The primary mine planning focus during early study phases of future mining projects is Life of Asset ore production and grade quality, this will always be the situation. While waste schedule optimisation is generally considered in the latter study phases nearing execution for a limited number of schedule periods only and not a true optimisation considering all attributes such as waste destination location, design, cycle time and closure. This can be particularly applicable in large multi-pit bulk mining operations where one approach to meet Life of Asset ore tonnes and grade targets has been to maintain pit development flexibility resulting in large open pit areas and substantial expit Overburden Storage Area (OSA). The value opportunity is to develop a Life of Asset waste schedule source-to-destination optimisation prior to mine development considering all applicable attributes and routinely review throughout the Life of Asset taking account of improved ore and waste knowledge.
Taylor, N, Wright, R and Bettison, M, 2018. Utilising mine planning to deliver closure landforms through productive movement, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2018, pp 96–99 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).