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Modeling maximum ramp-up and production rates of stoping mining

Mining Engineering , 2016, Vol. 68, No. 5, pp. 73-79

Vergara, P.



In the conceptual stages of engineering, benchmarking and empirical ratios are commonly the only references for estimating the production rate of greenfield projects. For underground mining projects, the lack of similar cases often makes the comparison difficult due to each project’s unique geology, rock quality or other singular characteristic. This paper discusses an analytical alternative for determining the maximum achievable production rate for underground stoping mining by modeling production as a continuous process. The results show that long-term maximum capacity depends exclusively on the achievable development rate and the development intensity of the design. In operations constrained by backfill, the development rate could be limited by the backfilling rate. Extraction rate and stope size only have impacts on capacity estimates during the ramp-up period.

  These findings allow shaping of the maximum capacity profile of a project. They can be used as a tool for quick assessment of conceptual capacities, and sensitivities of mining rates. Benchmarking tests compared favorably with projects, mines in operation and scheduling exercises.