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The Role of Simulation Modelling in Project Evaluation


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Author R Hoare


TSG Consulting works with many of the major global mining companies using simulation modelling as an integral component in their development team’s processes to determine which combination of infrastructure options, operating performance and operating rules best achieve project goals.

All systems can be divided into a series of subprocesses. Conventional management and design practices focus on the optimisation of these system components. However, the interaction between subprocesses means that improvements made to the individual components do not necessarily translate into total system performance improvement. TSG
Consulting advocates a ‘total integrated system approach’ to understanding the
behaviour and performance of complex interacting systems. In a constraint-based
integrated set of processes, the instantaneous system capacity is limited by the
subsystem component capacity that is the bottleneck at that point in time.
Additionally, real world stochastic and dynamic influences tend to have knock-on
effects across subsystem boundaries. This necessitates the requirement for
simulation modelling to develop and validate solutions that are sufficiently
robust to deliver sustainable outcomes. The key to maximising production is to
understand the causes and effects the inherent variability has on component
performance, subprocess performance and most importantly, the total integrated
system performance.

The correct use of simulation modelling techniques allows study teams to evaluate the relative merits of different capacity enhancement proposals. Put simply, when done well, simulation modelling provides a quantitative and rational process to enhance the knowledge and insight needed to make informed decisions.

Hoare, R, 2007.
role of simulation modelling in project evaluation, in Proceedings
Evaluation 2007
, pp
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: