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TitleMultifractal modeling of worldwide and Canadian metal size-frequency distributions
AuthorAgterberg, F
SourceNatural Resources Research 2019 p. 1-12,
Alt SeriesNatural Resources Canada, Contribution Series 20180412
PublisherSpringer Nature
Mediapaper; on-line; digital
File formatpdf (Adobe® Reader®); html
Subjectseconomic geology; mathematical and computational geology; modelling; mineral potential; resource estimation; mineral deposits; metals; base metals; precious metals; copper; zinc; gold; silver; statistical methods; statistical analyses; frequency distributions; cluster analyses; mineral distribution
Illustrationstables; plots; frequency distribution diagrams
Released2019 02 02
AbstractThe Pareto-lognormal frequency distribution, which can result from multifractal cascade modeling, previously was shown to be useful to describe the worldwide size-frequency distributions of metals including copper, zinc, gold and silver in ore deposits. In this paper, it is shown that the model also can be used for the size-frequency distributions of these metals in Canada which covers 6.6% of the continental crust. Like their worldwide equivalents, these Canadian deposits show two significant departures from the Pareto-lognormal model: (1) there are too many small deposits, and (2) there are too few deposits in the transition zone between the central lognormal and the upper tail Pareto describing the size-frequency distribution of the largest deposits. Probable causes of these departures are: (1) historically, relatively many small ore deposits were mined before bulk mining methods became available in the twentieth century, and (2) economically, giant and supergiant deposits are preferred for mining and these have strongest geophysical and geochemical anomalies. It is shown that there probably exist many large deposits that have not been discovered or mined. Although overall the samples of the size-frequency distributions are very large, frequencies uncertainties associated with the largest deposits are relatively small and it remains difficult to estimate more precisely how many undiscovered mineral deposits there are in the upper tails of the size-frequency distributions of the metals considered.

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