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Better management of production incidents in mining using multistage stochastic optimization

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  • Reus, Lorenzo
  • Pagnoncelli, Bernardo
  • Armstrong, Margaret

Abstract

Among the many sources of uncertainty in mining are production incidents: these can be strikes, environmental issues, accidents, or any kind of event that disrupts production. In this work, we present a strategic mine-planning model that takes into account these types of incidents, as well as random prices. When confronted by production difficulties, mines which have contracts to supply customers have a range of flexibility options including buying on the spot market, or taking material from a stockpile if they have one. Earlier work on this subject was limited in that the optimization could only be carried out for a few stages (up to 5 years) and in that it only analyzed the risk-neutral case. By using decomposition schemes, we are now able to solve large-scale versions of the model efficiently, with a horizon of up to 15 years. We consider decision trees with up to 615 scenarios and implement risk aversion using Conditional Value-at-Risk, thereby detecting its effect on the optimal policy. The results provide a “roadmap” for mine management as to optimal decisions, taking future possibilities into account. We present extensive numerical results using the new sddp.jl library, written in the Julia language, and discuss policy implications of our findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Reus, Lorenzo & Pagnoncelli, Bernardo & Armstrong, Margaret, 2019. "Better management of production incidents in mining using multistage stochastic optimization," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 1-1.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jrpoli:v:63:y:2019:i:c:43
    DOI: 10.1016/j.resourpol.2019.101404
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lorenzo Reus, 2020. "Efficient selection of copper sales contracts for small‐ and medium‐sized mining," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 41(4), pages 624-630, June.
    2. Gilani, Seyyed-Omid & Sattarvand, Javad & Hajihassani, Mohsen & Abdullah, Shahrum Shah, 2020. "A stochastic particle swarm based model for long term production planning of open pit mines considering the geological uncertainty," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Mining incidents; Optimal policy; Stochastic dual dynamic programming; Risk-aversion; CVaR; Julia language;

    JEL classification:

    • L71 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Primary Products and Construction - - - Mining, Extraction, and Refining: Hydrocarbon Fuels
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • D81 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Criteria for Decision-Making under Risk and Uncertainty

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