January 2020
Volume 72    Issue 1

Pit optimization on clustered realizations: Identifying functional scenarios

Wilson, Brandon; Acorn, Tyler; Boisvert, Jeff

Full-text paper: Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, https://doi.org/10.1007/s42461-019-0101-7
Keywords: Mine planning, Decision-making, Stochastic modeling, Clustering, Mining
Project-scale decisions in surface mining operations rely on the optimization and subsequent evaluation of pit limits. This process ignores the ability for mine plans to adapt as more information is gathered. Stochastic methods, which consider uncertainty in the pit optimization, generally act to refine the boundaries of the pit on a fine scale. This paper extends uncertainty-based methods to consider unique scenarios through a clustering of the realizations that are being optimized. This results in the generation of multiple sets of similar realizations. A separate pit is optimized on each set of realizations, resulting in the production of a series of planning scenarios. This accounts for the adaptability of mine planning as more information is gained. A decision-making framework is then applied to the resulting scenario plans to select the optimal choice. The improvements stem from the joint uncertainty considered when realizations are grouped that is not considered when the probability of a block being in any optimized pit is considered. Mining operations today can benefit from considering additional planning options as identified and evaluated in this workflow.


Follow these easy steps if you are an SME member:
  • Go to www.smenet.org/login . Sign in with your email address and password.
  • Hover your mouse over “Publications and Resources” in the top banner. Click on “Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (MME) Journal” in the pull-down menu.
  • Scroll down and click on the “Read the MME Journal Online” button, which will take you to the Springer site as an SME member who is eligible for free access. (To see published papers on the Springer site, click on “Browse Volumes & Issues” in the blue banner.)
If you are not an SME member, go to https://www.springer.com/engineering/journal/42461 for paid access. Or join SME at www.smenet.org/join