Maximising value in stope optimisation and open pit grade control

Considerable effort has been focussed on the development of a comparable algorithm for the design of underground mines since the publication of Lerchs and Grossmann’s paper, “Optimum Design of Open Pit Mines” in 1965.

The availability of powerful mathematical programming solvers makes it possible to generate stope designs that are optimal in the same sense as those produced for open pits by the Lerchs-Grossmann algorithm.

This paper discusses the reasons for such efforts, why the Lerchs-Grossmann algorithm and newer pseudoflow variants are not directly suited to the task and outlines the capabilities and deficiencies of some heuristics that have been proposed.

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