Document Type : Original Research Paper


1 Department of mining engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of mining engineering, Hamedan University of Technology, Hamedan,

3 Department of mining engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Urmia University of Technology, Urmia, Iran


The production cycle in open-pit mines includes the drilling, blasting, loading, and haulage. Since loading and haulage account for a large part of the mining costs, it is very important to optimize the transport fleet from the economic viewpoint. Simulation is one of the most widely used methods in the field of fleet design. However, it is unable to propose an optimized scenario for which the appropriate metaheuristic method should be employed. This paper considers the Sungun copper mine as the case study, and attempts to find the most feasible transportation arrangement. In the first step, in this work, we compare the flexible dispatching with the fixed allocation methods using the Arena software. Accordingly, the use of flexible dispatching reveals the increase in the production rate (20%) and productivity (25%), and the decrease (20%) in the idle time. The firefly metaheuristic algorithm used in the second step shows that the combined scenario of the 35-ton and 100-ton trucks is the most suitable option in terms of productivity and cost. In another attempt, comparing different heterogeneous truck fleets, we have found that the scenarios 35-100 and 35-60-100-144 increase the production rate by 39% and 49%, respectively. Also, in both scenarios, the production cost decreases by 11% and 21%, respectively.


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