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STRATEGIC OPEN PIT

PLANNING AND OPTIMISATION

Level 2
Advanced

Presented by Richard Gawthorpe


February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

TABLE OF CONTENTS
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.

Introduction ....................................................................................................................... 2
Production Scheduling ...................................................................................................... 3
Schedule Optimisation ...................................................................................................... 6
Haulage Analysis .............................................................................................................. 7
Schedule Results Analysis ............................................................................................. 15
Additional Optimisation and Scheduling Controls ........................................................... 16
Stockpiling ....................................................................................................................... 17
Cut-Off Grade Optimisation ............................................................................................ 20
Stockpiling Time Variations.......................................................................................... 21
Alternative Underground Mining ................................................................................. 22
Risk Analysis .............................................................................................................. 23
Introduction to Multiple Pit Scheduling ....................................................................... 24
Developing NPVS Schedules Into Medium Term Schedules ..................................... 25
Waste Dump Optimisation .......................................................................................... 26

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

1.

Introduction

These notes are intended to accompany an advanced course given in strategic open pit
planning and optimisation. The principal piece of software connected with this course is the
NPV Scheduler (Version 3.2). The primary emphasis of this Level 2 course is to train mining
engineers and geologists up to the stages of generating a production schedules, haulage
analysis and scheduling along with stockpile management. A corresponding Level 1 course
deals with to the stages of generating an ultimate open pit and associated pushback
expansions.
These notes are intended to complement the full and extensive documentation provided with
the NPV Scheduler, which deal with much more detail regarding the software operation.

NPV Scheduler - Overview of Scheduling & Stockpiling Processes


Ultimate Pit

Tonnage/size
parameters

Pushback Generation

Physical Limits

Pushback Model

Reports/graphs
for analysis

Pushback
Controls

Scheduling

Targets

Reports/graphs

Scheduled Block
Model

Mining Sequence
FIle

Stockpiling
Controls

Stockpiling

Key
Process

Revised
Schedule

Data

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

2.

Production Scheduling

Target definition

Production rate (time) controls

Pushback controls

Within the same case study branch, scheduling starts with the pushback model generated just
previously. The first step is then to define targets, which may be related to grades, tonnages
and/or truck hours. The required ore production rate(s) then need to be specified, along with
the production periods required (default is years). The final step is to define how mining may
advance along and between the various pushbacks. Once the controls have been set-up, the
schedule may be generated, in which NPVS will strive to meet all of the defined targets, as
well as to maximise NPV. A scheduled block model is generated, along with various results
tables.

Target Definition

Target type rate or ratio


Specifying formula
Values by time period, and limiting bounds

Each required target must be defined as either a rate (e.g. total revenue per year) or as a
ratio (e.g. stripping ratio). A formula must then be defined, to specify how the target is
calculated. The required value of the target is then given, which may be different for different
time periods, along with the minimum and maximum target bounds which would still be
considered acceptable.

Production rate controls

Tonnage rate by rock type


Time period (days)
Time variations

In this control, a list is available of all processable rock types. Assuming that each of these
contribute to ore feed, the total ore quantity per year (or other time period) is entered for each
rock types rate. The schedule will then use this ore rate to demarcate the periods elapsed,
and from that the discounted cashflows. Variations in this total rate by time period may also
be defined.

Pushback Controls

Concurrent pushbacks
Relative progression rate
Individual bench lags and starting times

As well as the number of pushbacks that may be mined in the same period, a global relative
pushback progression rate may be defined. This bench lag is the maximum number of
benches between consecutive pushbacks being mined at the same time. Alternatively,
different bench lags may be defined between pairs of specified pushbacks. These bench lag
quantities will also directly affect the vertical advance rate achieved within each pushback.
Individual starting periods may also be defined for specified pushbacks, as well as specific
dependencies between pushbacks.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

Targets
Time unit for scheduling (in days)
Define target variables
Definition Type - rate or ratio
Variable definition - build up formula
Bound and target values by period
Enable/disable targets
Time
Total ore/rock quantity
Period adjustments
Rate defined per n days
Options
Mining sequence file >.bsp
Pushbacks file (default from previous work)
Prestripping
Concurrent pushbacks
Pushbacks
Maximum relative pushback progression rate
Per Pushback:
Distance
EFHR distance from load point to bench exit point
Bench Lag
Max lag between given pushback and the next
Start After
Limiting period
Alternative Schedules Produced
Maximising NPV
Schedules best matching each target
Schedule Report Data
Rock/ore/grades by period
Also split by period and by pushback
Schedule Model
May export to DATAMINE
VALUE
PHASE
SEQUENCE
PUSHBACK
Time/target:
Earliest
Latest
Mining sequence to text files
In Scheduler Control Panel
Tools | Export Surfaces | Period Fraction
Select mining sequence
> .txt file

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

NPV Scheduler - Scheduling Module


Target Definition

Type Rate or ratio

Target variable e.g.


Strip=(Rock-Ore)/Ore

Pushback Model

Repeat for
each target

Target values:
- By period
+ Min and Max bounds

Pushback Controls:
- Number concurrent
- Relative Rate
- Bench Lag
- Start Period
- Distance

Time Definition:
- Ore/waste quantities
- Period Variations

Scheduling

Max NPV

Cashflows/
production data

Scheduled Block
Model

Reports/graphs

Cashflows/
production data

Scheduled Block
Model

Reports/graphs

Target A

Cashflows/
production data

Scheduled Block
Model

Reports/graphs

Target B

Key
Process
Data

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

3.

Schedule Optimisation

Targets variables

Optimisation

Scheduling control

Results

Target variables can be defined as a rate:


V = Ax + By + Cz +
Or as a ratio:
V = (Ax + By + Cz + ) / (Dx + Ey +Fz + )
Where A, B, C etc are user-defined coefficients and x, y, z etc are block attributes, grades or
tonnages. Each pushback is mined one bench at a time. From the point of view of the
scheduler, the average grade of each bench within a pushback is applied when considering
grade-related targets.
The scheduler optimiser aims to produce a schedule which meets all of the defined targets,
as well as to achieve the highest NPV. This is done using dynamic programming. The
program generates not one but several alternative schedules: a schedule maximising NPV as
well as schedules best achieving the ideal values of each target variable. These schedules
can be almost identical if tight bounds are imposed. If no schedules are possible within the
defined bounds, then the bounds are automatically relaxed and the schedule optimisation
repeated. This cycle of attempting the schedule and relaxing of bounds can happen several
times. A final message is always produced, saying whether scheduling has been achieved,
and whether the bounds have had to be relaxed.
The main physical control on the schedule is through the pushbacks. The bench lag(s)
defined will control the relative rate at which pushbacks will advance. If a bench lag of 2 is
defined, for example, then within any one period, pushback 1 cannot be further ahead (i.e.
below) of pushback 2 by more than 2 benches. These defined bench lags will therefore
indirectly control the vertical advance rate (m/year) attained in the schedule.
If no bench lags are defined (=0), then the optimiser is free to mine at whatever advance rate
is required. It may well sink very fast within a particular pushback, in order to optimise the
NPV. If a bench lag is defined however, generally a lower bench lag will yield lower vertical
advance rates, as the schedule is being more restricted vertically. Specific pushbacks may
also be controlled by defining their exact starting time period.
A separate schedule grid (spreadsheet) is produced for each type: for NPV and for each
target variable. The output model, in addition to all PHASE, SEQUENCE and PUSHBACK
numbers from before, the new scheduled model will contain fields describing the time of
extraction for each time. For example, if there is a single STRIP target, then two schedules
will be produced: NPV and STRIP, with time fields:
NPV_TA
NPV_TB
STRIP_TA
STRIP_TB

Earliest time of mining


Latest time of mining
Earliest time of mining
Latest time of mining

There are two time fields per target, because of when the rock on one bench per pushback
may be mined out over more than one time period.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

4.

Haulage Analysis

Overview

Objective <= optimisation of mining schedule by truck hours

Equivalent flat haul (EFH) distance

Haulage Simulation Model

The haulage analysis facilities in NPVS allow the optimisation of a mining schedule with an
additional truck hours target. This is in turn will help with planned changes to truck fleets.
All haulage distances in NPVS are expressed as EFH distances. The EFH distance is the
distance a truck will travel, under the same load conditions, on a flat haul in the time taken to
travel on a specified route profile. For example, say it takes 15 minutes for a truck to travel
over an undulating route, fully loaded, from the pit exit to the crusher bin, and the total inclined
(up and down) distance is 2km. However on a completely flat route, the same truck with the
same load would travel 4km in the same time. The inclined distance is 2km and the EFH
distance is 4km.
The parameters within NPVS allow the definition of a haulage simulation model, such that for
every block of ore or waste in the pit, the required EFH distance may be calculated. Other
derived parameters then allow the calculation of truck hours for every block. This allows the
definition of truck hours as an additional scheduling target.
Haulage Simulation Model
Destination
dump point
Pit exit
point
Destination
entry point

Load
point

Pushback
bench exit
point

Haulage Simulation Model


The first step in the building up of a haulage simulation model is to consider, for the particular
pit being worked on, the typical haulage routes for the main ore and waste rock types. This is
defined in terms of the 5 main nodes shown in the diagram above. For most ore rock types,
the route will terminate at the destination entry point, which will generally be a crusher or
ROM pad.
All EFH distances should be considered in terms of a round trip, so the speeds for the loaded
and unloaded components need to be averaged together for the overall EFH. This is
demonstrated in the following spreadsheet of typical haulage calculations. For the model,
therefore, there can be up to 4 different haulage components, each of which will require a
separate EFH calculation or allocation. These definitions can be summarised as:
1.
2.
3.
4.

Load point to bench exit point


Bench exit point to pit exit point
Pit exit point to destination entry point
Destination entry point to dump point

=
=
=
=

Bench haul
Ramp haul
Surface Haul
Dump Haul

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

The bench haul will vary for every block mined and is dependent upon the position of the
mining face and the position at which the ramp intersects the bench. The haul distance, on
average, for an entire bench in a particular pushback will vary according to the geometry of
the pushback or bench. A horseshoe shaped pushback will have longer bench hauls, on
average, than a rectangular shaped pushback with the same tonnage. The bench haul also
only contributes a small percentage to the total haulage distance. Hence a reasonable
approximation, which takes due account of the different pushback geometries, is to get the
user to specify the average haulage distance (EFH) for each pushback. This can be quickly
assessed and measured by viewing the pushback model in plan bench by bench.
The ramp haul (P) is calculated simply by measuring the elevation difference from the bench
to the pit exit point. This is supplied by means a single (global) Gradient Factor, which is
effectively the inter-bench EFH distance.
P

Gradient Factor =

Gradient Factor * B

(B = no. of benches)

Actual Haul/Bench * Reference Speed / Average Ramp Speed

For each destination, the pit exit bench must be defined, in order for NPVS to calculate the
ramp haul.
The surface haul (F), EFH from the pit rim to each destination entry point is constant and
supplied by directly for each destination.
The dump haul (D) may be zero, as in the case of a fixed crusher, or may be a function of
the tonnes already delivered to that destination. A simple linear relation is assumed between
distance and tonnes at dump. The user specifies a Dump Haul Factor for each destination
such that the dump haul is calculated by EFH =( Dump Haul Factor)*(ktonnes at dump). For
example, a dump with a DHF of 0.08 means that when 10m tonnes has been dumped, the
EFH = 0.08*10000000/1000 = 800m. The relationship is actually a stepped linear function,
with each step corresponding to a new lift, but a straight line approximation is sufficient for
this type of analysis.
The ways in which these various parameters are entered into NPVS is summarized in the
attached spreadsheet.

Destinations

Can be set up for specific rock types and processes

Can have multiple sequential destinations with the same destination name

Once defined, the program can determine metre.ktonnes for ore and waste

The Define Destinations command is selected from the Tools menu. The destinations are
defined for a given Ultimate Pit case study (so as to make sure that the Ultimate Pit control
panel is active) and used by all subsequent NPVS sub-cases.
If multiple destinations are defined for the same for the same rock-process types, the program
will preferentially send the material to the first destination in the list, and when that has been
filled, will divert the material to the next available destination.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

Truck Hour Calculations


To enable truck hour calculations, a formula must be developed, of the form:
Hours = A*tonnes + B*meter.ktonnes
Where constants A and B depend on :
o
o
o
o

Truck size
Utilisation
Performance specifications
Cycle wait times

Example
Truck size
Truck utilisation
Flat haul loaded speed
Flat haul unloaded speed
Load point wait time
Dump point wait time

=
=
=
=
=
=

100t
92%
8kph
12kph
13 minutes
4 minutes

Haulage simulation model has been developed so that EFHs are calculated as one-way,
although the speeds have been averaged for both-ways. Therefore:

Cycle time

= (total wait + 2*EFH/average speed)/utilisation


= ((4+13)/60+2*EFH/1000/(8+12)/2)/0.92) hours
= (0.308+ 0.217*EFH/1000) hours

Since one cycle is equivalent to 100 tonnes


Hours = (0.308/100)*tonnes + (0.217/100)*meter.kt
Hence, A = 0.00308 hours per tonne, and B = 0.00217 hours per km per tonne.
Separate equations, and therefore separate sets of A and B coefficients, may need to be
developed for both ore and waste rock types. Once developed, these coefficients are entered
into the Define Targets dialog as a rate type equation with the numerators:

Target variable Numerator


Rock
0.00308
Ore-m.kT
0.00217
Waste-m.kT
0.00217
As a rule-of-thumb, one truck is equivalent to 6000 hours per year, so the targets should be
set in increments of approximately 6000 hours. Note that the example given above sets a
target for the total truck fleet; individual target hours for ore and waste can be set if these
fleets are independent.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

10

Recommended Practice
1. To validate the haulage simulation model, calculate the total hours (trucks x ~6000)
for each year using the current life-of-mine plan (if available) and set the period
targets equal to the planned truck hours. If a schedule is found that satisfies these
targets then the haulage model is valid.

2. Now create a new truck target with a broad range (low Minimum, high Maximum) to
find the schedule which best achieves the other scheduling targets - if no other
targets are set then the schedule will maximize NPV. This schedule is largely
unconstrained by truck hours, so it will report the truck hours required to meet the
other targets.

3. Chart the truck hours target and identify the peaks in the curve.

4. Set appropriate truck hours targets in each period, or over a range of periods, to
flatten the peaks in the curve (and so reduce the number of trucks required). Keep in
mind that the area under the hours curve is reasonably constant, so by lowering a
peak in one period, you are adding hours to other periods. The objective is to
minimize the peak truck fleet size (minimize the total capital expenditure) and delay
the expansion of the truck fleet (delay capital expenditures) which in turn will deliver
the best NPV for the project.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

11

HAULAGE ANALYSIS - SUMMARY OF PARAMETERS


EFH

Equivalent flat haul distance


Need to average for round trip consideration

From equivalent truck hours

4 Haulage Components:
Bench haul
Ramp haul
Surface haul
Dump haul

From
Load point
Pushback bench exit
Pit exit
Destination entry

To
Pushback bench exit
Pit exit
Destination entry
Destination dump

Parameter
Defined distance
Gradient factor
Defined EFH
Linear function of kt

Data Preparation
Average EFH bench haul distance for each pushback
Ramp haul EFH calculation > convert into Gradient Factor (EFH=Gradient Factor*Benches)
For each destination:
Rock type
Capacity
EFH surface haul
EFH dump haul calculation
> convert into Dump Haul Factor (EFH=Dump Haul Factor * ktonnes)
Exit bench
Develop truck hour calculation:
Hours = A*tonnes + B*meter.ktonnes
B may be different for ore and waste
Ultimate Pit - Tools - Define Destinations
Gradient factor
(Ramp haul)
Define destinations
For each destination:
Waste/Ore
Accepted rock types
Capacity:
EFH from pit exit to dump entry
Dump haul factor
Exit Bench

Unlimited OR
Supplied limit
(EFH = DHF x kTonnes) (May be zero)

Scheduling
Set up Haulage Analysis case(s)
Scheduling settings > Targets:
Add new target e.g. truck hours
Set Rate as definition type
Define cofficients of EFH formula
(all numerators)
A*tonnes + B*meter.kt
for ore
A*tonnes + C*meter.kt
for waste
Bounds and target values:
Truck hours by period
Scheduling settings > Pushbacks:
Define individual bench haul distances
Ensure other scheduling settings set as required
Good Practice
Validate haulage simulation parameters using hours/year in existing LOM plan as period targets
Create new truck target with very broad range, and re-schedule along with other targets
Chart truck hours schedule and identify peaks
Modify truck hours targets by period to reduce peaks

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

12

HAULAGE ANALYSIS PREPARATION


DESTINATION

COMPONENT

PARAMETERS

REFERENCE

Average reference speed (flat haul)

kph

BENCH HAUL

Average speed in pushback

kph

Pushback

RAMP HAUL

Average distance to Bench Exit Point (m)

50
20
EFH

200

500

200

500

200

500

200

500

200

500

200

500

Down pit speed

kph

Up pit speed

kph

20
7

Average in-pit speed

kph

13.5

Ramp gradient

12%

Bench height

10

Actual haul per bench

83

Gradient Factor

309

DESTINATION

SURFACE

Pit Exit Bench

WASTE DUMP

HAUL

EFH to Destination Entry Point

2000

24

DUMP

Average speed from Destination Entry to Dump Point

kph

13.5

HAUL

Distance from Destination Entry to Selected Dump Point

200

Total tonnage up to selected dump point

kt

20000

Dump Haul Factor

0.037

DESTINATION

SURFACE

Pit Exit Bench

MILL

HAUL

EFH to Destination Entry Point

24

DUMP HAUL

Dump Haul Factor

TRUCK HOURS

Average wait at load point

min

13

CALCULATION

Loading time

min

Average wait at dump point

min

Dumping time

min

Total wait time

min

21

Availability

Average truck size - ore

100

Average truck size - waste

100

1000
0.000

85%

Cycle Time=(total wait + 2*EFH/average speed)/availability


Coefficient A

h/t

0.00412

Coefficient B - Ore

m-kt

0.00047

Coefficient B - Waste

m-kt

0.00047

Key
Bold

Supplied

Italic

Derived
Entered directly into NPVS

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

13

NPV Scheduler - Haulage Analysis


Destination
dump point
Pit exit
point
Destination
entry point

Load
point

Pushback
bench exit
point

Load Point

Average EFH Bench Haul/


Pushback

Pushback Bench
Exit Point
Ramp Haul EFH Calculation:
Gradient Factor
(EFH=GF*Benches)

For each destination


Cycle time parameters:
- Wait times
- Average speeds
- Availability
- Truck size

Pit Exit Point

Surface Haul =
Defined EFH/Destination

Destination Entry
Point

Develop Truck Hour Calculation:


Hours= A*tonnes + B*meter.kTonnes

Dump Haul EFH Calculation:


Dump Haul Factor
(EFH=DHF*kTonnes)
Destination Dump
Point

Define new scheduling target:


Truck Hours - Rate
A, B for ore and waste
Target levels and bounds

Schedule generation

Scheduled Model
and Results

Calculated Truck
Hours

EFH = Effective Flat Haul Distance

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

14

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

5.

15

Schedule Results Analysis

Schedule results tables

Model view and export

Surface view and export

Mining sequence file

There are n+1 different schedules produced, and therefore n+1 sets of schedule data, where
n is the number of target variables. The report/table data contains a breakdown of the
complete pits scheduled cashflows and contents by time period (typically years), as well as
by a detailed breakdown for each pushback. The pushback results also include the elevation
being mined at the end of each time period. This gives a clear indication of the vertical
advance rate of each pushback.
If the model viewer is used, plans or section may be viewed showing the schedule time
periods. This model may also be exported into Datamine or other GMP. This model will have
different time fields for each of the different schedules produced. Such models can be used
as the basis for more detailed plots and evaluation, as well as for more detailed scheduling
(see Section 13). The model viewer can also be used to import any of the scheduled mining
surfaces. This enables a birds-eye view to be generated of the pit at the end of any time
period, colour-coded by any of the following:
-

Bench
Relative depth no. of benches below original topography
Incremental depth no. of benches below surface of previous pushback

The surface viewer will generate and display surfaces for the end of each time period. Any
of these surfaces can exported as a wireframe model into Datamine or other GMP. When
surfaces have been created, they may then be imported back into the Model Viewer, for
generation of very clear sections.
If the option for generating a mining sequence file is enabled, a file with the name of
target.bsp to be created for each target file. This file may then be subsequently exported
using:
Tools | Export Surfaces | Period Fractions
This will be create a text file, which can be imported into Datamine, and then used to
determine the fractions of each block which have been allocated to different time periods.
This can very useful for both subsequent display, plotting and evaluation purposes.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

6.

16

Additional Optimisation and Scheduling Controls

Movements of previously fixed boundaries

Pit partitions

Pushback definitions

Pushback dependencies

The Ultimate Pit generation program allows the application of local pit limits. These can be
used to see the economic viability of moving existing boundaries near to the edge of
expanding pit. Such boundaries may include roads, rivers, railway lines, lease areas or infrastructure. In any of these cases, a horizontal perimeter needs to be created which on its
inner edge describes the edge of hard boundary being tested, and the outer edge needs to
be extended up to or beyond the edge of model framework. Once such a perimeter has
either defined or imported in the Pit Limit viewer, then there are two alternative methods of
working:
1. Assign the limit as unconditional boundary. This essentially places a fixed vertical
wall that cannot be crossed during the optimisation. The ultimate pit(s) can then be
generated as normal. The total cashflow can now be seen, and compared with the
total cashflow that resulted previously with no limits. If the difference in cashflow is
more than the probable cost of moving the boundary, then such movement is
economically justified.
OR
2. The limit can be assigned a cost, such as $5,000,000, which is the estimated cost of
moving the boundary. The optimisation itself will then determine if the movement is
justified.
Method 2 has the advantage that several limits could be imposed in the same optimisation, all
with different moving costs. If there is only one limit, then both methods will produce the
same answer. However, it is important to realise that with method 2, the actual cost of
movement is NOT incorporated into the cashflow analysis, even if the boundary is moved. It
must be dealt with as an external capital cost, when processing the NPVS results outside of
the program.
Sometimes very large pushbacks will not yield sufficient scheduling detail, because of the
average grade/bench/pushback being considered. Pushbacks can be split using the Pit
Partition facility. These are defined using Tools | Pit Partitions | Define Partitions. Each
partition is defined from a starting bench footprint and then assigned slope angles and
corresponding bearings. A slope of 0 degrees will extend the partition horizontally out to the
defined outer pit/pushback surface. The partitions are generated by using Tools | Pit
Partitions | Partition Pits. The newly created surface .asc file, which respresents, for example
the partitioning of one pushback, can then be supplied to the Scheduling process to generate
a schedule based on these partitions.
A different set of pushback surfaces can be used by the scheduler, as opposed to the
(default) surfaces generated previously by the pushback program. This required .asc file
must be defined in the Scheduling Settings | Option | Imported pushbacks file.
By default, pushback progression will normally be from 1 to 2, etc,. However this sequence
may be over-ridden (for example if externally defined pushback surfaces and IDs have been
imported) by definition of specific pushback dependencies. This is under Advanced settings
in the Pushbacks control of the Scheduling Settings.
All of the supplied parameters here control how economic values are determined in each
block of the imported model. The imported model may already contain pre-calculated

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

7.

17

Stockpiling

System facilities

Controls

Output data

As the name suggests, the Stockpiling program within the NPVS+ system allows the use
build-up and depletion of stockpiles, in the generation of mining schedules. However, this
facility also enables a number of other objectives which can assist with the optimisation of
mining schedules, which do not exist in other parts of the system. Features available within
Stockpiling include:

Parameter adjustment with time

Schedule generation, achieving different capacities for various ore types

Detailed control of stockpile build-up and depletion

Introduction of other external stockpile material, in addition to the pit ore

Control of cut-off grades by period

Detailed control of feed grades and blending by period

Many of the input parameters can be varied over time periods, including the discount rate,
prices, mining and processing costs. One of the main differences with Stockpiling is the
ability to define, and then achieve, different capacities for various ore types.
Any number of stockpiles may be defined, with the specifications of ore types that can be fed
onto them. The Stockpile program will then use the ore available in the stockpiles as well as
directly from the mine feed, in order to build up the best (optimised NPV) schedule possible.
External stockpiles can also be defined, with available grades and effective unit price/tonne.
This material can then be used to augment the new mining schedule.
Cut-off grades can be controlled by period, allowing a cut-off grade strategy to be imposed
(see Section 8). In addition blends of different rock types can also be defined. A summary of
all the controlling parameters are shown in the Table overleaf.
The main input to the Stockpiling program are the models and mining sequence used in the
preceding Scheduling stage of NPVS, as shown in the following flowsheet.

February 2005

Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

18

STOCKPILING CONTROL
Parameters
Annual discount rate
Mining rate for pre-stripping
Period
Price(s)
Adjustments
Mining cost
Processing cost(s)
Discount rate
Stockpiles
Ore types
Define rock type(s)
Basics
Capacity
Rehandling cost $/tonne
Basic rate tpa
Period adjustments to maximum reclaim rate
Product recovery adjustments
Cut-offs
One or all products> cut-off
Define cut-off per product
Initial state
Rock type(s), tonnes and grade(s)
External
Maximum supply rate tpa
Inputs
Unit price $/tonne
Grade(s)
Constraints
Processing
Processing methods
by time period
Capacities
Grade Limits
Minimum grade
Maximum grade
Output Limits
Minimum metal/period
Maximum metal/period
Ore Blending
Blend labels
Define output by rocktype or processing method
Define min/max %s
Options
Select primary mining sequence (scheduling target)
Select either:
Optimize stockpiling strategy for fixed mining rates
Optimize mining rates and cutoff grades (MFO)
Grades
Select primary grade for equivalent grade calculations
By ore type:
Max cut-off grade
Number (I.e.bins for intermediate stocks)
Mining
Max. no. of mining rate evaluations/period
Max. no. of NPV evaluations/period
Max. mining rates by period

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NPV Scheduler - Stockpiling

Pushback Model

Pushback Controls:
- Number concurrent
- Relative Rate
- Bench Lag
- Start Period
- Distance

Time Definition:
- Ore/waste quantities
- Period Variations

Scheduling

Scheduled Block
Model

Constraints:
Processing methods
Grade limits
Output metal limits
Ore blending criteria

Stockpiling

Target Definitions

Parameters:
Primary mining seqeunce
Fixed or changeable mining rates
Pre-strip rate
Price/cost/discount adjustments
Grade control

Stockpiles:
Set-up for each ore-type
Capacity, rehandling costs,
Reclaim rate
Cut-off grades
Initial state, tonnes, grades

Report Data, By:


- Period
- Stockpile
- Process

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Cut-Off Grade Optimisation

Declining cut-off grade strategy

Imposed cut-off grades

MFO => optimised mining rates and cut-off grades

There can be an opportunity to further increase potential NPVs of mining schedules by


adopting a declining cut-off grade strategy. In this methodology, higher cut-off grades are
imposed in the earlier years of exploitation, than would normally be the case with purely
breakeven cut-off grade consideration. Material which is excavated with lower grades, in
earlier years, is stockpiled and then processed in later years, when the higher grade material
has been exhausted. Such a strategy is obviously highly dependent on the deposit and what
is physically possible, but can yield higher NPVs than would otherwise be the case.
As well as determining and applying a series of declining cut-off grades, the methodology also
requires corresponding detailed planning of the build-up and depletion of stockpile material.
The methodology is and has been applied successfully at various open pit mines (e.g. Lihir).
Using the NPVS+ system, different cut-off grades can be imposed at different time periods. In
conjunction with this, different stockpiles may be built up with different grade bounds. These
stockpiles may then be strategically depleted in building up the mining schedule.
The NPVS+MFO (Mine Flow Optimiser) system takes this declining cut-off strategy one step
further. In this system the optimum cut-off grades and associated mining rates are
determined by the program. This enables a higher refinement of cut-off grades and resultant
NPVs.
One of the underlying components of a declining strategy is the optimum cut-off grade at any
point in time, during the mine life. For mill-limited operations, which are normally the case for
most metal mines, the optimum cut-off grade can be expressed by the equation:
Mill Limited

h + (f + F)/H
(p k) * y

COG

=
=
=
=
=
=
=

Milling cost ($/t)


Fixed costs per annum ($pa)
Opportunity cost ($pa)
Mill capacity (tpa)
Price ($/metal unit)
Marketing cost ($/metal unit)
Mill recovery (%)

Where:
h
f
F
H
P
K
y

This cut-off grade is determined from the principal of optimising the mines present value.
The main difference between this formula and a normal breakeven cut-off grade calculation is
the opportunity cost. This opportunity cost can be thought of as the interest that could have
been earned if the mines present value had been deployed elsewhere. As the optimum cutoff grade at the present time is a function of the opportunity cost, which will normally decrease
from year to year, the optimum cut-off grade will also decline with time. However, the initial
opportunity cost will depend on the cut-off strategy adopted through the life of the mine as the
cut-offs affect both cash flows and how many years of production are possible. The
opportunity cost also offers optimisation of present values by strategic changes in cut-off with
price raising the cut-off with higher prices selling more metal at a higher price.

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Stockpiling Time Variations

The NPVS Stockpiling system also enables many parameters to be changed over time, in
addition to the all the other (optional) stockpiling facilities. The parameters that can be
changed over time include:

Economic Parameters

Prices

Mining costs

Processing Costs

Discount rate

Stockpiling Parameters

Maximum reclaim rate

Processing Parameters

Capacities (by ore type)

Feed grade limits

Output metal limits

Blending criteria

These facilities allow numerous what-if? tests and sensitivity analyses to be built up quite
easily. Coupled with the Case Study Management system, results can be correlated and
presented in the form of histograms, charts and spider diagrams.

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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Alternative Underground Mining

The NPVS system can also consider the application of underground mining. This will not
produce any underground evaluation or design, but it will assist in establishing a logical
ultimate pit depth, if an alternative underground mine is being considered for the same
orebodies.
The inclusion of alternative underground mining involves the definition of underground mining
(operational) costs, such that blocks in the supplied geological model will also have an
alternative underground value calculated for them. During subsequent pit optimisation, the
optimiser will consider only the net additional value of those blocks, which would be obtained
by mining them by open pit. This will result in a smaller pit than without the application of
underground mining costs.
Parameters that have to be set, if underground mining is being considered, include:

Economic Modelling

Alternative underground processing methods for those rock types that might
conceivably be mined from underground

For these alternative underground methods, a combined processing cost must be


assigned, which is the sum of the normal processing cost + underground
(operational) mining cost. Processing recoveries also need to be defined as per
the normal processing figures.

Ultimate Pit

Flag must be enabled indicating that underground mining is to be considered.

For those blocks which may be mined by possibly open pit or underground, the block value is
calculated as follows:
Block Value = Block value when mined by open pit Block value when mined by underground
The resultant pit is therefore likely to be smaller than the open pit considered without any
underground mining cost application. This pit represents an initial logical base, below which
blocks can be more economically mined by underground.
It is important to note that the applied underground costs should not include capital
investments, such as shaft sinking or main level development. The supplied underground
costs should predominantly be comprised of the direct stoping costs. The issue about
whether an underground mine is justified at all must be a part of a separate study. This will
obviously encompass a full economic cashflow calculation, which may need to be considered
together with the effects of the open pit.

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Risk Analysis

Several techniques can be used to consider, assess and quantify risk in open pit evaluation
and planning. Brief descriptions of the most significant are given below, with relevant
comments regarding the application of NPVS:

Most Likely Case (Base Case) The best estimate of each variable is incorporated into a
single case. This method gives only one result and affords no measure of the range or
distribution of possible outcomes of a project. The result is usually the reference point for
further analysis. In NPVS, the Case Study system can be used to clearly highlight the base
case set of operations and results. Care should be taken not to introduce over-conservatism
into the estimate of base case parameters, as this can introduce bias and seriously undervalue projects.
Best Case/Worst Case In this method, the most optimistic and most pessimistic values
are used to produce two cases. The method gives the extreme limits of the possible
outcomes of the project but does not provide any distribution of outcomes. In NPVS, best and
worst case scenarios can easily be set up to test the deposit (optimisations for maximum
cashflow), or just to test a finally selected or designed ultimate pit - for evaluation of different
ore/waste splits and cashflow values, with resultant effect on pushbacks and scheduling.

Sensitivity Analysis Calculating the effect of a range of significant project variables. The
method gives no direct measure of the range or distribution of possible outcomes of a project
but does provide the components to do so, as well as identifying those variables which affect
the project most significantly. In NPVS, different cases may be quickly built up for various
project variable levels, and the results compiled into spider-diagrams.

Simulation In simulations, a distribution of likely values of project variables is defined. The


process is repeated a number of times and for each level the project outcome can be
evaluated. This can give a measure of the range and distribution of possible outcomes. For
NPVS, there are two ways in which simulation techniques could be applied:
1. Conditional simulation for alternative geological block models, for different optimisations. .
2. Setting up several case branches to test a range of supplied simulated project variables.
These techniques are becoming more common, and can be important in identifying those
inferred resources which could most significantly affect an open pits size and economics,
thus helping to focus future exploration work.
Discount rate This is comprised of a number of different components, all of which are
associated with various types of risk. The overall discount rate used will change at different
stages of a project, getting lower as a project starts and continues into production. The
Stockpiling program within NPVS+ allows the variation of discount rate by time period.
Business Risk Period If long term plans are developed with an emphasis on the resultant
total cost per unit of product, the acceptable cost levels need to be determined with reference
to the minimum cost possible, but incorporating an assessment of risk. The basis of this risk
assessment can be associated with a period of time, for which additional development costs
are acceptable. This business risk period (BRP) relates to the time it is anticipated the
business would remain sound, and so will encompass various risk factors.
If, for example, a 7 year BRP is chosen, the mine would be prepared to make nonrecoverable investments for a period of 7 years i.e. advance stripping for a 7 year ore
exposure commitment. The accepted cost of production can be related to the BRP, resulting
in a maximum risk exposure which is confined to the BRP at all times. Each BRP limit should
be designed as if is a final pit i.e incorporating maximum slope angles. Inside of this, internal
pushbacks may be designed at flatter working slopes angles. However, the BRP limits will
also provide useful criteria for pushback design. With reference to NPVS, BRP surfaces
could be built up from identification of specific internal pit shells (phases), and once
acceptable cost levels are decided upon, schedules could be targeted on cost/unit metal.
These targets may be derived by utilising the BRP to determine the additional cost/unit
product acceptable, above the minimum cost possible.

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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Introduction to Multiple Pit Scheduling

Multi-Mine Scheduler (MMS)

Multiple block models

Multiple pushback sequences

Combines together different NPVS projects

Also integrated with Stockpiling + MFO

This is a separate software application, which allows effectively the combination of different
NPVS projects, in order to produce a optimised mine schedule incorporating the production
from several different open pits. The input for each mine will be:

NPVS project information

NPVS economic model

Pushback sequence

Haulage destination data (optional)

Topography data (optional)

MMS will generate the following output data:

An overall report with overall profits, NPV, tonnages and target variable values

NPVS type reports, models and surfaces for each mine

There can be considerable computational complexity involved in the many different possible
schedules possible. Various parameter configurations must therefore be required before an
acceptable schedule is obtained. Key parameters (in addition to those conventionally used in
NPVS scheduling) include

Targets (tabulated for each mine)

Mine Progression Factor

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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Developing NPVS Schedules Into Medium Term Schedules

Key types of data produced by NPVS, that can be used to develop medium term schedules,
include:

Reserve data split by pit/pushback/bench

Schedule data split by production data

Exported block models

Such data can be re-organised so as to provide extraction profile data sets. One example
may be described the depletion of each pushback, bench by bench, in parcels of ore and
waste representing the mined contents in their respective mined sequence. The level of
complexity used in the assembly of these extraction profiles depends on the complexity and
time-level of the scheduling required.
The NPVS mining schedules are primarily intended for long term planning. For example,
average grades per bench per pushback are considered when developing the schedule
blocks are not mined out one at a time with applied directions. However, the output data from
NPVS can be applied in conjunction with other software to allow the definition of more refined
schedules. Such schedules may also encompass different pits and other ore sources e.g.
stockpiles. One possible methodology is described below, which involves the use of both
Datamine and Excel:
1. Develop long term schedule in NPVS output data and pit block model.
2. Import block model into Datamine, re-evaluate pushbacks in detail, with applied
mining directions for each pushback. The data is output is tonnage parcels, forming
separate extraction profiles for each pushback.
3. Each extraction profile is imported in Excel.
4. A schedule worksheet is set up, which connects together all of the different extraction
profiles, plus tonnage/grade data from other sources (pits, stockpiles). This may
involve indexing or customised VBA scripts.
5. The schedule is developed, by careful definition of the depleted quantities from each
different ore source. Various derived quantities can be used to measure the
effectiveness of the schedule cashflow, strip ratio, $/oz, etc.
6. The schedule can also track the physical depletion by time, so that the original
models can be used to make plans and sections representing the schedule.
Schedules as described above are extremely useful. However, there is no real optimisation
of the overall schedules produced. The best overall solution may be to adopt a Multi-Mine
approach to determine the best overall sequence, and then refine this into a more detailed
schedule, using the steps similar to those described above.

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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Waste Dump Optimisation

The tools provided in NPVS do allow a means of optimising the size, shape and location of
waste dumps. The key aspects of this procedure are summarised below:

NPVS can be used to optimise the shape and location of waste dumps

Requires air block model, containing haulage costs

Air model then rotated, to appear a normal block model in NPVS

Optimisation produces best waste dump of certain volume

The first step in waste dump optimisation is to build up a block model representing the air
above the existing topography. Each block will need the unit cost ($/BCM) associated with
filling itself with waste. This will involve calculations which involve horizontal and vertical
distance calculations (involving block coordinates + topo), pit exit coordinates, intended route
schemes for the different dump(s) lifts, consideration of a truck being on the lift above that
being filled, truck cycle times and haulage costs from cycle times. An additional cost
component could also be added for the first lift, if required, for the extra cost of lateral
expansion.
An AreaCode field should also be set into the block model, which can simply be set to 1 for air
blocks. Other values could used to identify landmarks that could affect the waste dumps,
such as tailings dams. The block model should then be rotated, so the air in this model will
be actual solid rock, and the solid is the actual available air. When imported into NPVS, the
following field assignments should be used:
Explanation
Volume per block, which appears to NPVS as a tonnage
Code demarcating different regions, features
Cost of waste dumping
Also volume per block, but used as 'product' by NPVS

Model Field
VolTonnes
AreaCode
UnitCost
VolMass

Unit
m3
$/BCM

NPVS Assignment
Tonnage
Rock type
Mining CAF
Product - mass

Inside NPVS, the following economic settings should be used:


Mining cost
Processing cost
Processing recovery

=
=
=

$1/t (and set as Cost/Tonne)


0
1

A dummy processing method, such as MILL, needs to be set, in order to define the
processing parameters. The supplied price is the primary variable which controls the size of
the optimised waste dump(s). This can be considered in terms of the block value calculation;
Block Value

=
=
=

Revenue Processing Cost Mining Cost


Vol*Price 0 Vol*UnitCost
Vol*(Price UnitCost)

From this, it can be seen that if a price is entered which is greater than highest unit cost in the
model (e.g.~$10/t), all the blocks will be positive and a waste dump will be created for the
entire model. For a price of, say, $1/t, only a small fraction will be positive. After some
experimentation, a range of prices can be identified, each of which will yield a corresponding
waste dump volume. These can be entered through use of the price factors to get a table of
dump volumes and associated dumping costs (reported in NPVS as mining costs).
Pit limits can be used to exclude certain areas (such as the pit itself) from consideration of
waste dumps. These pit limits could have applied costs, e.g. to determine if buildings should
be moved to accommodate waste dumps. The NPVS-generated data may be exported back
into the GMP, and rotated back into the proper coordinate system and orientation.

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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27

Frequently Asked Questions

Question

Do reported ore reserves have


dilution and mining recovery
applied?

How does NPVS handle rotated


models.

Can models be re-imported into


an existing NPV project?

What is the best way of turning


certain rock types 'on' and 'off'
with respect to optimisation?
How do I validate the economic
calculations?
How do I check that the model
has covered a sufficiently large
area for optimisation
How do I produce a schedule
similar to the Four-X 'Best Case'
shell-by-shell schedule?

How can waste dumps be


optimised?

How can pushback s be


generated at different work ing
slope angles than those used for
the ultimate pit walls?

How can you evaluate and utilise


an actual final pit design?
How can you mak e a plan
showing a the complete ultimate
pit (aerial view)?
How can you mak e perimeters
showing the X-Y extent of an
ultimate pit?

Answer
In NPVS there are 2 mining factors : %dilution and %mining recovery. In lower benches in a pit, it
is quite possible that these reserves might contain predominantly ore. Now if you add, say, 20%
dilution to the ore quantities, you have to take away the same tonnage from the waste on those
benches, otherwise the total pit tonnage will change. Sometimes, this can leave you with
(mathematically) negative waste tonnages on these lower benches. To avoid the confusion of
reporting negative tonnages, it was decided that in NPVS it would be better to NOT actually apply
either of the mining factors (dilution or recovery) to the reported ore quantities, and just report them
as in-situ. However, economically and recovered metal-wise, the factors have been applied
completely.
If the input block model is rotated, NPVS will treat all blocks as being orthogonal within the local
block model system. However, when exported back into the GMP, the ultimate pit models can be
combined with the orginal rotated geological block model using the block references (e.g. IJK in
Datamine), to produce rotated optimised pit models.
Once a project has been established, with all of the rock types defined, it may often be required to
re-import an updated block model. This may be done, but ONLY if the model contains the same
rock types as those used in the project previously. For example, if originally the model contained
ROCK values of 0, 1 and 2, and then the model has been updated in some way and now contains
ROCK values 0, 1, 2 and 3, then it is strongly advised that a new NPV project is established for the
updated model.
An initial economic model should be set up in which all the possibly processable rock types are
enabled, with appropriate processing parameters. In other economic cases, certan rock types can
then be turned 'off' by setting the recoveries to zero.
Use the Check Value facility under Tools. This produces a spreadsheet showing the calculation
itself, and enables the user to enter supplied grades and tonnages, and then see the resultant
block value and quantity calculations.
After running an optimisation, view the pit results with a 3D SURFACE view. If the optimal pit
shells intersect the edges of the model or the edges of the true topographical surface, the chances
are that the model isn't big enough. In this case the model needs to be regenerated to cover a
larger area.
This is very similar to the schedule produced by the OES, the optimum extraction sequence,
during the Ultimate Pit generation. In this sequence, each phase (shell) is extracted one at a time.
An 'air' block model must be created, in which the blocks have had potential unit dumping costs
calculated. This must then be rotated 180 degrees for import to NPVS. The model's volume field
can be imported as both a 'tonnage' and a product quantity (mass). The UnitCost must be entered
as the Mining CAF. Economic controls should be entered as $1/t for mining, $0/t for processing
and 1 for recovery. Different volumes will then be produced for a range of different prices, with their
'mining cost' being the actual dumping cost.
Once an ultimate pit shell has been established, from analysis of different shells as well as
possibly import of an actual designed shell, the 'Ultimate Pit' program may be executed with the
'Use Existing Pit Shell' option enabled. In this case the supplied ultimate pit shell is not changed the optimisation simply generates internal phases. The angles at this time can be flatter than
thoser used previously for the ultimate pti optimisation. The 'include all blocks in ultimate pit' flag
should also be set. The generated 'flatter-angle' phases will then dominate subsequent pushback
generation, so the pushbacks will not be parallel with the final pit slopes.
A wireframe model of an existing pit design (from a GMP) can be imported into NPVS, and turned
into a .asc surface file. In the Ultimate Pit program, the Use Existing Pit Shell option is enabled,
and the ultimate pit .asc file is supplied. Ultimate pti generation will then simply generate internal
phases inside this design, without changing it.
Use the Model Viewer and then use Load Surface, selecting the UltPit.asc surface file, and
then enabling Create Surface Faces. The generated Surface Ultpit then needs to be Added
(i.e. enabled) using Format 3D Objects. Lastly, the clipping of the plan window needs to be
turned off, so that a complete aerial view is obtained.
Use the Model Viewer and then use Load Surface, selecting the UltPit.asc surface file, and
then enabling Create Surface Boundaries. The generated Boundary Ultpit then needs to be
Added (i.e. enabled) using Format 3D Objects. This will show a series of points for the Ultimate
Pit extent. This data also be exported, in the form of points into a GMP. Here string tools can be
used to create enclosed poylgons of the pit boundary(s).

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Strategic Open Pit Planning and Optimisation - Level 2

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Use the Model Viewer and then use Load Surface, selecting the UltPit.asc surface file, and
then enabling Create Surface Faces. The generated Surface Ultpit then needs to be Added
(i.e. enabled) using Format 3D Objects. Lastly, the clipping of the plan window needs to be
turned off, so that a complete long section is obtained.
The Surface Viewer needs to be enabled, and then the required surface needs to exported, into a
How can you mak e clear pit cross- wireframe model, e.g. Datamine | Wireframe. The Model Viewer then needs to be used, and the
sections?
newly generated surface imported. Then Format 3D Objects should be used to created an
intersection line(s) along any required plane.
By setting the Maximum Revenue Factor to greater than 100% under Ultimate Pit Settings |
How do I optimise 'beyond' the
Sequencing. The cashflows reported will still have been calculated using the base case economic
base case max. cashflow pit?
settings, but the physical (larger) size of the 'bigger' pit will have been determined by generating the
max cashflow pit with the >100% revenue factor.
By enabling Recovered Products under Economic Settings | Options, then the Ultimate Pit
How can you work out cost/unit
settings will report recovered metal units (e.g. grammes). As the Ultimate Pit report produces
metal (e.g. $/oz) for ultimate pit
Mining Cost and Processing Cost, it is simple in a spreadsheet to determine the cost/unit metal
phases (shells)?
for each pit phase. This may be done for both incremental and average costs, from the incremental
and cumulative parts of the output reports.
How do I determine the maximum
This can be determined in 2 ways - by extrapolating the sequence point number from a chart
sequence number to limit the
graph, or from the results viewed and graphed in a spreadsheet. This is why it is often useful to
ultimate pit for pushback
use 100 points in the Ultimate Pit controls, for charting the extraction sequence.
generation?
In NPVS+, the Stockpiling program allows the mining cost to be increased during the time periods
How can extra costs associated
involving major pushback development. Alternatively, once pushback design has been completed,
with pushback development, (e.g. the pushback surfaces could be imported into the GMP, and used to develop addtional mining cost
spillage) be built into mine
adjustment in those blocks just underneath the skin of each pushback. This would also have the
scheduling?
(correct) effect of increasing mining costs for narrower pushbacks, which is generally true because
of the effect on blasting efficiencies.
How can different pushback
The Ultimate Pit may be split into 2 parts,by using a particular phase surface. Each of these parts
parameters be applied to different may then have pushbacks generated separately. The Surface Editor can then be used to combine
parts of the pit?
all the pushback surfaces together, for subsequent use in scheduling.
The Surface Editor can be used to make a new surface file (e.g. push.asc) simply by editing the
How can you mak e pushback s
generated phases.asc produced from Ultimate Pit generation, so that the remaining surfaces are
direct from selected pit phases
just those shells required. This customised .asc file is then supplied as an imported pushback
(shells)?
file to the Scheduling program.
Each of the pushback surfaces (probably wireframes from a GMP) can be imported, and made into
How can you use pushback s
individual .asc surface file. These can then be appended together using the Surface Editor, in the
which have been designed
required order, to make a new .asc file, which contained each of the required pushbacks (ending up
outside of NPVS?
with the ultimate pit surface). This customised .asc file is then supplied as an imported pushback
file to the Scheduling program.
Pushbacks' widths will be controlled by the specified minimum width, as well as by the ore
How do you control the generated tonnage and depth constraints imposed. Once generated, the pushbacks may then be edited in a
pushback s' widths?
number of ways using the pushback Adjust editor, where polygons can control the next pushback
generation in a number of different ways.
If for example, there are 2 target variables, say Strip_Ratio and Head_Grade, then there will be 3
separate schedules produced - Strip_Ratio and Head_Grade and NPV. The NPV schedule is
When I have a number of target
generated first - in this schedule the program strives to maximise the NPV value, as well as to
variables, how does the program
keep within all the bounds defined in all the defined targets. If all the target bounds are met, then
combine the different target
all of the schedules produced will be the same. If some of the targets have needed relaxing, then
requirements?
different schedules will also be generated for each of the individual targets, dominated by each of
the target variables' individual requirements.
If no bench lags are defined (=0), then the optimiser is free to mine at whatever advance rate is
How can you control the vertical
required. It may well sink very fast within a particular pushback, in order to optimise the NPV. If a
advance rate of mining
bench lag is defined however, generally a lower bench lag will yield lower vertical advance rates, as
schedules?
the schedule is being more restricted vertically. Specific pushbacks may also be controlled by
defining their exact starting time period.
By defining a target ratio formula, with a 1 in the numerator column for Mining Cost and
How can you generate a schedule
Processing Cost, and a 1 in the denominator column for the recovered metal quantity. The
focussed on a target cost/unit
required target level, and bounds, are then defined in the bottom table of the Define Target
metal?
window.
How do you mak e a long section
of an ultimate pit?

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February 2005