Title: Heuristic stope layout optimisation accounting for variable stope dimensions and dilution management

Authors: Martha E. Villalba Matamoros; Mustafa Kumral

Addresses: Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, 3450 University Street, H3A 0E8, Montreal, Quebec, Canada ' Department of Mining and Materials Engineering, McGill University, 3450 University Street, H3A 0E8, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Abstract: Underground mining operations are managed in an environment that is surrounded by a series of complex geotechnical, operational and economic restrictions; and operation costs increase mainly because underground mining goes deeper. As a response to this increase, mine planning has potential to improve operation performance, profitability and productivity. Stope layout is a decision-making problem based on determining stopes to be produced under economic, geotechnical and operational constraints. In this paper, a further step is taken and optimisation approach considers minimisation of inherent internal dilution in addition to conventional profit maximisation. This proposed approach can also deal with multiple sectors and variable stope dimensions. The application in gold deposit showed that a profitable stope layout with minimum internal dilution could be generated while respecting geotechnical and operational requirements. In addition, the formulation presented herein can be extended to evaluate multi-metal cases, the mine production scheduling and incorporate ore body uncertainty into optimisation.

Keywords: stope layout; heuristic optimisation; internal dilution; underground mining; mine planning; grade spatial variability; variable stope dimensions; dilution management; gold deposits; operational requirements; geotechnical requirements; production scheduling; ore body uncertainty.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMME.2017.082680

International Journal of Mining and Mineral Engineering, 2017 Vol.8 No.1, pp.1 - 18

Available online: 05 Mar 2017 *

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