Professional Development - Short Courses 2018


Strategic Mine Planning and Optimization using Geovia Whittle - Perth, Australia

Date: April 16-20, 2018 - 5 days Geovia Whittle

Strategic Mine Planning and Optimization using Geovia Whittle - Edmonton, Canada

Date: June 18-22, 2018 - 5 days Geovia Whittle

Short-Term Mine Planning using Geovia MineSched - Edmonton, Canada

Date: June 25-27, 2018 - 3 days Geovia MineSched

Open Pit Mine Design using Geovia Gems - Edmonton, Canada

Date: June 28-29, 2018 - 2 days Geovia Gems

Simulation of Mining Systems - Edmonton, Canada

Date: July 17-20 2018 - 4 days  Arena Simulation Software

For more information contact Hooman Askari at

Strategic Mine Planning & Optimization

Software: Geovia Whittle and Excel Solver

The Strategic Mine Planning and Optimization course is a comprehensive five-day course designed for mining and resource industry professionals including directors, project managers, mine planners, mining engineers, geoscientists, geologists, managers, metallurgists, financial analyst, and decision makers from exploration to operations. It is ideally suited to those from industry who wish to gain a more in depth and hands-on knowledge of modern strategic mine planning and optimization software tools and theory. Strategic mine planning optimization process is the backbone of mining operations. In mining projects, deviations from optimal mine plans will result in significant financial losses, future financial liabilities, delayed reclamation, and resource sterilization. The lifeof-mine production schedule determines the order of extraction of materials and their destination over the mine-life. In this course, principles and fundamental concepts involved in strategic mine planning and optimization are presented. Subjects covered are block value calculations; mining revenues and costs; open pit limit optimization using manual method, floating cone, and 2D & 3D Lerchs and Grossmann algorithms; Pseudo Flow algorithm, life-of mine production planning; mine-life estimation; cut-off grade optimization and Lane’s theory; simultaneous optimization; multi-mine multi-process production scheduling, and an approach to managing grade uncertainty. Mathematical optimization models and case studies for long-term open pit mine planning will be presented. Blending problem formulations are setup and solved in Excel Solver. The course complements theory with comprehensive instructions and hands-on experience completing a project using GEOVIA Whittle strategic mine planning software. Comparative analysis of different production scenarios, stockpiling, cutoff optimization, SIMO, multi-mine and their impacts on the bottom line of the mining business is illustrated.  

Outcomes of the course include:

Understand concepts of strategic mine planning.

How optimization improves economic performance

• What costs should be included in pit optimization.

• Understand principles of Lerchs Grossman 3D algorithm.

• Principles of Pseudo Flow algorithm.

• Pit limits optimization with practical mining width.

• Generate optimal shells, reports and schedules.

• Practical push back design with a minimum mining width.

• Complete a strategic mine planning study in Whittle.

• Production scheduling – using contractors.

• Advanced techniques with mining direction control.

• Buffer Stockpiles and Extractive Blending.

• Understand principles of cut-off optimization.

• Cutoff Optimization – Lane’s Theory.

• Understand concepts of linear programming.

• Advanced simultaneous optimization of the mining chain.

• New feature of CAPEX optimization

• Multi-mine scheduling feeding multi-processing streams

• Quantify the Impact of grade uncertainty on scheduling

Managing the risk associated with grade uncertainty

• Use Excel LP Solver to solve practical mining problems

• Use Excel LP Solver to solve bench scheduling problem

• Use Excel LP Solver to solve grade blending problem

 Case studies – Iron Ore; Gold-Copper, and Oil Sands.

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Open Pit Mine & Dump Design

Software: Geovia Gems

Open Pit Mine Design is a two-day course designed for mine planners, mining engineers, geologist, and people who are responsible for activities that require them to design and manage pits, ramps, switchbacks, slots, and waste dumps. The participants will complete a pit-design project during the course. The course covers open pit design terminology, selection of loading and hauling equipment based on targeted annual production, working and safety bench geometry calculations, haul road parameters and geometric design. Prior to engaging in pit design, the course reviews principles and fundamental concepts in creating points, polylines, and triangulations; generations of plans and sections; also surface and solid modeling for the purpose of open pit design. The course includes a step-by-step project for top-down and bottom-up pit design. The project starts from the final optimal pit shell, intermediate pits shells, and the long-term schedule generated in Whittle. It covers topics on how to choose the required parameters such as berm width, variable pit slope angle, and batter angle to achieve a desired pit and dump design. The project continues with creating surface triangulations from the pit design, obtaining volumes, tonnages and grades reported by bench, rock type and grade range from the designed pit.

Outcomes of the course include:

• Understand pit design parameters & components

• Understand pit design theory

• Use optimal pit shells in pit design

• Select loading and hauling equipment

• Define Bench geometry as a function of equipment specs

• Understand haul road design

• Design of toes, crests, ramps, switchbacks and slots

• Define berm width, pit slope angle and batter angle

• Create final pit designs and surfaces from the designs

• Obtain volumes, tonnages and grades reported by bench

• Design variable pit slopes

• Handle multi-benching

• Manage single-pit splitting to multi-pits

• Design variable pit slopes based on rock-types

• Carryout multi-benching

• Design waste dumps

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Medium/Short-term Open Pit Mine Planning

Software: Geovia MineSched

Medium / short-term open pit planning is a three-day course designed for the mine planners, mining engineers, geologists, and technical managers who are responsible for activities that require them to generate or oversee monthly and weekly mine production schedules. The course is designed to provide theory through lectures, complemented by a hands-on real-world mine planning project using GEOVIA MineSched. The project covers all the required steps from a long-term yearly schedule generated within a designed pit to a monthly production schedule taking into account mining and processing capacities, truck-shovel hours, drilling and blasting, blending, and stockpiles management constraints. Mining constraints can be applied to ensure that practical schedules are generated. Learn how to model and manage stockpiles and processes, block modeled waste dumps followed by automated filling strategies and waste scheduling. Also, reporting and 3D visualization of a spatial database of the materials within the waste-dump, which is critical for both long-term waste dump management and reclamation. The course covers the following topics:

• Medium/ short-term planning concepts

• Data preparation

• Parameters: rates, delays, priorities

• Quantity and quality targets

• Defining mining locations

• Defining process streams

• Period polygons: tonnage/grades

• Reporting: Excel, Access, MS Project

• Animations & presentation tools

Outcomes of the course include:

Schedule from block, polygonal and grid models with any number of elements, material types, and qualities.

• Graphically sequence mining blocks while reporting tonnage and grade.

• Control all aspects of the schedule or use target-based scheduling algorithms.

• Incorporate mining directions, bench lags/leads, face geometry, location limits, and other mining constraints.

• Schedule ancillary activities such as drilling, blasting, and back filling.

• Include material movement to stockpiles, processes, and spatially modeled waste dumps.

• Blend material from mines, stockpiles, processing plants, and waste dumps.

• Visualize Mine Schedules with 2D and 3D Graphics.

• Display tonnage and grade attributes.

• View colored period and production data.

• Generate intermediate mining surfaces.

• Animate mining sequence as a movie or frame-by-frame.

• Validate and communicate the sequence of activities.

• Generate reports with production tonnage and grade data.

• Produce polygon and bench reports.

• Obtain a detailed understanding of the schedule.

• Communicate the results to management.

• Create reverse vertical lag or constant face distance.

• Design cut polygons on specific layers.

• Apply geometry rules to create new polygons.

• Attach attributes to the mine cut polygons.

• Sequence the mine polygons.

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Simulation of Mining Systems using Arena

Fundamentals of Discrete Event Simulation (DES) modeling and its industrial applications to mining and processing systems are presented. Theoretical and statistical aspects of simulation, including input and output analysis, experimental design, and variance reduction techniques are presented. Arena Simulation Environment (by Rockwell Automation) is used as the primary modeling simulation tool for explaining simulation concepts. The course focuses (three days) on modeling detail truck-shovel simulation models that uses the historical dispatching data, road profiles, and short term mine plans as input into the simulation model. The simulation models need to be calibrated, and verified to link the short-term mining schedules to the operational plans in presence of uncertainties of cycle times, scheduled and unscheduled down times, shift changes, etc. The rest of the course will focus on combined continuous and discrete-event simulation of processing systems. Size classifications including sieves and hydrocyclones; comminution operations including crushing machines, grinding, and semi-autogenous mills; solid-liquid separation including thickeners and filtration; and also gravity and magnetic separation modeling will be covered by examples. The course is intended for mining and processing engineering disciplines and participants who would like to use simulation to design and optimize real-world mining systems. On completion of this course, successful attendees will have an in depth understanding of principles and methodologies, of discrete event simulation. Also, they will be able to use Arena Simulation Software (Rockwell Automation) as the simulation modeling tool for simulating and optimizing real world systems. A series of labs using Arena Simulation Software (Rockwell Automation) are undertaken to model and optimize real world systems. Students undertake a complete simulation modeling/analysis project.

A review on probability and statistics and fundamental simulation concepts.

Review of main truck-shovel time charts such as definition of work, ops delay, ops standby, short down.

Review of main truck-shovel KPIs such as definition of physical availability and use of availability.

  Definition of operating efficiency, effective utilization, tonne per net operating hours, etc.

Truck-shovel simulation using resources, queues, and basic animation to calculate fleet productivity.

Assess the uncertainty associated with the fleet productivity, haulage costs, and cash flow analysis.

Mixed fleet truck-shovel simulation modeling using resources sets and maintenance schedules.

Resource failures with defining probability distribution functions for mean time between failures.

Uptime modeling using PDFs for mean time to repairs of trucks, shovels, and crushers.

Truck dispatching using station-route and assessing the reliability of the system.

Comminution operations including crushing machines, grinding, and semi-autogenous mills.

Bulk material terminal modeling including arrival of trains, stockyard cells, stockpile blending, etc.

Creating and Disposing of Entities.

Defining Variables and Attributes.

Capacity constraining – Resources and Queues.

Failures and Schedules.

Animation Concepts and Terminology.

Lower Level Modeling, Loops, and Sub-models.

Batch, Separate, Match, Station and Route.

Transporters and  Materials Handling.

Debugging Techniques.

Modeling Input & Output Data and Statistical Analysis.

Streamlining Modeling using Sets and Multidimensional Variables.

Simulation with Discrete/Continuous Models.

Pseudo Agent Based Modeling Techniques.

Process Flow Template.

Experimental Design.

Examples of truck-shovel simulation modeling using resources, queues, and basic animation.

Mean time between failures and mean time to repairs of trucks, shovels, and crushers.

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