Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
The selection of optimal site(s) for waste dumps is a significant problem of surface mines. A number of financial, environmental and safety requirements must be simultaneously considered to avoid potential losses. In this paper, the site selection problem is solved by the so-called tabu search, which is a local or neighborhood search procedure moving iteratively from one possible solution to another until a predefined stopping criterion is met. The application of the method requires a preliminary qualitative analysis for the selection of possible locations given environmental considerations and safety requirements. The method then focuses on minimization of dump and roadways construction and transportation costs such that dump capacities and blending requirements will not be exceeded. Some model data such as sulphur and nitrogen contents of each waste material are treated as random data, and chance constrained programming, a stochastic programming approach, is used to deal with the random characteristics of these data. The method proposed is demonstrated for six neighbouring mines varying extraction rates of wastes and five possible dumps varying with construction costs. The results show that tabu search is a very effective method in selecting optimal sites of mine waste dumps.
Keywords : mine wastes; site selection; chance constrained programming; tabu search.