A guide to Surpac Stope Optimizer

Automatically produce optimized stope designs to maximize the value of recovered ore for a variety of underground mining methods.


Built around the Alford Mining System’s (AMS) Mineable shape optimizer, Surpac Stope Optimizer is used to produce stope-shapes and stope inventories from a block model that spatially represents the location of the mineralisation.

The Stope Optimizer automatically produces optimized stope designs to maximize the values of recovered ore within the given ore-body geometry and design constraints. It is capable of generating stope designs for a variety of underground mining methods.


Figure 1: GEOVIA Surpac Block Model showing complex ore body for UG stope Optimization


It allows you to build quick multiple scenarios to analyse and compare, generating graphical results and output reports.


Figure 2: Stope optimisation Tool in Surpac


Stope optimiser requires a block model containing either grade, value or density attributes, along with an optional but recommended stope control surface. The control surface is used to guide the orientation and shape of the stopes, default dip and strike can be used if surface or model controls are absent. It also has the option to include inclusion or exclusion zones, sub-shapes, over break controls, post-processing (smooth, split & merge options), variable cut-offs and head grade.


Figure 3: Optimized underground stopes in Surpac using trend surfaces


Surpac Stope Otimizer automatically generates the highest value stope solids that maximize recovered resource above cut-off grade or value, across a wide range of mining method geometries and orebody types. Splitting, smoothing and merging options are available to fine-tune desired stope shapes. SSO allows defining numerous properties for the stopes including practical mining parameters such as minimum and maximum mining width, anticipated wall dilution, Pillar sizes, cut-off grade, cost and revenue, mining limits, minimum wall angles and many other factors.

The Stope Optimizer can be coupled with Surpac scripting language i.e. TCL for quickly generating multiple scenarios to automate the process. You may not need to manually write script files for use in Surpac, instead, you can use Surpac record option to record and then edit and play the TCL script macro.


Figure 4: Example of TCL script running Stope shape optimizer


Stope Optimizer is fully integrated within user-friendly GEOVIA SURPAC and the stopes generated can be directly imported into GEOVIA MineSched™ for underground scheduling.

This provides a total end to end solution for long term strategic underground scheduling.


Figure 5: Optimized stopes imported into MineSched for production scheduling





Shoaib Zia

Shoaib Zia

Mining Knowledge Consultant, GEOVIA (CEng MIMMM) at Dassault Systèmes
Shoaib is a Chartered Engineer and Professional Member of IOM3 in the UK, with a Masters Degrees in Mineral Resource Management from the University of Exeter (UK) and Applied Earth Science from Technical University Delft (Netherlands). Shoaib's engagements include numerous geotechnical engineering, numerical modeling and mine planning projects both in the UK and overseas. Apart from GEOVIA software, Shoaib is also proficient in SIMULIA Abaqus.