Can quantification of geological risk improve open pit mine design?

Martinez, Luis A. (2003). Can quantification of geological risk improve open pit mine design? MPhil Thesis, W H Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre, The University of Queensland.

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Author Martinez, Luis A.
Thesis Title Can quantification of geological risk improve open pit mine design?
School, Centre or Institute W H Bryan Mining Geology Research Centre
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2003
Thesis type MPhil Thesis
Supervisor Professor Roussos Dimitrakopoulos
Dr. Salih Ramazan
Total pages 168
Collection year 2003
Language eng
Subjects L
290701 Mining Engineering
640200 Primary Mining and Extraction Processes
Formatted abstract
The management of cash flows and risk during production is a critical part of a surface mining venture as well as an integral part of a strategy in developing new and operating existing mines. Orebody uncertainty is a critical factor in strategic mine planning, the optimisation of mine design and long-term production scheduling are available; however, none of them is explicitly developed to effectively deal with, incorporate and take advantage of geological risk.

In this research a new approach to mine design based on risk quantification and alternative strategic decision-making criteria is developed. First, the concepts of risk integration and quantification in decision-making for both new an operating surface mines are reviewed. In addition, it is demonstrated that its inclusion in economic evaluation is a critical part of assessing the real value of mining assets. Subsequently, a new method for dealing with quantified geological and grade uncertainty in the context of optimal pit design, where the designs and long-term production schedules are optimised under uncertainty, is defined. The method is based on the definition of two components. The first component includes the key project indicators to be considered, such as the minimum annual ore production, amount of metal produced in giving mining periods or discounted cash flows over the life of the mine. The second component includes the decision making criteria, such as a minimum acceptable project DCF, the minimum acceptable risk in meeting given production targets, and the minimisation of cash flow risk in the short-term while maximising the potential for profits in the future. The approach developed is presented in a step-by-step fashion in optimising the design of an open pit epithermal gold mine under conditions of uncertainty.
Keyword Strip mining
Strip mining -- Risk management
Gold mines and mining
Gold mines and mining -- Risk management

Document type: Thesis
Collection: UQ Theses (RHD) - UQ staff and students only
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Created: Fri, 24 Aug 2007, 18:18:02 EST