# Density Neglected but Essential

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1 Density Neglected but Essential The poor orphan in mineral resource estimation Andrew Scogings, Grant Louw and Bill Shaw 16 September 2015

2 Setting the scene

3 Bulk Density Presentation outline What is bulk density? Andrew Scogings QAQC and JORC requirements Bill Shaw Methods and examples Andrew Scogings Correct calculation of volumes Grant Louw Conclusions Bill Shaw.

4 Density Underestimation of density will have consequences

5 Density We always dig out more than we expected Conservative density lbs/cu ft t/m 3 Difference % Actual density

6 Bulk Density What is it? Term Units Definition Specific gravity none Relative density: the ratio of the density of the material to the density of water at 4 o C Density t/m 3 Mass per unit volume In situ bulk density (ISBD) t/m 3 Density of the material in place, including the natural moisture content In situ dry bulk density (ISDBD) t/m 3 Density of the material in place, after all free moisture content has been removed. In JORC reporting, a metal assay (e.g. g/t Au) is assigned to the dry tonnage. Loose bulk density t/m 3 For bulk sampling where the swell factor must be considered for material that has been extracted. Adapted from Lipton & Horton (2014) AusIMM Monograph 30

7 Bulk Density Why measure bulk density? Three fundamental inputs to a Mineral Resource: Grade Volume Density.

8 Bulk Density Measuring three components Mass usually the easy bit Weigh and dry samples for moisture content Weigh samples in air and water (Archimedes method) Volume the difficult bit Accurately measure the volume of the weighed sample Do it early before the sample deteriorates Moisture often inconsistently done Consider if the samples are affected by seasonality and/or drilling fluids Seal the samples early.

9 QAQC & JORC

10 Bulk Density Density measurements should be treated like assays Assays must be defined and interpolated within consistent domains, such as by weathering and lithology Assays need QAQC, i.e. defined Quality Assurance procedures (collection documentation, equipment calibration, alternative methods, umpire lab, etc.) and Quality Control data (standards, duplicates, statistical analysis of precision and accuracy).

11 JORC Code (2012) Table 1 Section 3 Estimation and Reporting of Mineral Resources Criteria Explanation Bulk density Whether assumed or determined. If assumed, the basis for the assumptions. If determined, the method used, whether wet or dry, the frequency of the measurements, the nature, size and representativeness of the samples. The bulk density for bulk material must have been measured by methods that adequately account for void spaces (vugs, porosity, etc), moisture and differences between rock and alteration zones within the deposit. Discuss assumptions for bulk density estimates used in the evaluation process of the different materials.

12 Bulk Density QAQC for density measurements Density information provided in a Public Report under JORC (2012) should be supported by similar data analysis and discussion This includes descriptions of the method(s) used (QA) for moisture content and in situ dry bulk density, analysis of the frequency and representativity of the sampling and some discussion on the accuracy and precision of the data and the results.

13 Certification and recalibration of scales using standards Standard weights

14 Bulk Density Ore, waste and dilution The expected Revenue for the project is determined by the ore value (metal content less losses in most cases). A bias in the density estimate is transferred directly to the contained metal (metal = grade * volume * density) The economic value of the project (NPV) is determined by the revenues minus the costs. The mining cost in open pit projects is largely determined by the cost to move the waste Density must be determined and assigned (or interpolated) in an unbiased way for both ore and waste to ensure that Revenue, NPV and Dilution are all correctly estimated.

15 Ore Control An example of a Density sampling program to resolve tonnage reconciliation issues.

16 Bulk Density Methods not addressed in this presentation Stoichiometry (e.g. nickel sulphides) Sand replacement method Direct measurement of density (Troxler) Downhole geophysics.

17 Methods and examples

18 Bulk Density There is a bewildering array of methods for measuring the volume of samples (as core, rocks, stockpiles, powders, etc) Water displacement uncoated, wax, spray lacquer, cling wrap, vacuum pack,... Calliper whole core, half core Core tray Pitting Pycnometer.

19 Bulk Density Cases Stockpiles and bulk samples Whole core Half core this will be explained.

20 Stockpiles and bulk samples

21 Test Pit Test pitting for density

22 Stockpiles and bulk samples Stockpile loose density (10% moisture) using a cubic metre box Clay stockpile Steel box 1m 3

23 Whole Core

24 Whole core competent Graphitic gneiss

25 Whole core problematic Whole core Ni laterite

26 Whole core Hair spray Beeswax Spray lacquer Chromitite Beeswax

27 Whole core Paraffin wax Friable chromitite Wax Chromitite Hotplate Draining tray

28 Whole Core Vacuum pack or cling wrap

29 Whole core Calliper Calliper

30 Whole core Calliper clay core Hacksaw Trimmed core Shavings for moisture test

31 Whole core Method Density Difference vs. Calliper g/cm 3 % Oxidised pyroxenite Calliper 2.49 Vacuum pack % Paraffin Wax % Competent un oxidised pyroxenite Calliper 3.28 Archimedes % Cling Wrap % Vacuum pack % Paraffin Wax %

32 Whole core Robotic rig for photographing and weighing core in water

33 Half core

34 Half core The cling wrap problem Chromitite Bigger volume than other methods

35 Half core Half core with incomplete cut RIDGE

36 Half core Half core calliper

37 Half core Clingwrap vs Calliper CLING WRAP WAX CALIPER 2.90 Mean Minimum Maximum Count % lower on average Caliper Clingwrap Clinwrap v Caliper 1:1

38 Half core Wax vs Calliper CLING WRAP WAX CALIPER 2.90 Mean Minimum Maximum Count Caliper Wax Caliper v Wax 1:1

39 Gas Pycnometer Sample vial Sample chamber

40 Gas Pycnometer Chromitite fresh competent rock Archimedes half core Pycnometer

41 Correct calculation of volumes is important

42 Full core A cylinder has interesting geometric properties that allow the volume to be easily calculated.

43 Half core Half core (it never is) with perpendicular ends

44 Half core Half core with perpendicular ends: Core is lost when cutting with 3mm blade down the centreline: HQ half core loses ~6% volume of the half core NQ half core loses ~8% volume of the half core.

45 Half core Half core mass loss due to saw blade (NQ core) NQ core (diameter 4.79cm) whole half A half B Blade loss Mass 1,064 g 489 g 488 g 88 g % Blade loss (whole core) 8.2%

46 Half core Half core with an unknown radius (due to cutting losses) The Sagitta and Chord are used to calculate the end area The cylindrical section height is measured The volume can be calculated.

47 Half core Half core with a cylindrical wedge at one end

48 Using the caliper method This is an important method, commonly used for measuring core volumes as an alternative or to validate the water immersion method It must be done correctly Potential errors leading to bias should be understood.

49 Conclusions

50 Conclusions Main points Mineral Resources and Ore Reserve estimates rely on grade, volume and density (for reporting tonnes) For density determination of representative samples, measuring mass is easier than volume Understand the errors in measuring core volumes! Methods chosen for determining dry bulk density should be appropriate, correct and validated, e.g. by using alternative methods QAQC considerations for density should be noted in Public Reports under JORC (2012) and similar Codes The Competent Person should be able to defend the conversion of volumes to dry (or wet) tonnes.

51 Thank you 16 September 2015

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