Aspects in Mining & Mineral Science

Production Scheduling in Block Caving with Consideration of Material Flow

  • Open or Close Firouz Khodayari and Yashar Pourrahimian*

    School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, Canada

    *Corresponding author: Yashar Pourrahimian, Assistant Professor, School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, University of Alberta, 6-243 Donadeo Innovation Centre for Engineering, 9211 116th St, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Tel: 780-492 5144; Email: yashar.pourrahimian@ualberta.ca

Submission: October 09, 2017; Published: December 08, 2017

Volume1 Issue1
December 2017


Block-cave mining has become more popular in the last few years and the trend is expected to continue. The operating costs in this mining method could be as low as foropen-pit mining; however, production scheduling for such an operation is complicated, mainly because of the production uncertainties resulted from the material flow. The material flow uncertainties should be considered in the production schedule to be able to achieve a realistic mine plan. This research uses stochastic optimization for production scheduling in block-cave mining; the proposed model maximizes the net present value of the mining project while minimizing the production-grade deviations from a target grade. Some scenarios are considered to capture the material flow uncertainties. Testing the model for a real case block-cave mining operation shows that the proposed model can take the material flow uncertainties into the production schedule to achieve more reliable plans; the optimum production schedule is accomplished based on different scenarios which can happen in the real operations. The model also calculates the optimum height of draw as part of the optimization.

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