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|In today?s high tech world, systems are getting bigger, faster, better. To remain at the leading edge, in any business, depends on accurate but flexible design thereby allowing operational managers to provide alternatives to improve their operations. The ultimate goal is to deliver to plan, with optimum economics. Mining is no different, with falling prices and escalating costs, improved margins become the focal objective. There are many ways to achieve this, ranging from operational efficiency improvements through production scenarios to planning initiatives. Of all, planning usually receives the least attention, yet it is the area of most influence on the NPV of the reserve. With computer technology, numerous concepts and iterations are possible thereby closing the gap between optimal and actual design. This paper discusses the application of the split shell design at the De Beers Venetia open pit in South Africa.|