Presidential address: Optimization in underground mine planning-developments and opportunities.
The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy.
The application of mining-specific and generic optimization techniques in the mining industry is deeply rooted in the discipline of operations research (OR). OR has its origins in the British Royal Air Force and Army around the early 1930s. Its development continued during and after World War II. The application of OR techniques to optimization in the mining industry started to emerge in the early 1960s. Since then, optimization techniques have been applied to solve widely different mine planning problems. Mine planning plays an important role in the mine value chain as operations are measured against planned targets in order to evaluate operational performance. An optimized mine plan is expected to be sufficiently robust to ensure that actual outcomes are close or equal to planned targets, provided that variances due to poor performance are minimal. Despite the proliferation of optimization techniques in mine planning, optimization in underground mine planning is less extensively developed and applied than in open pit mine planning. This is due to the fact that optimization in underground mine planning is far more complex than open pit optimization. Optimization in underground mine planning has been executed in four broad areas, namely: development layouts, stope envelopes, production scheduling, and equipment selection and utilization. This paper highlights commonly applied optimization techniques, explores developments and opportunities, and makes a case for integrated three-dimensional (3D) stochastic optimization, in underground mine planning.
Presidential address presented at the The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Annual General Meeting on 11 August 2016.
Open pit mining, Optimization, Underground equipment, Military operations, Operations research, Underground mine planning, Production control, Operational performance
Musingwini, C. 2016. Presidential address: Optimization in underground mine planning-developments and opportunities. Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy 116(9), pp. 809-820. http://dx.doi.org/10.17159/2411-9717/2016/v116n9a1