Long-term open-pit mine planning is a critical stage of a mining project that seeks to establish the best strategy for extracting mineral resources, based on the assumption of several economic, geological and operational parameters. Conventionally, during this process it is common to use deterministic resource models to estimate in situ ore grades and to assume average values for geometallurgical variables. These assumptions cause risks that may negatively impact on the planned production and finally on the project value. This paper addresses the long-term planning of an open-pit mine considering (i) the incorporation of geometallurgical models given by equiprobable scenarios that allow for the assessing of the spatial variability and the uncertainty of the mineral deposit, and (ii) the use of stochastic integer programming model for risk analysis in direct block scheduling, considering the scenarios simultaneously. The methodology comprises two stages: pit optimization to generate initial ultimate pit limit per scenario and then to define a single ultimate pit based on reliability, and stochastic life-of-mine production scheduling to define block extraction sequences within the reliability ultimate pit to maximize the expected discounted value and minimize the total cost of production objective deviations. To evaluate the effect of the geometallurgical information, both stages consider different optimization strategies that depend on the economic model to be used and the type of processing constraints established in the scheduling. The results show that geometallurgical data with their associated uncertainties can change the decisions regarding pit limits and production schedule and, consequently, to impact the financial outcomes.
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