A Geostatistical Approach to the Pit Optimization Problems

Organization: The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 5
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1986
The word "optimization", refers to the search of an economic optimum, or, more precisely, to the choice of technical parameters which will define the more profitable mining project, knowing the values of the economic parameters. In fact, there is no direct way to perform this optimization, because the extremely large number of technical factors involved, from the type of working and its selectivity to the characteristics of the mill and its flexibility, makes it impossible to make a comprehensive survey of all possible projects. Beside, it would be meaningless to engage in such a task as the deposits themselves are not really known, but only estimated, with sometimes a high level of imprecision. Not to mention the numerical instability which would affect such a computation! In addition, the "best" project is not necessarily the one which strictly maximizes a given profit formula. There also exist human factors which have to be complied with, when choosing the cutoff grades for instance. Finally, there are other non-numerical factors which interfere with the choice between several projects: the shape of the bottom of a pit of the layout of the access road for instance.
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