JOURNAL OF THE SOUTHERN AFRICAN INSTITUTE OF MINING AND METALLURGY, vol.112, no.3, pp.239-249, 2012 (SCI-Expanded)
Estimation techniques such as polygonal, triangular prism, trapezoid, isopach maps, and inverse distance methods are often used in ore or industrial minerals deposit evaluation. These techniques do not express the variability of the deposit and do not allow a determination of the reliability of the estimates. However, geostatistical methods can express a measure of the error associated with the estimates, by finding weighting coefficients for a given mining block, and can also help with data configuration that minimizes the error. This work addresses an application study on the quality and reserve characteristics of the cement raw materials of the Adana Cement Factory in Adana, Turkey, based on the spatial distribution and variability of the chemical components (SiO2, CaO, Al2O3, Fe2O3). The study has been carried out using a geostatistical procedure that is useful for site assessment, characterization, and monitoring situations where data are collected spatially. Directional and omnidirectional experimental variograms of the cement raw material variables showed that neither strong geometric nor severe zonal anisotropy exists in the data. The most evident spatial dependence structure expressing the continuity for omnidirectional experimental variograms were characterized by exponential and spherical variogram models. These models have been used in cross-validation analysis, which proved that these models, their parameters, and kriging parameters are applicable for the study area. Quality contour maps of the deposits at given levels underground were estimated using a kriging interpolation technique. Anomalies such as bullseyes and drift were not observed in the maps that were generated. Kriged maps showed the spatial distribution of quality continuity and variability of the deposits. Grade-tonnage curves and total tonnage estimates in the particular grade were determined using ordinary kriging in order to improve the mining operation and planning. Consequently, local uncertainty and the probability of extreme values occurring are tools of prime importance for the mine planning, the optimum mix of raw materials coming from different quarry stopes.