Simulating Bulk Ore Sorting Performance of a Panel Cave Mine : A Comparison between Two Approaches Cetin, Mahir Can; Li, Genzhuang; Klein, Bern; Futcher, William
Conceptual bulk ore sorting studies are essential for determining a potential improvement in mine economics before undertaking on-site sensor trials. Two approaches, block modelling and drill core compositing, are applied to simulate the bulk ore sorting performance of mining operations. While one employs the grade data of a block model, the other approach utilizes composited drill core grades. This study aimed at comparing these two approaches by estimating in-situ grade heterogeneities and simulating the bulk ore sorting performances of the currently active caves of the Cadia East panel cave mine. The results show that block modelling tends to smooth the grade variability that initially exists in the drill core grade data. Particularly in the portions of the deposit where drilling is sparse or widely spaced compared to the selected block size, block modelling leads to lower grade heterogeneity and bulk ore sorting performance estimates. However, when the drill hole data is nonrepresentative of the area of interest, block modelling can predict more realistic bulk ore sorting performances compared to drill core grades. The assessments performed with the blocks and drill core composites of various sizes showed that grade heterogeneity was adversely affected by an increased sorting scale due to averaged metal grades.
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