Nonrenewable Resources

, Volume 1, Issue 2, pp 125–138 | Cite as

Computer Monte Carlo simulation in quantitative resource estimation

  • David H. Root
  • W. David Menzie
  • William A. Scott


The method of making quantitative assessments of mineral resources sufficiently detailed for economic analysis is outlined in three steps. The steps are (1) determination of types of deposits that may be present in an area, (2) estimation of the numbers of deposits of the permissible deposit types, and (3) combination by Monte Carlo simulation of the estimated numbers of deposits with the historical grades and tonnages of these deposits to produce a probability distribution of the quantities of contained metal.

Two examples of the estimation of the number of deposits (step 2) are given. The first example is for mercury deposits in southwestern Alaska and the second is for lode tin deposits in the Seward Peninsula.

The flow of the Monte Carlo simulation program is presented with particular attention to the dependencies between grades and tonnages of deposits and between grades of different metals in the same deposit.

Key words

Mineral assessment Monte Carlo simulation Quantitative assessment Mineral resources 


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Copyright information

© Oxford University Press 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • David H. Root
    • 1
  • W. David Menzie
    • 1
  • William A. Scott
    • 1
  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyRestonUSA

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