Robust, flexible and operational mine design strategies
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Strategic planning in mining is an important value accretive process. One of the most essentialaspects during the planning phase is determining the correct system design. A traditional minedesign process develops a fixed system for one set of conditions or expected values. Analternative is to develop a robust system that deals with variation, by handling a range ofconditions within the optimisation process. Conversely, a flexible design can be generated whichchanges the system dynamically over time in response to change. It is hypothesised that a flexibledesign generates more value than a robust design which in turn generates more value than atraditional design. However, due to constant change, a fully flexible design is not practical.Ideally, a hybrid of the two methods would be optimal. An operational design is proposed as amanual solution to this problem. This paper compares these different new design methodologies.
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