Journal of Mining Science

, Volume 51, Issue 4, pp 785–798 | Cite as

Optimal mining rates revisited: Managing mining equipment and geological risk at a given mine setup

  • M. F. Del CastilloEmail author
  • M. C. Godoy
  • R. Dimitrakopoulos
Mineral Mining Technology


This paper presents a mixed integer programming formulation dealing with the effective minimisation of risk incurred when optimizing mining production rates in such a way that production targets are met in the presence of geological uncertainty. This is developed through the concept of a “stable solution domain” that provides all feasible combinations of ore and waste extraction for the ultimate pit limit of a given deposit, independent of the geological risk. The proposed formulation provides an optimal annual extraction rate, together with the optimal utilization of a mining fleet and an equipment acquisition program. This solution eliminates unnecessary capital expenses and is feasible under all geological scenarios. The mathematical programming model is detailed and tested at a gold deposit. The results are used as input to a production schedule design and are compared to the schedule generated using a constant mining rate; the comparison shows that about 40% of equipment acquisition can be delayed for 7 years and mill demand still be met, thus maximizing profit and minimizing costs.


Mine production rate stable solution domain mine planning 


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. F. Del Castillo
    • 1
  • M. C. Godoy
    • 2
  • R. Dimitrakopoulos
    • 1
  1. 1.COSMO Stochastic Mine Planning LaboratoryMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada
  2. 2.Newmont Mining Corporation6363 South Fiddler’s Green CircleGreenwood VillageUSA

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