Simulation model of coal mine operations

In mining, as in any other capital-intensive business, companies need to compare and optimize manufacturing and business processes all the time. For mining companies, a specific challenge increases costs: complex logistics for both raw material handling and mining procurement. Complex logistics are difficult for traditional optimization tools and they can fail to deliver satisfying results. As a result, companies are turning to new solutions.

One of these solutions is mining operation simulation. With it, you can simulate mining or equipment operations. You can also test limits and process changes without substantial costs. In this post, you will find some of the tasks which you can approach using mining simulation.

Focus Group worked as a subcontractor for one of the Big Four accounting firms on a project for one of the world’s biggest steel producers.

The simulation model for the coal mine was done based on scenarios including:

  1. Changing mine layout
  2. Geology and drilling particularities
  3. Quantity and production capacities of the transport units
  4. Dynamically changing conveyor network
  5. Operations duration and sequence

Operation duration and other scenario parameters were identified based on chronometric observations and regulatory mine documentation.

5 scenarios were introduced; each of them was estimated by simulation modeling results that considered the trade-off between production volume and additional capital investments into the equipment.

These are typical tasks that we often solve for our clients in the mining industry and combine into the scenario analysis group. The group also includes other tasks such as:

  • dynamically forecasting ore extraction volumes and reserves;
  • synchronizing operations inside and outside mines;
  • calculating equipment utilization levels;
  • determining the required number of vehicles and renting or equipment leasing period;
  • planning equipment maintenance.

We develop all our models in AnyLogic. Its flexibility, integration of GIS maps, agent-based modeling, and advanced 3D animation make it the leading tool for modeling mining operations.

Try simplified simulation model in AnyLogic Cloud