PhD in Industrial Management Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Iran
Maximizing economic earnings is the most common goal in cut-off grade optimization of open-pit mining operations. When this is the case, the price of the product has a critical effect on optimum value of cut-off grade. This paper investigates the relationship between optimum cut-off grade and price to maximize total cash flow and net percent value (NPV) of operation. In order to visualize this relationship, two hypothetical mines were employed. To determine the optimum value of cut-off grade in different cases, two nonlinear programming models were formulated, and then, all models were solved using Solver in Excel. The results show that the optimum cut-off grade would always be a descending function of price when we intend to maximize total cash flow. On the other hand, this function may be descending or ascending when we intend to maximize NPV. This result also reveals that both maximum cash flow and maximum NPV always increase and decrease, respectively when the price of product increases or decreases.