An integrated pit-to-plant approach using technological models for strategic mine planning of copper and gold deposits


REM, Int. Eng. J.




Abstract The strategic mine plan is a crucial step for the success of mining companies, and for its development, it is necessary to use a number of inter-related variables that are usually estimated independently. These variables include operational data that is traditionally isolated in information islands between the different departments in the mine or they are consolidated into individual models. This reduces the holistic view of the deposit, thereby causing a negative impact on the results of the strategic planning itself. In order to improve the process and to maximize the production and/or value of a mining project, there needs to be an integration of the geology, the mine plan, the processing and the geometallurgy data. In order to accomplish this, a new methodology is proposed for the creation of a technological model. This model can be interpreted as the consolidation of the different models required for a better understanding of the geological and technical information of the deposit. This concept was developed and applied at a copper and gold mine site located in Brazil. Based on the evaluation of different blasting and mill productivity scenarios through a pit-to-plant approach, it was possible to obtain operational short-term gains such as a 10.7% increase in the plant production rate and a 2.2% increase in the crusher's feed rate with little or no capital investment.

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