MiningMath allows mining managers to improve their strategic analysis through risk assessments that are unconstrained by stepwise processes. Through math optimization models that integrate multiple areas of the business, MiningMath handles all parameters simultaneously and delivers multiple scenarios, accounting for both strategic and tactical aspects.
MiningMath optimization is not constrained by arbitrary decisions for cut-off grades or pushbacks, since these decisions are usually guided by prior knowledge or automated trial-and-error. Thus, each set of constraints in our technology has the potential to deliver an entirely new project development, including economic, technical, and socio-environmental indicators, along with a mine schedule, while aiming to maximize the project’s NPV.
How can it be used?
MiningMath acknowledges that each project has its own characteristics. Thus, it also allows you to choose which workflow fits best in your demand and decide which one should be used. Straight from block model you can find solutions to your short-term, schedules, optimized pushbacks or super best case, as depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Single-step approach employed in MiningMath. Straight from block model to short-term, schedules, optimized pushbacks or super best case.
Super best case
As MiningMath optimizes all periods simultaneously, without the need for revenue factors, it has the potential to find higher best case’s NPVs than traditional best case procedures based on LG/Pseudoflow nested pits, which do not account for processing capacities (gap problems), cutoff policy optimization and discount rate. Usually, these, and many other, real-life aspects are only accounted for later, through a stepwise process, limiting the potentials of the project.
Discounted Cash flow x Undiscounted Cash flow
The use of LG/Pseudoflow methods to perform pit optimization aims to maximize the undiscounted cash flow of the project. On the other hand, MiningMath maximizes the discounted cash flow. Therefore, regions in which MiningMath has decided not to mine are, probably, regions where you have to pay for removing waste on the earlier periods, but the profit obtained by the discounted revenue from the hidden ore does not pay for the extraction.
A proper comparison between this methodology could be done if you import the final pit surface obtained from the other mining package into MiningMath, and use it as Force/Restrict mining. This way, MiningMath will do the schedule optimization using the exact same surface, which will allow you to compare the NPV for each case. Figures 2 and 3 depict two comparisons between undiscounted and discounted cashflows.
MiningMath offers the option of producing Optimized Pushbacks with controlled ore production and operational designs to guide your mine sequencing. Having this broader view in mind, you are already able to begin the scheduling stage. The block periods and destinations optimized by MiningMath could be imported back into your preferred mining package, for comparison, pushback design or scheduling purposes.
When using MiningMath, it is possible to define the pit limit and mine schedule simultaneously. That is, to determine which blocks should be mined, when this should happen and to where they should be sent to maximize the NPV, while respecting production and operational constraints, slope angles, discount rate, stockpiles, among others, all performed straight from the block model. This means that the steps of pit optimization, pushback and scheduling are not obtained separately, but in a single and optimized process.
To help with all that, our software allows you to build Decision Trees which enable a broader view of your project and a deeper understanding of the impacts of each variable. This is all possible because MiningMath works with a global optimization which simultaneously regards all variables, instead of using a step-wise approach. The software provides different views and solutions for the same mine for each parameter changed and each possible objective.