Bulk Sampling: An Introduction

17 modules


Course Length
12 hours

Edumine Courses

09 Oct 2019



Bulk sampling, the costly process of taking very large samples, is part of the general procedure for the exploration and evaluation of a mineral deposit.

Often the bulk sample will be a composite of material from development drifts and raises. Ideally, drift rounds or other portions should be selected from geological mapping and prior sampling, handled separately, and should be stored temporarily on a pad for sampling if not directly processed. The bulk sample will consist of these components and will take into account the geological continuities. The appropriateness of the bulk sample will be related to its source, to the variability of the deposit, to the deposit morphology, and to anticipated problems.

The final objective is to obtain the quantitative information required for the quantitative evaluation of the deposit in a formal feasibility study; the objective is a production decision that leads to a profitable operation. This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the topic, including the application of bulk sampling in a project exploration / evaluation context, the nugget effect and other statistical issues, planning a bulk sampling program, grade verification and metallurgical testing.


  • Dr. Alastair J. Sinclair


Duration: 12 Hours
Access: 90 Days
Category: Exploration
Level: Specialize
Version Date: October 3, 2011

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The course comprises 14 viewing sessions at both summary and text level, plus multiple-choice reviews, worked examples and exercises, and a comprehensive glossary. Course duration is equivalent to 12 hours of study content.

Learning Outcomes

  • Recognize the application and objectives of bulk sampling techniques in the exploration and evaluation of mineral deposits.
  • Recognize the nugget effect and its impact on grade variability.
  • Identify and apply the methods and techniques that aid in optimizing sampling procedures and reducing sampling errors.
  • Identify and apply the unit volume approach to bulk sampling.
  • Plan a bulk sampling program in terms of sample size, grade variability and sample storage, treatment, monitoring and feedback of results.
  • Apply bulk sampling procedures for the objectives of grade verification or metallurgical testing.

Recommended Background

  • A degree in geology, metallurgy, mining or related discipline.
  • An understanding of the basic principles and methods of statistics.


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Edumine Certification

Learning Credits

Table of Contents
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Module 1: Bulk Sampling in an Exploration-Evaluation Program
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Knowledge Check - Module 1: Bulk Sampling in an Exploration-Evaluation Program
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Module 2: Bulk Sampling of Mineral Deposits Defined
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Knowledge Check - Module 2: Bulk Sampling of Mineral Deposits Defined
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Module 3: The Nugget Effect
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Knowledge Check - Module 3: The Nugget Effect
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Module 4: Histograms of Grades
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Knowledge Check - Module 4: Histograms of Grades
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Module 5: Planning a Bulk Sampling Program
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Knowledge Check - Module 5: Planning a Bulk Sampling Program
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Module 6: Bulk Sampling for Grade Verification
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Knowledge Check - Module 6: Bulk Sampling for Grade Verification
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Module 7: Bulk Sampling for Metallurgical Testing
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Knowledge Check - Module 7: Bulk Sampling for Metallurgical Testing
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Module 8: Summary and Exercises
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Module 9: References
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Added 6 days ago, by Samandoulgou
Added 11 days ago, by Ouolli
Added 29 days ago, by Justin
Added about 2 months ago, by Anonymous
the course is satisfying, affordable and presents itself in the simplest possible way.
Added 8 months ago, by ASHLEY
I was expecting a little more from this course for the price. The figures and data are based on old papers, there is no video content or modern illustrations of bulk sampling. I feel one or two worked examples would make this course much better. The content is very dry. Also the equations are not well explained (Gy). To summarise I wouldn't recommend this course to anyone.
Added 11 months ago, by Alistair
Added 11 months ago, by Dominic
Lovely class. I enjoy the flexibility and open book nature of the exams.
Added about 1 year ago, by Salima
Elements of equation descriptions don't match the equation itself. Pictures are too small
Added almost 2 years ago, by Guy
It is a good course. It could, however, attempt to demonstrate some of the limitations of any sampling technique. QaQc is definitely one that requires attention, especially when several labs and pilot plant test facilities are used

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