Sampling and estimation of diamond content in kimberlite based on microdiamonds

Abstract : Predicting the recoverable resources in kimberlite requires estimating the size distribution of its valuable stones. This estimation is usually based on stones of size exceeding 0.5mm. More abundant but without commercial value, the other stones are not involved in the estimation process. Such an approach raises a sampling problem. The rarer the large stones, the more bulky the samples. One way to reduce the sample size is to reduce the processing cut-off to recover non-valuable stones. To do this, specific techniques (acid dissolution of kimberlite) have been set up to retrieve all stones above 75 microns (0.0000018 carat). An iterative procedure has also been designed to estimate the size distribution of the valuable stones starting from the small ones. The proposed solution rests on the assumption, found valid in all studied primary deposits, that stone sizes are lognormally distributed. The procedure to estimate the lognormal parameters takes into account the limited number of stones and their lack of representivity owing to an unavoidable loss of the smallest stones during the sample processing. It can be applied to a mixture of several populations of stones recovered at different cut-offs corresponding to different processing techniques. This procedure involves a graphical representation that compares the actual and simulated size distributions, and makes it possible to estimate the quantity of stones lost during the recovery process.
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Johannes Ferreira. Sampling and estimation of diamond content in kimberlite based on microdiamonds. Other. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013ENMP0078⟩. ⟨pastel-00982337⟩

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