Welcome Back to Mining Explained!

This week we wanted to put out a site update. We know we have been quiet over the last 2 months, posting less frequently and only maintaining our coverage of Snowline Gold and Freegold Ventures (we have not forgotten about Tudor Gold by any means) but we assure you there has been a good reason!

Being honest we were caught off guard by the reception that followed our September launch. Our original plan was to start small and grow slowly alongside our audience. But then you all arrived in numbers we never imagined would be possible in so short a time and for this we thank you!  But with growth comes unforeseen problems and this forced us to step back and evaluate the proper course for the site going forward. But in the end the choice was clear. Our aim was always to grow with our audience, and if our audience was growing by leaps and bounds then so we would we. 

To meet this objective we shifted gears from growing our coverage to development. Improving our ability to produce a product worthy of your time and attention was paramount in our minds. Most of our tools we have built ourselves and this lets us secure our ability to deliver you long term coverage while keeping our costs low. Unfortunately the trade off is it takes significant time and effort to bring new tools online and put them into production.  Some of these upgrades you have already seen (such as our move from only using overall reported drill holes to including all sub-intercepts) and many others are improvements you may not notice. When we started it would have taken us at least 7 hours to produce our current block model for Freegold Ventures.  Its currently 7 minutes with everything ready to go.

There are more upgrades coming down the pipe soon that we are excited to share in the future but today we are proud to announce our biggest update yet.

The Pitshell Update

Our goal here at Mining Explained is to take the exploration results companies release and explain what the numbers are really saying to you in a mining context. Before this site it is what we were doing anyways, sitting with a pint somewhere and drawing on a napkin but we always thought it could be done better. 

To date we have been publishing our best guess global estimates of how many ounces a project may have in the ground. This is an important part of the puzzle for sure, but we always wanted more. A global estimate is incredibly useful but in deposits likely to have a surface mining operation we can take it one step further. With some educated guesswork at costs, absurd amounts of coding and cursing, and enough stubborn persistence we can now know answer of the most common question we get:

"That's great there is some [shiny stuff] in the ground. How much of it can we actually dig up?"

Ounces in the ground are useless unless there is a chance to convert them into ounces in the bank. The biggest open secret in mining is that at the end of the day everything boils down to dollars. Strip ratio, grade, blasthole spacing, cycle time and a million other terms all just different ways of saying one thing: 

What is this block of rock worth.

There is a science behind estimating how much of a resource can be dug economically from the ground. Most people simply pick a depth and work backwards with a pit slope to determine a slightly fancier rectangle with sloped sides and while not a bad start it can be done much better. But to do so it is critical to know three things. EXACTLY where in 3D space is it, what lies above it and most importantly what is it all worth. Answer those three questions and you can do some amazing things and for us that means we can now generate pitshells! And for you that means we can now generate pit constrained estimates!

Example: Moving Cross Section Looking west down into our 0.5 GPT cutoff pitshell for Freegold Ventures
Example Cross Section Loowking West - Uphill is to the left and Downhill to the Right

We have not reached a final product by any means. There will be many tweaks going forward, improvements to speed and accuracy and unfortunately a (hopefully) few mistakes to be corrected. But we have reached the stage where we can produce a reasonable guess at what the pit constrained resource of a project may be! So keep an eye out over the next few weeks as we release proper results, inputs and figures! And a big thank you to everyone whether you have been here for the whole journey or if this is your first visit to the site! We would never have done it if not for you.

Wrapping it up

Its been a grueling few months but the light at the end of the tunnel is finally in sight. Several more improvements are still coming but over the next few weeks we will begin to shift gears away from development and back to expanding our coverage! We are excited for what the upcoming months will be bringing and can not wait to share more with you here on Mining Explained!

Thanks for reading and until next time,


Thank You For Reading!

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