How Improvements in Underground Block Caving Methods and Costs have impacted the Final Open Pit Definition.

CIM Montreal 2003
Jose Carceres,
Abstract During the past fifteen years, mines utilizing the block caving method have improved performance and systematically reduced total mining costs. This paper describes guidelines to improve mine design, mine planning and mine management, including methods enabling the Chilean and International mining industry to ensure cost savings and productivity growth while using the block caving method.
These improvements have encouraged the re-evaluation of underground operations at operating and closed open pits, and challenge surface mining applications as the only low cost mining method.
This paper describes a strategy to estimate the optimum open pit to underground transition time during the life of a mine. An industrial case study is presented using the new guidelines to define the final open pit
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