SRK North America - Paper of the Year Winners, 2017

We had some great submissions to our internal competition with two papers that tied for the 2017 Paper-of-the-Year award. Congratulations to John Mayer, Marek Nowak, and Oy Leuangthong. Summaries of the winning papers are provided below.

These papers were evaluated by a technical review committee according to the following criteria: Clarity of problem statement, appreciation of state of knowledge and practice, innovation/advancements, technical merit, clarity and quality of communication.

A Comparison of Traditional, Step-Path, and Geostatistical Techniques in the Stability Analysis of a Large Open Pit
Mayer and Stead present a well-documented, geotechnical open pit slope design case study that provides an innovative geostatistical solution to account for the spatial dependencies inherent to geotechnical datasets that could reduce systematic errors and sub-optimal designs that currently characterize conventional probabilistic design techniques. This solution is of specific relevance to geotechnical design studies, as significant investments are made annually on designs based on conventional models that rely on the incorrect assumption of data independence to formulate probabilistic distributions.
Conditional Bias in Kriging – Let’s Keep It
Nowak and Leuangthong addressed the controversial geostatistical topic of conditional bias in mineral resource estimation. They effectively presented a case study which was also presented at the prestigious Geostats2016 Conference in Valencia Spain in September 2016. They demonstrated that it may be more advantageous to apply conditionally-biased block grade estimates for global mineral resource estimation and investment decision-making purposes than trying to reduce conditional bias, using conventional slope of regression and kriging efficiency measures advocated by most commercial software packages.

Winning Authors

Oy Leuangthong - GeostatisticianOy Leuangthong
Principal Consultant
Marek NowakMarek Nowak
MASc, PEng
Principal Consultant
John Mayer
MSc, BSc


SRK North America