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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717

Abstract

ABDOLLAHISHARIF, J.; BAKHTAVAR, E.  and  ANEMANGELY, M.. Optimal cut-off grade determination based on variable capacities in open-pit mining. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2012, vol.112, n.12, pp. 1065-1069. ISSN 2411-9717.

SYNOPSIS Optimal cut-off grade is one of the most critical parameters in open-pit mine design because it defines the ore and waste and thus determines the maximum net present value possible from the mining operation. Although the algorithm presented by Lane (Choosing the optimum cut-off grade. Colorado School of Mines Quarterly, vol. 59, no. 4, 1964. pp. 811-829) is the most common one in the literature, it does assume constant capacities of the mine, processing, and refinery. In this paper, Lane's original algorithm has been modified to consider variable processing capacities in order to determine the optimal cut-off grade in open-pit mines. The new algorithm proposed here is compared to both Lane's original algorithm and to a previous modification that incorporated rehabilitation costs into the cut-off grade estimation. The algorithm proposed here that permits variable processing capacities is shown to be superior for the determination of optimal cut-off grade to both these previous versions. In addition, a computer-based program was developed in Microsoft Office Excel© to calculate the optimal cut-off grade as proposed here.

Keywords : optimization; cut-off grade; variable capacity-based; NPV; open-pit mining..

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