Real time underground production control

Peter Andreas Persson

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis (University Course)


There are more than 20 block and panel caves in operation around the world and plenty of projects which are in the development or feasibility study phase. The amount of mines using block, panel or sublevel caving is expected to grow in the future as these are the only underground mining methods that can compete with surface mass mining production volume and cost. Even though the importance of these mining methods has been established throughout the mining industry the methods themselves are not yet understood in detail. There is lot of research done related to this area and knowledge and experience is growing constantly. One area that is important is real time production control or in block and panel caving real time draw control and how it affects the block behavior. There are multiple studies and research stating the importance of draw control and the risks involved if not done properly are also known. However no studies were found on how the different draw control scenarios are affecting on actual production tonnages drawpoint by drawpoint basis which has an effect on the block behavior through time. The objective of this project paper is to study and analyze the impact that a real time production control system can have on a block cave mine. This is done by evaluating two different draw control scenarios in a simulated block cave production environment. Block caving as a mining method was studied concentrating on the aspects relevant from a draw control perspective. Based on this study a conceptual model of a block cave mine was created and the required parameters for this model were established. Based on this model and relevant parameters a production simulation was conducted using OptiMineTM simulation software that has been developed by Cybercube Oy. The simulation was conducted by Cybercube Oy and included simulations for the two different draw control scenarios. The simulation results were analyzed from the production control system perspective focusing on the impact such system have on block cave mining. The results confirm earlier studies that indicate that proper draw control must be in place in a block cave mine to prevent early dilution entry and better recovery of the deposit. The real time production control system allows proper draw control and also in certain cases enables high grading draw strategy that allows higher ore grade and thus higher net present value.
Translated title of the contributionReal time underground production control
Original languageEnglish
  • Moser, Peter, Supervisor (internal)
Award date25 Oct 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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