The lognormal distribution of metal resources in mineral deposits

Singer, Donald A. (2013) The lognormal distribution of metal resources in mineral deposits. Ore Geology Reviews, 55 80-86. doi:10.1016/j.oregeorev.2013.04.009

Author Singer, Donald A.
Title The lognormal distribution of metal resources in mineral deposits
Journal name Ore Geology Reviews   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0169-1368
Publication date 2013-11-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.oregeorev.2013.04.009
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 55
Start page 80
End page 86
Total pages 7
Place of publication Amsterdam, Netherlands
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Abstract For national or global resource estimation of frequencies of metals a lognormal distribution has sometimes been assumed but never adequately tested. Tests of frequencies of Cu, Zn, Pb, Ag, Au, Mo, Re, Ni, Co, Nb2O3, REE2O3, Cr2O3, Pt, Pd, Ir, Rh, and Ru, contents in over 3000 well-explored mineral deposits display a poor fit to the lognormal distribution. Neither a lognormal distribution nor a power law is an adequate model of the metal contents across all deposits. When these metals are grouped into 28 geologically defined deposit types, only nine of the over 100 tests fail to be fit by the lognormal distribution, and most of those failures are in two deposit types suggesting problems with those types. Significant deviations from lognormal distributions of most metals when ignoring deposit types demonstrate that there is not a global lognormal or power law equation for these metals. Mean and standard deviation estimates of each metal within deposit types provide a basis for modeling undiscovered resources. When tracts of land permissive for specific deposit types are delineated, deposit density estimates and contained metal statistics can be used in Monte Carlo simulations to estimate total amounts of undiscovered metals with associated explicit uncertainties as demonstrated for undiscovered porphyry copper deposits in the Tibetan Plateau of China.
Keyword Grade and tonnage models
Mineral deposit model
Mineral resource assessments
Monte Carlo simulation
Power law
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: W.H. Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre
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Created: Wed, 26 Mar 2014, 19:55:37 EST by Diep Tran on behalf of WH Bryan Mining and Geology Centre