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Oil sands mine planning and waste management using goal programming Open Access


Other title
production scheduling optimization
oil sands mining
dyke construction
mixed integer linear goal programming
waste disposal planning
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Ben-Awuah, Eugene
Supervisor and department
Dr Hooman Askari-Nasab, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Examining committee member and department
Dr. Clayton Deutsch, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Dave Sego, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Jozef Szymanski, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Erkan Topal, Western Australian School of Mines
Dr. John Doucette, Mechanical Engineering
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Mining Engineering
Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
Strategic mine planning and waste management are important aspects of surface mining operations. Due to the limitations in lease area for oil sands mining, the pit phase advancement is carried out simultaneously with the construction of in-pit and ex-pit tailings impoundment dykes. Most of the materials used in constructing these dykes come from the oil sands mining operation including overburden, interburden and tailings coarse sand. The primary research objectives are to develop, implement and verify a theoretical optimization framework based on Mixed Integer Linear Goal Programming (MILGP) model to: 1) determine the time and order of extraction of ore, dyke material and waste that maximizes the net present value of the operation – a strategic schedule; 2) determine the destination of the dyke material that minimizes construction cost – a dyke material schedule. Matlab programming platform was chosen for the MILGP model framework implementation. A large scale optimization solver, Tomlab/CPLEX, is used for this research. To verify the research models, four oil sands case studies were carried out. The first three case studies highlight the techniques and strategies used in the MILGP model to integrate waste disposal planning with production scheduling in oil sands mining. The fourth case study, which involves the scheduling of 16,985 blocks, was compared with industry standard software, Whittle. No waste disposal planning was considered since Whittle does not provide such tools. The MILGP model generated an optimal production schedule with a 13% higher NPV than Whittle Milawa NPV and a 15% higher NPV than Whittle Milawa Balanced case. In comparison, while Whittle deferred ore mining to latter years, the MILGP model scheduled for more ore in the early years contributing to the increased NPV. The experiments also compared the annual stripping ratio, average grade and annual production. These results proved that the MILGP model framework provides a powerful tool for optimizing oil sands long term production schedules whilst giving us a robust platform for integrating waste disposal planning.
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
• Ben-Awuah, E. and Askari-Nasab, H. (2012). Incorporating waste management into oil sands long term production planning. Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A, Accepted November 19, 2012• Ben-Awuah, E., Askari-Nasab, H., and Awuah-Offei, K. (2012). Production scheduling and waste disposal planning for oil sands mining using goal programming. Journal of Environmental Informatics, 20 (1), 20-33• Ben-Awuah, E. and Askari-Nasab, H. (2011). Oil sands mine planning and waste management using mixed integer goal programming. International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment, 25 (3), 226-247

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