGEN essential to the operations performance. 370 RL. Different MgO and Fe parameters are used in other resource areas to delineate the ferricrete. showing the ‘hard boundaries’. CONCLUSION For a cut-off of ten per cent MgO all samples are comprised dominantly of serpentine. in Proceedings Nickel ’96. in Proceedings Nickel ’96. M J. even though they contribute to the sample intervals bulk chemistry. This discrimination is specific to the three operational pit areas currently being mined at the Bulong Nickel Operation.Geology created by Fe and MgO per cents from grade control data Criterion Pit. Geomorphology.183 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne). It removes some of the variation associated with subjectivity in geological logging encountered by geologists during ore delineation and contributes to consistency and confidence in the identification of important mineralogies. This is a geological interpretation of Figure 4.

Mining and Metallurgy at Stawell Gold Mines Pty Ltd D Fredericksen 263 . J Segui and S Kanchibotla 247 Upgrade Ability and Geology of Cawse Nickel Ore S M Denn. C G Ferguson and S L Makin 255 The Interaction Between Geology.Mine to Mill Ore Characterisation for Mine to Mill Fragmentation A Scott.

Research Scholar. 45a Edson Street. Examples included: • the minimisation of fines in the mining and handling of iron ore. but this is a relatively slow process and so coarser rocks tend to accumulate in the mill. it is the underlying objective of every mine. particularly AG mills. in many operations the management structure and reporting systems have created independent ‘businesses’ within the overall mining enterprise. Unfortunately. Hence if a feed size distribution is produced with too much coarse material or very large top size. Kojovic et al. ‘MINE TO MILL’ OPTIMISATION OF FRAGMENTATION In classic metalliferous operations the ore undergoes at least three stages of breakage: • blasting to prepare the ore for excavation and transport. This is because the feed provides the media responsible for grinding as well as providing the feedstock that is ground. It follows from these experiences that the ideal feed size distribution is one which has relatively little pebble size material. Hence it is also found that feeding a size distribution which is rich in pebbles will also limit throughput. The characteristics of importance to fragmentation fall outside the parameters conventionally required to describe the economic geology of a deposit. • crushing to improve its handling characteristics and to prepare the ore for grinding. JKMRC. Simkus and Dance. reducing the proportion of material in the ‘critical’ size range of around 25 mm to 75 mm. Of course the rock media as it wears in the mill also provides a source of ground product in its own right. Energy Factor Cost Factor Blasting 0. The top of the cumulative fragment size distribution curve shown in Figure 1 is moved to the left.15 mm) as possible. • the management of fines in blasting and crushing for a copper heap leach operation. Scott Mine Consulting Services Pty Ltd. The ‘Mine to Mill’ concept involves increasing the amount of breakage achieved in both blasting and crushing in order to relieve the mill of as much new breakage as possible.75/t 5 Grinding 20 kwh/t 100 $3. Kanchibotla et al.75/t 25 where it is rare to find a comminution circuit where they are not used. say 10 mm) because this should pass freely through the mill and require no further breakage. In addition. J Segui2 and S Kanchibotla3 ABSTRACT The ‘Mine to Mill’ concept is not new. The Mine to Mill Conference organised by The AusIMM in October 1998 documented a number of case studies where run of mine ore was not presented to the mill in the best possible form for subsequent stages of comminution and processing. Providing this information requires close interaction between these groups. the mill will tend to overfill with pebble size rocks (25 mm 75 mm) and limit throughput. ‘Mine to Mill’ optimisation of fragmentation means that the mining engineer needs information from the geologist in order to be able to help the metallurgist. In the last 20 years grinding circuit design has undergone considerable change and has seen the rise in popularity of autogenous (AG) and semi-autogenous (SAG) mills to the point 1. ‘rule of thumb’ figures suggest the relationship between the energy requirements and costs for these three stages of breakage are as shown on Table 1. 14 . SAusIMM. Reduced top size also allows the primary crusher gap to be reduced. with consequent economies of scale. 3. These changes steepen the curve. A number of ‘Mine to Mill’ type investigations have been reported in the literature including Pease et al. Kenmore Qld 4069. This is represented by lifting the lower end of the size distribution curve. Bulow et al and Hawkes from the 1998 Mine to Mill Conference.15/t 1 Crushing 2 kwh/t 10 $0. does not have excessive coarse material and has as much material in the below-grate size region (10 mm . Coolum. mining recovery and dilution in open cut coal operations.Ore Characterisation for Mine to Mill Fragmentation A Scott1. In both scenarios pebble sized material is found to be a problem and this fraction is often referred to as the ‘critical size’. This has created incentives to optimise the performance of each component of the operation rather than the enterprise as a whole. Isles Road. Qld 4062. and • grinding which is usually undertaken in two stages. Qld 4062. Isles Road. Characterising the breakage behaviour of ores is a vital step in the management of fragmentation and comminution in mines. FAusIMM. The latter topic has been trialed at a number of mines and is referred to as ‘Mine to Mill’ fragmentation. • the control of blast damage. the crusher can be choke fed without the risk of blockages. and • the optimisation of mine fragmentation to increase mill throughput in gold and copper operations. In fact. In large open pit mines. Research Fellow. 2. Scott et al. 4th International Mining Geology Conference TABLE 1 Relative energy and cost of breakage. A number of examples were quoted where modest expenditure in the mine had a very significant impact on downstream process efficiency and hence costs.2 kwh/t 1 $0. Qld. JKMRC. Indooroopilly. a number of studies are in progress or the results have yet to be published. generating material which needs less breakage in the mill. With reduced top size and continuous material supply. The feed size distribution has to provide a balance between the amount and size of the media (coarse fraction) and the feedstock (fine fraction). The first objective of ‘Mine to Mill’ blasting is to reduce the top size of the material to improve the ease of excavation and transport within the mine. Figure 1 shows the concept. Choke feeding allows more inter-particle breakage and therefore produces more fines in the crusher product than without choke feeding. The second objective is to increase the proportion of fines (material less than the grate size in the mill. These studies have demonstrated the feasibility of obtaining the data required to characterise the breakage behaviour of ores and to model the impact of changes to blasting practices on process efficiency. This trend has enabled unit throughput size to increase enormously. If too little coarse material is fed there will be insufficient grinding media to grind the feedstock to the required size. In essence the breakage is moved back down the production chain where the energy requirements (and the costs) are lower. Indooroopilly.17 May 2000 247 . Nielsen. The downside of these machines is that they are relatively sensitive to the size distribution of the feed.

If the increased revenue generated from additional sales made possible by the higher production rate is factored into the equation. Qld. The impact of these changes can be simply evaluated. Lien and Lunde. These costs depend on the characteristics of the orebody and so a cyclic process of evaluation is required where initial estimates of mine geometry. 14 . Optimising this plan depends strongly on the adequacy of the mineralogical and physical characterisation of the ore. the heave energy and distribution of the explosive. the average milling cost would fall by $0. Indices of rock mass competence such as RMR and Q (Bieniawski. Great strides have been made in recent years in the application of tools such as QEM-SEM and the JKMRC’s Mineral Liberation Analyser in the routine quantification of mineral composition and character (Gu et al.A SCOTT. ‘Blastability’ Rock is a complex material and its behaviour when blasted is indescribably complicated.10/t and mill throughput increased by ten per cent. crushing and milling performance and efficiency. The minimum description of rock mass ‘blastability’ therefore involves: Coolum. This is an economic definition. Young’s modulus and a description of structure either estimated from field exposures or derived from R