Sheeted vein gold deposits are characterised by multiple subparallel veins and often free milling gold. Variability in gold grade and recovery parameters are enhanced by poorly designed sampling and test work protocols. Poor quality samples generally equate to an enhanced nugget effect. A sample can be described as being representative when it results in acceptable levels of bias and precision. Total sampling variability can be quantified by the relative sampling variance, which measures the total empirical sampling variance influenced by the heterogeneity of the lot being sampled under the current sampling / test work protocol. Effort should be made to minimise the relative sampling variance through Theory of Sampling (TOS) and quality assurance / quality control (QA/QC) application. This contribution reports on a case study that exemplifies how high-quality grade and recovery data can be gained from a well-designed and planned drilling, sampling and test work program, followed by bulk sampling. Results across historical resource drilling, geometallurgical drilling, laboratory assay / test work, geometallurgical modelling and a bulk sampling/pilot processing study are reconciled. A whole core, entire-sample test work protocol was used to acquire fit-for-purpose gold grade and recovery data for inclusion into a Pre Feasibility Study reported in accordance with the JORC Code.
Dominy, S C, O’Connor, L, Xie, Y and Glass, H J, 2017.
Geometallurgical sampling protocol validation by bulk sampling in a sheeted vein
gold deposit, in Proceedings Eighth World Conference on Sampling and
Blending , pp 185–196 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).