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49.2946204, -122.8019492

Jan W. Merks
Chief Executive Officer
1357 Napier Place
Coquitlam (BC) V3B 7A3
+1 604 941 121 3
+1 604 941 121 3
About Jan W. Merks

I am an author, a consultant, and a lecturer. I am also a man of many monnikers. Statistically dysfunctional scholars and students of geostatistics conferred more than a few. I am an internationally recognized authority on sampling theory and practice for dynamic and static stochastic systems. I apply statistical methods in metrology, the science of measurement technology. I have experience in sampling and weighing of coals, concentrates, industrial minerals, ores, and scores of bulk materials. I worked at the Port of Rotterdam, the worlds largest port for bulk solids and liquids, and at the Port of Vancouver, Canadas largest port in the Pacific Northwest. A background in analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, mining engineering, and mathematical statistics underpin my career in metrology, the science of measurement, as it applies to the international commodity trade in general, and to mineral exploration, mining, processing, smelting and refining in particular.

I was Vice President, Quality Control Services, with the SGS Organization, a worldwide network of inspection companies that acts as referee between international trading partners. I was Assistant to the Chairman of Cominco Ltd where I reviewed measurement systems and procedures used to determine wet masses, moisture contents and metal grades and contents of mill feed, tailing and concentrates, and compiled an internal manual on weighing, sampling, sample preparation and analysis. In these positions I traveled extensively to coal and hard-rock mines, mineral processing plants, smelters and steelworks, power plants and bulk terminals in different part of the world. I performed technical audits for clients in Australia, Canada, Europe, South America and the USA.

I used the concept of bias detection limits for statistical risks as a measure for the power of Students t-test, the bias test par excellence. I defined the concept of probable ranges as a measure for the limits within which an observed bias is expected to fall. I conceptualized and evaluated a mechanical sampling system for cathode copper that became the de facto standard method at copper refineries in different parts of the world. I designed mechanical sampling systems and modules to routinely select pairs of interleaving primary samples from crushed ore and slurry flows.

In the early 1990s, I reported to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and to the Ontario Securities Commission that geostatistics is an invalid variant of mathematical statistics. I am writing Behind Bre-X the whistleblowers story to explain why geostatistics inflates reserves and causes ore deposits to shrink during mining. I am also writing Precision and bias of grades and contents of reserves. I applied statistical analyses to prove that Bre-Xs gold deposit was a salting scam, and reported my finding to Barrick Gold long before Felderhof was honored by his peers, De Guzman vanished in the Kalimantan jungle, and Strathcona Mineral Services drilled twin holes in Bre-Xs phantom gold deposit. I have been involved as an expert witness in a number of cases ranging from commercial disputes between trading partners to fraud and criminal negligence. I was engaged by the Kaufman inquiry into the Westray disaster to evaluate the validity of the RCMPs stratified systematic sampling protocol employed to determine the percentage combustible matter in post-explosion dust.

I have won wide recognition as a public speaker and seminar leader. I have presented seminars and workshops all over the world. I wrote scores of papers on popular and unpopular topics alike and a textbook on “Sampling and Weighing of Bulk Solids ”, which was translated into Mandarin. I am developing spreadsheet software on applications of statistical methods in mineral exploration, mining. processing, smelting and refining.

I have represented the Mining Association of Canada at the International Maritime Organization and served on several Technical Committees of the International Standards Organization. I have participated in the activities of ISOTC27 on coal, ISOTC69 on applications of statistical methods, and ISOTC102 on iron ore. I am the Chairman of the Canadian Advisory Committee to ISOTC183 on copper, lead and zinc concentrates. I made significant contributions to the development of ISO standards on sampling of concentrates, and on the precision and bias of mass measurement techniques. In 1988, I introduced the interleaved sampling protocol to the Members of ISOTC183, which has since has been incorporated in several ISO standards. On July 4, 2006, I was made a Life Member of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum in recognition of many years of active participation and service. Some time next year, I want to complete a work on Metrology in Mining and Metallurgy.

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