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The Optimisation Problem

An open pit + underground multi-seam mine sold several metallurgical coal and thermal coal products. There was a particular quality attribute that was sometimes difficult to control in product blends but that was important to buyers. The mine’s parent company engaged Paradyn to determine if a more consistent product quality could be achieved through optimised stockpiling and CHPP processing strategies without making changes to the mining schedule, which was constrained and had limited optionality due to the layout of the underground mine.

The planning problem was defined such that sales volumes for each product were fixed, so opportunities for improvement were not in relation to production yields or margin and instead related to the delivery of products within a narrow quality specification.

Approach

BlendOpt was used to construct a Digital Twin of the customer's operation using a combination of stockpile definitions, process plant, and product specifications that reflected the customer's operational reality.

The Value Unlocked for our Client

The BlendOpt optimiser demonstrated its value as an effective coal supply management software application, and discovered plans that violate product specifications in <5% of targets in comparison to a previously existing plan that violated specifications in ~35% of targets across a five-year plan. Importantly, BlendOpt did not violate any quality specifications that were rejection limits, i.e. hard constraints for product sale.