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Underground Optimization

Underground Optimization Solutions

Mineable Reserves Optimizer (MRO)

Mineable Shape Optimizer (MSO)

Automatically produces optimized stope designs

Decline Optimizer (MLO)

Determines the optimal envelopes within which stopes should be designed

Produces optimal decline designs through a set of points

Schedule Optimizer Tool (SOT)

Optimizes mining sequence and schedule to increase NPV

Reliably estimating how many tonnes can be mined, at what grade and at what
time, based on practical mining considerations, is a critical part of every
resource evaluation exercise or feasibility study.

Mineable Reserves Optimizer

Floating Stope Optimization

Mineable Reserves Optimizer - MRO

Easily determine the geometry and sequence of extraction
for the best economic stopes.



Average Grade (g/t)

Tonnes (t)

Tonnage x Grade Curves





Tonnes x Head Grade

Average Grade x Head Grade



Head Grade (g/t)

MRO is ideal for preliminary underground reserve estimation

MRO How does it work?

MRO uses a methodology based on the Floating Stope algorithm to float a Minimum Mining Unit shape
throughout a resource model to determine a mineable reserve defined by Mineable Envelopes.
Floating Stope: The MRO algorithm that floats a Minimum Mining Unit through a
geological model, testing whether it is economic at each location.
Minimum Mining Unit: A discrete shape that represents the smallest volume of rock that can
be practically mined.
Mineable Envelope: A contiguous volume of material representing the locations where the
Minimum Mining Unit was economic, according to the operational constraints of the study.

MRO Defines, Evaluates and Sequences Mineable Reserves

MRO Optimization Controls

Minimum Mining Unit (MMU)
The MMU defines the smallest volume and shape that is practical to mine. This can be defined as a 3D rectangular block or it can defined
as a set of multiple blocks created from a wireframe model. For example, stopes can be modelled with sloping walls and irregular crosssections.
Optimization Criteria
The optimizer identifies volumes in the model that not only meet the minimum shape and size constraints, but are also optimized to either:
Maximize ore tonnes
Maximize grade
Maximize contained metal
Maximize accumulated value (eg dollars)
Maximize the value of the deposit for a given head grade
Additional Constraints
Minimum head grade to define mineable envelope.
Define maximum waste : ore ratio.
Model either selective or bulk mining.

MRO Case Management

Each optimization run allows several parameters to be specified. The MRO user interface
includes options to assist in the selection and organization of these parameters.

Sensitivity analyses can be undertaken easily and the alternative stope envelopes
can be analyzed to provide reserve information

Sequencing of Envelopes
MROs Sequencer decides the best order in which the envelopes should be extracted and the path of extraction. This takes account of
both the positive value defined by the grade or dollar value of the material and also the fixed and variable costs of mining,
transportation and processing.

The sequencer outputs links

that identify the order of
mining that will maximize

MRO Also for Open Pits!

MRO can also automatically optimize the identification of mineable blocks
within benches.
Complex cut-off rules with multiple variables can be built into the MRO logics.
Ore selection can be based on profit rather than just grade.

Optimization of grade control lines can significantly reduce ore loss and
waste dilution whilst considering mining selectivity.

MRO Open Pits

In this example dig lines within a blast have been
determined to identify where material should be
sent to maximize value.
Economic and other rules such as processing
characteristics have been taken into account to
maximize the value of the blast whilst honouring
mining and equipment constraints.

In this second example mineable blocks on a pit

bench have been automatically identified according
to grade bins.

MRO can maximize value from open pit blasts by objectively

determining optimal dig lines


MRO - Summary
MRO provides a fast, objective and flexible way of estimating the tonnage
that can be mined from a resource and at what grade, based on practical
mining considerations.


Mineable Shape Optimizer

Objectively Optimized Stope Designs

Mineable Shape Optimizer (MSO)

Automatically produce objective optimal stope designs within an underground resource


Mineable Shape Optimizer (MSO)

MSO can:
Generate final individual stope designs within a resource model
Handle massive and narrow dipping orebodies, and integrate with tools for Dynamic Anisotropy
allowing the modelling of complex orebodies
Correctly model waste pillar geometry, and apply internal and wall dilution rules
Report attributes for each stope including reserve category, geological domain, ore processing type and
others, based on parameters in the input block model.
MSO is a true optimization tool maximizing the value of recovered ore
given the stope geometry and design rules


MSO Background
MSO developed as part of AMIRA PRIMO and SIRUS

Researchers include Alford Mining Systems (AMS) and AMC Consultants

MSO v1.0 released in 2009 by Datamine

MSO v1.1 released in January 2012 by Datamine (CAE
UGSO (v2) to be released in 2014 by Datamine


MSO Data
Block model with grades, value, density and other
attributes in orthogonal or rotated coordinates
Prototype for stope annealing with orientation, stope
shape, costs, development etc.
Geological control wireframes

Stope wireframes
Section and plan design strings
Reserves report
Runs are configured using a clear user interface that includes case
management tools


MSO Examples

Block Model

Mining Shapes
Optimized Stopes

Geological Control


MSO Examples

This animation shows a

vertical section through
stopes created within a
narrow vein orebody.


The 3D optimization objectively

determines whether to
separate stopes or combine
with waste to maximize value
whilst honouring mining

MSO Practical Stope Shapes and Benefits

Internal pillar width,
metal content & dilution

In these areas the value of the ore does not carry the
cost of mining a single stope that includes the waste.
The minimum pillar width prevents two separate
stopes being mined.
MSO has determined that the green stopes are the
optimal design choice.

Minimum Pillar Width

In this area although the red stope design appears
to contain a higher volume of ore the green stope is
in fact the optimal choice.
Red Stope = 946 Oz (32% Dilution below COG)
Green Stope = 1,040 Oz (4.4% Dilution below COG)


MSO Accessible Reserves

Stope Reserves can be interrogated immediately and further analysed

using other Datamine tools


How It Works


Works within user-defined framework in XZ, YZ, XY or YX orientations

Algorithm works within each tube or quad

How It Works

Works within user-defined framework in XZ, YZ, XY or YX orientations

Algorithm works within each tube

Three Step Process

1. Create slices within each tube at
user-defined strike and dip
2. From the slices, find an economic seed shape
3. Anneal the seed shape to find the optimised stope shape


The Stope Shape Annealing Process

MSO works by:
Identifying the approximate size, shape and location of the orebody
Generating outlines by parameterizing the stope shape
Linking the sections to create a wireframe shape for evaluation
Using an annealing procedure to take the seed stope shapes and mould them into the final stope
shape, honouring stope and pillar geometry
Generating stopes, sub-stopes and depleted volumes as wireframes, section strings and reporting
tonnes and grade
The approach mimics an engineers approach to the design on adjacent 3D sections, rubber banding the
outline to improve the evaluated result.

MSO provides an objective and reproducible

full 3D shape optimization


Previous Versions
MSO v1.0


Creates optimised stopes within a fixed-interval vertical (XZ or YZ) framework based on
maximising either value or grade
Users define the minimum stope width, minimum pillar width, as well as near- and farwall dilution
Outputs stope wireframes plus horizontal and vertical stope strings
Outputs a report on the optimised stopes
Ideal for sub-vertical mineral deposits

Previous Versions
MSO v1.1


Adds XY and YX framework options for sub-horizontal (flat-lying) deposits

Adds more flexibility in defining sub-shapes
Adds an alternative method for stope evaluation
Released in January along with Studio 3 MR21 and Studio 5D Planner

Next Version
UGSO (MSO v2.0)


Cloud-based optimization
Many additional stope framework options: can define rib and sill pillars, primarysecondary stope arrangements and variable level spacing intervals
Smoothing and splitting of output shapes
Output centre shape strings
More optimisation parameters
Boundaries and structures
Integrated data management, reporting, analysis and sensitivity

UGSO Stope Framework Options

methods coming
in the future



Vertical Frameworks (XZ, YZ)

Irregular Levels
Gradient strings

Regular Intervals

Irregular Sections
Ore Development


OreDev-Gradient strings

Vertical Frameworks (XZ, YZ)

User Defined Tube




Transverse Section (XZ, YZ)

Optimize Level Intervals

(by section)


Section Level Strings

Horizontal Frameworks (XY, YX)

Irregular Intervals
Contour Strings
Horizon-Contour Strings

Regular Intervals

Irregular strike

Irregular dip drives


Prism Method

Defined range
of shapes

Discrete shapes


Optimized shape

UGSO Enhancements Area of Interest


Define Area of Interest and Framework Orientation dynamically with realtime 3D visualization

UGSO Enhancements Stope Layout


New Builder allows users to easily and intuitively define the

arrangement of levels, stopes and pillars

UGSO Enhancements Cut-Off Grade

Cutoff grade is a boundary descriptor

Head grade is a volume descriptor

One or both can be supplied in UGSO

The values can be supplied as either:


A fixed value

A value from the block model

A table which allows the value used to be a function of the width or height dimension or tonnage of
the stope

The last option allows the software to dynamically choose between bulk and selective mining
by making the cutoff and head grade a function of the stope size

UGSO Enhancements Boundaries


Do not include this material in a stope

Stand-Off Distance

Do not include this material or material with a surrounding distance in a stope


Only allow stopes within this material

Report Exclusion

Exclude this material from the reported stope



A stope cannot include material from more than one zone

UGSO Enhancements Structure


Geological structure can be a cause of overbreak into

a stope that can and should be planned for

Structure can be modelled as wireframe surfaces

If the seed or annealed stope shape is within a

nominated distance of this wireframe, the stope
shape is adjusted (snaps) to the wireframe surface

The stope optimizer will make an evaluation decision

to determine if expanded stope is to be accepted

UGSO Enhancements Post-Processing

Three new functions are provided to post-process the output from UGSO:


Where the ore width is greater than the

maximum stope width

Rules to allow splitting on a regular grid,

centred, distance from walls, etc.

UGSO Enhancements Post-Processing

Three new functions are provided to post-process the output from UGSO:



Stopes are optimized independently by

plan and section

Smoothing is an additional annealing

step to eliminate gaps at the corners of
stopes horizontally and vertically

Substope corners are also adjusted if

adjacent to a full stope corner

UGSO Enhancements Post-Processing

Three new functions are provided to post-process the output from UGSO:



Merge may be used to define a

maximum that is determined by
geotechnical stability (e.g. not to
exceed a hydraulic radius criteria).

To define a minimum that is

determined by economics or mining
practicalities (e.g. combining stopeshapes that required small intervals due
to variability of the orebody)

To define a regularised extraction

sequence for stope-shapes (e.g. vertical
stacking of primary and secondary

UGSO Enhancements Sensitivity


Use the power of cloud computing to conduct comprehensive sensitivity

analyses on your data

UGSO Enhancements Reporting


Summit reporting and analysis tools eliminate the need to manually

analyse results

Comparison of Manual, MRO and MSO

Manually created mining shapes
Studio 5D Planner
Studio 3

Mineable Reserves Optimizer (MRO)

Mineable Shape Optimizer (MSO)
Ian Lipchak (2009)

Manually Created Shapes

Time-consuming for initial
high-level assessment
Tends to be more detailed
(since you are spending the
time to create the shapes
Works well as the detailed
design stage following the
use of MSO

Mineable Reserves Optimizer

Less detailed than MSO
Floating Stope not as
Different methodology
creates Mineable

Mineable Shape Optimiser

Produces wireframe solids
and strings
Takes orebody geometry
into account
Very fast and easy to use


Used cut-off grade of 2 g/t Au

Manual shapes (detailed): sill and rib pillars
MSO: sill pillars but not rib pillars
MRO: no pillars and used small MMU


Grade (g/t)

Grams Au














Using MSO with MRO

It is possible to run MSO on an MRO output model
Two steps:
1. Run MRO to produce mineable envelopes that meet certain constraints
and criteria
2. Run MSO to generate stope shapes around the mineable envelopes

Decline Optimizer
Automatically-Generated Optimal Declines

Decline Optimizer
Rapidly assess alternative designs for
underground access


Decline Optimizer
Using either a stope design or
orebody envelope define the
access points through which
the decline must pass

Convert the points to a

string that will control
the decline path


Decline Optimizer Controls

Radius and Gradient
Either fixed values or Min and Max
Allowable Offsets
X, Y and Z offsets that can be applied in any
combination of directions defining a flexibility
Directional Control
Initial and Final Azimuths, minimum straight
portions value, end of decline direction
Access Point
Gradient control and flat areas for access points
Exclusion Zones
Exclusion zones such as an optimised stope model
or string outlines


Decline Optimizer Minimization

Optimization Methods

Minimize Total Path Length

Minimize Arc Length

Minimize Deviation from Preferred


Minimize Total Cost

Specify the Ramp/Drive/Haulage cost per

All of these can be combined by defining a weight
for each component

Decline Optimization assists with rapid engineering at the

analysis stages of a project as well as being a valuable aid to
subsequent more detailed designs


Thank You