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Martabe integrated life-of-mine optimisation


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Author K J Grohs


Martabe gold and silver mine is situated in northern Sumatra and comprises several deposits in steep terrain that are required to be developed in the optimal sequence for the best possible Net Present Value (NPV) return on the project. In addition, the waste from the excavations is a by-product to be scheduled and used for construction of the tailings storage facility (TSF). These plans need to be aligned to ensure the tailings can be contained relative to the production rate. The TSF embankment construction includes potentially acid forming (PAF) waste that needs to be progressively sealed and rehabilitated to meet the closure requirements of the future.

The mine is situated approximately 3 kilometres north of the township of Batangtoru in a seismically active zone between the off-shore subduction zone and the trans Sumatran fault. The mining operation currently includes two open cut pits with a third in development stage, an integrated TSF and dualpurpose valley-fill type waste rock storage facility (WRSF) and TSF embankment. Mine waste is used in construction of the WRSF / TSF embankment, including PAF waste rock, which needs to be scheduled for optimal use in construction activities in a manner that mitigates future acidic and metalliferous drainage (AMD) risks (Pearce and O’Kane, 2017).

The Life-of-Mine (LOM) plans must satisfy both optimal pit development to maximise NPV and suitable delivery of waste for effective TSF construction matching the rate of rise of tailings, and consider AMD management, progressive rehabilitation and ultimately effective sustainable mine closure. This paper outlines the methodology to optimise the system to deliver these potentially opposing objectives.


Grohs, K J, 2018. Martabe integrated life-of-mine optimisation, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2018, pp 83–86 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).