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Long-Term Mine Planning in Presence of Grade Uncertainty Open Access


Other title
Conditional Simulation
Grade Uncertainty
Open pit
Long-Term Mine Planning
Cost of Uncertainty
Production Schedule
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Koushavand, Behrang
Supervisor and department
Deutsch,Clayton V. (School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering)
Askari-Nasab,Hooman (School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering)
Examining committee member and department
Askari-Nasab,Hooman (School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering)
Dagdelen, Kadri(Mining Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, USA)
Deutsch,Clayton V. (School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering)
Doucette,John (Engineering Management, Mechanical Engineering)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mining Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Open-pit mining is widely used to extract natural resources. Low cut-off grades and large operations can make open-pit mining profitable. An important challenge is to determine the optimum production schedule. Usually the goal is to maximize the net present value of the project while delivering ore to the plant at full capacity. The best production plan would require complete knowledge of the orebody and all other engineering and economic parameters. An estimated block model is often used to determine the production schedule. Uncertainty is inevitable with widely spaced drill holes. The open-pit production schedule based on estimated models may be suboptimal and affected dramatically by grade uncertainty. The research documented herein develops, implements and verifies four mixed integer optimization frameworks for long-term production scheduling in the presence of grade uncertainty. The main contributions of this research are (1) consideration of cost of grade uncertainty to influence the production plan, (2) accounting for the linear and nonlinear effects of the grade uncertainty on the long-term mine planning, (3) development of a mixed integer linear programming model that maximizes NPV and minimizes the cost of the grade uncertainty by considering a stockpile, and finally (4) implementation of a quadratic optimization model accounts for grade uncertainty in the long-term production plan.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
Citation for previous publication
Koushavand, B., Askari-Nasab, H. 2009. Transfer Geological Uncertainty through Mine Planning. In MPES (MPES - International Symposium of Mine Planning/Equipment Selection).

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