Integrated Open Pit Optimization with Periodic Material Scheduling
Open pit optimization forms the basis of mine design, production planning and construction of mine facilities. The negative effects of this phase may include substantial reductions in ore recoveries, relocation of waste dumps and surface infrastructure, extraction of unwanted waste, with a cumulative effect on mine value reductions. As a result, this area has received significant research focus using linear and dynamic programming, heuristic, genetic and stimulation algorithms and the graph theory. These algorithms are derived from rigorous mathematical models, but they are built on the assumption that all the periodic production capacities are extracted at the time of analysis. This assumption weakens the models because mining occur over significant time period. In order to develop a comprehensive model that accounts for the timing of material extraction, the current models, which are built on the economic block value (EBV) concept, must be modified to account for time. In this paper, the authors develop a model of the optimization problem using the 2-D Lerchs-Grossmann’s optimization algorithm. This model is used to investigate the effect of periodic discounting on the optimal pit layout design by designing an integrated pit optimiser (IPO) that incorporates ‘production scheduling’. IPO uses the ensuing Discounted Economic Block Value (DEBV) as a basis for the pit optimisation process. The time-dependent model is compared with a time-independent model. The results show that discounting has no effect on the optimal pit contour although the reported pit value is overstated if the EBVs are used instead of the DEBV. The authors, however, believe that this conclusion may not be general and could have been influenced by the nature of ore body geometry and the proposed mining strategy.
Production Scheduling, Pit Contour, Pit Optimization