Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science in Geology (MS)

Administrative Home Department

Department of Geological and Mining Engineering and Sciences

Advisor 1

Snehamoy Chatterjee

Committee Member 1

Nathan Manser

Committee Member 2

Greg Waite


Spatial variability and uncertainty of continuous variables (grade) and categorical variables (rock-types) in mineral evaluation significantly impact the economics of mining projects. The conventional approach of simulating grades using deterministic rock- types is problematic since spatial variability, and uncertainty of grades at rock-type contacts are not well captured in deposits where the grade changes gradually between rock-types. Therefore, jointly simulating these variables can improve confidence (reduce uncertainty) in a resource model. Also, resource classification and recoverable reserve calculation can significantly improve the understanding of the deposit and its economic viability. This research utilized the Plural-Gaussian geostatistical simulation to jointly simulate rock-types and grade. A joint coregionalized model of random fields via fitting theoretical variograms is achieved. Equiprobable realizations of rock-types and grades are generated through a co-simulation of these variables. Resource classification of simulations and ultimate pit limit calculations are produced and validated using a real gold deposit in Alaska.