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|Customer requirements concerning the final products of iron mines are extremely stringent. Because of this, there is an ever-increasing need for mine operators to monitor and strictly control the quality of their product. This quality, as measured by the stockpile grade variability, is the result of a very complex process, where natural characteristics (the orebody and its geology) are transformed through the mining technique (open pit, shovel and truck fleet, blending into stockpile). The only way to reproduce and hence to control the variability of such a system, which is composed of several interactive sub-processes, is by simulation. A complete simulation of a Hamersley Iron Pty Ltd (HI) ore deposit has been undertaken to forecast the impact and cost of various mining methods, mining schedules and product stockpile sizes on variability of chemical and physical characteristics of the products. The mining simulation was made on a conditionally simulated orebody. On a range of criteria, the simulation was considered to fulfil the objectives set and was a valuable aid to analysis of product grade variability, operating and capital costs, selection of equipment, mine scheduling and setting of product grade targets.|