Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 M.Sc student, Mineral Exploration Engineering, School of Mining, College of Engineering, University of Tehran

2 Professor of Geo-Engineering, School of Mining, College of Engineering, University of Tehran

3 Assistant professor of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Mining, Petroleum and Geophysics, Shahrood University of Technology

4 Professor of Electrical Engineering, School of Electrical and Computer, College of Engineering, University of Tehran


In this study based on image analysis, an ore grade estimation model was developed. The study was performed at a limestone mine in central Iran. The samples were collected from different parts of the mine and crushed in size from 2.58 cm down to 15 cm. The images of the samples were taken in appropriate environment and processed. A total of 76 features were extracted from the identified rock samples in all images. Neural network used as an intelligent tool for ore grade estimation and the features of every image were combined with weighted average method. In order to feature dimensional decrease, principal component analysis method was used. Six principal components, which were extracted from the feature vectors, captured 90.661% of the total feature variance. Components were used as the input to neural network and four grade attributes of limestone (CaCO3, Al2O3, Fe2O3 and MgCO3) were used as the output. The root of mean squared error between the observed values and the model estimated values for the test data set are 6.378, 4.847, 0.1513 and 0.0284, the R2 values are 0.7852, 0.8663, 0.7591and 0.8094 for the mentioned chemical composition respectively. The magnitude of R2 indicates the correlation between actual and estimated data. Therefore, it can be inferred that the model can successfully estimate the limestone chemical compositions percentage.