Document Type: Case Study

Authors

1 Department of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Yazd University, Yazd, Iran

2 Ore Processing Supervisory and Management, Asfalt-Tous Company, Yazd, Iran

Abstract

Stockpiling and blending play a major role in maintaining the quantity and quality of the raw materials fed into processing plants, especially the cement, iron ore and steel making, and coal-fired power generation industries that usually require a much uniformed feed. Due to the variable nature of such materials, they even come from the same source and the produced ores or concentrates are seldom homogeneous enough to be directly fed to the processing plant ore furnaces. Processing plants in iron ore mines need uniform feed properties in terms of each variable (in this work, iron phosphorous ratio and Fe content in magnetite phase) grade of ore, and therefore, homogenization of iron ore from different benches of an open pit or ore dumps has become an essential part of modern mine scheduling. When ore dumps are considered as an ore source, the final grade of the material leaving the dump to the blending bed cannot be easily determined. This difficulty contributes to mixing the materials of different grades in a dump. In this work, the ore dump elements were treated as normally distributed random variables. Then a stochastic programming model was formulated in an iron ore mine in order to determine the optimum amount of ore dispatched from different bench levels in open pit and also four ore dumps to a windrow-type blending bed in order to provide a mixed material of homogenous composition. The chance-constrained programming technique was used to obtain the equivalent deterministic non-linear programming problem of the primary model. The resulting non-linear model was then solved using LINGO. The results obtained showed a better feed grade for the processing plant with a higher probability of grade blending constraint satisfaction.

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