What is MiningMath?
It is a software application that uses innovative technology for direct block scheduling. The MiningMath aims to maximize the Net Present Value (NPV) of a project deciding, based on an imported block model, which blocks will be mined, when and what the destination of each block is.
It is possible to define multiple processing plants, stockpiles and waste dumps, respecting their capacities. It is also possible to set physical limits or force mining in certain regions by importing surfaces.
As the software has a flexible algorithm, it will be possible to include other restriction types in the future, such as blending for example.
OK, but why should I use MiningMath?
MiningMath allows running a complete schedule directly from the resource block model, with no need to define a final pit, nested pits, pushbacks, cut-off grade optimization and stockpiles as would be required as part of a traditional full scheduling exercise. MiningMath will find a mining schedule that aims to maximize the NPV of the project, combining all the steps mentioned and optimizing all the periods simultaneously. Therefore, an experienced professional can test multiple scenarios by modifying parameters and advance other stages of his work, while MiningMath performs the entire optimization.
Is the generated solution operational, or only a mathematical result?
Each mining plan generated by the optimization respects important geometrical parameters, such as a minimum pit bottom width, a mining width and vertical rates of advance, which can be configured specifically for your project. Furthermore, MiningMath technology generates surfaces without geotechnical errors. The generated plans are close to the operational reality of the mine, which implies smaller variations in the parameters when ramps are designed.
In practice, how can I use MininngMath to scheduling optimization?
A block model, in CSV format, including indexes or coordinates and economic values of the blocks is first imported followed by entering the primary parameters of the model and production restrictions via interface. Upon completion of these steps, MiningMath is ready to perform the optimization.
The resulting surfaces will respect the user-defined parameters and a report will be generated with graphics containing the most important indicators.
To demonstrate the usage and power of the software, you can access our demo video here.
Does MiningMath suit my project? What are the limitations of the current version?
The current version of MiningMath suits any open pit mining project that can be modeled with blocks of regular dimensions. If your project has multiple types of rock per block, there are ways to adapt the inputs to handle these cases. MiningMath is 100% based on 64-bit technology and has an efficient algorithm, capable of handling tens of millions of blocks without requiring supercomputers or cloud computing.
To date, MiningMath has focused on developing the best algorithms; future versions will introduce more facilities for the user, including the development of plug-ins to mining softwares on the market.
I have a sub-blocked model. How could MiningMath be used in this case?
If the model can be exported by dividing all blocks into sub-blocks, then we have a regular database formed only by sub-blocks and MiningMath can run it. We perform regular tests successfully using models with tens of millions of blocks. For future versions, we are planning significant efficiency improvements.
Does MiningMath have the Lerchs-Grossman (LG) algorithm implemented?
No. LG is a brilliant algorithm for its time, but none of the new software need to implement it anymore. The technological advances have proven that new methods overcome some barriers that the LG faces. These days, any software that has the same mathematical model of LG implemented will rather implement an algorithm based on maximum flow rate (Max Flow) which can be run tens or hundreds of times faster than the LG. However, both LG and Max Flow have no flexibility to include other important restrictions such as a minimum pit bottom width or blending.
MiningMath uses highly recommended technology currently in practice and inside research centers, being what is the most advanced, tested and available when talking about optimization. It was implemented using modern techniques based on mixed integer programming and heuristics. Its mathematical model is more realistic, for considering operational aspects and uses surfaces to return solutions that does not have any geotechnical errors. What in practice is mined are surfaces and not blocks. This type of technology has the flexibility to include other real restrictions, such as blending.