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Scheduling an open-pit mine for extraction: challenges in the optimization of very large integer programming problems

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Tuesday 1 June 2010, 13:00
LT11, Management School

Marcos Goycoolea Guzman
Adolfo Ibáñez University, Chile

Abstract: For the purpose of production scheduling, open pit mines are
discretized into three- dimensional arrays known as block models.
Production scheduling consists in deciding which blocks should be
extracted, when they should be extracted and how each extracted block
should be processed. Blocks which are on top should be extracted
first, and capacity constraints limit the production each time period.
Since the 1960s it has been known that this problem can be modeled
with integer programming. However, the large size of real instances
(3-10 million blocks, 15-20 time periods) has made these models
impractical for use in real planning applications, thus leading to the
use of numerous heuristic methods. We propose a new decomposition
method suitable for optimizing this problem and analyze computational results on
on several data sets corresponding to real open-pit mines.

This is joint research with Daniel Espinoza (Universidad de Chile, Santiago, Chile) and Eduardo Moreno (Universidad Adolfo Ibañez, Santiago, Chile).

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