Abstract

Unit regional value (URV) and unit regional weight (URW) are area standardized measures of the expected value and quantity, respectively, of the mineral resources of a region. Estimation and manipulation of the unit regional value statistic is the basis of an approach to mineral resource evaluation. Estimates of the kind and value of exploitable mineral resources yet to be discovered in the provinces of Canada are used as an illustration of the procedure.The unit regional value statistic is set within a previously developed model wherein geology, as measured by point-counting geologic maps, is related to the historical record of mineral resource production of well-developed regions of the world, such as the 50 states of the United States; these may be considered the training set. The Canadian provinces are related to this training set using geologic information obtained in the same way from geologic maps of the provinces. The desired predictions of yet to be discovered mineral resources in the Canadian provinces arise as a consequence. The implicit assumption is that regions of similar geology, if equally well developed, will produce similar weights and values of mineral resources.An example of an inventory of undiscovered, explorable mineral commodities and their probability of occurrence is given for the province of Manitoba. The value of undiscovered mineral commodities in the Yukon, Labrador, the island of Newfoundland, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba is conservatively estimated at greater than 15,000 U.S. 1967 dollars per km 2 .The unit regional value approach is an objective, reproducible method of mineral resource assessment. Use of the technique stresses the need to operationalize or quantify geology and mineral resource variables, so that algebraic manipulation and formal hypothesis testing can be performed.

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