December 2021
Volume 73    Issue 12

Multi-objective mathematical programming framework for integrated oil sands mine planning and tailings disposal optimization

Maremi, Ahlam; Ben-Awuah, Eugene; Askari-Nasab, Hooman


In oil sands mining, tailings are voluminous unwanted byproducts generated from extracting the desired mineral from the mined ore. Dyke construction and backfilling activities require well-managed techniques to facilitate progressive reclamation at the earliest opportunity. This directly affects the sustainability and profitability of the mining operation. This research introduces a goal programming framework that simultaneously optimizes the (1) production schedule with limited duration stockpiling and directional mining, (2) dyke construction schedule, (3) size, shape and location of tailing cells and (4) mining and processing production targets. The results show that in creating in-pit tailing-cell designs, decreasing the mining-cell volume and increasing the number of mining cells improves the net present value (NPV) of the operation due to increased operational flexibility.

Full-text paper:
Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (2021) 38:1355–1374,


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