Robust, flexible and operational mine design strategies

B. Groeneveld, E. Topal, B. Leenders

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Strategic planning in mining is an important value accretive process. One of the most essential aspects during the planning phase is determining the correct system design. A traditional mine design process develops a fixed system for one set of conditions or expected values. An alternative is to develop a robust system that deals with variation, by handling a range of conditions within the optimisation process. Conversely, a flexible design can be generated which changes the system dynamically over time in response to change. It is hypothesised that a flexible design generates more value than a robust design which in turn generates more value than a traditional design. However, due to constant change, a fully flexible design is not practical. Ideally, a hybrid of the two methods would be optimal. An operational design is proposed as a manual solution to this problem. This paper compares these different new design methodologies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-28
Number of pages9
JournalTransactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy, Section A: Mining Technology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Decision making
  • Flexible mine design
  • Mine design
  • Robust mine design
  • Strategic planning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology
  • Geology

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