A heuristic approach to stochastic cutoff grade optimization for open pit mining complexes with multiple processing streams
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Cutoff grade specifies the available supply of metallic ore from an open pit mine to the multiple processing streams of an open pit mining complex. An optimal cutoff grade strategy maximizes the net present value (NPV) of an open pit mining operation subject to the mining, processing, and marketing/refining capacity constraints. Even though, the quantities of material flowing from the mine to the market are influenced by the expected variation in the available metal content or inherent uncertainty in the supply of ore, the majority of cutoff grade optimization models not only disregard this aspect and may lead to unrealistic cash flows, but also they are limited in application to an open pit mining operation with single processing facility. The model proposed herein determines the optimal cutoff grade policy based on a stochastic framework that accounts for uncertainty in supply of ore to the multiple ore processing streams. An application on a large-scale open pit mining operation develops a unique cutoff grade policy along with a portfolio of mining, processing, and marketing/refining rates. Owing to the geological uncertainty, the approach addresses risk by showing a difference of 14% between the minimum and maximum production rates, cash flows and NPV.
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Asad, M.; Topal, Erkan (2011)The optimum cut-off grade policy maximizes the net present value (NPV) of an open pit mining operation subject to the mining, processing, and refining capacity constraints. The traditional approaches to cut-off grade ...
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