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Environmental Earth Sciences

, Volume 74, Issue 6, pp 4699–4718 | Cite as

Consideration of sustainable development principles in ultimate pit limit design

  • Nabiollah Adibi
  • Majid Ataee-pour
Original Article

Abstract

Sustainable development is a concept that was introduced almost at the end of the twentieth century and quickly entered the literature. In recent years, the concept of sustainability and sustainable development (SD) has been successfully extended to mineral resources, but there have been few attempts to consider this concept in the ultimate pit limit (UPL) design. The problem of UPL determination is the first step in the open pit mine design and planning process. There are several mathematical, heuristic and meta-heuristic algorithms to determine UPL. The objective function in these algorithms is the maximization of total profit. Few models integrated some aspects of mining reclamation benefit and cost in the UPL design. However, there is not any comprehensive method for UPL design based on SD considerations. This paper provides a model for UPL designing based on SD indicators. According to this model, it is possible to integrate the SD principles in UPL design. The proposed model is explained by a simple 2D example and applied in an iron mine as a case study. Generally, using SD principles in UPL design may lead to a larger UPL than traditional method (profit maximization). The suggested method is appropriate for those ore bodies with no underground option. In cases with the underground option, before applying the suggested method, the transition level from surface to underground shall be determined.

Keywords

Ultimate pit limit Sustainable development Indicators Mining 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Mining and Metallurgical EngineeringAmirkabir University of TechnologyTehranIran

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