This talk will review the classical models of open pit mine planning, it will discuss some features of the underlying mathematical model and explain why moving away from the classical formulation becomes an obstacle in real world applications. We will then explain a practical approximation to solve a real-world problem consisting on finding a mine plan considering several blending constraints. For this purpose, a model was developed which splits the overarching problem into two components: a mine extraction problem and a blending problem, all this with the use of intermediate stockpiles.
We will then discuss the model that was formulated to tackle this problem, how it was used and some results that were obtained with it. Finally, the talk will also spend some time discussing some of the practical lessons learned in developing a solution for the problem in a real-life context.
The results show that a practical solution can be achieved in reasonable time and it provides insight for strategic decision making. Some challenges remain; however, it is believed the proposed approach is a good first step in tackling the complexity associated with the problem.
Department of Mining Engineering, Faculty of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, University of Chile
Dr. Munizaga-Rosas is a Mathematical Engineer and M.Sc. in Operations Management from University of Chile, Santiago, Chile. He also holds a Ph.D. in Natural Resources Engineering from Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. His research interests are deeply rooted in the application of operations research to natural resources problems with his focus mainly being in non-renewables with some brief excursions into the renewables space. Dr. Munizaga-Rosas experience spans several industries having worked in areas such as logistics, mining, oil and gas, rubber supply chain, health and insurance applications and lately data science. Currently he works as an independent consultant working in Chile, Thailand, Singapore and Australia. He currently holds a position as an Adjunct Professor in the Mining Engineering Department of University of Chile, where he is the Academic Director of the Graduate Diploma in Mineral Economics. He also teaches at the M.Sc. in Mineral Economics at Curtin University, Perth, Western Australia.