Influence of water level in mine sequencing applied to strategic mining planning


REM, Int. Eng. J.




Abstract Developing mine sequencing involves a number of factors and a large amount of information, and consequently the profitability of the project will strongly depend on the production schedule. A mining project may be conditioned to non-optimal sequencing, which may affect the economic results of the project and also lead to an inadequate utilization of the mineral resources. The conventional method of mining sequencing is divided into three main steps: first, the delineation of the final pit; second, subdivision of the final pit in operational pushbacks (mining advances) and third, sequencing the blocks in each of these pushbacks, taking into consideration mine, processing plant and market capacities. However, there are some aspects that are not usually incorporated in production scheduling, including ore mining below groundwater level. The objective of this study is to demonstrate the relevance and impact on the results of the Net Present Value (NPV) from groundwater level as a constraint related to the need for its drawdown, also considering grades and Stripping Ratio (SR) variability during mining sequence for a phosphate mine. The results show a difference of U$ 140 million for the evaluation considering and not considering groundwater level, without considering other restrictions.

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