Mineral resources & reserves

Published 24 June 2014

In general, mineral resources that have a strong geological continuity such as limestone for cement manufacturing require less exploration work than deposits in the metallic and non-metallic mineral industries (MNMI). World-class cement producers and mineral processing companies estimate and classify their mineral resources and reserves with varying degrees of effort and cost. But it is clear that cement producers are lagging well behind the current standards set by the MNMI in this respect. By Stéphane Normandin, Met-Chem, Canada.

The common objective for cement producers, and metallic and non-metallic industries (MNMI) with depleting reserves is to renew them by certifying and securing additional mineral resources, before converting a given amount into new reserves. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate typical exploration drilling grids for a limestone and a copper-nickel deposit, respectively, that are generally required to assess the mineral resource to the 'Measured' and 'Indicated' categories.

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