Ore grade estimation of a limestone deposit in India using an Artificial Neural Network

Created by S. Chatterjee, A. Bhattacherjee, B. Samanta & S. K. Pal

Posted by on February 16, 2006 | 0 comments

This study describes a method used to improve ore grade estimation in a limestone deposit in India. Ore grade estimation for the limestone deposit was complicated by the complex lithological structure of the deposit. The erratic nature of the deposit and the unavailability of adequate samples for each of the lithogical units made standard geostatistical methods of capturing the spatial variation of the deposit inadequate. This paper describes an attempt to improve the ore grade estimation through the use of a feed forward neural network (NN) model. The NN model incorporated the spatial location as well as the lithological information for modeling of the ore body. The network was made up of three layers: an input, an output and a hidden layer. The input layer consisted of three spatial coordinates (x, y and z) and nine lithotypes. The output layer comprised all the grade attributes of limestone ore including silica (SiO 2 ), alumina (Al 2 O 3 ), calcium oxide (CaO) and ferrous oxide (Fe 2 O 3 ). To justify the use of the NN in the deposit, a comparative evaluation between the NN method and the ordinary kriging was performed. This evaluation demonstrated that the NN model decisively outperformed the kriging model. After the superiority of the NN model had been established, it was used to predict the grades at an unknown grid location. Prior to constructing the grade maps, lithological maps of the deposit at the unknown grid were prepared. These lithological maps were generated using indicator kriging. The authors conclude by suggesting that the method described in this paper could be used for grade-control planning in ore deposits.

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