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POLLARD, D., PITARD, F. and MINNITT, R. Misconceptions, rumour, and hearsay about sampling. Fourth World Conference on Sampling & Blending,
The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, 2009.

Misconceptions, rumour, and hearsay about sampling


D. POLLARD*, F. PITARD† and R. MINNITT ‡
*Salamander Consulting Pty Ltd, Australia
†FrancisPitard Sampling Consultants, USA
‡University of the Witwatersrand, RSA

The minerals industry regards sampling as an important part of its operations, but often does not
recognize the differences between good and bad sampling practice. The reasons are many: poor
understanding of sampling theory and how it should be applied, a corporate cost saving culture
especially concerning technical issues which are not well understood by executive management
and boards, and a failure in the education of industry professionals to develop an understanding of
the fundamentals and economic importance of good sampling practice.
The authors have experience in industry, education, training and professional development, at
undergraduate, postgraduate and professional development levels, and have been working to
improve the understanding of students and practising professionals in the industry for many years.
The target groups are practising and future geologists, mining and metallurgical engineers,
laboratory managers, quality control professionals, middle and executive managers, and
accounting and financial managers. Operators, technicians and supervisors have formed another
target group.
The results of these educational efforts have been rewarding. The paper will discuss the
strategies used for the different target groups, some evidence of good and bad practices discovered
in the industry, and feedback from the participants. Recommendations for education programmes
are made based on the experiences. While the paper is based on our experiences in the minerals
industry, the context is applicable to other industries.

Introduction Australian universities, and then for a decade he was


This paper is not the outcome of a research project; it does responsible for the Continuing Education Department of the
not present a set of data developed from surveys and Australian Mineral Foundation. In this role he worked with
experiments; rather it is an anecdotal account of the minerals industry managers to develop and deliver a
experiences of the authors over many years. We present it structured programme of short courses, seminars and field
in the hope that it will provide some insights into the courses, delivered by international experts, for industry
reasons why industry in general and the minerals industry professionals ranging from recent graduates to technical
in particular do not take correct sampling as seriously as mangers. He represents Francis Pitard in Australasia and
they should. It describes some attempts by the authors to has worked with Pitard for about 20 years.
provide education and training opportunities to key sectors Sampling in the minerals industry
in the minerals industry
The experience of the authors is relevant to the paper: Sampling in the minerals industry is often performed badly.
Francis Pitard is an international sampling consultant and The reasons are diverse: the sampling equipment is not
author of books and papers about sampling, including properly designed to provide representative samples or it is
Pierre Gy’s Sampling Theory and Sampling Practice1. He not situated at the optimum location, the equipment is not
consults and presents short courses on sampling in a properly maintained, the operators and maintenance
number of countries including USA, Canada, Australia, personnel are not correctly trained in its use, the
Chile and South Africa. Most of these courses are presented professional staff do not have a sufficient understanding of
in house to companies. sampling theory and application, and management regards
Dick Minnitt is JCI Professor of Mining Resources and sampling as an expendable budget item in both plant design
Reserves in the department of Mining Engineering at the and operations. As long as tonnes and grade meet
University of The Witwatersrand. His degrees are in production targets, sampling is too often low on the priority
geology and chemistry, and mineral economics. He has list. Furthermore, there is no communication between the
worked as a geologist, mine geologist and academic. He is sampling expert, the manufacturers of sampling equipment
an active consultant and has published over 40 papers in the and the engineering contractor during the critically
past 10 years, many of which have sampling as a minor or important plant design phase. Communication always
major focus. He is in the process of publishing a textbook comes too late, after the operation is commissioned.
on sampling which should help teachers and students to What is too often not appreciated is that good sampling
better understand the topic. and application of the information can deliver better grade
David Pollard is a metallurgist, with experience in the control, optimum plant design, improved process control,
metallurgical and coal industries before becoming an improved concentrate grade and reduced losses to tailings,
educator. He taught metallurgy for twenty years in two lower costs and improved profit.

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Many companies take huge numbers of samples for no geoscientists. Exploration geologists and geochemists take
good purpose. Two reasons are suggested for this: samples for analysis and evaluation, and use various exotic
• The sampling protocols were established by technically instruments in the field to provide mineral analysis, as well
competent persons at some point in the history of the as sampling for laboratory analyses. Many of the samples
operation, but those staff have moved on and are no gathered are best described as grab samples, and in practice
longer custodians of the results and no one has there is a strong likelihood that selection will occur to take
reviewed the current suitability of the procedures, or ‘the best bits’ for analysis. In 1924 the prospectus for the
• The installed sampling facilities and protocols do not Mount Isa South Company referred to ‘the 60% lead that
honour the principles of the theory of sampling. The had been gouged in a lease adjacent to the Mount Isa South
sampling continues because there is no one who has lease’. Blainey3 (1960) comments ‘It would have been ...
sufficient insight into the problem, or who is willing to interesting, if not wise, to note that the 60% was hand
seek outside expertise. picked’. Be aware of similar problems today.
Executive management and company boards are It should be noted that most geological samples are ‘fit
commonly dominated by nontechnical accountants, for purpose’ in that they are collected specifically as hand
economists and lawyers. The critical stages of resource specimens of rock types, to be made into thin sections or
estimation and metallurgical test work are often seen as polished sections for petrological and microscopic
non-critical and expensive steps in the process, and subject examination. In most cases, and depending on the purpose
to cost cutting. The metallurgical design world has many of the exercise, geological hand specimens for thin section
stories of cost cutting by restricting drilling programmes,
examination are collected from rock outcrops where
curtailing metallurgical test work and removing sampling
stations from process plant designs to save costs, and mineral assemblages are least weathered and best
installing cheap non-probabilistic sampling systems. These represented.
actions are invariably followed by difficulties in Geologists may receive some training about sampling
commissioning, long ramp-up times to reach nameplate with an exploration focus, in geochemistry subjects. Most
capacity, plant redesigns and retrofitting, and in extreme of the geologists contacted have said that they received no
cases abandonment of the project. Documentation of these lectures on sampling or sampling theory, but were given
cases is rarely available, the mining company and the some guidance and ‘rules of thumb’ during field work.
engineering company often end up in court, and the
metallurgists who could see it all coming are usually Metallurgy courses
ignored again when the next project comes along. The depth of understanding about sampling in metallurgy
It is critically important for metallurgical processing that courses is dependent on the course and the staff teaching it.
the mineralogical characteristics of the orebody are Often the subject of sampling is treated in the mineral
understood, i.e. what minerals are present, how they are processing laboratory, where ‘rules of thumb’ are used to
associated, and how they will behave or interact during determine sample size and simple methods of sample
processing to affect concentrate grade and recovery. Many splitting are used, often without an understanding of their
mineral processing plants have been designed and built only limitations (riffles, rubber mats). Metallurgy is unusual in
to discover that the ore is more difficult to grind than having feed materials that are heterogeneous, as feed may
predicted, or the plant cannot cope with impurities which consist of discrete particles comprising single or multiple
interfere with the process, or cannot recover or remove minerals, and also particles containing solid solutions of
elements which are in refractory associations. The lessons varying composition. In most other processing of materials
learnt from these mistakes cannot be applied if the sampling (petroleum, pharmaceutical, food, etc.) the feed is more
and test work used as the basis for the design of the next uniform and closer to homogeneous. It is normal for
plant is deficient. metallurgical feed to vary widely in composition and
At the end of the sequence of designing, building and properties, even from closely associated parts of the same
operating a new metallurgical plant, if a metallurgist is mine. An understanding of the mineralogy of an orebody is
asked ‘what would you do differently?’ the answer will vital to designing an efficient processing circuit, and
include some or all of ‘sample more, understand the operating it.
mineralogy better, do more testwork’. Some metallurgy courses treat mineralogy as an
Brooks2 describes a range of errors, from a variety of important topic. In some courses mineralogy is taught to
projects, in drilling and geological modelling, sampling metallurgy students by the geology staff, which can bring
during processing, and laboratory analysis, all attributable some cross-disciplinary appreciation to the subject. If,
to sampling errors. The examples quoted variously led to however, the course does not provide a basic understanding
gross misrepresentation of reserves. of sampling theory and how it should be applied, graduates
The authors have experience to demonstrate that the key will continue to work in ignorance. Metallurgical engineers
to appreciation of the benefits of good sampling is are likely to study some statistics in their undergraduate
education and training of operators, professional staff and syllabus, and thus have a better chance of appreciation of
(especially) management. the issues involved in sampling, than those taking science
degrees in geoscience or metallurgy.
Challenges at university Metallurgical process plants are often run by chemical,
process or other engineers. Sampling theory is not a feature
The depth and seriousness of teaching sampling theory and of their education, and although their courses will have
application in university geology, mining and metallurgy included some statistics they are unlikely to have had any
departments is often very dependent on the particular exposure to sampling heterogeneous materials.
interests and knowledge of the lecturers in the subjects Metallurgy courses do not often include mineral
where sampling is relevant. Ideally the basic theory of economics, although some have begun to do so. The
sampling should be covered in lectures, and application relatively new (or reinvented) field of geometallurgy has
should be integrated into laboratory work. The major great potential to address problems in orebody character-
disciplines for the minerals industry are considered. ization, grade control, processing plant operation,
economics and communication. Geometallurgy may
Geology courses address the requirement for correct sampling in a more
Sampling is important for geologists, geochemists and other palatable way to management.

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Mining courses schedule. However, even when such practices have been
Mining engineers very often have less understanding of the introduced, the paucity of basic knowledge about the theory
theory of sampling than geologists and metallurgists. This of sampling means that the benefits of the technology can
can be a problem as mining engineers are more likely to be lost or diluted. Mining engineers are usually not very
end up as mine managers, site managers and senior interested in sampling and its problems; they want tonnes.
managers and become responsible for site-wide or The mine geologist is in the front line for grade control,
company-wide operations, including mine geology and the and if the mill is to know what ore it will be treating
process plant operations. Mining engineers are more likely tomorrow or next month, it is the mine geologist who can
to receive an introduction to sampling if their university tell them. Most mine geologists start as exploration
experience includes a mineral processing subject with geologists, and there are few courses in mine geology. The
laboratory sessions. requirements of sampling for grade control are learnt on the
Mining engineering courses do contain introductions to job rather than studied.
mineral economics and mine management, subjects notably Curtin University, through the WA School of Mines in
missing from most geoscience and metallurgy courses. As Kalgoorlie, has the only geology school in Australia which
mining engineers are more likely to move into site and offers a course in mine geology. In South Africa a degree in
corporate management than geoscientists and metallurgists, Mining Geology was offered from the early 1960s, but it
a greater appreciation of the importance of correct sampling became dormant in the mid-1990s due to low student
by mining engineers would benefit the investment and enrolments.
operational decisions of the company.
Process plant design
MBA courses and management in the minerals industry Bulk sampling for testwork is commonly organized by
geologists. There are many examples where limited test
Good sampling practices are critically important for the work has been performed on a ‘bulk sample’ which was not
economics and management of mining operations. MBA representative of the orebody, and where adequate
graduates in the minerals industry need to appreciate the mineralogical characterization was not carried out. The
benefits of good sampling at each stage of the supply chain process plant design engineers are presented with totally
so that sampling is not seen as an optional item on the inadequate data about the ore to be treated, and the plants
budget. when built will have problems during commissioning and
Challenges in the industry difficulty in reaching nameplate capacity. Such cases are
very often the subject of court action and details of the
Exploration problems are not made public. The shareholders lose value,
Most geologists who enter the minerals industry have the operators of the plant lose sleep, the customers lose
graduated from a course which is designed to produce supply, the engineers lose credibility, and the geologists
exploration geologists. The curricula of most of these continue blithely on, unaware that the sampling practices
courses omit any drill core logging and any mineral they prescribed were the primary cause of the problem.
economics including financial evaluation. Reference to We have talked with many metallurgical engineers over
sampling is usually a practical procedural guide, with little the years, and all too often the metallurgists have to take
or no reference to the theory. what they get from the geologists. Drill samples are sent to
Young geologists usually receive some practical guidance a laboratory for analysis and the analyses specified by the
in sampling once they start work in the field, along with geologists are performed without any metallurgical input to
mapping, survival skills and many other things. They are investigate elements or minerals which might affect
given some guidelines and rules of thumb from more processing. Likewise, bulk samples can be tested with no
experienced geologists who have themselves received metallurgical input to the decision making.
similar advice when they began field work. If they are
fortunate, they will be sent to a short course on sampling. A Geometallurgy
very small number read books on sampling and develop An increasing number of companies address the issues of
their understanding of the subject. The Field Geologists sampling to delineate an orebody, and bulk sampling to
Manual 4 and the companion volume Field Guide for provide basic data for process plant design, more seriously.
Geoscientists and Technicians5 contain excellent chapters Geometallurgy has emerged as the new description of the
on sampling. These and similar references are readily process of studying the mineralogy of the orebody and
available to most exploration geologists. integrating the mine plan and the processing with the ore
When a deposit is identified as worthy of further characteristics. It is used by a small but increasing number
investigation and a drilling programme is initiated, the of both mining and engineering companies, and has been
business of obtaining samples from reverse circulation drill introduced as a field of study at the Colorado School of
cuttings appears fairly simple. It is only recently that some Mines. An AMIRA 7 collaborative research project in
sampling devices attached to drills have been developed to Australia has nodes at the University of Tasmania and the
avoid major sampling errors. Problems with sampling are Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre.
increased where poor sampling equipment is combined Consultant groups provide specialist statistical and
with geologists and technicians who do not have good geostatistical services to the industry which include
training in sampling. resource estimation, orebody modelling, grade control,
auditing and review. Companies which are not large enough
Mining to have their own expertise in house can receive quality
The mine geologist obtains samples for grade control from professional services from such consultants. Codes for
rock faces and blast hole drilling, and in some cases from reporting mineral resources and ore reserves have been
RC drilling. Blast hole sampling is notoriously unreliable, implemented in many countries and have done much to
and Pitard has recommended reverse circulation drilling improve the standard of reporting. However, when it comes
should be used to obtain samples for grade control. Some to the detail of adequate sampling for mine design, process
companies have adopted this, in spite of the greater expense plant design and plant operation and environmental
and the need to plan it to avoid disruption to the mining monitoring, there is room for improvement.

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Pathways to understanding example, Pierre Gy presented some courses for AMF in the
1970s, while Francis Pitard presented courses from 1990
University until AMF closed in 2002.
To present correct information about sampling to During the last decade of AMF, the syllabus was
undergraduate and postgraduate students, faculty staff must structured to provide courses at levels appropriate to the
appreciate the importance of the topic, and have the experience of attendees. Short courses were designed for
knowledge and resources to include it in the curriculum. recent graduates, experienced professionals, and technical
There is a need for a correct but compressed approach to managers. Cross-disciplinary courses both within the
teach sampling in universities. A number of textbooks have industry (e.g. geophysics for geologists) and for the broader
been written, but none has gained widespread acceptance to community (e.g. Geology for Bankers, Brokers and
date. Analysts) formed an important part of AMF’s role.
In South Africa the teaching of mine sampling theory at a Sampling courses by Francis Pitard were introduced in
tertiary level in South Africa is done through the technical 1990, and it quickly became clear that courses tailored to
colleges, the Chamber of Mines, and the mining companies target groups in the industry were successful. Many courses
themselves, as part of a national qualification issued by the were presented inhouse for companies and other
Department of Minerals and Energy (DME), known as the organizations (universities, government geological surveys
Mine Surveyors Certificate of Competency8. etc), and these were tailored for the interests and activities
‘Sampling’ in this case refers specifically to the of the participants. Public courses such as Sampling for
extraction and collection of so-called channel samples Exploration, Sampling for Iron Ore, Sampling for Process
along the reef face in a mining stope9. Although much has Control, etc. were very popular, while courses such as
been written about the method and means of collecting Sampling for Reconciliation between Mine and Mill
channel samples, the source book for most government brought geologists and metallurgists together to resolve
related qualifications on sampling, is a volume edited by traditional disputes through common understanding. These
Clare Storrar10 on mine valuation. Sampling therefore is an courses were illustrated with case studies relevant to each
extremely important subject, taught at many levels in group of attendees.
different institutions in the South African mining industry. The level of presentation of sampling short courses was
However, it tends to have a rather narrow focus on face extended both upward and downward. Training courses for
sampling of gold bearing reefs11. operators, samplers and others (including maintenance
At the undergraduate level there is little or no teaching of personnel) were found to be successful in improving the
the theory of sampling in most South African universities. adherence to sampling protocols in many companies. The
Where it is taught, the subject is usually treated as an add- success of these is attributed to several factors: It is unusual
on and has to be accommodated in a curriculum that is for an international consultant to present a training course
already full. It is usually pushed in as an introductory to operators and technicians and they felt important; the
section alongside the subject of technical evaluation of course reinforced their previous training but from a
mineral deposits. Students faced with a new topic such as different perspective, and the presenter (Francis Pitard)
the ‘Theory of Sampling and its Applications in the Mineral explained the logic and rationale of correct sampling in a
Industry’, but with no additional time to digest the material, way that they understood.
are not overly inspired by the topic. A key factor in the success of these operator courses is
The absence of this highly important subject from most the length and content of the course. Too much detail and
university curricula is due in part to the historical attention wanders. Relevance to their particular workplace
development and age of the mining industry, the argument
is important, and Pitard is able to use specific examples
being that we have done well without it up to now, why
from the operation as a result of his consulting experience
bother us with an approach that is likely to cost time and
money. Other reasons relate to a lack of appreciation of this and a site inspection prior to the course. A course of 2–3
relatively new subject matter that was formalized by Pierre hours is optimum; a full day is too much for these groups.
Gy in the 1940s and 1950s, but has only recently been Moving up the company structure, managers who have an
popularized in South Africa by consultants and sampling understanding of the importance of good sampling are able
experts such as Pitard, Francois Bongarcon and several to provide valuable support and make better decisions. A
others. The first accredited postgraduate course in the seminar for managers titled ‘Correct Sampling Improves
theory of sampling was presented through the Geostatistical Profit’ emphasizes the cost of poor sampling, and the target
Association of South Africa (GASA) at the University of group should extend to executive management, including
the Witwatersrand in 1998 by Dominique Francois- finance and marketing management.
Bongarcon, although Geoff Lyman had presented a short The first managers seminar we ran was for a company
course without any accreditation to the South African operating a mine in a remote area of Australia. The brief
Statistical Association in 1997. More recently both Francis was to present a short course for geologists and engineers
Pitard and Dominique Francois-Bongarcon have presented on site, but when a charter plane of head office
short courses in sampling theory and methods through management arrived for a visit, an impromptu seminar was
GASA at the School of Mining Engineering at the arranged for them. The feedback from the site operations
University of the Witwatersrand. managers encouraged us to develop the concept; they said,
‘We found it much easier to gain capital expenditure
Industry education and training approval to upgrade our sampling systems after that
seminar.’
Short courses From Francis Pitard’s experience, some mining
David Pollard was for 11 years the Education Manager with companies in Mexico and Chile prefer to have two two-day
the Australian Mineral Foundation (AMF) an industry body courses back to back so they can expose more people to the
which provided information services and professional necessary knowledge and reach a critical mass so
development programs (1972–2001) to the minerals and everybody speaks the same language. Some key people
petroleum industries. Professional development was offered actually attend both courses. A large mine in South
via short courses, workshops, seminars and conferences, Australia adopts the same approach for training operators
drawing on the best available international expertise. For about sampling.

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Francis Pitard and David Pollard continue to work auditing work recently in a major mining operation in North
together to develop and present courses in Australia and America where 17 structural problems were found and none
neighbouring countries. Our experience is that two-day of them was taken seriously, while many subsequent
short courses are generally preferred by companies because circumstantial problems were the object of daily meetings,
they minimize the absence from the workplace of the research programmes costing millions of dollars and finger
professional staff, which is important as there are generally pointing. Solutions to structural problems were dismissed as
no staff to cover absences. Some companies book three-day non-practical and too much capital cost.
in-house courses, as this allows time to examine and discuss Some of the companies which use consultants to provide
company data and company practices, as well as more time advice on design and auditing also have training and
for working through case studies. In-house sampling professional development programmes to ensure that
courses are also offered by other sampling consultants, operators and staff appreciate the importance of correct
some of whom are present at this conference. sampling. Our experience is that this philosophy is usually
Public courses organized by Pitard and Pollard are mostly driven by one person in the company, and that person is
presented in association with conferences of the more likely to be a geologist than an engineer. Very often
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). when that person moves on, the company abandons its
Companies support the idea of a quality course adding commitment to ongoing education and consulting in the
value to a conference, as it optimizes the experience of staff area of sampling. This change is not observed in other areas
during a single trip away from the site. where consultants are used and education is important, such
In the USA we are aware of only one regular public as occupational health and safety, geotechnical engineering,
sampling course for the minerals industry, which Francis ventilation, IT systems, etc. The reason may be that these
Pitard presents through the Colorado School of Mines other areas are the subject of regulatory requirements or
SPACE (Special Programs and Continuing Education) corporate policy, and are obviously critical to production,
programme12. safety and management of the operation. Good sampling is
too often ignored by management and not seen as a
Conferences particularly high priority until commissioning of new plant
is compromised, or recovery and tonnage fall, or in the
The value of conferences is obvious to all present at this extreme case, a project is abandoned because technical or
and other sampling conferences. Conferences achieve two financial decisions have been based on poor sampling.
major objectives for delegates, information transfer and
networking. Discussions with other delegates, authors and Case study: planning a major expansion13,14,15
exhibitors provide very valuable information and insights The Olympic Dam copper-gold-uranium deposit, 500 km
into problems and decisions, and knowledge of where to north of Adelaide in South Australia, is the largest uranium
find expertise. resource in the world, the fourth largest copper resource and
Interactive workshops the fourth largest gold resource in the world. The orebody
measures 6 km × 3 km × 800 m, and is still open laterally
Drawing on his AMF experience, David Pollard developed and at depth. It has been mined since 1988, and was
a format for advanced level interactive workshops which acquired by BHP Billiton in 2005. The orebody is not only
provide opportunity for peer to peer discussion. Three such very large, the geology and mineralogy is complex.
workshops have been convened on sampling topics: Critical From very early days, WMC (the original owners)
Issues in Sampling (2004), Critical Issues in Sampling Coal employed a small highly skilled mineralogical team to help
(2005) and Sampling Errors and Creative Accounting— understand the complex orebody. They contracted
Sampling in Difficult Situations (2008). These have been consulting plus in-house short courses on sampling for
run in conjunction with sampling and metallurgical geologists, metallurgists and laboratory staff from Francis
conferences of the AusIMM. The format appears simple— Pitard. They also had shorter and more practical courses for
the audience is assumed to be familiar with the subject and operators, samplers and other technical staff. A relatively
the issues under examination, the topics to be discussed are high turnover of staff and operators meant that these
clearly defined, and 10–12 speakers present for 10 minutes courses were repeated at regular intervals. At technical
each on a specific aspect of the topic. The rest of the management level, a one-day course was developed and a
workshop is open discussion. The development phase to wide cross-section of managers and senior professional
define the issues, involving discussions with many people staff has participated. The result was a workforce and
in the industry, is fundamental but time consuming. The technical management team which had a good
role of workshop Chair is critical, the selection of speakers understanding of correct sampling practice.
is vital, and enthusiastic involvement of the audience is In 2005 a prefeasibility study was commenced by BHP
necessary for the workshop to succeed. So far these Billiton, the new owners, to expand the mine from 10 mtpa
workshops have met with critical acclaim, but the six or to possibly 40 mtpa. This is now complete, and involved
more months of planning that precedes them is fraught with drilling 1 348 holes, totalling 1 016 549 metres. A
uncertainty. geometallurgical team was established to oversee the
programme of drill core analysis, ore characterization,
Consulting mineralogical analysis and metallurgical test work.
There are many sampling consultants who work with The drilling programme was all diamond drilling, and
companies in the minerals (and other) industries. Few employed more than 30 drill rigs on site. Core processing
companies seek expert advice from independent experts at was performed at site by a core processing team of 40, who
the process design stage, and when problems become were capable and efficient at the very repetitive work, and
apparent the mine plan has been determined and the all trained personally by the principal geometallurgist.
processing plant has been designed and built. At that stage Heterogeneity tests were performed at site. 15 m lengths of
it is difficult to gain approval to rebuild or retrofit ¼ core were subjected to staged crushing, rotary splitting at
expensive sampling systems. sizes determined by the heterogeneity, and screened into
The Theory of Sampling (TOS) teaches fundamental size fractions for further examination. Mineralogical
differences between structural problems (causes) and analysis was performed on selected ¼ core from about
circumstantial problems (effects). Francis Pitard did some 1 000 holes.

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that companies can make better technical and economic of Mines Mineral Resource Management. GFA/Min/
decisions about orebodies and their development, mining Ser/M008. The Gold Fields Academy. Gold Fields
and processing. To achieve this it is necessary to improve Training Services and Gold Fields Trust. 2000, 95 pp.
the understanding of university staff about the relevance
and importance of good sampling practice. 12. http://outreach.mines.edu/cont_ed/pitard1.html
Misconception, rumour and hearsay about sampling can Accessed 19 May 2009.
be overcome in the minerals industry by training and 13. YEELES, R. 30th ATSE Symposium, Resources
education about sampling for professional staff, Boom: Opportunities and Consequences, Perth, 19
management and operators, leading to improved decision November 2007.
making and better operations, with reduced losses and
increased profits. 14. EHRIG, K. Technical Presentation to the AusIMM
Adelaide Branch, 16 April 2009 (unpublished).
References 15. BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Expansion Draft EIS
1. PITARD, F.F. Pierre Gy's Sampling Theory and Report, 1 May 2009. http://www.bhpbilliton.com/bb/
Sampling Practice, 2nd Edition, CRC Press, Florida, odxEis/downloads/draftEisDocuments.jsp Accessed
1993. on 17 May 2009.

David Pollard
Director, Salamander Consulting (Pty) Ltd

Several years with BHP steelworks after graduation, 20 years lecturing metallurgy at the University
of Melbourne and University of South Australia, 11 years Education Manager, Australian Mineral
Foundation developing and managing professional development short courses and conferences for
the minerals and petroleum industries (about 50 short courses and several conference per year in
Australia and other countries).
2001 – present: consulting via Salamander Consulting in professional development, developing and
convening conferences. Chair of the AusIMM Metallurgical Society, member of the AusIMM
Education Committee for many years.

182 FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON SAMPLING & BLENDING