Implementation and comparison of four stope boundary optimization algorithms in an existing underground mine

Erdogan G. , Cigla M., Topal E., Yavuz M.

International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment, vol.31, no.6, pp.389-403, 2017 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 31 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2017
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/17480930.2017.1331083
  • Title of Journal : International Journal of Mining, Reclamation and Environment
  • Page Numbers: pp.389-403
  • Keywords: Underground mining, stope boundary, optimization, stope boundary algorithms


© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.Deeper deposits become the future of mining as an increasing amount of shallow deposits are exploited. Consequently, the mining industry is being forced to extract minerals from deeper deposits using underground mining methods. This increased the demand for underground mine planning and optimization techniques. Stope boundary optimization is an important step of underground mine design and planning due to its direct impact on the economics of the project. It focuses on maximising the economic profit by selecting the best possible layout; by considering operational, geotechnical and physical constraints. There are a number of algorithms that have been developed for stope boundary optimization for the last two decades. In this paper, an existing underground mine is examined where sublevel stoping mining method is applied. Four algorithms are applied to this underground mine to investigate their applicability in underground mine planning and design process. The selected algorithms are Floating Stope, Maximum Value Neighbourhood, and two special applications which are developed by Sens and Topal and Sandanayake and Topal. The capabilities and limitations of these algorithms are evaluated and compared to each other. Then, they are compared with the stope optimization results from an existing underground mine.