Underground Schedule Optimisation.


Did you know that for a given design, changes in the mine schedule can impact the net present value (NPV) of the project by over 25%? SOT addresses this opportunity by applying custom heuristics and sophisticated genetic algorithms that assess many scheduling options, and systematically learns which strategies deliver the greatest value. It is a stand-alone software that integrates with EPS by receiving an EPS file as an input and also having the ability to output an EPS file once the schedule has been optimised. As typical mine activity scheduling is time consuming, mine planners usually have limited time to test different scenarios and conduct trade-off studies. However, with the SOT module, once a mine design is discretized into activities to be scheduled and those activities are logically sequenced, SOT will take this information and produce an optimised schedule. This is all also tailored to specific user inputs such as production constraints, targets and mining resources, providing you with a schedule that is both value optimised and aligned to your individual processes.

SOT Key Features

Produce Schedule With Highest NPV

Many mine planners are producing schedules which deliver the desirable production profile without taking into consideration the actual value of the schedule. There are often a number of possibilities that can be produced and planners usually just adopt one ‘good’ schedule. SOT takes it one step further and allows the user to produce a much larger number of these possible schedules giving the user more options to analyse and choose from. The user will then be able to select a final schedule which is the most practical and has the highest value out of all the produced alternatives.

Test & Compare Scenarios

Planners can easily test and compare different scenarios, and identify bottlenecks (i.e. selecting the hoisting capacity and development rate which will deliver the best result (highest NPV).

Machine Learning

SOT produces schedules in sequential steps and automatically ‘learns’ at every iteration in order to continually generate maximised outputs with the highest NPVs. First, an initial set of schedules are produced using specific SOT custom heuristics. Then, SOT will start optimising the schedule by ‘crossing’ these initial schedules. The highest value schedules produced will be kept, whilst the lowest value ones will be discarded. This ‘crossing’ of schedules process will be repeated until the value ceases to increase.

Other Uses

• Comparison of different mining methods on pre-feasibility studies.
• Potential Economic Material – Investigate the effect of different time frames for the upgrading of resource classification.
• Financial Scenarios – Investigate the effect of pessimist and optimist financial scenarios; investigations on unit costs, mineral prices, interest rate, inflation etc.
• Capital Investment – Smoothing capital investment profiles; assessing of different time frames for capital injection.
• Sensitivity Analysis – NPV sensitivity to several parameters.

SOT V3 New Features

New User Interface

The interface for SOT V3 offers a cleaner look and feel with easier navigation. From importing projects to viewing results, the entire user interface has been redesigned with the user in mind.

Priority Activity Splits

You are now able to split tasks in order to schedule priority tasks earlier in the mine life while adhering to capacity constraints.

Multiple Guidance Types

SOT V3 now allows multiple Guidance Types and/or various intensity amounts to be configured in one execution.

Flexible Assignment of Types

You are no longer constrained to the types and units selected on import. You can now set and change these associations as you need.

New Objective Added

In addition to the objectives in SOT2, there is now a new objective – the maximisation of a schedule’s profitability index.

Integrated Equipment Variations

Equipment quantities and capacities have now been integrated for better performance and ease of use, with the additional option to specific alternative equipment sets.

Multi-Core Processor

SOT V3 can run on up to 4 processor cores, allowing for reduced run times.

Easily View Resource Allocations

You can now easily see how SOT V3 assigned resources throughout the mine life.

Baseline Executions

You can now conveniently reproduce an imported schedule for quick financial and resource analysis, as well as make a baseline comparison with optimised schedules.

Updated Activity Filters

The previous Activity Types have now been replaces with Activity Filters. You can now filter by any text field and value in order to flexibly apply a number of properties, from setting objectives, costs and equipment, to the new ability to assign weight and length fields selectively.


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