Spatial Delineation of Gold Resource Planning Regions Based on Multi-Objectives

Yuhan Zhang


Current gold resource management in China has faced dual challenge from guaranteeing metal supply (quantity) and resource upgrade and transformation (quality). Although China has proposed the setup of seven gold resource planning regions to resolve this challenge, how to spatially-delineate these regions has not been specified. In this study, we identify three criteria for the spatial delineation of these 7 planning regions, i.e., (i) geographic distance from any mining right to the center of its planning region is shorter than to the center of any adjacent planning region; (ii) the size of each planning region should be similar; (iii) the amount of gold production capacity in each planning region should reach a certain proportion threshold of the national total (namely the “goal value”). Referenced from the existing spatial delineation methods, Voronoi diagram and buffer analysis are used to calculate the spatial scope necessary to satisfy these three objectives, from both resource development (mining right-level) and management (administrative county-level) perspective. The results show that with the goal value rising from 40 to 60%, the planning region size, the number of mining right and the administrative county involved in the planning regions all increase substantially, but the growth rates are different. Our work integrates the mineral resource management and geographic analysis, and such methodology is also applicable on other commodities.

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