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Resource Assessment Economic Filter (RAEF)—A graphical user interface supporting implementation of simple engineering mine cost analyses of quantitative mineral resource assessment simulations

July 24, 2019

Economic evaluations of undiscovered mineral resources provide important context in which to consider the results of quantitative mineral resource assessments. The U.S. Geological Survey economic analysis method uses a simple engineering cost model approach developed by the U.S. Bureau of Mines that applies mine and mill engineering cost equations to simulated undiscovered deposits. The important characteristics of these deposits are derived from Monte Carlo simulations that combine probabilistic estimates of undiscovered deposits that might occur in a study area and a grade-tonnage model defined for a specific deposit type. This report describes the Resource Assessment Economic Filter (RAEF), a graphical user interface (GUI) tool that applies a set of mine cost equations to the deposits under consideration. RAEF, which is written in the open-source statistical programming language R, is an easy-to-use tool to apply user-defined mine, mill, and study area parameters to simulated deposits. For a given deposit type, it estimates the undiscovered resources that might be economic to extract. In addition, RAEF provides a series of graphical, tabular, and statistical summaries that document the results of the economic filter analysis.

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