Constrained Kriging: An Alternative to Predict Global Recoverable Resources

  • Nadia MeryEmail author
  • Denis Marcotte
  • Raphael Dutaut
Original Paper


In most NI-43-101 resource assessment reports the prediction of global in situ resources is performed by either inverse distance weighting, ordinary kriging (OK) or uniform conditioning (UC). These methods have known drawbacks: OK estimates are oversmoothed, and UC necessitates an additional step to localize resources within panels. An alternative, named constrained kriging (CK), enables to circumvent the smoothing issue of OK by imposing the desired theoretical variance to the interpolated variable. CK is not used in NI-43-101 reports, possibly due to a lack of real application examples and little detailed study of its properties. This paper seeks to fill the gap by comparing the prediction performance for global resources of OK, UC and CK on a synthetic lognormal dataset and two real datasets, the Walker Lake and a gold deposit. Results indicate that CK, although being slightly less precise than OK, provides better predictions of grade-tonnage curves than OK and predictions comparable to UC, a remarkable achievement considering that UC is a widespread nonlinear method specifically designed to predict recovery functions. CK is also shown to provide resource estimates more robust than UC with respect to the variogram model specification. Hence, CK appears as a valuable tool allowing simultaneously to localize resources and easily account for change of support in resources estimation.


Ordinary kriging Constrained kriging Uniform conditioning Kriging neighborhood analysis Recovery functions 



The authors would like to acknowledge the Chilean Commission for Scientific and Technological Research (CONICYT) through the program “Doctorado Becas Chile” (Grant Number 72180581), National Research Council of Canada (Grant RGPIN-2015-06653), Merit Scholarship Program for Foreign Students, PBEEE (Grant Number 0000274857) and Polytechnique Montreal (doctoral scholarship program) for supporting this research. Also, the authors would like to thank Georges Verly for helpful comments and suggestions about a preliminary version of this manuscript. Comments made by three anonymous reviewers were also helpful in improving the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geosciences 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Polytechnique MontrealMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Department of Mining EngineeringUniversity of ChileSantiagoChile
  3. 3.IAMGOLD CorporationLongueuilCanada

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