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Rules of Thumb for Geological Modeling

Erik Ronald
Tuesday, February 27, 2018
First presented: 
SME 2018
Geological and resource models constitute the underlying foundation of the mining and mineral exploration business. These models form the basis of mineral esource reporting, mine planning, economic evaluations, business plans, and company strategic planning. A robust and useful model can be the difference between a marginal exploration prospect and a profitable mine. Therefore, their construction and overall quality to represent the ore body are critical to success. The creation of geological and resource models is a combination of art, science, engineering, statistics, and well-informed hypotheses. A series of considerations are presented to ensure models are both useful and provide a robust representation of the deposit. These considerations include: 1) clear objectives of model use; 2) understanding local and regional geology; 3) the incorporation of all trusted data sources; 4) fundamental statistical understanding of data; 5) a regional perspective; 6) a sound geologic structural framework; 7) determine significant attributes dependent upon scale of model; 8) modelling of waste units; and 9) all modeled wireframes modeled in three-dimensions.

Feature Author

Erik Ronald

Erik Ronald is a geologist with 20 years’ experience specializing in resource geology, exploration and evaluation, resource estimation and geostatistics, mine geology, auditing/due diligence, and reporting of Mineral Resources. His experience spans multiple commodities and deposit types including iron ore, porphyry, IOCG, industrial minerals, and epithermal deposits. Erik has worked across North America, South America, and Australia from greenfields projects through open pit and underground operations.

Erik has held technical, commercial, and leadership roles in both corporate and operational environments. His experience includes project management of technical studies such as exploration and evaluation programs, mineral resource and ore reserve studies, and multiple large project studies (conceptual, OoM/PEA, PFS, and FS levels). Mr. Ronald is a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of NI 43-101 reporting of Mineral Resources and a “Competent Person” for JORC reporting of Mineral Resources. Erik is proficient in geological modeling using Maptek Vulcan and Leapfrog Geo software with extensive estimation and geostatistical experience using Isatis software.

Resource Geology Expert
MEng Geological Engineering, BSc Geology, PG, MAusIMM, SME-RM
SRK Denver
SRK Africa