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Minerals 2017, 7(7), 116; doi:10.3390/min7070116

Operational Decision Support for Material Management in Continuous Mining Systems: From Simulation Concept to Practical Full-Scale Implementations

1
Resource Engineering Section, Department of Geoscience and Engineering, Delft University of Technology, 2628 CD Delft, The Netherlands
2
Institute for Mine Surveying and Geodesy, Freiberg University of Technology, 09599 Freiberg, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 30 May 2017 / Revised: 29 June 2017 / Accepted: 1 July 2017 / Published: 6 July 2017

Abstract

Material management in opencast mines is concerned with planning, organizing, and control of the flow of materials from their extraction points to destinations. It can be strongly affected by operational decisions that have to be made during the production process. To date, little research has focused on the application of simulation modeling as a powerful supportive tool for decision making in such systems. Practical experiences from implementing a simulation model of a mine for the operational support on an industrial scale are not known to the authors. This paper presents the extension of a developed stochastic simulation model by the authors from a conceptual stage (TRL4) to a new Technology Readiness Level (TRL 6) by implementing it in an industrially relevant environment. A framework for modeling, simulation, and validation of the simulation model applied to two large opencast lignite mines is presented in detail. Operational implementation issues, experiences, and challenges in practical applications are discussed. Furthermore, the strength of applying the simulation modeling as an operational decision support for material management in coal mining is demonstrated. Results of the case studies are used to describe the details of the framework, and to illustrate the strength and limitations of its application. View Full-Text
Keywords: simulation modeling; coal mining; material management; opencast mine; operational decision support simulation modeling; coal mining; material management; opencast mine; operational decision support
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Shishvan, M.S.; Benndorf, J. Operational Decision Support for Material Management in Continuous Mining Systems: From Simulation Concept to Practical Full-Scale Implementations. Minerals 2017, 7, 116.

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