Gosselin mining headerMine transport optimization

Mine fleet transport optimisation

An underground mining operation can be interpreted as a hauling system where material is moved ahead from one activity to another. The primary activities consist of: 1. loading the materials from one or multiple sources (mining production areas), 2. hauling the materials to one or multiple destinations (waste dumps, stockpiles or crusher) using one or multiple transportation systems interconnected by various materials handling methods. The size of the mining mobile equipment is a crucial factor to consider when analyzing the most suitable haulage system. This paper presents the haulage system of an underground mining project in Sweden which assumed a fleet of Load-Haul-Dump (LHD) scooptram equipment’s and three vehicles capacity alternatives used to haul fragmented rock material. The following three truck alternatives were examined using ExtendSim simulation software: (i) Base Case: Scania 40 tonne vehicle; (ii) Alternative A: Scania 50 t vehicle; and (iii) Alternative B: Sandvik 60 t underground vehicle.

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Brand agnostic mine fleet simulations

Why is simulation is important

Simulation involves designing a model of a haulage system and carrying out experiments on it as it progresses through time. Models enable you to see how a real-world haulage activity will perform under different conditions and test various hypotheses at a fraction of the cost of performing the actual activity.

One of the principal benefits of a model is that you can begin with a simple approximation of a process and gradually refine the model as your understanding of the process improves. This “stepwise refinement” enables you to achieve good approximations of very complex problems fairly quickly.

Developing the model

Carrying out brand agnostic independent study on mining transport simulation analyzed the efficiency of ore haulage and waste transport fleet productivity using road truck tipper vehicles on specific mine haul routes. Mine transport study consider a base case and two alternatives mine vehicle fleet such as:

  • Scania 40-ton tipper vehicle; and
  • Scania 50-ton tipper truck; and
  • Sandvik 60-ton underground vehicle.

Assessing potential bottlenecks in mine transportation, picking out appropriate mining transport vehicles, and estimating both capital and operating expenses for a Base Case simulation.

Simulations are great to conduct experiments

The mine transport simulation concentrates on the primary underground transportation, moving from the loading of blasted materials such as ore or waste to their pre-processing or reloading. The hauling process is limited solely to the mining area and avoids public roadways. The transported materials vary from iron ore to waste rock or process tailings.

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