6 Resource Estimation Problems From Parker Challenge | K2fly
Part 3: 6 Problems With Resource Estimation Exposed From The Parker Challenge  

Part 3: 6 Problems With Resource Estimation Exposed From The Parker Challenge  

In this article, we will run through what The Parker Challenge is and the six problems with resource estimation that make The Parker Challenge necessary. Additionally, we will discuss the risks that were exposed for resource disclosure and how you can minimise your exposure.  

Founder of SD2 and The Parker Challenge Host, Scott Dunham, stated that:  

“One of the things that plagues the resource estimation discipline is that we all work independently, working on individual deposits to produce our estimates. We all understand that how the estimate performs is really difficult to determine. And one of the things that’s never been measured is that if you gave that same data, that same information, to a wide group of people and asked them to come up with their estimate, how different would each one be?” (Dunham, S. 2023)  

The range was calculated on three differences:  

  • Difference in approaches  
  • The range of outcomes  
  • Difference in classification decisions  

The findings were presented at the conference and highlighted just how different the estimates can be between different individuals, despite being given the same data – since the participants haven’t used a one-source-of-truth platform to find the same result together, the results should be interesting.  Sponsored by Rio Tinto, the winner of The Parker Challenge received $55,000.  

Summary of results from The Parker Challenge 

If you want the full breakdown of the results of The Parker Challenge and our findings, read our blog on the matter. To give you a brief overview, The Parker Challenge showed that there was variation in classification, volume and time spent on estimate. It showed that given the same data set, people will almost definitely reach different results. Additionally, there were some problems with The Parker Challenge, which you can read about on our blog too.  

There were three main takeaways from the challenge:  

  • Classification and estimation are very different things.  
  • Mineral resource estimation software does not replace expertise.  
  • Evidence based geology is important. 

6 problems with mineral estimation and why The Parker Challenge is necessary 

When there’s no target for someone to hit, it’s often difficult to judge what the best result will be. When you’re working with uncertainty, it is easy to be overconfident with one’s own knowledge and overlook the unknown-unknowns and miss the target – this is what makes pattern noise.  

The fact of the matter is resource estimation isn’t a science or mathematical equation where everyone will get the same answer – it’s an art that is subject to opinion and bias, and The Parker Challenge is exposes these weaknesses.   

Here’s six reasons why there’s a problem with mineral resource estimation: 

  1. Data limitations  

Insufficient or incomplete data can hinder accurate resource estimation, not that it’s a problem for The Parker Challenge seeing everyone is given the same data. Limited access to geological information, incomplete sampling, or inadequate data quality can introduce uncertainties and biases into the estimation process. Additionally, gaps in the data can be subject to bias if information is extrapolated.  

  1. Geological complexity  

Mineral deposits often exhibit complex geological characteristics, such as irregular shapes, variable grade distributions, and intricate mineralisation patterns. Understanding and modeling these complexities accurately pose challenges during resource estimation, and not everyone uses one project resource estimation template. 

  1. Personality bias  

Everyone is subject to personal bias – it’s human nature. Estimations can be changed based on the bandwagon effect, where we’re swayed by other people’s opinions and the group that we identify with. Additionally, the “first mover” advantage can sway our opinion as we tend to agree with whoever speaks first.  

  1. Uncertainty and risk  

Resource estimation involves dealing with inherent uncertainties and risks. Uncertainties can arise from limited data, geological interpretations, sampling errors, or assumptions made during the estimation process. Managing and quantifying these uncertainties is crucial for decision-making and project evaluation. 

  1. Subjectivity and interpretation  

Estimation involves making interpretations and assumptions based on available data and geological knowledge – there isn’t one standardised resource estimation procedure. Subjectivity in interpreting geological features, selecting estimation methods, or applying cutoff grades can introduce bias and affect the reliability of resource estimates. Additionally, the different software used can draw different results.  

  1. Regulatory Compliance  

Mineral resource estimation needs to adhere to specific regulatory guidelines and industry standards. Ensuring compliance with these standards while addressing technical challenges can be demanding. Good governance over data and models is critical. 

What this means for resource disclosure  

So then, what does this mean for resource disclosure? The Parker Challenge has expressly shown that governance is key.   

If your team is not on the same page about your resource disclosure and reconciliation, it can be very easy to land yourself in hot water and waste a significant amount of time and money.  

With the right governance solution you can reduce the six points raised above from a single source of truth.  

You can limit variability in your team by limiting the chance for people to have different estimations which can be done with a resource disclosure and mine reconciliation platform to assist with your governance.  

Which platform should you trust for your governance?  

If you’re looking for the right Resource Disclosure and Mine Reconciliation governance solutions, you can be sure to remove subjectivity over your mineral estimates and public reporting with K2fly. K2fly allows you to coordinate your reporting process on a single standardised platform so you will never have to experience the difficulty of trying to find or follow up information from your team – you will already know exactly where to find it. 

K2fly’s solution lets you:  

  • Maintain your social license by limiting mistakes and protect your reputation.  
  • Automate your disclosure process to decrease time wasted as well was human-made errors.  
  • Give yourself a gold star for governance with the highest standard in platform readability and reliability.  
  • Remove animosity with disclosure by having all of your data in one place.  

K2fly’s proprietary software services some of the largest tier one miners in the world, helping them achieve their ESG goals through governance platforms that provide a companywide single source of truth. Spanning over 500 sites in more than 62 countries, we’re sure our solution will be able to service your needs. Get in contact with our team and find out how we can solve the issue you’re having today.   

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