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Risk management and long-term production schedule optimization at the LabMag iron ore deposit in Labrador, Canada

Mining Engineering , 2017, Vol. 69, No. 10, pp. 47-53

Spleit, M.; Dimitrakopoulos, R.



A long-term mine production schedule optimization based on stochastic integer programming is presented that manages the risk due to geological variability and uncertainty while jointly considering mine profitability, truck fleet requirements and waste management. The evolution of the pit is controlled so that space within the mined-out pit is continuously provided to allow for tailings and waste rock to be replaced, thus minimizing the project’s environmental footprint. The method is applied at a taconite iron ore deposit and has a project net present value that is 16.9 percent higher than that of a conventional schedule and has a higher chance of meeting production forecasts. The stochastic schedule reduces equipment requirements by delaying waste mining and by mining selectively in order to meet plant ore feed requirements without stockpiling material, resulting in 23.7 and 26.2 percent lower mining capital and operating costs, respectively.