Authors: Villa, D; Romero, J; Soto, N

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Villa, D, Romero, J & Soto, N 2022, 'Multi-lifts selection using scenario simulation and financial metrics', in Y Potvin (ed.), Caving 2022: Proceedings of the Fifth International Conference on Block and Sublevel Caving, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 51-66,

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In evaluating a block caving project, one of the most important strategic decisions is the location of the extraction level. This evaluation is complex for a single lift; therefore, finding the optimum combination of multiple lifts is much more challenging and, in most cases, sub-optimal since the decision is largely influenced by the selection of one of them and not the overall value. This paper proposes the option to simulate as many scenarios as possible, analysing the size of each lift based on multiple evaluations using variable shut off grades and production rates. This analysis enables exploring many strategies and using the hill of value technique to identify areas of optimum solutions in a reasonable time. For example, starting with a small Lift1 extracting high grade with a low production target to reduce initial capital cost and ramp-up to maximum production capacity in the second lift versus the option to achieve maximum production rate since the beginning of Lift1. In addition, the decision will consider financial investment metrics like net present value and internal rate of return. This methodology is demonstrated with a real case to show the potential impact on the value of the project.

Keywords: strategic mine planning, block cave, panel cave, simulation, financial

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