Document Type: Original Research Paper


1 Faculty of Mining and Metallurgy Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, Tehran, Iran

2 School of mining, college of engineering, University of Tehran, Iran



Production scheduling in underground mines is still a manual process, and achieving a truly optimal result through manual scheduling is impossible due to the complexity of the scheduling problems. Among the underground mining methods, sub-level caving is a common mining method with a high production rate for hard rock mining. There are limited studies about long-term production scheduling in the sub-level caving method. In this work, for sub-level caving production scheduling optimization, a new mathematical model with the objective of net present value (NPV) maximization is developed. The general technical and operational constraints of the sub-level caving method such as opening and developments, production capacity, sub-level mining geometry, and ore access are considered in this model. Prior to the application of the scheduling model, the block model is processed to remove the unnecessary blocks. For this purpose, the floating stope algorithm is applied in order to determine the ultimate mine boundary and reduce the number of blocks that consequently reduces the running time of the model. The model is applied to a bauxite mine block model and the maximum NPV is determined, and then the mine development network is designed based on the optimal schedule.


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