Authors: Jordaan, JT

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Jordaan, JT 2011, 'Determining waste mining capacities for open pit mines', in Y Potvin (ed.), Strategic versus Tactical 2011: Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 339-346,

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It often happens that there is misalignment between the tactical (short-term) and strategic (long-term) mine plans. One scenario where this problem becomes evident is where a dramatic increase in the waste mining rate is required in the long-term that exceeds the practically achievable short-term capability. Before increasing the waste mining rate of a plan, it is important to know the maximum waste mining rate that can be extracted from an open pit mine at any moment in time, as it determines the corresponding operational risk and financial value that resides within the mine plan. Planning within waste mining rate limits is critical to prevent the increase of waste mining rates to unrealistically high levels. Mine plans with high mining rates typically yield higher net present values (NPV) and will be more attractive from a financial perspective. Unrealistically high waste mining rates distorts the cash flow and reflects value that is unlikely to be realised and could result in the wrong decisions being made, inducing both operational and business risk. There are existing empirical guidelines for determining typical waste mining rates for open pit mines, however, these guidelines are based on mining rates that have been historically achieved and do not consider the upper limits of practically executable mining rates which is the focus of this paper. This paper discusses the parameters that limit waste mining rates for open pit mines that practice pushback mining and gives guidance on how to determine realistic waste mining rates that are practically achievable in the short-term which is aligned to the strategic long-term plan.

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