Operational decision support for material management in continuous mining systems: From simulation concept to practical full-scale implementations

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Abstract

Material management in opencast mines is concerned with planning, organizing, and control of the flow of materials from their extraction points to destinations. It can be strongly affected by operational decisions that have to be made during the production process. To date, little research has focused on the application of simulation modeling as a powerful supportive tool for decision making in such systems. Practical experiences from implementing a simulation model of a mine for the operational support on an industrial scale are not known to the authors. This paper presents the extension of a developed stochastic simulation model by the authors from a conceptual stage (TRL4) to a new Technology Readiness Level (TRL 6) by implementing it in an industrially relevant environment. A framework for modeling, simulation, and validation of the simulation model applied to two large opencast lignite mines is presented in detail. Operational implementation issues, experiences, and challenges in practical applications are discussed. Furthermore, the strength of applying the simulation modeling as an operational decision support for material management in coal mining is demonstrated. Results of the case studies are used to describe the details of the framework, and to illustrate the strength and limitations of its application.

Original languageEnglish
Article number116
Number of pages26
JournalMinerals - Open Access Mining & Mineral Processing Journal
Volume7
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2017

Keywords

  • Coal mining
  • Material management
  • Opencast mine
  • Operational decision support
  • Simulation modeling
  • OA-Fund TU Delft

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