Note: Quick RESOURCE EVALUATION facts for
readers with no prior exposure to mineral engineering..
Resource evaluation is undertaken to quantify the grade and tonnage of a mineral occurrence. This is achieved
primarily by drilling to sample the prospective horizon, lode or strata where the minerals of interest occur.
The ultimate aim is to generate a density of drilling sufficient to satisfy the economic and statutory standards
of a ore resource.
RESOURCE ESTIMATION & PATTERN DRILLING
Depending on the financial situation and size of the deposit and the structure of the company,
the level of detail required to generate this resource and stage at which extraction can commence varies;
for small partnerships and private non-corporate enterprises a very low level of detail is required whereas
for corporations which require debt equity (loans) to build capital intensive extraction infrastructure, the
rigor necessary in resource estimation is far greater.
The aim of resource evaluation is to expand the known size of the deposit and mineralization. A scoping
study is often carried out on the ore deposit during this stage to determine if there may be enough ore at
a sufficient grade to warrant extraction; if there is not further resource evaluation drilling may be
necessary. In other cases, several smaller individually uneconomic deposits may be socialized into
a 'mining camp' and extracted in tandem. Further exploration and testing of anomalies may be required to
find or define these other satellite deposits.