Interactive and optimised backfilling

Maptek Evolution has provided a rehabilitation proof of concept to define sequencing for multiple pits at a coal operation.

It is universally acknowledged that rehabilitation has a major impact on productivity and operational costs. Detailed and interactive material movement planning is required to ensure an optimal rehabilitation sequence for improving the land reforming process. Maptek Evolution optimises the rehabilitation phase to reduce rehandling costs.

Strategic scheduling

Evolution allows for strategic placement of material from the pit to the mining void, enabling optimisation of material handling through ‘smart’ backfilling. The benefit of Evolution is the support for dynamic and interactive rehabilitation scheduling.

Production scheduling and backfilling are scheduled at the same time. This ensures the consideration of key impacts between the two operations leading to delivery of a robust and accurate mining schedule.  

Rehabilitation is an integral part of mine planning and needs to be scheduled concurrently with a production schedule to account for any changes within that schedule. Rehabilitation is therefore not done on the ‘back end’, but forms part of the schedule.

When rehabilitation is undertaken in isolation, it is usually after a production schedule is completed. This incurs a knock-on effect to the production schedule which must to be adjusted for viewing a holistic mine schedule.

With Evolution, displaying material movement on a block by block basis enables powerful visual analysis of the mining schedule.

Value is added to the project by saving costs through strategic material placement during life-of-mine planning.

A scheduling scoping study on a mine in Africa started with a pit design of each strip with access ramps on either side. A haulage network was then built to establish all possible routes for minimising haulage costs. Several operational factors were considered:

  • Shortest haulage network (following in and ex-pit ramps)
  • Horizontal versus vertical dumping cost ratio
  • Swell factors to account for adjusted volumes
  • Void volume available as mining takes place

The optimal haul destination was achieved for each individual block, as well as optimised material placement within the pit.

Evolution 4.5

Improved interoperability for haul network generation coming in Evolution 4.5 allows users to drag and drop a haul network created in Maptek Vulcan into Evolution to automatically configure the schedule network. Multiple digger fleets can also be allocated.

Evolution 4.5 includes a new graphics environment, providing superior visualisation and easy manipulation of very large models.

New Evolution Strategy options allow users to track and report multiple elements and contaminants per process and/or destination. Stockpiles can be modelled with tonnage and grade items.

Setting part or all of the cut-off grade policy before optimisation means the optimisation process determines the best extraction sequence.

New options in Evolution Origin allow users to set maximum constraints per stage, group or period for manipulating sequences through the model. Specifying multiple truck types to work in a mining area permits mining different material types with different equipment.

Improved charting and export of schedules, and support for imperial and metric units are included in the new version due for release shortly.

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