With reference to geology and mining, spatial continuity applies to the grades of the commodity of interest, insitu in the ground - grams per tonne of gold or percent of iron, copper or zinc. Grades (sample assays) within a sample hole are compared with each other and with grades from nearby holes.
Spatial continuity is important when geostatistics is used when estimating resources and reserves for a deposit.
The spatial continuity of the random variables is described by a model of spatial continuity that can be either a parametric function in the case of variogram-based geostatistics, or have a non-parametric form when using other methods such as multiple-point simulation or pseudo-genetic techniques.
In mining, spatial continuity only applies to geology models. It does not apply to processing plant or anything associated with the processing plant.
The processing plant receives broken ore, which by the time it has reached by the processing plant is so mixed up there is no mathematical correlation between batches of ore. This is particularly true when ore is sourced from multiple areas within a deposit, or from multiple deposits, for either blending purposes or because the processing plant must receive a certain quantity of ore on a daily basis.