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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

Print version ISSN 0038-223X

Abstract

GHOLAMNEJAD, J.  and  MOOSAVI, E.. A new mathematical programming model for long-term production scheduling considering geological uncertainty. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.2, pp. 77-81. ISSN 0038-223X.

Determination of the optimum production schedules over the life of a mine is a critical mechanism in open pit mine planning procedures. Long-term production scheduling is used to maximize the net present value of the project under technical, financial, and environmental constraints. Mathematical programming models are well suited for optimizing long-term production schedules of open pit mines. There are two approaches to solving long-term production problems: deterministic- and uncertainty- based approaches. Deterministic-based models are unable to deal with grade and geological uncertainties, which are two important sources of risk in mining industries. This may lead to discrepancies between actual production obtained by these algorithms and planning expectations. In this paper, a new binary integer programming model was developed for long-term production scheduling that incorporates geological uncertainty within the orebody. Then, traditional and uncertainty-based models are applied to an iron ore deposit. Results showed that the uncertainty-based approach yields more practical schedules than traditional approaches in terms of production targets.

Keywords : open pit mine; long-term production scheduling; integer programming; geological uncertainty.

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