The basic concepts involved in the birth and the historical development of mining geostatistics over more than half a century, are reviewed. The review concentrates on the main fields of: (i) the definition of the statistical population(s), that is, the orebody parameter(s) of interest, for example, grade; (ii) their frequency distribution(s); (iii) the geological model of mineralization; (iv) the types of support of the members of the population(s); (v) the spatial structures involved and, (vi) where applicable, the subdivision of the orebody into more homogeneous sub-populations; (vii) the impact of these factors on the confidence levels for the relevant estimates, for example, of block grades; and (viii) the need for practical validation checks on the quality and unbiasedness of the estimates and for anticipating and eliminating any global or conditional biases.

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