Nature & Usefulness of Simulation as it Applies to Equipment Selection at an Open-Pit Mine

The selection of equipment for open-pit mining is an important decision which results in a considerable capital expenditure by the operator. The decision is complicated by the wide product range on the market. Certainly, equipment performance is an important criterion to consider in making the decision. Equally important, however, is the operating inter-relationship among the equipment. A poor balançe increases production costs and waiting time as queues form at the bottlenecks. This inter-relationship is dependent on equipment performance, but it is also affected by management decisions (i.e. scheduling techniques). The purpose of this paper is to show how the computer is used to decide which equipment and operating decisions achieve the required production objectives at least cost. Actual mining of the pit is simulated over a period of time using different equipment and scheduling decisions. Production, waiting time and costs are evaluated for each alternative until the operator is satisfied that he has achieved the best result.
Keywords: capital expenditure, mathematical analysis, open-pit, operations research, Shovel., Equipment, Operation, Production, shovel, Shovels, Simulation, Simulations, Truck, Trucks
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