A Multi-Objective Approach for Optimizing the Layout of Additional Boreholes in Mineral Exploration

Amin Hossein-Morshedy, Farzaneh Khorram, Xavier Emery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Accurate subsurface exploration requires an optimal network of boreholes. This paper proposes a multi-objective approach to optimize the layout of additional exploratory boreholes. In order to illustrate this approach, geochemical analyses of core samples at the eastern part of the Kahang copper deposit, Central Iran, were used. A measure of the grade uncertainty (kriging standard deviation) and a confidence measure on the ore/waste classification were first calculated by implementing ordinary and indicator kriging. An ore value function was then determined to measure the total value of each block by considering the grades of all the effective variables and their ore membership degree derived from a fuzzy treatment of the grades. Finally, a misclassification cost is defined for each block based on the expected economic effects of ore loss and waste dilution. As a result, an index for the selection of additional boreholes was introduced in order to maximize the kriging standard deviation, the ore misclassification cost, and the ore value and to minimize the confidence measure. Applied to the Kahang copper deposit, this index allowed the prioritization of areas for infill sampling, leading to the recommendation for eight vertical and two directional additional boreholes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1252
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023


  • fuzzy threshold
  • geostatistics
  • infill drilling
  • mineral exploration
  • spatial sampling design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology


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