Journal of Heuristics

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 301–329 | Cite as

Comparative analysis of three metaheuristics for short-term open pit block sequencing

  • Amin Mousavi
  • Erhan KozanEmail author
  • Shi Qiang Liu


This paper presents the application of simulated annealing (SA), Tabu search (TS) and hybrid TS–SA to solve a real-world mining optimisation problem called open pit block sequencing (OPBS). The OPBS seeks the optimum extraction sequences under a variety of geological and technical constraints over short-term horizons. As industry-scale OPBS instances are intractable for standard mixed integer programming (MIP) solvers, SA, TS and hybrid TS–SA are developed to solve the OPBS problem. MIP exact solution is also combined with the proposed metaheuristics to polish solutions in feasible neighbourhood moves. Extensive sensitivity analysis is conducted to analyse the characteristics and determine the optimum sets of values of the proposed metaheuristics algorithms’ parameters. Computational experiments show that the proposed algorithms are satisfactory for solving the OPBS problem. Additionally, this comparative study shows that the hybrid TS–SA is superior to SA or TS in solving the OPBS problem in several aspects.


Open pit mining Short-term block sequencing Mixed integer programming Simulated annealing Tabu search Hybrid metaheuristic 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support of CRC ORE, established and supported by the Australian Government’s Cooperative Research Centres Program.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering FacultyQueensland University of TechnologyBrisbaneAustralia

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