Keywords: regional variables, variogram, kriging, cellular automata, mineral resources, modelling, evaluation, estimation, geostatistics, mining, block model, coal seam deposits, Brazil
A novel application of Cellular Automata for the evaluation and modelling of mineral resources
This paper presents the results from the current research on the application of Cellular Automata (CA) for modelling and evaluating mineral resources, including a discussion of its advantages and limitations vs. geostatistical methods. Geostatistics enables the estimation of key variables associated with a mineral deposit from field samples, and uses the variogram function to quantify spatial correlations between them. In contrast, CA uses the variogram function according to an evolution rule and estimates key variables nodes of a grid, which match the block model commonly used in mining. The practical application of CA for estimating key variables of a coal seam deposit in Southern Brazil indicates a significant potential for CA as an estimation tool for mineral deposits.