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Title: Determination of an ultimate pit limit utilising fractal modelling to optimise NPV
Author: Yasrebi, Amir Bijan
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 9313
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2014
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The speed and complexity of globalisation and reduction of natural resources on the one hand, and interests of large multinational corporations on the other, necessitates proper management of mineral resources and consumption. The need for scientific research and application of new methodologies and approaches to maximise Net Present Value (NPV) within mining operations is essential. In some cases, drill core logging in the field may result in an inadequate level of information and subsequent poor diagnosis of geological phenomenon which may undermine the delineation or separation of mineralised zones. This is because the interpretation of individual loggers is subjective. However, modelling based on logging data is absolutely essential to determine the architecture of an orebody including ore distribution and geomechanical features. For instance, ore grades, density and RQD values are not included in conventional geological models whilst variations in a mineral deposit are an obvious and salient feature. Given the problems mentioned above, a series of new mathematical methods have been developed, based on fractal modelling, which provide a more objective approach. These have been established and tested in a case study of the Kahang Cu-Mo porphyry deposit, central Iran. Recognition of different types of mineralised zone in an ore deposit is important for mine planning. As a result, it is felt that the most important outcome of this thesis is the development of an innovative approach to the delineation of major mineralised (supergene and hypogene) zones from ‘barren’ host rock. This is based on subsurface data and the utilisation of the Concentration-Volume (C-V) fractal model, proposed by Afzal et al. (2011), to optimise a Cu-Mo block model for better determination of an ultimate pit limit. Drawing on this, new approaches, referred to Density–Volume (D–V) and RQD-Volume (RQD-V) fractal modelling, have been developed and used to delineate rock characteristics in terms of density and RQD within the Kahang deposit (Yasrebi et al., 2013b; Yasrebi et al., 2014). From the results of this modelling, the density and RQD populations of rock types from the studied deposit showed a relationship between density and rock quality based on RQD values, which can be used to predict final pit slope. Finally, the study introduces a Present Value-Volume (PV-V) fractal model in order to identify an accurate excavation orientation with respect to economic principals and ore grades of all determined voxels within the obtained ultimate pit limit in order to achieve an earlier pay-back period.
Supervisor: Wetherelt, Andrew; Foster, Patrick; Afzal, Peyman Sponsor: Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (global network IOM3) ; Cornish Institute of Engineers ; Whittle Consulting (Business Optimisation for the Mining Industry)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Concentration-Volume (C-V) fractal model ; Density–Volume (D–V) and RQD-Volume (RQD-V) fractal modelling ; Present Value-Volume (PV-V) fractal model ; Ultimate pit limit