Mineral Resource Estimation

Mineral Resource Estimation

Areas of Study: Mining | Exploration and Geology

Qualifies for CMS

Short Course Short Course
  • Audience Level: Professional Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Spokane, WA, USA Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


The mineral inventory of a mining or exploration company is quantified as resource/reserve estimates with associated error levels that, in many cases, are unknown. Consequently, the estimation procedure should incorporate efforts to minimize errors at every level of decision.

This short course will consider the detailed methodology of various resource/reserve estimation methods that are in common use in the Mining Industry. Emphasis will be on general procedures, inherent assumptions, and advantages and limitations of each of the principal methods. Methods to be discussed include: polygonal estimation, nearest neighbour estimation triangular estimation, contour estimation, method of sections (plans) estimation, inverse distance estimation, and ordinary kriging estimation. All of these estimation methods have significant practical limitations for appropriate use.

For many of the estimation methods, decisions are required that have a bearing on classification of resources/reserves. Consequently, criteria for classification will be discussed from the perspective of the estimation procedure.

All methods require assumptions, either implicit or explicit, that impact significantly on quantity and quality of estimated resources/reserves, for example, block size, search radius, anisotropy, geological continuity, grade continuity, stationarity, etc. The nature of these assumptions will be discussed in detail.

Some of the procedures and concerns will be illustrated with software that will be provided. A laptop computer, while not essential during the course itself, would be useful.

Attendees may want to purchase a copy of the book, “Applied Mineral Inventory Estimation”, (pictured above, right) for further study at leisure. Note that it is not essential for course attendees to have the book while at the course.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to the online e-learning material consisting of an introductory course titled Conventional Methods of Resource / Reserve Estimation.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for two days of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of Concepción. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Registered participants who attend the entire short course and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming the Professional Development Hours (PDH)/Continuing Education Units (CEU) earned. Please confirm with your employer and/or professional association that this course qualifies for CPD.

Who Should Attend?

The course is aimed at geologists, mining engineers, surveyors, geostatisticians, and any other professionals dealing with the estimation of resources/reserves in a mining context.

Dr. Alastair Sinclair

Alastair J. Sinclair obtained his B.A.Sc. and M.A.Sc. degrees in geological engineering from the University of Toronto (1957 and 1958) and a Ph.D. in Economic Geology from the University of British Columbia (1964). From 1962 to 1964 he taught in the Dept. of Geology, University of Washington, Seattle; and from 1964 to 1998 taught at the University of British Columbia.

In addition to teaching at UBC he was Head of the Department of Geological Sciences (1985-1990) and Director of Geological Engineering (1991-1998). He is presently Professor Emeritus in geological engineering at the University of British Columbia. For many years he taught courses in Economic Geology, Mineral Inventory Estimation and Mineralography and Ore Microscopy. His research activities have focused on Mineral Exploration Data Analysis, Resource Estimation of Mineral Deposits and Quality Control Aspects of Resource Evaluation.

He has presented a wide range of short courses for mining companies and professional organizations and has consulted widely for the international mining industry; he continues to be active in these fields.

Provisional Schedule

This course is divided into two sessions with following topics:

Day 1: 30 November 2012, from 8:15am to 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time
Time Session
08:15 – 08:45 Registration
08:45 – 09:00 Welcome and Profile of Participants
09:00 – 11:00 Introduction, essential concepts—cutoff grade, geological continuity, grade continuity
11:00 – 11:30 Refreshments
11:30 – 13:00 Essential concepts—regionalized variables, dilution
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Blocks vs points, selective mining unit, accuracy/precision of data
15:30 – 15:45 Refreshments
15:45 – 17:00 Ore/waste boundaries, conditional bias, cross validation
Day 2: 1 December 2012, from 9:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Standard Time
Time Session
09:00 – 11:00 The need for high quality geology/geological model
11:00 – 11:30 Refreshments
11:30 – 13:00 Method of sections/plans, polygonal method
13:00 – 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:30 Inverse distance weighting methods, contouring methods
15:30 – 15:45 Refreshments
15:45 – 17:00 Discussion

How to Register

Complete and return the registration form by fax: 604 681 4166 or email: [email protected].

If you have any questions you can contact Edumine by phone at +1 604 683 2037.


The full fee for the two day program is USD 1,600 + tax. The fee covers the lecture, the book, a comprehensive set of course notes, access to Edumine pre-course e-learning, a certificate of attendance, and catered breakfasts and lunches including light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days before the course start date.

* A 10% discount is offered for groups of 5 or more OR if you provide your Annual Edumine subscription User ID at time of registration.

* These discounts cannot be combined.


The course will be held at Hotel Lusso, conveniently located in downtown at 808 W Sprague Ave, Spokane, WA 99201.

Hotel Accommodation

If you need to make hotel reservations, we recommend the Hotel Lusso: an elegant boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Spokane, Washington. With its European charm, residential ambiance and excellent location, the Lusso is a perfect choice for the business or leisure traveler. The hotel features 48 comfortable and richly decorated guest rooms and suites. Adjacent to the lobby is a popular lounge and restaurant, a favorite of locals. The Hotel Lusso was recently awarded a listing on the Conde Nast Traveler Magazine Gold List. When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine group rate".

The world famous Davenport Hotel is just across from Hotel Lusso, and "one of America's exceptional hotels." When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine group rate".

For further information about hotels in Downtown Spokane, see the following link: http://www.downtownspokanehotels.com/.

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a short course registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

A 10% administration fee will be levied for cancellations made 4 or more weeks prior to the first day of the course. Thereafter, the following cancellation refund schedule will apply.

  • Cancellation made more than 3 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 70% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made more than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 50% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: no reimbursement of registration fees.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.