Minin Conference 2016

Event: Minin 2016

Date: 21-23 August 2016

Location: Santiago, Chile

Paper: Impact of Grade Engineering when applied to Long Term Mine Planning



Impact of Grade Engineering when applied to Long Term Mine Planning


Grade Engineering




Carlos Daniel Espejel1, Orlando Leiva2




1. Mine Planning Engineering/ Julius Kruttschnitt Mineral Research Centre (JKMRC), The University of Queensland, Cooperative Research Centre for Optimisation of Resource Extraction (CRCORE), Australia.
2. Mine Planning Engineering /COMET Strategy, Australia.



Abstract text:

The global Mining Industry is currently going through a period of re-structuring and innovation. This is in response to challenges in unpredictable metal price volatility, the exhaustion of shallow and higher grade deposits, increasing fuel and energy costs, decreasing water availability, and stronger compliance to social and environmental factors. Grade Engineering (GE) is a system-based solution that addresses these above challenges while increasing unit-metal productivity and the overall economics of a mining project.

Grade Engineering is a concept encompassing a range of pre-concentration technologies and operating methods to improve head grades and concentrator throughput through the early rejection of low-value material prior to energy and cost-intensive processing activities. If GE is incorporated in the optimization of the entire mining system, the overall financials of a project can be significantly improved.
This paper provides an insight to work performed in the integration of GE techniques (Preferential grade by size deportment, and Differential Blasting) in Long Term Mine Planning Optimization (LTMPO) for Open Pit metalliferous mining.
This work describes a methodology, algorithms and models allowing the application of Grade Engineering (Preferential grade by size deportment, and Differential Blasting) to be evaluated within the fundamental steps of Open Pit LTMPO to maximize the net present value (NPV) of an operation. The fundamental optimization steps modified to incorporate GE included: Economic block modelling, ‘Final Pit’ optimization, and Production Schedule Optimization.

The results achieved from the integration of GE into Long Term Mine Planning Optimization show potential improvements to the NPV of a project between 3% to 15%.



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