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Modeling Development of Deep Horizons of Open Pits

Belyakov Nikolay
J.S.C. INVESTTEK, Moscow, Russia

Abstract. An open-pit deposit block model serves the basis for a performance analysis of resource-saving technologies used in deep horizons. Indicators of various technological solutions are determined based on a complex dynamic system of mining performance evaluation. To determine life cycle limits of individual engineering solutions in modeling an open-pit mine development, a criterion is needed to characterize the remaining life cycle of the facility under consideration at any given moment in time. It is appropriate to use the Current Net Present Value (CNPV) as such a criterion with all the points of time schedule serving consistently as reduction factors in the calculation. On the left side of the chart, the reduction range is limited to the current point, while on the right side - by the margins of the range under consideration. At deep pit levels, electric lifts, equipment based on mechanical disruption of hard rock and technologies that enable the development of mineral resources without overburden disposal, are considered as resource-saving technologies. The study established the effective applications of technology solutions for developing deep levels of quarries. The findings allow for reducing environmental damage from open pit mining as well as for increasing the economic effect. A conveyor design has been proposed, complying to the maximum extent possible with the following requirements imposed by technological processes used at deep pit horizons: a minimum material and energy consumption, a short assembly and disassembly period, a confined arrangement surface area, a minimum limitation of transport communications for wheeled traffic. Keywords: open pit mining, Current Net Present Value, resource-saving technologies, reducing environmental damage, suspended cable-belt conveyor.

1 Introduction
With the increased depth of open-pit mines, the costs of transportation become the key factor in determining the overall mineral deposit effective development costs and affect the main technical and economic indicators of production. Despite the great experience accumulated in deep open-pit mines' development and a significant amount of research in that area, further process improvement and technological advancement remain extremely relevant. The aim of the research is
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to substantiate the best-performing options in the use of resource saving technologies, formalize processes and technology characterization requirements for deep open-pit mines and develop recommendations for mine planning. The variety of mining-and-geological, technical-and-economic conditions of mining enterprises predetermines the use of flexible multivariate methods of simulation model structuring. The use of the findings obtained for the conditions of a particular field requires a comprehensive in-depth study of the complex features of the current or an intended open-pit mine.

2 Model Development
The objective of the simulation model development in this paper is to substantiate the most reasonable performance measurement definition of the technology solutions suggested for the lower subsurface levels development of open-pit mines. A comprehensive assessment of conditions for technical solutions requires a preliminary analysis of all the factors that may exert influence on the decisionmaking process. The diversity of the mining industry conditions predetermines the required flexibility in the master data and the feasibility of adjusting the modeling performance criteria. While it is difficult to evaluate in monetary terms the non-economic criteria of

the project, which include environmental and social performance of the project, the cost-effectiveness of the latter can be presented with a minimum of restrictions. The most important feature in determining the efficiency of open-pit mine deep levels development, is the need for working platforms for the implementation of certain technical solutions. Such platforms are required to accommodate the equipment, allow for arrangement of dumping stations, including areas for maneuvering and support activities, platforms for installation of equipment and process operations. Besides, it is necessary to take into account the alternating hardware performance under restrictive conditions, if any, at the lower levels of open-pit mines. Should the open-pit mine working area be critically reduced due to an arrangement of working platforms for additional equipment, an eventual change in the applied technology may necessitate additional wall cutbacks. The dynamics of deepening the open-pit mine comprise the arrangement of equipment operation platforms with the latter's basement partially blocking the rock mass area, making it impossible to develop such area segments while they are part of the technological process. The time span of their existence is determined by the life cycle of the equipment installed on such platforms. A mineral deposit block model serves the basis for a simulation model that contains information on the target site characteristics. Any software products with a block model development function may be used to create a block model.
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Micromine 14.0.1 Mining-and-Geological Information Management System has been used in preparing the present paper. That software provides a full set of open-pit mine technical and economic indicators studies required by the simulation algorithm. The open-pit mine deep levels development simulation model aims to: evaluate the efficiency of mineral deposit or part-of-mineral-deposit development, with the use of the proposed technologies; compare the competing methods of mining operations at lower levels; develop a methodological basis for mine planning, taking into account the specific features of the proposed technologies; analyze the impact of various factors on the mining operations, and define the main dependencies and ways to manage them; optimize the parameters of the technologies under consideration. The structure of an open-pit mining subsurface development simulation model consists of a system of master data blocks, a data storage and structuring unit and a results analysis unit. The master data blocks are represented both by endogenous and exogenous factors. The output parameters are the characteristics of the studied technology solutions as applied to the major deposit field or the mining enterprise and recommendations on the use of resource-saving technologies for the development of the lower subsurface levels of open-pit mines, formalized as technical and economic parameters of the proposed technology solutions and illustrative graphic materials. The master data block determines the specific costs of the main technological processes and the costs of the facilities. The cost of restraining factors, adjustment regulations and initial dependences shall be determined. In addition, marketdetermined costs of the open-pit mines production shall be assessed. The spatial characteristics of the simulation modeling are represented by the process platforms required for the studied technologies, the location coordinates of technological facilities, and the characteristics of dedicated zones, such as zones of exclusion. The adjusting factors determine the calculations parameter variations for such areas, for example, the amount of losses and dilution. The simulation process is finalized by the analysis of the received technicaleconomic indicators, the development of the final graphic indicators and the rationale for the recommendations addressed to the mining company.

The target function of the model is represented by the dominant criterion, which determines the purpose of the process under consideration, - the Net Present Value. Necessary constraints in achieving the objectives shall be described by the (main and subordinate) economic and non-economic criteria. The subordinated economic criteria are NCF (net cash flow), the cost of manufacturing and other economic criteria. The Current Net Present Value criterion serves to determine the time limits. Current Net Present Value (CNPV) calculating which all points of time graph are the moment of conversion consecutively.
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CNPV for each point of the graph is defined as the sum of the Net Values (NV) at the subsequent period of the process [1].
,

where N is current in-service time of equipment, years; is the discount rate, unit; t is the period between the current N value and year of receiving NV, years. In general, the constraints are taken as the limits of the model variables value changes or conditions of their changes.

3 Technological Solutions
Mechanical destruction of hard rock, technologies enabling the development of mineral resources without overburden dumping, as well, inclined conveyors are considered as resource-saving technologies for subsurface open-pit mine development. Drilling and blasting operations are the most common way of deep layer hard rock loosening at the open-pit mines. However, that method entails a significant environmental damage associated primarily with air pollution and seismic impacts. Drilling and blasting operations in deep layers require arrangement of operation platforms and protected areas for the preparation of massive explosions. In addition, special measures need to be undertaken to ensure the safety of blasting operations and neutralize their after-effects. Mechanical destruction of rocks helps to avoid such negative effects. The advantages of using the mechanical method at deep layers consist in: Improved air quality; Reduced mining equipment down-time; Reduced surface area under the operating platforms; Increased open-pit mines wall stability; Possibility to use conveyor transport without causing further rock disintegration; Improved safety of mining operations; No oversize boulders. The high strength and diversity of rocks is a limiting factor in the use of mechanical destruction method. Ensuring the scope of work for the rocks mechanical disintegration requires homogeneous characteristics of the rock mass, matching the intended performance of the mining equipment. In addition, it is necessary to monitor the changes in the configuration of the area of mechanical rock disintegration against the backdrop of the open-pit mine deep layers' development dynamics. If required to simultaneously use the mechanical disintegration and the drilling-and-blasting method of rock disintegration, the effectiveness of the mechanical method is greatly reduced.
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Highwall System Application can significantly reduce the cost of mining and environmental damage. However, the application research findings at the existing coal strip mines show the complexity of cadenced production planning and a high

proportion of a commercial mineral loss. It can, therefore, be assumed that an unequivocally effective application of this method is circumscribed to the deposit field areas where it is difficult to arrange for the overburden rocks removal. Furthermore, a package of measures is deemed necessary to ensure the technological processes correlation within the open-pit mine. The most effective and almost surface-relief-independent means of transportation can be ensured by cargo-carrying wire cableways. However, the shuttle-like nature of the tote-a-load bearing capacities leads to their lower performance than that of the conveyor systems. Widespread in open-pit mining, belt conveyors involve the transfer of effective tractive effort via the load-bearing belt, which limits the length of the conveyor lines and requires the use of a high tensile stress resistant belt. Cable-belt conveyors intensively introduced into service in recent years are devoid of such a drawback. In their design, transfer of effective tractive effort is provided through the traction rope. To ensure frictional engagement with the traction rope, the conveyor belt is equipped with special arched clips. Along with a number of advantages of cable-belt conveyors application in open-pit mining operations, it requires the use of an expensive special conveyor belt. Additionally, as in a conventional conveyor design, its installation requires high precision construction operations while setting up the base platform. To combine the advantages of the cargo wire cableway and the cable-belt conveyor, a design of a suspended cable-belt conveyor has been proposed [2]. That structure suggests a conveyor line consisting of a frame with a conveyor belt fixed at the bottom. At the top, the frame has a carrying roller moving with the frame on the track cable. The effective tractive effort is transmitted via the traction rope, which has a frictional connection with the frame by a clamping device disposed in the upper portion of the frame. The conveyor of such a design is placed on a track cable stretched between the supporting masts. Such a design conveyor allows for its track to be suspended above a motor-road. Thus, the proposed design combines all the benefits of cable-belt conveyors and aerial ropeway. Summarizing the positive characteristics of two types of transport systems provides a synergistic effect, resulting in a more efficient use of a suspended cable-belt conveyor at the deep leers of coal strip mines. The advantages of a suspended cable-belt conveyor are as follows: Low materials intensity, ease of manufacturing and structural assembly; The use of a simple and cheap conveyor belt; The possibility of suspending the conveyor above motor-roads; Feasibility of setting up traction installations along the conveyor line track; Feasibility of creating polygonal conveyor lines at the edge of an open-pit mine without construction of special power-drive stations;
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Moving larger rock pieces than conveyors of a conventional design with the same belt width; Low labor intensity of installation, maintenance and repair of the transport system; A significantly lower energy consumption of the transportation system. Study of the process platforms' impact on the technical and economic parameters of deep layers of open-pit mines implies designation of a rock mass associated with the implementation of the process under consideration. Conveyor lift technological platforms arrangement modeling (Figure 1) may serve an example. The figure shows in different colors different phases of an open-pit mine development in terms of the use of the autotruck transportation. The technological platform for the conveyor and the dumping station is the apex of a prism within which no mining activities are allowed. In blue color, the figure shows a reference prism.

Fig. 1 The lay-out of an open-pit mine with an inclined conveyor

An important part of the study is to determine the dynamics of the open-pit mine operation area with account of the area blocked by the process platforms used for technological applications. Figure 2 shows the change in the operation area, compared with the base technology for phased out uniform development of deep open-pit mine layers. The cone shows the inclined conveyor reference prism boundaries. Its configuration changes the development sequence of the open-pit mine, with a negative impact on the open-pit mine development efficiency increasing with the increase in depth of the open-pit mine.
Modeling Development of Deep Horizons of Open Pits 49 Fig. 2 Reference prism for inclined conveyor process platform placement

Therefore, when modeling the deep open-pit mine layers, the study of the operating area development dynamics is carried out with due account of the feasibility of applying the inclined conveyors design as easily mountable and portable.

4 Deep Horizons Studies


The study contributed to determining the economic effect of mining development using three mining technology options (Figure 3): truck transportation, conventional conveyor transport design, and a suspended cable-belt conveyor.
Fig. 3 NPV comparison using different technologies

0 200 400 600 800 1000 1200 1400 1600 Trucks Conveyor SCBC
50

The most expensive transportation. A significa the conveyor transport, ev the open-pit development The maximum effect is The boundaries of the open-pit mine layers dev reducing market value of
Fig. 4 The boundaries of reducing cost of production

The criterion for deter Current Net Present Valu changes depending on th deposit mining boundarie graph of changing CNPV when the cost of extrac economically viable mine three times. With the us CNPV values enter the ne Meanwhile, only half o price on products, the us the total volume of the lic -50 0

50 100 150 200 123456 Trucks


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and least effective option in mining is the autotruc ant increase in efficiency occurs with the introduction o ven in spite of the deviation from the optimal schedule o . s achieved by using a suspended cable-belt conveyor. e use of technologies under consideration for the dee elopment are the limits of the deposit field mining wit extracted minerals.
the use of different transportation options with account

rmining the limiting boundaries of open-pit mines is th ue. The comparison diagram of the critical CNPV valu he use of various technologies confirms the minimum es when the truck transportation is used. Figure 4 shows V values with the use of truck transportation technolog cted minerals is reduced by 30%. The volume of th eral resource extraction is, meanwhile, reduced by abou se of the conventional conveyor transport system, th egative zone when the prices on products fall by 40%. of the licensed reserves are being extracted. At the sam e of a suspended cable-belt conveyor allows for minin censed reserves. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 Conveyor SCBC
ay

ck of of ep th
of

he ue m a gy he ut he me ng
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5 Conclusion
In mining simulation, it is advisable to use a criterion that characterizes the remaining life cycle of the facility under consideration at any given moment in time. The Current Net Present Value (CNPV) serves such a criterion with all the points of time schedule graph used consistently as reduction factors in the calculation. The use of that criterion is practical in determining the boundaries of open-pit mining, the expiry of the mining equipment life cycle, and the deadline for a technological solution application.

A variety of key economic indicators predetermine the multivariant iterative algorithm structure of the simulation model calculation. An important feature of the analyzed system is the dynamics of open-pit mines' spatial parameters with due account of certain areas blockage by process platforms at the lower levels of the open-pit mining. The simulation results show that the use of conveyor transport at the open-pit mine lower levels may adversely affect the mode of mining operations due to the blockage of individual open-pit mine areas by the process platforms, as needed. However, the overall effectiveness of the deposit mining is greatly enhanced. The greatest effect is achieved by using a suspended cable-belt conveyor. When the market value of the mineral goes down, such technology allows for the maximum scope of the mineral reserves mining.
Acknowledgement. The work has been performed under the public contract No.14.515.11.0024 of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation of March 20, 2013.

References
1. Belyakov, N.N.: Adoption of economic criteria for quarries development modeling. Coal Monthly Science and Technology, Industry and Economics Magazine (6), 2829 (2013) 2. Belyakov, N.N.: ZAO FPK INVESTTEK, Cable-belt conveyor. Application for the grant of a patent on utility model of the Russian Federation No. 2013135589 dated 30.07.2013, Federal Institute of Industrial Property, FIIP