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|The technology of coal preparation, while based on similar processes to those in common useage in the 1950s, has improved significantly over the past 15 years primarily due to advances in process control. This technology at least offers the potential for most coal preparation unit operations to be optimised to a considerable degree. However, to maximise the overall yield of an operation from pit to port, factors often outside of the control of the preparation plant operator have a dominant effect. Specific factors include an in depth knowledge of the feed characteristics of the various sources of coal, the detailed mine scheduling to provide an appropriate blend to the plant, and the interim handling and stockpiling processes between the mine face and the customer.This paper summarises the criteria for optimising the yield for a variety of mining, processing and stockpiling options, based on the principle of operating at constant incremental ash. Pragmatic operating assumptions such as extension of the principle to operating at a constant density for gravity operations will be discussed. A means of optimising the compromise between maintaining specification product ash to the customer and maximising yield by always washing at constant incremental ash, without the benefit of a homogenised feed, will also be Presented.|