Estimation of mining width for a platinum mine
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Engineering and Mathematics
In this paper we present a case study on the determination of mining width and cut-off grade for a working platinum mine. Selective mining in the conventional sense does not take place on plane but on vertical section, since the vertical grade distributions vary from reef type to reef type, and from area to area. A small change in cut-off grade can have a large influence on the revenue generated from the mining operation. We are concerned here with underground sequence sampling data and we use kriging methods to estimate mining width in terms of Platinum Group Elements (PGE) cut-off grades in order to characterise the deposits that could be economically mined in the future. This study has implications for all tabular deposits where the mineralised thickness is small relative to the lateral extent and a strong zonation occurs in the narrow dimension.