Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
LABUSCHAGNE, J et al. A phased development schedule for a platinum concentrator utilizing a dynamic stockpile model. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2013, vol.113, n.3, pp. 00-00. ISSN 2411-9717.
There are a number of factors that contribute to the profitability of a mine and its associated concentrator. Chief among these is the time taken from the first hoist of material from underground to the first batch of concentrate shipped. The main aim of this project was to integrate the mining model with a concentrator production schedule to minimize the time it would take to produce concentrate (without the concentrator having to stop because of a lack of feed material) in the most capital-effective manner. A secondary goal was to ensure detailed stockpiling requirements, as the concentrator is in an area where 'visual pollution' is to be avoided. To achieve these two goals a dynamic stockpile model was created by utilizing the mine production schedule and breaking it down to a daily production figure. Four different concentrator development models were then proposed. The difference between the mine production and concentrator consumption was integrated over the life of the mine to provide the accumulated stockpile tonnages for both Merensky and UG2 ore. To prevent a situation where the concentrator was operational without any feed, the stockpile levels were never allowed to fall below zero. When a development option was selected, the standard metallurgical performance calculations were used to derive a concentrate production schedule, which was used as a basis for commercial negotiations for the sale of concentrate.
Keywords : production scheduling; project development; concentrator; stockpile; dynamic model.