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Discrete Event Simulation and Animation for a Complex Open Pit Mine Operation, Marigold Mine in Winnemucca, Nevada
Mining and Metallurgical Engineering
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AbstractIn any phase of a mining operation, the goal is to have an efficient and cost effective design or plan before implementing and investing large amounts of capital. Discrete-event simulation partnered with animation are powerful tools that can be used to facilitate this goal. This method models the mining operation as discrete events over time and provides a visual to verify that the logic of the mine is correct. Whenever a new method is learned, there will always be a learning curve – once familiarized with discrete-event simulation and animation, this tool can be utilized in any stage of mine planning: preliminary design, equipment selection, long and short term planning, and proposed locations for stockpiling, and dumping to name a few. The focus of this thesis project is to use discrete-event simulation and animation on an existing complex open pit mine operation called Marigold Mine in Winnemucca, Nevada owned by Silver Standard and to demonstrate it is a beneficial tool. Research and collecting data by observation was carried out during three time periods where the mine operation changed from pits and dumps being used, and new equipment being incorporated. After collecting this data, it was compiled, and analyzed. The model of the mine was revised, calibrated, and validated with actual production numbers for a specific time period. This research also carried out four case studies and an economic analysis.Keywords: discrete-event system simulation, animation, GPSS/H®, PROOF Professional®, and mine planning.