Authors: Williams, DJ; Topal, E; Zhang, N; Scott, P


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Williams, DJ, Topal, E, Zhang, N & Scott, P 2008, 'Development of a Rock Dump Scheduling Model Using Linear Programming', in AB Fourie (ed.), Rock Dumps 2008: Proceedings of the First International Seminar on the Management of Rock Dumps, Stockpiles and Heap Leach Pads, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 129-137,

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This paper describes the preliminary development and application of a rock dump scheduling model, using the operations research technique mixed-integer linear programming implemented in the mathematical modelling language AMPL. The development of the model is initially being focussed on minimising the haulage cost for each open pit block of waste rock to be placed in the rock dump, with some allowance for the selective placement of benign and reactive waste rock, based on an open pit block model that delineates ore, and benign and reactive waste rock. The current formulation is a very simple 3-D model, which will later be implemented using real mine data to fully demonstrate its application. Required input data include xyz-coordinates of the block model for the open pit, identification of whether the waste rock blocks are benign or reactive, the proposed time scheduling of waste rock haulage from the open pit, unit haulage costs, and the geometry of the rock dump and delineation of which zones are to be benign and which reactive. Other parameters to later be added to the model will include the cost of the land covered by the rock dump; the haul road routes between the pit and the dump in xyz-space enabling estimation of haulage distances, grades and actual haulage costs; alternative mining methods; in-pit dumping; topsoil and clay stripping and stockpiling for later rehabilitation purposes; the selective placement of benign and reactive rock to encapsulate the reactive rock; rock dump landform shaping; cover placement; and slope treatment. The model will ultimately provide a tool for rock dump scheduling that meets both the operator’s economic and environmental goals.

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