Stochastic mine design
Purpose and goal
Geological uncertainty has a significant impact on the real value of mining projects. A new approach is proposed for designing open pit mines based on geological uncertainty that combines stochastically simulated geological models and traditional optimisation with routinely used implementations. The approach is based on developing designs that capture maximum upside potential whilst minimising downside risk. This pre-study aims in developing, verifying and validating development and commercial potential for using this new method for future full-scale innovation projects.
Structure and implementation
Generate 10–15 simulated orebody models using sGems software. Import the simulated orebody models in COSMO Suite software and undertake stochastic mine design using the objective function to optimize the geological deposit. WP 1: Simulated block models generation. WP 2: Simultaneous stochastic optimisation. WP 3: Stochastic mine design and results comparisons.
In open pit mining applications, tests have shown that stochastic approaches produce a 10% to 25% of additional value for mining operations compared to traditional scheduling methods. The value generated using stochastic solutions is always greater than, or equal to, the value that can be obtained using a deterministic approach. The fact that a stochastic integer formulation solution of the mine production schedule problem generates a higher value reflects the importance of incorporating geological uncertainty into the scheduler problem formulation.