Abstract

The often complex, erratic, and localized nature of gold is a common feature of many vein-style gold deposits. This style of mineralization is often referred to as being nuggety or possessing a high-nugget effect. As a result of these complexities resource estimation is difficult and in general, only Exploration Results can be provided or an Inferred Mineral Resource estimated from surface drilling data alone. Underground development, further drilling, and probably bulk sampling will be required to delineate Indicated and Measured Resources. Tonnages can generally be estimated from diamond drill and development information with a reasonable degree of confidence. Grade is much more difficult to define with confidence because it is commonly highly erratic and discontinuous in nature. The dependency of higher confidence Resource categories on development information may create a Catch 22 situation, with funding for such development often depending on the prior definition of at least Indicated Resources. There are no easy solutions to these challenges posed by high-nugget effect deposits, and it is important when classifying and reporting not to downplay the uncertainties often associated with Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates for such deposits. However, in common with all deposit types, if the principles that underpin the estimation, classification, and reporting procedures are borne in mind and common sense applied, most issues can be satisfactorily resolved. This paper discusses the classification and reporting of Mineral Resources for high-nugget effect gold vein deposits within the framework of the JORC Code (JORC, 1999).

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