OPTIMISATION OF MINE PLANNING:- MASSIVE MINING / BLOCK CAVING;

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OPTIMISATION OF MINE PLANNING:- MASSIVE MINING / BLOCK CAVING

An Application of Linear Programming for Block Cave Draw Control A.R.GUEST1, G.J.VAN HOUT1, A.VON JOHANNIDES1 and L.F. SCHEEPERS2

1 De Beers Corporate Headquarters, Johannesburg, South-Africa 2 Large Scale Linear Programming Solutions, Johannesburg, South-Africa

ABSTRACT: In the past various systems have been used to plan the extraction of ore from block cave operations. These systems have varied from rather sophisticated models with empirical “gravity flow” rules applied to the very rudimentary models where only the recorded mined tonnage’s have been accounted for against the available resource. The normal requirement of these models has been to only plan the movement of ground through the drawpoints. Little cognisance has been taken of the other parameters that affect the total mining operations. The intended purpose of the linear program planning system is to not only include the management, resource availability and geotechnical constraints, but to also include the mining rules. The paper will discuss the various constraints that have been considered, and attempt to illustrate where the system better serves the production system than previous ones. A brief technical discussion on the linear programming system is included.

The approach offered by Linear, Mixed Integer, and Recursive Linear Programming techniques, is one of optimum solutions with associated techno-economic sensitivities, subject to the constraints applied. As such, this approach is considered to be the only method to exploit optimally all the resources at the disposal of a company, consequently, to empower that company to remain at the competitive edge of the industry in which it is involved.

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