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Multiple-point statistical simulation of the ore boundaries for a lateritic bauxite deposit

Dagasan, Y., Erten, O., Renard, P., Straubhaar, J., Topal, E.
Stochastic environmental research and risk assessment 2019 v.33 no.3 pp. 865-878
algorithms, bauxite, geostatistics, ground-penetrating radar, laterites, mining, models, surveys
Resource estimation of mineral deposits requires spatial modelling of orebody boundaries based on a set of exploration borehole data. Given lateritic bauxite deposits, the spacing between the boreholes is often determined based on the grade continuity. As a result, the selected drill spacing might not capture the underlying (true) lateral variability apparent in the orebody boundaries. The purpose of this study is to investigate and address the limitations imposed by such problems in lateritic metal deposits through multiple-point statistics (MPS) framework. Rather than relying on a semivariogram model, we obtain the required structural information from the footwall topographies exposed after previous mining operations. The investigation utilising the MPS was carried out using the Direct Sampling (DS) MPS algorithm. Two historical mine areas along with their mined-out surfaces and ground penetrating radar surveys were incorporated as a bivariate training image to perform the MPS simulations. In addition, geostatistical simulations using the Turning Bands method were also performed to make the comparison against the MPS results. The performances were assessed using several statistical indicators including higher-order spatial cumulants. The results have shown that the DS can satisfactorily simulate the orebody boundaries by using prior information from the previously mined-out areas.