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Footprint and Economic Envelope

Calculation for Block/Panel Caving


Mines Under Geological Uncertainty
Emilio Vargas, CSIRO Chile , Delphos Universidad de Chile
Nelson Morales, Delphos-AMTC, Universidad de Chile
Xavier Emery, AMTC, Universidad de Chile

Introduction
Traditional underground mine planning
methods are based upon deterministic data,
therefore plans and decisions may not be
robust.
Including the uncertainty in the resource
model and risk analysis in early stages of the
project allows making better decisions.

Methodology
1. Develop a procedure for calculating
the economic outline of a block/panel
caving mine (deterministic case).
2. Generate block model scenarios of
the deposit
3. Validate the procedure results against
existing tools.
4. Assess geological uncertainty impact
on the outline by running the
procedure over the scenarios.

PCBC Geovia

Scope
Strategic mine planning.
The envelope calculation is applicable for a
Block/Panel Caving mine.
The geological uncertainty is incorporated
using conditional geostatistical simulations of
a real orebody.
Dilution is modelled using Laubschers
approach

Footprint and Outline


Computation

Algorithm 1/3
Block Model

MineLink
Ultimate Pit Algorithm

Footprint

Envelope

Algorithm 2/3
Footprint

Find optimum level

3.85
4.32
Ore column

Calculate position discounted profit


Calculate economic value, tonnage and area

3.17
3.78
3.95
4.52
3.78

Validate results with PCBC

2.30

Surface

For each level:

Algorithm 3/3
Economic Envelope (Outline)
Cut block model given the economic footprint data
Compute different slope precedence depending on
the level
Calculate outline using an inverse ultimate pit
algorithm
Post-process the envelope to smooth
the outline

Generation of scenarios

800 m

1550 m

Dataset and parameters

990 m

Parameter

Value

Number of Blocks

2,340,000

Block Dimensions [m]

10x10x10

Levels

80

Minimum Level [m]

2,755

Maximum Level [m]

3,545

Parameter

Value

Cu Price [US$/t]

2.5

Selling Cost [US$/t]

0.35

Mine Cost [US$/t]

10

Processing Cost [US$/t]

16.1

Recovery

87%

Density [ton/m3]

2.7

Maximum Column Height [m]

300

Minimum Column Height [m]

100

Productivity [tpd]

200

Utilization [days/yr]

200

Draw Point Area [m2]

225

Slope angle

45- 60- 90

Generation of scenarios
Geological scenarios were generated using the
turning bands algorithm (Isatis)
Input: 12,000 samples
Output: 1,000 scenarios + kriging

Dilution is integrated using Laubschers model

HIZ: 100 [m]


HOD: 300 [m]
Dilution Entry: 60%
Not considered for validation

Validation

Footprint Validation
PCBC vs MineLink
Accumulated Footprint Value and Tonnage by
Level
700

Accumulated Value [MUSD]

4500

600

4000
3500

500

3000

400

2500
2000

300

1500

200

1000

100

500
0

0
1

13

19

25

31

37

43

49

55

61

67

73

79

Level number
Valor Script

Valor PCBC

Tonelaje Script

Tonelaje PCBC

Accumulated Tonnage [MTon]

5000

There is a maximum difference of


10% between MineLink and PCBC
(depends on the simulated model)
This difference does not impact the
final decision about the optimal level

Impact of the Geological Uncertainty

Footprint Results
For each simulated block model the optimum
footprint is calculated over all levels.

1550 [m]

Kriging

670 [m]

660 [m]

620 [m]
510 [m]

550 [m]
Worst

600 [m]
Average

990 [m]
Best

Impact on the Level Selection


Economic Level distribution (Footprint)
200
180
160

Kr

Frequency

140
120

100
80
60
40
20
0

Level [m]
Level n

13

19

25

31

37

43

49

55

61

67

73

Envelope Results
The shape and value of the envelope vary due to geological
uncertainty and the placement of the footprint
300

Envelope Economic Value Histogram

200

Frequency

Frequency

250

Kr

150
100
50
0

350
300
250
200
150
100
50
0

Envelope Mean Grade Histogram

Copper Grade [%]

Economic Value [MUSD]


BM386 - Level: 2755

BM304 - Level: 3095

300 [m]

300 [m]

BMKr - Level: 3255

300 [m]

BM91 - Level: 2755

Worst

Kr

Average

Best

Kriging

Risk Analysis

Envelope Results
Risk analysis
Value at Risk (1,000 scenarios)
Pessimist
Optimist

Economic Value [MUSD]


Tonnage [Mton]
Area Footprint [m2]
Mean Grade [%]

1%

3%

5%

5%

3%

1%

575
56
78,520
0.801

781
75
102,460
0.819

889
84
115,380
0.829

2,408
218
293,980
0.979

2,516
228
306,520
0.991

2,717
246
330,840
1.013

Envelope Economic Value Distribution


300

Frequency

250
200
150
100
50

5%
5%

0
Envelope Economic Distribution [MUSD]

Expected Value
(1,000 scenarios)
1,646
151
204,484
0.902

Kriging
1,445
106
141,800
0.964

Conclusions
The kriging grade scenario has one of the worst accumulated
footprint economic value for almost all levels.
Given the 1,000 scenarios, to find the economic footprint in
the first level has a probability of 20%, and a 17% near the
50th level, meanwhile to find it in upper levels has a very low
probability.
The economic envelope found using the kriged block model
has an economic value below the expected value of the 1,000
scenarios.

Conclusions
Given the risk analysis, with a 5% risk the economic value of
the outline could be 46% less or more than the expected
value for the pessimist or optimist scenario respectively (760
MUSD).
The production level should be placed at the deepest level,
which is more likely to be the economic level and the
envelope value is near the expected value, better than the
krigings model result.
A risk approach in early stages of a mine project allows to take
a better decision in terms of the upside and downside
potential.

References
Dimitrakopoulos R., 2011, Stochastic Optimization For Strategic
Mine Planning: A Decade of Developments.
Diering T., 2000, PC-BC: A Block Cave Design and Draw Control
System.
Elkington T., Bates L. and Richter O., 2012, Block Caving Outline
Optimisation.
Diering T., Richter O. and Villa D., 2008, Block Cave Production
Scheduling Using PCBC.
Vargas M., Morales N. and Rubio E., 2009, A short term mine
planning model for open-pit mines with blending constraints.
Emery X., Lantujoul C., 2006, TBSIM: A computer program for
conditional simulation of three-dimensional Gaussian random fields
via the turning bands method.
Vielma J., Espinoza D. and Moreno E., 2009, Risk control in ultimate
pits using conditional simulations.

Footprint and Economic Envelope


Calculation for Block/Panel Caving
Mines Under Geological Uncertainty
Emilio Vargas, CSIRO Chile, Delphos Universidad de Chile
Nelson Morales, Delphos-AMTC, Universidad de Chile
Xavier Emery, AMTC, Universidad de Chile

Corresponding author: evargas@ing.uchile.cl


MineLink details delphos.dmi.uchile.cl