Best start point and best mining direction for optimal production

Strategic Mine Planning solutions for Open Pit Mines.

Answering the Key Questions – Where to start the exploitation? What is the best method? By identifying the BEST STARTING POINT and BEST MINING DIRECTION for an OPTIMAL PRODUCTION PROGRAM.


Net present value (NPV) is a cash flow to which a discount rate is applied, set according to the risk level or profitability requirement of a project.

The moment in which the optimization is carried out is very important to maximize the value, because of the impact of the discount rate on it.

Regarding maximization of the NPV, some of the key decisions about the exploitation of an open pit deposit are the starting point and the orientation of the mining sequence. This strategic decision ensures a result located close to the limits of the efficiency frontier through a sequence with both better economic and operational performances.

By implementing GEOVIA Whittle and SIMULIA Isight solutions, it is possible to create, in a few hours, a value map for a grid of starting points and mining directions (Fig. 1).



After knowing the best starting point based on the strategic objectives, this exercise will respect several operational restrictions that will reduce the impact of the operational mining design on the VPN obtained from the optimal phases (pit-shells), minimizing the loss of value. (Fig. 2).



Main benefits obtained by applying this methodology consist of a better performance of the production plan, particularly in the improvement of average grades to process plant, which ultimately results in greater metal content production at the initial periods of the plan, ensuring an early return on investment and a project value improvement. (Fig. 3).



In addition, the possibility of analyzing solution surfaces in 3 and 4-dimensional graphics (3D with graph with respect to a fourth variable), built from thousands of scenarios, allows to analyze the robustness of the strategic definitions with the greatest amount of available information, which is always better than making decisions based on a single optimization run.



Learn more about Strategic Mine Planning solutions for Open Pit Mines from GEOVIA.



Cristian J. Poblete

María A. González

Joaquín A. Romero

Daniel L. Fuentes






Maria Angelica Gonzalez

María-Angélica is a Mining Engineer with a Diploma in Geostatistics and she is a candidate for a Master of Science mention Geology. She is registered as a Competent Person with the Qualification Commission of Competencies in Resources and Mining Reserves of Chile. She started her professional career in 1999 and has worked in consulting and project operations for diverse types of mineral deposits, performing the geostatistical evaluation of elements of economic interest as well as geometallurgical and contaminant variables. She is experienced in metallic and non-metallic projects, such as copper, gold, silver, molybdenum, iron, zinc, lead, titanium sands, phosphates, carbonates, iodine and nitrates, both in America and in Africa. Her current position is Senior Services Manager of Dassault Systèmes Chile (GEOVIA), serving the Mining Industry in Latin America. She is in charge of both consulting and training as well as technical sales, mainly in the technical and administrative leadership of projects. Previously, she worked as Leader of Geology and Resources of the Consulting Group at AMEC. AMEC International Ingeniería y Construcción.

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