Two Ordinary Kriging Approaches to Predicting Block Grade Distributions

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Multigaussian kriging aims at estimating the local distributions of regionalized variables and functions of these variables (transfer or recovery functions) at unsampled locations. In this paper, we focus on the evaluation of the recoverable reserves in an ore deposit accounting for a change of support and information effect caused by ore/waste misclassifications. Two approaches are proposed: the multigaussian model with Monte Carlo integration and the discrete Gaussian model. The latter is simpler to use but requires stronger hypotheses than the former. In each model, ordinary multigaussian kriging gives unbiased estimates of the recoverable reserves that do not utilize the mean value of the normal score data.

The concepts are illustrated through a case study on a copper deposit which shows that local estimates of the metal content based on ordinary multigaussian kriging are close to the optimal conditional expectation when the data are abundant and are not dominated by the global mean when the data are scarce. The two proposed approaches (Monte Carlo integration and discrete Gaussian model) lead to similar results when compared to two other geostatistical methods: service variables and ordinary indicator kriging, which show strong deviations from conditional expectation.

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