Mine Plan Optimisation (Hardback) book cover

Mine Plan Optimisation

By Martin L. Smith

© 2017 – CRC Press

350 pages

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Hardback: 9780415665780
pub: 2017-03-01

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About the Book

This textbook provides a range of tools for optimization in the mineral industry, including examples with mathematical programming. Topics covered include a survey of the application of optimisation technologies; a review of optimisation algorithms with math programming, math modelling and an introduction to AMPL (a widely used math modelling language), applications of linear programming to business improvement studies, surface mining applications, underground mining applications and options analysis. The math programming and AMPL is supported by the www.ampl.coma and by the author’s site, www.minesmith.com.au.

This volume is intended for course use and was developed for 3rd and 4th year university education in mine planning and design or mine optimisation. Engineers, planners and policy makers in the minerals industry may find it beneficial for their professional activities as well.

Table of Contents

Preface; Origin of book; Objectives of author; Outline of text; Use as an undergraduate and introductory graduate level textbook; Guidance for professional development; Acknowledgements


Overview of mine planning and design

Levels of responsibility and decision making

Role of optimisation in mine planning

Mine planning process flow

Influence of General Mine Planning packages

Optimisation as practiced in the general industry

Optimisation as a foundation for planning and design

Overview of Optimisation Technology

Why Mathematical Programming?

Linear Programming

Integer Programming and Combinatorial Optimization

Solution Algorithms for Linear and Mixed Integer Programming

Proof of optimality

Review of alternative optimisation methods

Contrast and comparison of technologies in their use and application

Survey of the application of optimisation in the minerals industry

History of development of optimisation in mine planning and design

Lerchs-Grossman and pit optimisation

Linear and Mixed Integer Programming as applied to pit scheduling with extensions to Lagrange Parameterization

Whittle and the development of nested pit methodologies

Survey of research development

Survey of commercial applications of optimisation to mine planning

Gaps analysis and future trends

Introduction to mine modeling and optimisation using AMPL

Structure of a mathematical model

Introduction to AMPL

Formulating a Linear Program

Network applications

Integer and network programming


AMPL/Solver interaction

Additional learning resources for math modeling

Pit Optimisation and Pushback generation

Formulation and solution as a Graph

Solution using LG

Formulation of the ultimate pit problem as an LP

Solution as a LP and unimodularity

Generating nested pits

Selecting pushbacks

Review of commercial applications

Open Cut Production Scheduling

Scheduling using math programming

Scheduling heuristics as applied to benches within mining stages

Heuristic approaches to finding a “good” schedule

Formulation as a MIP

MIP solution strategies and schedule granularity

MIP extensions to more complex problems

Sequencing and scheduling of blast masters

Blending, throughput and feed limitations

Fixed costs and capital expansion problems

Stockpile optimisation and the cutoff problem

Underground Mine Planning

The process of underground mine planning

Using simulated annealing to define a mining inventory

Steiner Trees and access optimisation

Formulation of the underground scheduling problem as a LP

The underground cutoff problem and overall strategy optimisation

Converting a mining inventory into a reserve

Production versus activity scheduling and project management

Other Applications and Considerations

Strategic, tactical and operational mine planning

Hills of Value and option analysis using LP/MIP

Business-wide planning

Optimising multiple business units

Equipment fleet and haulage optimisation

Extensions to coal mining


Towards a discipline of mine planning

Gaps in the technology

Gaps in the profession

Where to from here?


• Additional website resources

• Further readings in optimisation technology

• A guide to applying AMPL to the minerals industry

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection