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Economic arguments for representative sampling

Special Section Editor: Kim H. Esbensen

Abel Arkenbout,a Stéphane Brochot,b Trevor Bruce,c Pedro Carrasco, Pablo Carrasco, Philippe Davin,d Quentin Dehaine,e Oscar Dominguez,f Simon C. Dominy,g Kim H. Esbensen,h Dominique François-Bongarçon,i Melissa Gouws,j Ralph J. Holmes,k Li Huachang,l Eduardo Jara, Martin Lischka,m Geoff Lyman,n Zhu Mingwei,l Pentti Minkkinen,o Richard C.A. Minnitt,p Claudia Paoletti,q Christopher Robben,r Rodolfo J. Romañach,s Elke Thistedt and D. Aldwin Vogelu

bManaging director, Caspeo. www.caspeo.net
cFLSmidth, Boksburg East, 1459, South Africa
dSales Manager, Bulk Solids DPT, Iteca Socadei, Aix-en-Provence, France
eCircular Economy Solutions Unit, Geological Survey of Finland, PO Box 96, 02151 Espoo, Finland
fGlobal Principal Geoscientist QAQC, Technical Centre of Excellence, BHP, Perth, Australia
gCamborne School of Mines, Cornwall, UK and Novo Resources Corporation, Perth, Western Australia
hIndependent researcher, consultant, owner, KHE Consulting, Copenhagen, Denmark. kheconsult.com
iAgoratek International Consultants, Inc.
jInnoVenton, Nelson Mandela University, Gqeberha (Port Elizabeth), South Africa
kHonorary Fellow, Mineral Resources, CSIRO, Private Bag 10, Clayton South, Vic, 3169, Australia
lBGRIMM MTC Technology Co. Ltd, China
mHERZOG Maschinenfabrik GmbH &Co. KG, Auf dem Gehren 1, 49086 Osnabrück, Germany
nMaterials Sampling & Consulting
oPresident, Senior Consultant, SIRPEKA Oy; Professor emeritus, Lappeenranta University of Technology, Finland
pVisiting Emeritus Professor, University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, South Africa
qProgram Manager, Transformation Unit - TS, European Food Safety Authority, Via Carlo Magno 1/A, 43100 Parma, Italy
rSIX-S GmbH, Hinter der Kirche 1A, 22880 Wedel, Germany
sUniversity of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus, Puerto Rico
tGlencore Nikkelverk AS; Head of organisational committee for WCSB10
uTechnical & Quality Director, Commodities Global Service Lines, Bureau Veritas, Rotterdam, the Netherlands

“A loss of a money is a certainty if the responsible entities have not made sure that all sampling and analysis performed to produce decision making information is representative. It is as simple as that…”

Sampling educator (2020)

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1255/sew.2021.a30
© 2021 The Author
Published under a Creative Commons BY-NC-ND licence

A complaint has recently surfaced  from the more business-oriented world that the sampling community mainly furthers “technological” arguments for engaging with proper sampling: “the Theory of Sampling (TOS) is all very fine, but it doesn’t sell many tickets where it really counts, at CEO levels or higher (board of directors, investors, bankers). At this level decision-makers do not have the time, or cannot (or will not) make the effort to understand a theory.” While seriously flawed and superficial, this opinion is nevertheless widespread, and especially so in those top-level decision-making circles where the sampling community would dearly like to make a greater impact! So, sensing a marketing scoop, the Column Editor has asked a distinguished group of TOS illuminati to address this economics issue head on. What follows below is the definitive collection of “business arguments for the TOS”, writ large. So, read this column carefully—and forever hold your peace!

The challenge

What is the best way to engage anyone who has never given much thought to why representative sampling is critically important for most endeavours in science, technology, industry, commerce, trade and society? This is in fact a standard topic within the sampling community itself: “What is the best way to promote the TOS—not only as a theory, but as a practical tool to help customers? Indeed, as a critical tool that will have a significant impact on the bottom line!” The latter casts the issue into a rather direct format: “How to sell TOS-compliant equipment, system solutions, consulting and audit services to customers with only little, or no, familiarity with the need for proper sampling?”

Ever since the inception of the TOS (in 1950) there has been a healthy discussion about this issue, about which opinions are often sharply divided. There are traditionally two types of answers: the business argument “You stand to lose a lot of money if you don’t…”; or the technical argument: “You need to understand these critical aspects of TOS, or else…”.

Contents of the Special Section

Editor’s introduction: Minimum TOS understanding: heterogeneity vs sampling procedures

Sampling in big scale operations

The classic publication on sampling and analysis costs in full-scale mining—Editor’s summary

Incorrect sampling practices always have significant economic consequences—and never more so than where tonnages are large

Critical sampling in the cement industry: economic drivers

Sampling of gold ores for commercial purposes

Sampling in metals and minerals processing

Metal accounting: a direct link between sampling and financial management

Loosen the TOS stipulations and face the economic consequence

Costs of inferior sampling related to calibration for optimal mineral sorting

The hidden costs of poor sampling in the mineral industry

Sampling and the laboratory

The TOS—a must in the analytical laboratory (industrial, commercial, academic)

It does not matter what is wrong when applying TOS: it is money out of the window every time

Laboratory test sample representativity: an easily neglected aspect in consignment and its economic impact

Between the devil and the deep blue sea

Sampling and management

The ultimate manager’s argument for representative sampling

Never cry sampling? Denial, denial, denial—pay the price!

How to motivate for correct sampling projects based on costs and benefits of fit-for-purpose sampling solutions

Sampling quality quantification: the key to support business decisions

Sampling in society, environment, public health, pharma, trade

Food and feed sampling: balancing ethics and money

The costs of hidden bacteria: challenges for representative sampling and measuring bacterial loads in an industrial slaughterhouse

Sampling in pharmaceutical manufacturing: a critical business case element

Sampling expertise for the accounts department, CEOs and board members

“The costs of sampling errors and bias in the mining industry”

Appropriate sampling—a critical success factor for sustainability

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