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|Definition of the optimum open pit, whether an intermediate phase or final design, will be sensitive to many factors. The most basic will include geological and mining constraints, mining and processing costs, pit slopes and product prices. The application of the three dimensional Lerchs-Grossmann pit optimization procedure to this task is described for a range of gold deposits. A new approach to the modelling and manipulation of the geological model enables complex geological environments to be assessed, and sensitivity analyses to be developed. Comparisons with manually developed pit designs have been made to validate the results. The computer implementation is simple to use and can be adapted by non-computer professionals at mine Sites.|