Knowledge of ore grades and ore reserves as well as error estimation of these values, is fundamental for mining engineers and mining geologists. Until now no appropriate scientific approach to those estimation problems has existed: geostatistics, the principles of which are summarized in this paper, constitutes a new science leading to such an approach. The author criticizes classical statistical methods still in use, and shows some of the main results given by geostatistics. Any ore deposit evaluation as well as proper decision of starting mining operations should be preceded by a geostatistical investigation which may avoid economic failures.

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