"Continuous improvement is better than delayed perfection"

What's New?

  • Speed Improvements
  • Changes to Block Model Interpolation
  • Quality Checks

This past month we have been quietly wrenching away at the engine of our model. As we worked on some of our upcoming analysis we realized that to deliver results we could be proud of we were going to have to carry out some of our planned upgrades first. This latest version should be both more accurate and much much faster, letting us tackle larger properties and more complex calculations. We couldn’t be happier with the end result and are excited to show you what it can do!

Speed Improvements

The most significant improvement has been to speed. As properties get larger, drillholes reach greater depths and more holes are drilled it takes longer and longer to run each model. When a model contains millions of blocks its no exaggeration to say that we easily have to carry out tens of millions of calculations to produce the few simple numbers that make up the results we care about. This means shaving fractions of a second from an algorithm can have a huge impact on the overall result!


Needless to say we are happy with the results! 

For now this allows us to run larger models in a reasonable time frame but it also opens up future possibilities for some of the more complex methods of analysis we will be moving towards.

Changes To Block Model Interpolation

Our second significant change is to what we look at when populating blocks. Previously, we have only looked at reported drill hole intercepts. If you’re curious on how we approached that you can read more about it HERE 

This approach worked reasonably fine for a thumb wag estimate if you have a broad deposit with spaced out holes but for more intensely drilled areas it starts to break down. We used it as our original approach as it was quicker to process, simpler to implement and was good enough for the ballpark estimates we were shooting for. But we started to encounter properties that this approach did NOT work for and since we had just eliminated our processing bottleneck anyways…

In short, if we have a drill hole that passes through nothing, the blocks closest to the empty drillhole should be empty. Previously, they could be populated if there was an ore intercept nearby. One can think of it as putting the holes back into the swiss cheese.

The end result is a clearer model that better captures what is being reported in the drill results. While we all love to see deposits reporting back huge numbers, we do try and take the more conservative approach whenever possible. Finding surprise ounces later is always welcome, taking back missing ounces not so much.

With a new approach means revisiting our previous work.



We are showing here a horizontal cross section of our model for Freegold Ventures Golden Summit Project. Squares represent our block model and are coloured by the grade they represent. Spheres represent the drillhole intercept at this elevation and are also coloured by grade. White squares and blue spheres both represent zero values. 

Looking at the results visually shows clearly the importance of accounting for these values in improving the accuracy of an estimate.