Optimization of Operating Risk in Mining System through Monte-Carlo Simulation

Serguei A. Kenzap and Vassilios N. Kazakidis


Operating risk assessment, Monte-Carlo simulation, Mining systems


Mining projects are planned and constructed in an uncertain physical and economic environment, while they engage a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines in project planning and execution. Mines are designed, in most cases, before operating conditions are fully defined and understood. Risk assessment is an essential component for optimizing the design of a mining system under uncertainty. Poor designs and decisions can lead to the reduction or even elimination of profitability, as a result of adverse consequences to a production system. However, it is often challenging to adopt the appropriate analysis for risk assessment and derive the required input data. The uniqueness of a mining project and the associated technical issues require customization of the risk assessment approach to meet both requirements and characteristics of a project. The uncertainty driving the operating risk in mining system design and its assessment through Monte Carlo simulation as a component of a cash flow analysis are discussed in this paper. The paper introduces the use of qualitative input and conducts quantification of three main sources of operating performance delays, related to equipment, ground and schedule problems, in cash flow simulation.

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