A simulation-optimization framework for short-term underground mine production scheduling
Morales Varela, Nelson
Cita de ítem
Optimization and Engineering, March 2020
Mine operations are supported by a short-term production schedule, which defines where and when mining activities are performed. However, deviations can be observed in this short-term production schedule because of several sources of uncertainty and their inherent complexity. Therefore, schedules that are more likely to be reproduced in reality should be generated so that they will have a high adherence when executed. Unfortunately, prior estimation of the schedule adherence is difficult. To overcome this problem, we propose a generic simulation-optimization framework to generate short-term production schedules for improving the schedule adherence using an iterative approach. In each iteration of this framework, a short-term schedule is generated using a mixed-integer linear programming model that is simulated later using a discrete-event simulation model. As a case study, we apply this approach to a real Bench and Fill mine, wherein we measure the discrepancies among the level of movement of material with respect to the schedule obtained from the optimization model and the average of the simulated schedule using the mine schedule material's adherence index. The values of this index decreased with the iterations, from 13.1% in the first iteration to 4.8% in the last iteration. This improvement is explained because the effects of the operational uncertainty within the optimization model can be considered by integrating the simulation. As a conclusion, the proposed framework increases the adherence of the short-term schedules generated over iterations. Moreover, these increases in the adherence of schedules are not obtained at the expense of the Net Present Value.