Strategic Mine Planning using Whittle - 5 Days


Who Should Attend

The Strategic Mine Planning and Optimization course is a comprehensive five-day course designed for mining and resource industry professionals including directors, project managers, mine planners, mining engineers, geoscientists, geologists, managers, metallurgists, financial analyst, and decision makers from exploration to operations. It is ideally suited to those from industry who wish to gain a more in depth and hands-on knowledge of modern strategic mine planning and optimization software tools and theory.


Course Description


Software: GEOVIA Whittle & Excel Solver

Strategic mine planning optimization process is the backbone of mining operations. In mining projects, deviations from optimal mine plans will result in significant financial losses, future financial liabilities, delayed reclamation, and resource sterilization. The life-of-mine production schedule determines the order of extraction of materials and their destination over the mine-life. In this course, principles and fundamental concepts involved in strategic mine planning and optimization are presented. Subjects covered are block value calculations; mining revenues and costs; open pit limit optimization using manual method, floating cone, and 2D & 3D Lerchs and Grossmann algorithms; Pseudo Flow algorithm, life-of-mine production planning; mine-life estimation; cut-off grade optimization and Lane’s theory; simultaneous optimization; multi-mine multi-process production scheduling, and an approach to managing grade uncertainty. Mathematical optimization models and case studies for long-term open pit mine planning will be presented. Blending problem formulations are setup and solved in Excel Solver. The course complements theory with comprehensive instructions and hands-on experience completing a project using GEOVIA Whittle strategic mine planning software a trusted name in mine planning. Comparative analysis of different production scenarios, stockpiling, cutoff optimization, SIMO, multi-mine and their impacts on the bottom line of the mining business is illustrated.

Outcomes of the course include:

• Understand concepts of strategic mine planning
• How optimization improves economic performance
• Complete a strategic mine planning study in Whittle
• What costs should be included in pit optimization
• Principles of Lerchs & Grossman 3D algorithm
• Principles of Pseudo Flow algorithm
• Pit limits optimization with practical push-backs
• Generate optimal shells, reports and schedules
• Push-back design with a minimum mining width
• Production scheduling – using contractors
• Advanced mining direction control – Oil Sands, Coal
• Buffer Stockpiles and Extractive Blending
• Understand cut-off optimization & Lane’s Theory
• Advanced simultaneous optimization (SIMO)
• Calculate sensitivities to develop risk reduction strategy
• New feature of CAPEX optimization
• Multi-mine multi-process scheduling
• Managing the risk associated with grade uncertainty
• Understand the potential value of the deposit.
• Target areas for future drilling
• Quantify the Impact of grade uncertainty on scheduling
• Case studies – Iron Ore; Gold-Copper, and Oil Sands


Day 1

Module 1: Pit Limits Optimization

 • Introduction to Strategic Mine Planning & Optimization
• Pit Limits- Floating Cone, 2D & 3D Lerchs & Grossman
• Pseudo Flow algorithm • Block Value Calculations
• What Costs to Include in Pit Optimization?
• Project data exploration and field campaign – Iron Ore
• Project cost calculation
    o Waste and ore mining costs
    o Ore processing costs and recoveries
    o General and administrative costs
• Whittle Lab01 - Open Pit Limit Optimization
    o Grade-tonnage curve and Reblocking node
    o Slope set node and Pit Shells node
    o Choose 3D LG or Pseudo Flow algorithm
    o Operational scenario node and Revenue factors
    o Ore selection discussion and Pit by pit graph
    o Compressed revenue factors
    o Schedule graph and bench schedules
    o Block size and SMU
    o Skin analysis

Day 2

Module 2: Life-of-Mine Production Scheduling

• Production Scheduling Concepts
• Whittle Lab02 - Long-Term Production Scheduling
    o Schedule graph and bench schedules
    o Mine-life estimation and Sharing time related costs
    o Push back chooser
    o Milawa NPV and Milawa Balanced algorithms
    o Push-backs with minimum mining width
    o Benchmark schedules and optimized schedules
    o Implementing and evaluating mining direction
    o Sensitivity analysis using spider graph
• Whittle Lab03 - Practical Push Backs – NPV
    o Mining with contractors
    o Fixed and variable lead and lag
    o Interim push-back design
    o The impact of Geo-metallurgy/ore hardness
    o Truck hours constraint
• Whittle Exercise 1 – Gold-Copper Deposit – Pit Optimization

Day 3

Module 3: Direction Control and Blending

• Whittle Lab04 – Control Mining Direction and Pre-stripping
    o Mining Direction Control
    o Oils Sands deposit exercise
    o Pre-stripping
• Whittle Lab05 – Buffer Stockpiles
    o Multi-element stockpiles, low, medium, and high grade
    o Rehandling cost calculations
    o Stockpile cut-offs
• Whittle Lab06 – Extractive and Bulk Blending
    o Blending stockpiles
    o Blending bins (manual and automatic)
    o Blending to control head-grade
    o Concept of blend bins
    o Control the head-grade by blending constraints
    o Using CPLEX engine
• Whittle Exercise 2 – Gold- Copper Deposit – Scheduling
• Whittle Exercise 3 – Blending & Stockpiling

Day 4

Module 4: Cut-off Grade Optimization & Stockpiling

• Cut-off Optimization - Lane’s Theory
    o Cut-off Optimization – Maximizing Profit
    o Cut-off Optimization – Maximizing NPV
• Whittle Lab07 - Cutoff Grade Optimization Step by Step

Module 5: Simultaneous Optimization (SIMO)

• Introduction to simultaneous optimization
• Integrating scheduling, blending, stockpiling, and cutoff
• Advanced optimization control
    o Optimization tab
    o Blend bins tab
    o Manual versus automatic bins
    o Stockpiles tab
    o Comparative analysis of value generated by SIMO
• Whittle Lab08 – Simultaneous Optimization
    o CAPEX Optimization process
    o Purchase additional mining and processing capacity
    o Use period validation to control additional limits
    o Simultaneous Reporting – report CAPEX limits and costs

Day 5

Module 6: Managing Risk and Grade Uncertainty

• Use command line for process automation and simulation
    o Reduce design cycle time through integrating workflow
• Establishing a final pit-shell under grade uncertainty
• Equi-probable realizations of grade within the orebody
• Optimal pit for Krig, E-type, and P90 & P10 realizations
• Impact of grade uncertainty on the final pit limit
• Quantifying the Impact of grade uncertainty on scheduling
• Whittle Lab09 – Final pit with grade uncertainty.

Module 7: Multi-Mine Multi-Process Optimization

• Introduction multi-mine multi-process optimization
• Whittle Lab10 – Iron Ore Multi-Mine Project
    o Merging multiple block models in one project
    o Mining limits applied to multiple mines
    o Mining limits on individual mines
    o Multi-process dry and wet separation
    o Multiple/alternative processing streams
    o Multiple/alternative products
    o A complex mine logistics example
    o Lessons learnt from optimizing multi-mine