Evaluation of the modified AHP-VIKOR for mapping and ranking copper mineralized areas, a case study from the Kerman metallogenic belt, SE Iran

Fardad Maghsoudi Moud*, Abbas Abbaszadeh Shahri, F.J.A. van Ruitenbeek, R.D. Hewson, M. van der Meijde

*Corresponding author for this work

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Exploration and prioritization of potentially mineralized areas by integrating different geoscientific datasets help to manage the time and costs of an exploration project. In this study, copper exploration and prioritization of explored areas were done on the Kerman copper belt, which was formed due to the subduction of the Arabian plate under the Iranian plate. After processing geoscientific layers (geology, hydrothermal alteration zones, stream sediment geochemistry, and airborne geophysics), the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) method was used to compute the weights of geoscientific layers by a decision-making group consisting of ten local experts in copper exploration. The weight of evidence (WofE) method was used to compare and assess the fairness of the AHP weights. The AHP weights were used for the multi-criteria optimization and compromise solution (VIKOR) method to integrate the geoscientific layers and create an AHP-VIKOR copper mineralization potential map. The “v” parameter of the VIKOR method was modified by replacing the concept of mathematical expectation value with the manual assignment. The real value-area (RV-A) fractal method was used to select optimum threshold values for different AHP-VIKOR copper mineralization potential classes. The accuracy of the classified AHP-VIKOR copper mineralized potential map was assessed by creating a confusion matrix and using existing mineralization locations. The average pixel values of the copper mineralization class were extracted and sorted to rank the very high potential areas. The AHP-VIKOR ranking results were compared with recorded ore grade and ore tonnage information of each copper deposition. The results demonstrated that the AHP ranks are roughly similar to the WofE ranks, except for lithology. An accuracy of 84% for classified copper mineralization potential map with the RV-A fractal method was obtained. The used expectation value for the “v” parameter of the VIKOR method showed that the decision-making group’s opinion was more important than the individual opinions (v = 0.6). The AHP-VIKOR method identified mineralization areas, especially porphyry deposits. Also, the outcome of the AHP-VIKOR ranking showed that the currently active mines, especially porphyry deposits, have the highest priority for mining. This study showed that the AHP-VIKOR approach helps explore and rank favorable areas with high copper ore grade and tonnage characteristics.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1756
JournalArabian Journal of Geosciences
Issue number24
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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