Effective Mine Planning on a Microcomputer
Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Jan 1, 1989
Tougher physical mining and processing conditions as well as economic circumstances are causing many mining companies to re-evaluate the effectiveness of their mine planning. The recent wave of inexpensive computing power provides the engineer an opportunity to go beyond the simple one-off manual mine design and production schedule. The basis of a good mine plan is a good reserves model. Concepts of mine model development are explored. The only advanced computer methods that have found consistent success in optimising mine planning functions are economic pit limits determination and material scheduling. Three pit 'optimisation' methods are examined; the moving cone, the Lerchs-Grossman 3-D graph algorithm, and the new network flow algorithm. A comparison between the methods in terms of total profits generated and computer time involved are made. The results show that both algorithms produced a higher profitability than the simple moving cone, but at much higher execution times. However, the profit increase never exceeded much more than 1 % of the base moving cone case. Finally, a method for the development of long range material production schedules with forward waste planning is presented.