An estimation of resources of structurally complex gold lodes and stockworks represents a challenging task for geoscientists due to the complex geometry of the lodes and discontinuous grade. In the present case study, the resource of a gold stockwork has been estimated by uniform conditioning after the lode has been subdivided into geostatistically defined domains using the indicator probability model. The indicator probability model represents a powerful tool for structural interpretation of the mineralization and can be applied when traditional 3D volume constraining methods (wireframing) have failed to produce a unique, non-subjective model.
For comparison, the resources of the same zone have been estimated without domaining. Results of the study clearly show that estimates obtained without domaining of the mineralization can yield a substantial error due to excessive smoothing of the grade.
Application of uniform conditioning for modelling the grade distribution has a significant advantage over linear methods (e.g., ordinary kriging). Uniform conditioning enables estimation of local recoverable resources at different selective mining unit sizes that can be substantially smaller than the drilling density without creation of biases or over smoothed local values.