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Open AccessArticle

Stochastic Open-Pit Mine Production Scheduling: A Case Study of an Iron Deposit

1
Department of Metallurgical and Mining Engineering, Universidad Católica del Norte, Antofagasta 1270709, Chile
2
Advanced Mining Technology Center, University of Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
3
Department of Mining Engineering, University of Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
4
Delphos Mine Planning Laboratory, Department of Mining Engineering, Universidad de Chile, Santiago 8370448, Chile
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Minerals 2020, 10(7), 585; https://doi.org/10.3390/min10070585
Received: 4 May 2020 / Revised: 23 June 2020 / Accepted: 26 June 2020 / Published: 29 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geological Modelling, Volume II)
Production planning decisions in the mining industry are affected by geological, geometallurgical, economic and operational information. However, the traditional approach to address this problem often relies on simplified models that ignore the variability and uncertainty of these parameters. In this paper, two main sources of uncertainty are combined to obtain multiple simulated block models in an iron ore deposit that include the rock type and seven quantitative variables (grades of Fe, SiO2, S, P and K, magnetic ratio and specific gravity). To assess the effect of integrating these two sources of uncertainty in mine planning decision, stochastic and deterministic production scheduling models are applied based on the simulated block models. The results show the capacity of the stochastic mine planning model to identify and minimize risks, obtaining valuable information in ore content or quality at early stages of the project, and improving decision-making with respect to the deterministic production scheduling. Numerically speaking, the stochastic mine planning model improves 6% expected cumulative discounted cash flow and generates 16% more iron ore than deterministic model.
Keywords: geological uncertainty; multivariate modeling; geostatistical simulation; stochastic mine planning geological uncertainty; multivariate modeling; geostatistical simulation; stochastic mine planning
MDPI and ACS Style

Maleki, M.; Jélvez, E.; Emery, X.; Morales, N. Stochastic Open-Pit Mine Production Scheduling: A Case Study of an Iron Deposit. Minerals 2020, 10, 585.

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