Over 20 years of combined experience in applying mechanical and industrial engineering methods to solve and study mining related problems. Specifically using dynamic computer simulations to plan for future expansions, evaluate and compare design/process options, identify bottlenecks, predict performance measures, optimize development and production schedules, and study the impact of introducing new equipment and technology to existing systems.
Labrecque Technologies has performed several block cave simulations. These models are used to study lateral development, shaft sinking, undercutting, production LHDs, secondary breaking, crushers, truck haulage, rail haulage, crushers, conveyors, skipping, bins, and stockpiles. The models are also used to estimate construction rates for drawpoints, drawbells, roadways, orepasses, and vent raises. The advantage of using this type of simulation model is the ability to capture the interactions between all the different activities in a block cave mine.
Another key application of discrete event simulation is modeling ramp haulage systems. These models primarily focus on haulage trucks driving in the ramp and on the levels but also include all other vehicles driving underground that can cause traffic in the ramp. The models are used for bottleneck analysis, estimating the productive capacity of the ramp and sizing the truck fleet to meet future production targets.
Several models have been built in order to estimate lateral development rates. Reducing development and construction time can have a significant impact on the value of a project and lateral development is generally on the critical path to achieve first production. Simulation is a great tool to model lateral development for single heading, multiple headings, and multiple crews. The analysis focuses on the advance rate and the models are used to test different heading sizes, sequences, ground support requirements, and different equipment.
Simulation models are a great tool to estimate production rates from any mining method. Models have been built to simulate cut and fill, drift and fill, room and pillar, sublevel open stoping, vertical crater retreat, and sublevel caving. The analysis focuses on production rates, number of open stopes, stope cycles, backfill constraints, development constraints, and equipment optimization.