Strategic mine planning model using network flow model and real case application
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Strategic mine planning is one of the key factors in the successful survival of large scale mining companies in the long term, and deals with billions of dollars in magnitude. It provides answers in regards to how much capital should be invested, in what resources and when, and finally what type of production strategies should be followed in terms of capacity and product specifications. Existing tools fail to provide optimum solutions to these problems, mainly due to their large scale nature and inherent technical complexities. This article presents a network linear programming (LP) model to efficiently optimise strategic planning and production scheduling by maximising net present value (NPV). The model is applied to optimise the strategic schedule over a 50-year life span for a large mining district in Western Australia which contains many mines with more than 100 pits and 13 plants.
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