Exploration for natural resources is accomplished through partial sampling of extensive domains. Such imperfect knowledge is subject to sampling error. Complex systems of equations resulting from modelling based on the theory of correlated random fields are reduced to simple analytical expressions providing global indices of estimation variance. The indices are utilized by multiple objective decision criteria to find the best sampling strategies. The approach is not limited by geometric nature of the sampling, covers a wide range in spatial continuity and leads to a step-by-step procedure. ?? 1988.