6 Main Toolbar

6.1 Import Details Menu 
      6.1.1 Tasks 
      6.1.2 Dependencies  
      6.1.3 Resources  
      6.1.4 Field Assignments  
6.2 Mine Scenario Menu 
      6.2.1 Products 
      6.2.2 Contaminants 
      6.2.3 Equipment 
      6.2.4 Other Properties 
      6.2.5 Text Attribute Capacities 
      6.2.6 Added Dependencies 
      6.2.7 Plants 
      6.2.8 Activity Filter Scenarios 
      6.2.9 Financial Scenarios 
      6.2.10 Mine Scenario 
6.3 Execution Configuration Menu 
      6.3.1 Guidance Settings 
      6.3.2 Seeds 
      6.3.3 Capacity Flexing      
      6.3.4 Run Settings 
      6.3.5 Execution Configuration

 

6.1 Import Details Menu

The Import Details menu contains tools for reviewing all of the project data imported into SOT when the SOT project was created. The Import Details tools allow users to reference the imported data, enabling some verification of the imported project data. The Import Details menu is divided into four categories: Tasks, Dependencies, Resources, and Field Assignments.

6.1.1 Tasks

Tasks is where a table listing all activities and corresponding production and text fields is located. Regardless of the production and text fields imported to create the project, every SOT project will have a column reporting the following for each activity

 
All imported production and text fields are listed after these standard reporting columns. If a field is not shown in the Tasks table then it was not imported into the project and will not be an option available for selection when configuring any of the SOT project settings.

To review the Tasks table,

  1. Click on the Import Details menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Tasks from the drop-down list.

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  1. The Tasks window will open with a table containing the imported activity data.
  1. Tasks can be sorted by clicking a column label.

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  2. Light blue cells denote the ability to further review the field; to view additional details, double click on the light blue cell of interest.

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  3. For example, when double clicking on a Predecessors cell, a Dependencies dialog will appear for the activity. For the activity (Drilling_e2a65439 in this case), all of its Predecessor activities, as a result of dependency links imported with the project, will be listed in the table with columns reporting its Dependency Type, Minimum Lag and Maximum Lag.

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6.1.2 Dependencies

All Dependencies imported into SOT are listed here for reviewing purposes. There are two tabs: the Dependency Map tab and the Dependency Properties tab. Both tabs report the imported dependency link information but present the information differently.

The Dependency Map tab shows all of the predecessor and successor activities for a selected activity. All activities in the project are listed and selectable. This method of reporting Dependencies is intended for easily tracking how activities are linked to one another.

The Dependency Properties tab lists all the dependencies in the project and reports them in terms of the two activities connected by the dependency. The Dependency Type, Minimum Lag and Maximum Lag are also all reported for every dependency.

To review the Dependencies imported into the SOT project,

  1. Click on the Import Details menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Dependencies from the drop-down list.

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  1. The Dependencies window will open and the Dependency Map tab will be visible.
  2. To view the Dependencies of a particular activity, click on the activity of interest located in the side panel list.

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  1. The selected activity’s predecessor and successor activities are visible in their respective tables. The Dependency Type, Minimum Lag and Maximum Lag for the dependency link are also reported here.
  2. To select and view one of the predecessor or successor activities of the currently selected activity, click on the predecessor or successor activity of interest.

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    The SOT dependency setting Max Lag refers to the time period within which an activity must start, after its predecessor activity has completed. Max Lags are specified on import through the use of a text field. The lag duration is a numeric value entered into this text field denoting, in number of days, the maximum allowable lag. If the activity is not subject to any Max Lag then the field will be blank for the activity.

    A Min Lag is what mine planning and scheduling software refer to as a ‘Lag’. When the notion of a Max Lag doesn’t exist in a software tool, the term Lag is sufficiently descriptive. In the case of a Finish-Start dependency type, Min Lag refers to the minimum time period after its predecessor activity has completed before an activity may start.


  1. The selected activity’s predecessor and successor activities will now be displayed.

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  1. To review the Dependency links reported as a list of Dependencies rather than as a list of activities, click the Dependency Properties tab.

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  2. The tab will open, and a table listing all imported Dependencies will be visible; each Dependency is reported in terms of the predecessor activity (“From”) and the successor activity (“To”). The Dependency Type, Min Lag and Max Lag are also reported for each Dependency.

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6.1.3 Resources

Resources that have been configured in third party scheduling software can be imported into a SOT project and used to define Equipment. When a SOT project is created, a Resource’s ‘ID’, ‘Name’, ‘Description’, ‘Rate’ and maximum number of units (or ‘Max. Units’) are all imported. Resources summarizes this information and can be used in Equipment to create Equipment definitions.

To review the project’s Resources:

  1. Click on the Import Details menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Resources from the drop-down list.

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  1. The Resources window will open with the Imported Resources table visible.

 

6.1.4 Field Assignments

Field Assignments summarizes what SOT project settings have been applied to imported production and text fields, and is updated as project settings are modified.

To review the projects Field Assignments:

  1. Click on the Import Details menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Field Assignments from the drop-down list.

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  3. The Field Assignments window will open with the Field Assignment table visible.

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    When the SOT project is first created and no settings have been configured, the Usage and Unit column will not be populated with any values. Once the project utilizes the imported text and production fields to configure constraints and settings, both columns will display the settings used.
  1. Light blue editable cells can be double clicked to change the fields units.

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  2. A Select Unit dialog window will open. Select from the dropdown list the new unit for the field; click OK.

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6.2 Mine Scenario Menu

The Mine Scenario menu contains tools used to configure various aspects of a SOT project. Imported text and production fields are used to create and define all of the products, product prices, contaminants, resources, constraints, and costs. Summarized in the table below are the Mine Scenario menu tools for configuring a SOT project.

Products Define all Products that are to be extracted, using imported production fields.
Contaminants Define all Contaminants, representative of impurities present in ore, using imported production fields.
Equipment Create Equipment resources of type Length or Weight. These can be used to constrain schedules using equipment availability and maximum capacities. Triggers that change capacity constraints, Condition Scenarios and Capacity Flexing Scenarios are defined here, as well as Point Expenditures and Sustaining Expenditures.
Other Properties Define production field capacity constraints.
Text Attribute Capacities Define text (custom) field attribute capacity constraints.
Added Dependencies Create additional sets of dependencies by referencing existing text fields.
Plants Create Plant constraints and product recovery factors.
Activity Filter Scenarios Create scenarios by flagging ore bearing and objective activities, and activities that may be split, and associating activities with costs, equipment sets and plants.
Financial Scenarios Define components of the project’s financial model.
Mine Scenarios Create scenarios by selecting defined product prices, equipment, activity filter scenarios, constraints, conditions, added dependencies, recovery factors and financial models.

 

6.2.1 Products

Products are utilized in SOT to calculate revenues produced from ore-bearing activities. A Product is defined using an imported production field populated with grade values. The unit for the production field must be manually set in SOT to ensure that the imported grade values are correctly interpreted. Multiple Products can be created and defined in a single SOT project when a production grade field has been imported for each Product. For any Product, Capacity Constraints, capacity constraint change triggers, capacity conditions and prices can be defined.

To define a Product:

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Products from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Products window will open; double click on [+] Product located on the side panel menu.

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  2. The Create Product dialog window will appear; select from the drop-down list the production field (populated with grade values) you wish to use to define the Product; click OK.

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  3. A new Product will be created; name the new Product.

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  1. To set the Product grade unit, select from the two drop-down menus the weight units applicable to the values in the selected production field.

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  1. The Product is now configured with a production field and grade unit. Save the Product by clicking the button save button.

 

Capacity Definition

A Capacity Definition for a Product allows the user to specify a Capacity Constraint and the duration (granularity) for which the constraint is to be enforced. A Capacity Constraint imposes an upper limit on a production field quantity that can be scheduled, over some defined time period. The Capacity Definition can be set up to enforce constraints either uniformly or periodically.

Uniform Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity always remain at or below a defined limit (enforced to the minute).
Periodic Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity remains at or below a defined limit in a specified time period (the enforcement period).

 

For convenience, the limit (capacity) for Capacity Constraints can be defined by the user in terms of either minutes, hours, days, weeks, or years (e.g., 100 units per day will have the exact effect of 700 units per week).

The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity completes. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger. In order to only apply a Capacity Constraint to activities with a particular attribute value, a Condition Scenario can be defined for the Capacity Definition.

Employing a Product Capacity Definition will constrain the Product weight (before recovery factors are applied) that can be scheduled to occur within a specified time period.

The Product weight is calculated by SOT using the Product’s associated grade field and the selected activity weight field, for all activities flagged as ore, as set in an Activity Filters Scenario (refer to Section 6.2.8).


To define a new Capacity Definition:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Definition located on the side panel menu under a product.

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  1. A new Capacity Definition window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will be visible.

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  1. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  2. A Capacity Entry dialog box will pop up; uncheck the Unlimited Capacity checkbox.

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    When the capacity is set to Unlimited, no constraint will be applied to the product quantity that can be scheduled.

  1. To set a uniformly-enforced capacity, ensure the Uniform option is selected.

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    OR

    To set a periodically-enforced capacity, ensure the Periodic option is selected.

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  1. For a Uniformly enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum Product weight per unit time. Click OK. In this case, no enforcement period duration can be set; enforcement of the given Capacity will effectively be ‘to the minute’.

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    OR

    For a periodically enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum Product weight per unit time, then set the time period over which this capacity constraint is to be enforced. Click OK.

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    When uniform capacity enforcement is selected, the capacities are strictly enforced to the minute, and as a consequence the schedule may be over-constrained. To allow for a similar Capacity Constraint but with an assumption of some realistic “buffer” in the mining system, Periodic capacity enforcement should be utilized. Uniform capacity enforcement is appropriate in the less common case when there is no such “buffer” in the system.

    Unlike Uniform capacities, Periodic capacity enforcement will permit saw-toothing of the production field over the enforcement period.

    To limit saw-toothing (i.e., to avoid excessively high ‘spikes’), the shortest enforcement period possible, without over-constraining the schedule, should be defined for Periodic Capacity Constraints. For example, enforce a capacity over a weekly period rather than on an annual basis.

    Example: A Periodic capacity can be defined as 3,000 tonnes per day, enforced weekly. This results in an actual Capacity Constraint of 21,000 tonnes per week. Depending on how the project is set up, it is likely that this capacity will result in an average daily quantity of close to 3,000 tonnes per day. However, defining the Capacity Constraint using this method will also allow 3,010 tonnes to occur within a day, or even a ‘spike’ of 5,500 tonnes, so long as the capacity of 21,000 tonnes per week is not exceeded.

  2. The setting default is for a constant Capacity Constraint to occur for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the initial Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

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    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table (315,000 pounds of nickel per week) is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur.

  1. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period after which the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

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  2. A new Capacity Definition row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the Capacity Constraint table. The newly created capacity row can now have a different Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). A time-varying Capacity Definition can be defined in this manner with changes over the life of mine in Capacity Constraints and enforcement periods.

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Capacity Trigger

To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity completing, a Capacity Trigger can be defined.

  1. To define a Capacity Trigger, click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Triggers window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger, click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Activity, double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear, and all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The selected activity will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define the capacity change, double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

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    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value.


  1. The quantity entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Definition.

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.

 

Condition Scenario

Condition Scenarios can be defined for any Capacity Definition, and limit application of the Capacity Definition to activities that meet a specific Condition defined with reference to text attribute fields. Only activities with the same text attribute value (as set in the Condition) will be subject to the Capacity Constraint.

To define a Condition Scenario,

  1. Double click on [+] Condition Scenario located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Condition Scenario window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired text field.

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  1. Click the button add group button.
  2. A new Condition Scenario row will appear in the table; double click on the cell in the Values column.

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  1. A Select Condition Attributes dialog box will open; the dialog box will list all unique attribute values contained in the selected text field. Check the boxes next to the attribute value(s) that will be subject to the Capacity Constraint; click OK.

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  1. Additional capacity conditions can be defined (using a different text field) for the same Condition Scenario by repeating the steps outlined above.

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    When more than one field is used to define a Condition Scenario, the Capacity Constraint will be applied when an activity possesses all defined conditions

 

Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing consists of applying Capacity Constraints at user-defined amounts above and below the originally set Capacity Constraint. The user-defined incremental changes are applied to the original Capacity Constraint and are referred to as steps. To reflect the change in cost from adjusting the Product Capacity Constraints, an expenditure adjustment to the Fixed Expenditures of the project can be defined for each step. The primary intent of Capacity Flexing is to allow for quick setup of Constraints above and below (or just above) a baseline constraint.

To define a Capacity Flexing scenario for a Product Capacity Constraint:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Flexing located on the side panel menu under a Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Capacity Flexing scenario window will open. Define the magnitude of change above and below the Product Capacity Constraint by entering product weight (change) into the Step size field and selecting the appropriate units from the drop-down lists.

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  1. Select the number of steps to generate above and below the original Capacity Constraint by adjusting the value in the # of steps field.

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  1. To generate the steps defined, click on the button refresh button.
  2. The Flexing table for the defined step and step size will appear; define the change to the project’s Fixed Expenditure by double clicking on a Fixed Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

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    Fixed Expenditure Adjustments are applied to each Fixed Expenditure entry defined in the Financial Scenario selected for the Run. Refer to Section 6.2.9 an explanation of Fixed Expenditures.

    A positive Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the overall project expenditures.

    A negative Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the overall project expenditures.

  1. The effects of the defined Capacity Constraint adjustment can be reviewed in the Capacity table. To review the capacity effects of a specific step, select from the View drop-down list the desired step to review.

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  1. Save the Product configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

Price Profile

Price profiles are used to define time-varying Product prices. Price profiles represent the market price that is received for each unit of extracted Product (calculated from the grade and the weight field assigned to activities flagged as ore). The price is applied to the extracted and recovered Product and counted towards the project revenue immediately upon scheduled excavation of the ore.

To define a Price Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Price Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined product.

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  2. A new Price Profile window will open; select from the drop-down menu the weight unit for the Product pricing.

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    The pricing unit for the Product does not have to be the same as used to define the Product’s grade (e.g., a product with the grade in grams per tonne can have a price defined as dollars per troy ounce)

  1. The default Product price row will be populated with the project start date and no price. To define the initial Product price in the Price Profile, double click on the cell in the Price column and enter a value.

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  1. To create a new Product price row, click on the button add row button.
  2. A new Product price row will now be displayed. Double click on the cell in the Date column; select the date at which the new Product price will first apply.

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  3. Define the Product price for the new row in the same manner as outlined above; a time-varying price profile can be created by defining numerous Product price-date rows.

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  1. Save the Product configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

6.2.2 Contaminants

Impurities present in the ore can be defined as Contaminants and constrained in a SOT project. Contaminants are defined by means of a production field populated with grade values. Contaminants are utilized in SOT to calculate the costs incurred from impurity-bearing activities. Contaminant Capacity Constraints and capacity constraint change triggers are also created and defined here. Multiple Contaminants can be defined in a single SOT project, so long as a production field has been imported for the grade values of each Contaminant.

The Contaminant weight is calculated by multiplying the Contaminant (grade) field and the weight field, for all activities flagged as ore, as set in an Activity Filter Scenario.

To define a Contaminant,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Contaminants from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Contaminant window will open; double click on [+] Contaminant located on the side panel menu.

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  2. The Create Contaminant dialog window will appear; select from the drop-down list the production field (populated with contaminant grades) you wish to use to define the Contaminant; click OK.

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  3. A new Contaminant will be created; name the new Contaminant.

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  1. To set the Contaminant grade unit, select from the two drop-down menus the weight units applicable to the production field selected in the previous step.

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  1. The Contaminant is now configured with a production field and a grade unit; save the Contaminant by clicking the button save button.

 

Capacity Definition

A Capacity Definition for a Contaminant allows the user to specify a Capacity Constraint and the duration (granularity) for which the constraint is to be enforced. Capacity Constraints impose an upper limit on a production field quantity that can be scheduled, over some defined time period. The Capacity Definition can be set up to enforce constraints either uniformly or periodically.

Uniform Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity always remain at or below a defined limit (enforced to the minute).
Periodic Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity remains at or below a defined limit in a specified time period (the enforcement period).

 

For convenience, the limit (capacity) for Capacity Constraints can be defined by the user in terms of either minutes, hours, days, weeks or years (e.g., 100 units per day will have the exact effect of 700 units per week).

The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity completes. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger. In order to only apply a Capacity Constraint to activities with a particular attribute value, a Condition Scenario can be defined for the Capacity Definition.

Employing a Contaminant Capacity Definition will constrain the Contaminant weight that can be scheduled to occur within a specified time period.

To define a new Capacity Definition:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Definition located on the side panel menu under a Contaminant.

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  1. A new Capacity Definition window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will be visible.

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  1. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  1. A Capacity Entry dialog box will pop up; uncheck the Unlimited Capacity checkbox.

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    When a capacity is set to Unlimited, no constraint will be applied to the production field quantity that can be scheduled.

  1. To set a uniformly-enforced capacity, ensure the Uniform option is selected.

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    OR

    To set a periodically-enforced capacity, ensure the Periodic option is selected.

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  1. For a Uniformly enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Contaminant weight per unit time. Click OK. In this case, no enforcement period duration can be set; enforcement of the given Capacity will effectively be ‘to the minute’.

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    OR

    For a periodically enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Contaminant weight per unit time, then set the time period over which this Capacity Constraint is to be enforced. Click OK.

    image110 2

    When uniform capacity enforcement is selected, the capacities are strictly enforced to the minute and as a consequence the schedule may be over-constrained. To allow for a similar Capacity Constraint but with an assumption of some realistic “buffer” in the mining system, Periodic capacity enforcement can be utilized. Uniform capacity enforcement is appropriate in the less common case when there is no such “buffer” in the system.

    Unlike Uniform capacities, Periodic capacity enforcement will permit saw-toothing of the production field over the enforcement period.

    To limit saw-toothing (i.e., to avoid excessively high ‘spikes’), the shortest enforcement period possible, without over-constraining the schedule, should be defined for Periodic Capacity Constraints. For example, enforce a capacity over a weekly period rather than on an annual basis.

    Example: A Periodic capacity can be defined as 3,000 tonnes per day, enforced weekly. This results in an actual Capacity Constraint of 21,000 tonnes per week. Depending on how the project is set up, it is likely that this capacity will result in an average daily quantity of close to 3,000 tonnes per day. However, defining the Capacity Constraint using this method will also allow 3,010 tonnes to occur within a day, or even a ‘spike’ of 5,500 tonnes, so long as the capacity of 21,000 tonnes per week is not exceeded.

  1. The setting default is for a constant Capacity Constraint to occur for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the initial Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

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    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table (31.5 tonnes per week) is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur.

  1. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

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  2. A new Capacity Definition row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the Capacity Constraint table. The newly created capacity row can now have a Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time-dependent Capacity Constraints can be defined in this manner for a single Capacity Definition.

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Capacity Trigger

To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity completing, a Capacity Trigger can be defined.

  1. To define a Capacity Trigger click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Trigger window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger, click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Activity, double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define the capacity change, double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

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    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value.

  1. The quantity change entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Definition.

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.

    Only the first Capacity Constraint defined in a profile will be applied when a Capacity Trigger is defined, all other Capacity Constraints defined in the profile will be ignored.

 

Condition Scenario

Condition Scenarios can be defined for any Capacity Definition and limit application of the Capacity Definition to activities that meet a specific Condition defined with reference to text attribute fields. Only activities with the same text attribute value (as set in the Condition) will be subject to the Capacity Constraint.

To define a Condition Scenario,

  1. Double click on [+] Condition Scenario located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Condition Scenario window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired text field.

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  1. Click the button add group button.
  2. A new Condition Scenario row will appear in the table; double click on the cell in the Values column.

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  1. A Select Condition Attributes dialog box will open; the dialog box will list all unique attribute values contained in the selected text field. Check the boxes next to the attribute value(s) that that will be subject to the Capacity Constraint; click OK.

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  1. Additional capacity conditions can be defined (using a different text field) for the same Condition Scenario by repeating the steps outlined above.

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    When more than one attribute field is used to define a Condition Scenario, the Capacity Constraint will be applied when an activity possesses all attribute conditions.

 

Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing consists of applying Capacity Constraints at user-defined amounts above and below the originally set Capacity Constraint. The user-defined incremental changes are applied to the original Capacity Constraint and are referred to as steps. To reflect the change in cost from adjusting the Contaminant Capacity Constraints, an expenditure adjustment to the Fixed Expenditures of the project can be defined for each step. The primary intent of Capacity Flexing is to allow for quick set up of Constraints above and below (or just above) a baseline constraint.

To define a Capacity Flexing scenario for a Contaminant Capacity Constraint:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Flexing located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Capacity Flexing scenario window will open. Define the magnitude of change above and below the Contaminant Capacity Constraint by entering product weight (change) into the Step size field and selecting the appropriate units from the drop-down lists.

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  1. Select the number of steps to generate above and below the original Capacity Constraint by adjusting the value in the # of steps field.

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  1. To generate the steps defined, click on the button refresh button.
  2. The Flexing table for the defined step and step size will appear; define the change to the project’s Fixed Expenditure by double clicking on a Fixed Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

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    Fixed Expenditures Adjustments are applied to the first Fixed Expenditure entry defined in the Financial Scenario selected for the Run. Refer to Section 6.2.9 an explanation of Fixed Expenditures.

    A positive Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the overall project expenditures.

    A negative Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the overall project expenditures.

  1. The effects of the defined Capacity Constraint adjustment can be reviewed in the Capacity table. To review the capacity effects of a specific step, select from the View drop-down list the desired step.

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  1. Save the Contaminant configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

Cost Profiles

Contaminant Cost Profiles are intended to account for the costs associated with processing ore containing a Contaminant. The Cost Profile applies a financial penalty when Contaminants are present in unwanted quantities. This is accomplished by defining a Contaminant concentration threshold that applies over some defined time period. When the concentration threshold is surpassed, a cost per unit weight of contaminant in excess of the threshold is incurred. Cost Profiles can be configured so that Contaminant Costs vary over time.

The Contaminant Cost per unit time is calculated as follows:

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To define a Contaminant Cost Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Cost Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Contaminant.

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  2. A new Cost Profile window will open. To define a Contaminant Cost, double click on the cell in the Cost column.

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  1. A Contaminant Cost dialog window will open. Begin by selecting from the Contaminant Unit drop-down list the appropriate unit for the defined Contaminant.

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  1. Define the time period for application of the contaminant threshold by entering a duration into the Per Time Unit field and selecting from the drop-down list the appropriate time unit.

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  1. Define the cost per Contaminant unit (above the threshold) by entering a dollar value into the Cost field.

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  2. Define the threshold, for which any quantity above will result in a cost being incurred, by entering a Contaminant quantity into the Threshold field.

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  1. Define the Contaminant unit to which the Cost applies in the Per Amount field.

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  2. The values entered are summarized at the bottom of the dialog window. Review the equation and once satisfied click OK.

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  1. A Contaminant cost has been defined as reflected in the Cost Profile table. The default setting is for the defined Contaminant Cost to apply for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Contaminant Cost, define the duration for which the Contaminant Cost definition will occur prior to a new cost being applied by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

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  2. A Set Duration dialog box will appear. Define the time period after which the Contaminant Cost is to change; click OK.

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  3. A new Contaminant Cost row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the table. The newly created Contaminant Cost row can now have a Cost defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time dependent Contaminant Costs can be defined in this manner for a single Contaminant Cost Definition.

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  4. Save the Contaminant configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

6.2.3 Equipment

Equipment is defined in SOT and assigned to activities with the purpose of representing the availability and maximum operating capacities of mining equipment or crews, hoists, etc. Equipment can be used to constrain weight and length based quantities, the number of activities that can occur simultaneously due to equipment availability, or both. The equipment type, number of available units, length or weight based Capacity Constraints, capacity constraint change triggers and capacity constraint conditions can all be defined under Equipment. Certain costs associated with equipment are defined in SOT as Sustaining Expenditures and Point Expenditures.

To create an Equipment definition,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Equipment from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Equipment window will open; double click on [+] Equipment located on the side panel menu.

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  2. The Create Equipment dialog window will appear; select from the Equipment type drop-down list the Equipment type you wish to use to define the Equipment; click OK.

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    OR

    Select from the Imported Resources drop-down list the Resource you wish to use to define the Equipment and select from the Equipment Type drop-down list the Equipment type you wish to use to define the Equipment.
  1. A new Equipment will be created; name the new Equipment.

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  1. The Equipment is now configured with a type. Save the Equipment by clicking the button save button.

 

Capacity Definition

A Capacity Definition for an Equipment definition allows the user to specify a Capacity Constraint and the duration (granularity) for which the constraint is to be enforced. Capacity Constraints impose an upper limit on a production field quantity that can be scheduled, over some defined time period. The Capacity Definition can be set up to enforce constraints either uniformly or periodically.

Uniform Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity always remain at or below a defined limit (enforced to the minute).
Periodic Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity remains at or below a defined limit in a specified time period (the enforcement period).

 

For convenience, the limit (capacity) for Capacity Constraints can be defined by the user in terms of either minutes, hours, days, weeks or years (e.g., 100 units per day will have the exact effect of 700 units per week).

The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity completes. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger. In order to only apply a Capacity Constraint to activities with a particular attribute value, a Condition Scenario can be defined for the Capacity Definition.

Employing Equipment Capacity Definitions will constrain the advancement length or the weight extracted within a specified time period of the schedule, for a user selected production field. As well, an Equipment Capacity Definition can constrain the number of Equipment instances that are allowed to operate at the same time.

To define a new Capacity Definition:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Definition located on the side panel menu under an Equipment definition.

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  1. A new Capacity Definition window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will be visible.

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  1. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  2. A Capacity Entry dialog box will pop up; uncheck the Unlimited Capacity checkbox.

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    When a capacity is set to Unlimited, no constraint will be applied to the production field quantity that can be scheduled.

  1. To set a uniformly-enforced capacity, ensure the Uniform option is selected.

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    OR

    To set a periodically-enforced capacity, ensure the Periodic option is selected.

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  1. For a Uniformly enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired weight (or length) per unit time. Click OK. In this case, no enforcement period duration can be set; enforcement of the given Capacity will effectively be ‘to the minute’.

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    OR

    For a periodically enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired weight (or length) per unit time, then set the time period over which this Capacity Constraint is to be enforced. Click OK.

    image192

    When uniform capacity enforcement is selected, the capacities are strictly enforced to the minute and as a consequence the schedule may be over-constrained. To allow for a similar Capacity Constraint but with an assumption of some realistic “buffer” in the mining system, Periodic capacity enforcement can be utilized. Uniform capacity enforcement is appropriate in the less common case when there is no such “buffer” in the system.

    Unlike Uniform capacities, Periodic capacity enforcement will permit saw-toothing of the production field over the enforcement period.

    To limit saw-toothing (i.e., to avoid excessively high ‘spikes’), the shortest enforcement period possible, without over-constraining the schedule, should be defined for Periodic Capacity Constraints. For example, enforce a capacity over a weekly period rather than on an annual basis.

    Example: A Periodic capacity can be defined as 3,000 tonnes per day, enforced weekly. This results in an actual Capacity Constraint of 21,000 tonnes per week. Depending on how the project is set up, it is likely that this capacity will result in an average daily quantity of close to 3,000 tonnes per day. However, defining the Capacity Constraint using this method will also allow 3,010 tonnes to occur within a day, or even a ‘spike’ of 5,500 tonnes, so long as the capacity of 21,000 tonnes per week is not exceeded.

  1. Define the number of units of Equipment by first double clicking on the cell in the Quantity column.

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  2. An Equipment Quantity dialog window will open; uncheck the Unlimited check box and enter the desired number of Equipment units.

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  3. The Capacity Constraint per unit and number of Equipment units available are now defined.

    The default setting is for a constant Capacity Constraint to be enforced for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the initial Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

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    The defined Capacity Constraint applies separately to each unit of Equipment, unless the Quantity field is set to Unlimited. When the Quantity field is set to Unlimited, the Capacity Constraint entry is the overall (aggregate) Capacity Constraint for the Equipment.

    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table (3,500 tonnes of material per week) is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur.

  4. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

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  5. A new Capacity Definition row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the Capacity Constraint table. The newly created capacity row can now have a Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time-dependent Capacity Constraints can be defined in this manner for a single Capacity Definition.

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Capacity Trigger

To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity completing, a Capacity Trigger can be defined.

  1. To define a Capacity Trigger click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Triggers window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger, click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Activity, double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define a capacity change per unit of Equipment, double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

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    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value.

  1. The quantity entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Definition.

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.

    Only the first Capacity Constraint defined in a profile will be applied when a Capacity Trigger is defined, all other Capacity Constraints defined in the profile will be ignored.

 

Condition Scenario

Condition Scenarios can be defined for any Capacity Definition, and limit application of the Capacity Definition to activities that meet a specific Condition defined with reference to text attribute fields. Only activities with the same text attribute value (as set in the Condition) will be subject to the Capacity Constraint.

To define a Condition Scenario,

  1. Double click on [+] Condition Scenario located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  2. A new Condition Scenario window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired text field.

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  3. Click the button add group button.
  4. A new Condition Scenario row will appear in the table; double click on the cell in the Values column.

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  5. A Select Condition Attributes dialog box will open; the dialog box will list all unique attribute values contained in the selected text field. Check the boxes next to the attribute value(s) that will be subject to the Capacity Constraint; click OK.

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  6. Additional capacity conditions can be defined (using a different text field) for the same Condition Scenario by repeating the steps outlined above.

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    When more than one field is used to define a Condition Scenario, the Capacity Constraint will be applied when an activity possesses all defined conditions.

 

Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing consists of applying Capacity Constraints at user-defined amounts above and below the originally set Capacity Constraint. The user-defined incremental changes are applied to the original Capacity Constraint and are referred to as steps. To reflect the change in cost from adjusting the Product Capacity Constraints, an expenditure adjustment to the Fixed Expenditures of the project can be defined for each step. The primary intent of Capacity Flexing is to allow for quick setup of Capacities above and below (or just above) a baseline constraint.

To define a Capacity Flexing scenario for an Equipment Capacity Constraint:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Flexing located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Capacity Flexing scenario window will open. Define the magnitude of change above and below the Equipment Capacity Constraint by entering equipment weight or length (change) into the Step size field and selecting the appropriate units from the drop-down lists.

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  1. Select the number of steps to generate above and below the original Capacity Constraint by adjusting the value in the # of steps field.

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  1. To generate the steps defined click on the button refresh button.
  2. The Flexing table for the defined step and step size will appear; define the change to the project’s Fixed Expenditure by double clicking on a Fixed Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

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    Fixed Expenditures Adjustments are applied to the first Fixed Expenditure entry defined in the Financial Scenario selected for the Run. Refer to Section 6.2.9 for an explanation of Fixed Expenditures.

    A positive Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the overall project expenditures.

    A negative Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the overall project expenditures. The Fixed Expenditure may be reduced to 0, but will not become less than 0.

  1. Define the change to the Equipment’s Sustaining Expenditure by double clicking on a Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

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    Sustaining Expenditures Adjustments are applied to each Sustaining Expenditure entry defined for the Equipment.

    A positive Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the Equipment Sustaining Expenditures.

    A negative Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment will decrease the Equipment Sustaining Expenditures. The Equipment Sustaining Expenditure may be reduced to 0, but will not become less than 0.

  1. The effects of the defined Capacity Constraint adjustment can be reviewed in the Capacity table. To review the capacity effects of a specific step, select from the View drop-down list the desired step to review.

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  1. Save the Equipment configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

Point Expenditure Profiles

An Equipment Point Expenditure is an Equipment cost that is applied at a given point in the mine life based on the cumulative percentage of material extracted or distance advanced (as a percentage of the total quantity in the project). Point Expenditures are defined using a table; once the specified percentage of weight has been extracted, or length advanced, the fixed cost is incurred immediately. The percentages at which the Point Expenditures are applied are all user-defined. Any cost associated with the 0% mark will be applied when the Equipment is first scheduled (weight is first extracted or length advanced). The 100% mark is when the Equipment is last scheduled (all the material weight has been extracted or no additional length remains to be advanced). As a result of this cost application method, the time at which the cost is incurred (and thus the discounting) will vary based on the schedule generated.

0% does not necessarily mean the cost will be applied at schedule start date. The time at which the given Equipment is first scheduled (associated material is first extracted or length first advanced) is project and schedule dependent.

The cumulative percentage complete is determined using production fields and production field quantities that have been assigned to the Equipment in the Activity Filter Scenario. Not all quantities in the production field are considered—only values that adhere to the filter set in Activity Filter Scenario (refer to Section 6.2.8).


To define an Equipment Point Expenditure Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Point Expenditure Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Equipment.

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  1. A new Point Expenditure Profile window will open; to add a percentage-cost row, click button add entry.
  2. To define the expenditure, enter in the Percent cell the percentage of the production field (weight or length) that must be handled or advanced before the cost is applied.

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    The production field or portion of a production field the Equipment’s Point Expenditure will apply to (weight or length) will coincide with the production field the Equipment definition is assigned to in the Activity Filter Scenario (refer to Section 6.2.8).

  1. Double click the Cost cell and enter the cost that is to be incurred.

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  2. Define as many Point Expenditures as necessary; numerous Point Expenditures can be defined for a single Point Expenditure Profile.

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    0% and 100% rows cannot be deleted, but no cost need be associated with them.

 

Sustaining Expenditure Profiles

Sustaining Expenditure Profiles are reoccurring Equipment costs incurred for the entire time period from when the Equipment is first used until its last usage in the mine life. An annualized cost is applied over a user defined time interval, beginning at the time of the first use of the Equipment. The expenditure time intervals are set in relation to the Equipment usage start date rather than in relation to the schedule start date or calendar dates.

To define an Equipment Sustaining Expenditure Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Sustaining Expenditure Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Equipment.

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  1. A new Sustaining Expenditure Profile window will open; a Sustaining Expenditure can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Annual Cost column and entering a value.

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    Values entered into the Annual Cost column should be the cost for an entire year, even if the defined duration is less than a year. SOT v3 will apply a pro-rated cost to partial years.
  1. The setting default is for a constant cost to occur annually for the entire time period from when the equipment is first used until its last usage in the mine life. To create a time dependent Sustaining Expenditure, define a duration until the next Sustaining Expenditure is to occur by double clicking on the cell in the Duration column.

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  2. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Sustaining Expenditure is to change. Click OK.

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  3. A new Sustaining Expenditure row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the table. The newly created expenditure row can now have a Sustaining Expenditure defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time dependent Sustaining Expenditures can be defined in this manner for a single Sustaining Expenditure Profile.

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    The annual cost incurred can be changed multiple times over the life of a schedule.

 

6.2.4 Other Properties

Other Properties track and constrain production fields within a SOT project and can be a simple alternative to Equipment for applying Capacity Constraints to production fields. Rather than creating a type of Equipment, defining a Capacity Definition for it and then assigning the Equipment to an Activity Filter in order to constrain a production field, Other Properties allow for a Capacity Definition to be directly assigned to the production field. Other Properties also allow production fields to be set in terms of units other than length or weight type units; Equipment does not allow for this. As with other configuration settings, the units, Capacity Constraints, capacity constraint change triggers and capacity conditions can all be defined for any Other Property created.

To define a new Other Property,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Other Properties from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Other Properties window will open; double click on [+] Other Property located on the side panel menu.

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  2. The Create Other Property dialog window will appear; select from the first drop-down list the production field you wish to use to define the Other Property.

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  3. Select from the second drop-down the unit type to assign to the Other Property; click OK.

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    Unit type (Length, Mass or Units) selection is used to provide the Other Property definition with the appropriate unit options, so that the production field quantities will be interpreted correctly.

    When Units is selected as the unit type, the production field quantities will be interpreted as unitless and no conversions will be carried out on the values. Since the Other Property will be defined as unitless, there will not be any unit options to select from when the Other Property is created.

  1. A new Other Property has now been created; select from the drop-down list the correct unit to be used to interpret the Other Property.

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  1. The Other Property is now configured with a production field and units. Save the Other Property by clicking the button save button.

 

Capacity Definition

A Capacity Definition for an Other Property definition allows the user to specify a Capacity Constraint and the duration (granularity) for which the constraint is to be enforced. Capacity Constraints impose an upper limit on a production field quantity that can be scheduled, over some defined time period. The Capacity Definition can be set up to enforce constraints either uniformly or periodically.

Uniform Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity always remain at or below a defined limit (enforced to the minute).
Periodic Enforcement Requires that the scheduled production field quantity remains at or below a defined limit in a specified time period (the enforcement period).

 

For convenience, the limit (capacity) for Capacity Constraints can be defined by the user in terms of either minutes, hours, days, weeks or years (e.g., 100 units per day will have the exact effect of 700 units per week).

The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity completes. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger. In order to only apply a Capacity Constraint to activities with a particular attribute value, a Condition Scenario can be defined for the Capacity Definition.

Employing an Other Property Capacity Definition will constrain weight, length, or units that can be scheduled to occur within a specified time period.

To define a new Other Property Capacity Definition,

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Definition located on the side panel menu under a defined Other Property.

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  2. A new Capacity Definition window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will be visible.

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  3. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  4. A Capacity Entry dialog box will pop up; uncheck the Unlimited Capacity checkbox.

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    When a capacity is set to Unlimited, no constraint will be applied to the production field quantity that can be scheduled.

  1. To set a uniformly-enforced capacity, ensure the Uniform option is selected.

    image107

    OR

    To set a periodically-enforced capacity, ensure the Periodic option is selected.

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  1. For a Uniformly enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Other Property weight (or length or unit) per unit time. Click OK. In this case, no enforcement period duration can be set; enforcement of the given Capacity will effectively be ‘to the minute’.

    image234

    OR

    For a periodically enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Other Property weight (or length or unit) per unit time, then set the time period over which this Capacity Constraint is to be enforced. Click OK.

    image235

    When uniform capacity enforcement is selected, the capacities are strictly enforced to the minute and as a consequence the schedule may be over-constrained. To allow for a similar Capacity Constraint but with an assumption of some realistic “buffer” in the mining system, Periodic capacity enforcement can be utilized. Uniform capacity enforcement is appropriate in the less common case when there is no such “buffer” in the system.

    Unlike Uniform capacities, Periodic capacity enforcement will permit saw-toothing of the production field over the enforcement period.

    To limit saw-toothing (i.e., to avoid excessively high ‘spikes’), the shortest enforcement period possible, without over-constraining the schedule, should be defined for Periodic Capacity Constraints. For example, enforce a capacity over a weekly period rather than on an annual basis.

    Example: A Periodic capacity can be defined as 3,000 tonnes per day, enforced weekly. This results in an actual Capacity Constraint of 21,000 tonnes per week. Depending on how the project is set up, it is likely that this capacity will result in an average daily quantity of close to 3,000 tonnes per day. However, defining the Capacity Constraint using this method will also allow 3,010 tonnes to occur within a day, or even a ‘spike’ of 5,500 tonnes, so long as the capacity of 21,000 tonnes per week is not exceeded.

  1. The setting default is for a constant Capacity Constraint to occur for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the initial Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

    image236

    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table (4,200 metres per week) is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur.

  1. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

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  2. A new Capacity Definition row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the Capacity Constraint table. The newly created capacity row can now have a Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time-dependent Capacity Constraints can be defined in this manner for a single Capacity Definition.

    image237

 

Capacity Trigger

To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity completing, a Capacity Trigger can be defined.

  1. To define a Capacity Trigger click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Triggers window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger, click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Activity, double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define the capacity change, double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

    image242

    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value

  1. The quantity change entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Definition

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.

    Only the first Capacity Constraint defined in a profile will be applied when a Capacity Trigger is defined, all other Capacity Constraints defined in the profile will be ignored.

 

Condition Scenario

Condition Scenarios can be defined for any Capacity Definition, and limit application of the Capacity Definition to activities that meet a specific Condition defined with reference to text attribute fields. Only activities with the same text attribute value (as set in the Condition) will be subject to the Capacity Constraint.

To define a Condition Scenario,

  1. Double click on [+] Condition Scenario located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

    image244

  2. A new Condition Scenario window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired text field.

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  3. Click the button add group button.
  4. A new Condition Scenario row will appear in the table; double click on the cell in the Values column.

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  5. A Select Condition Attributes dialog box will open; the dialog box will list all unique attribute values contained in the selected text field. Check the boxes next to the attribute value(s) that will be subject to the Capacity Constraint; click OK.

    image248

  6. Additional capacity conditions can be defined (using a different text field) for the same Condition Scenario by repeating the steps outlined above.

    image249

    When more than one field is used to define a Condition Scenario, the Capacity Constraint will be applied when an activity possesses all defined conditions

 

Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing consists of applying Capacity Constraints at user-defined amounts above and below the originally set Capacity Constraint. The user-defined incremental changes are applied to the original Capacity Constraint and are referred to as steps. To reflect the change in cost from adjusting the Product Capacity Constraints, an expenditure adjustment to the Fixed Expenditures of the project can be defined for each step. The primary intent of Capacity Flexing is to allow for quick setup of Capacities above and below (or just above) a baseline constraint.

To define a Capacity Flexing scenario for an Other Property Capacity Constraint:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Flexing located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

    image251

  1. A new Capacity Flexing scenario window will open. Define the magnitude of change above and below the Other Property Capacity Constraint by entering a production field (change) into the Step size field and selecting the appropriate units from the drop-down lists.

    image252

  1. Select the number of steps to generate above and below the original Capacity Constraint by adjusting the value in the # of steps field.

    image253

  1. To generate the steps defined click on the button refresh button.
  2. The Flexing table for the defined step and step size will appear; define the change to the project’s Fixed Expenditure by double clicking on a Fixed Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

    image255

    Fixed Expenditures Adjustments are applied to the first Fixed Expenditure entry defined in the Financial Scenario selected for the Run. Refer to Section 6.2.9 for an explanation of Fixed Expenditures.

    A positive Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the overall project expenditures.

    A negative Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the overall project expenditures. The Fixed Expenditure may be reduced to 0, but will not become less than 0.

  1. The effects of the defined Capacity Constraint adjustment can be reviewed in the Capacity table. To review the capacity effects of a specific step, select from the View drop-down list the desired step to review.

    image256

    image257

  1. Save the Other Property configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

6.2.5 Text Attribute Capacities

Text Attribute Capacities reference text field values when constraining and tracking activities being scheduled. Text Attribute Capacities create and define Capacity Constraints for the number of instances of a text field attribute value that can occur at any given time, over a set period. Likewise, the number of unique text field values associated with activities scheduled to occur over a set period can also be constrained. Text Attribute Capacity Constraints can also be set to initiate when a specific activity (Trigger Activity) occurs.

To define a Text Attribute Capacity,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Text Attribute Capacities from the drop-down menu.

    image97 4

  1. The Text Attribute Capacities window will open; double click on the text field for which you wish set a Text Attribute Capacity.

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  1. A new Text Attribute Capacity will be created; name the Text Attribute Capacity.

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  1. Save the Text Attribute Capacity by clicking the button save button.

 

Capacity Profile

A Capacity Profile for a Text Attribute Capacity is where Capacity Constraints impose a limit on the number activities that can occur at any given time, for activities that share a particular text attribute value. The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity occurs. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger.

When a Text Attribute Capacity’s Capacity Profile is employed, a constraint will be placed on the number of activities sharing the same text attribute value which occur at any given time in the schedule. Alternatively, a Text Attribute Capacity can be employed to limit the number of unique text attribute values occurring among activities scheduled at the same time.

To define a Text Attribute Capacity’s Capacity Profile,

  1. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column (for the text a value that you intend to constrain).

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    The <Unique> Text Field Value will limit the number of different Text Field Values among activities occurring at any given time.

    The imported Text Field Values will limit the number of activities with the same Text Field Value occurring at any given time.

  1. A new Capacity Profile window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will already be visible. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  1. A Capacity Entry dialog box will popup; uncheck the Unlimited check box.

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  2. For the selected Text Field Value, enter the maximum number of activities to allow at any given time; click OK.

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  3. The setting default is for a constant Capacity Constraint to occur for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell in the Duration column.

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    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur at any given time

  1. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

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  2. A new capacity row, which is offset by the duration just defined, will appear in the table. The newly created capacity row can now have a Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time dependent Capacity Constraints can be defined in this manner for a single Capacity Profile.

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Capacity Trigger

  1. To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity occurring, a Capacity Trigger can be defined. To define a Capacity Trigger click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Triggers window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Trigger double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define the capacity change double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

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    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value.

  1. The quantity change entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored.

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Profile.

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.


    Only the first Capacity Constraint defined in a profile will be applied when a Capacity Trigger is defined; all other Capacity Constraints defined in the profile will be ignored.

 

6.2.6 Added Dependencies

Added Dependencies provide the ability to create additional dependency links in the SOT project based on imported text fields. Added Dependencies constrain the activity scheduling order based on two text fields populated with characters or numeric values. One imported text field is defined as the Domain and the other is defined as the Criterion.

  • Domain: Text field used to categorize activities into groups

  • Criterion: Text field used to define the order of activities within an assigned Domain

Activities with the same Domain text field value will be ordered according to their Criterion text field value. The activities can be in either ascending or descending order of text field values. If a Domain is not defined, then the order of all activities with non-blank Criterion text field values will be defined. Multiple Added Dependencies can be defined within an Added Dependencies Scenario and different Added Dependencies Scenarios can be created, applied and compared within the same SOT project.

Added Dependencies are primarily used for straightforward ordering of stoping activities by text attributes that function as indices. Generally, all dependency links reflecting adjacencies, such as access to stope dependencies, should be defined in mine planning software prior to creating a SOT project.

Blank text field values are not considered a unique value and are ignored by Added Dependencies

Field values are sorted alphanumerically in Added Dependencies


To define an Added Dependencies Scenario,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Added Dependencies from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Added Dependencies window will open; double click on [+] Added Dependencies Scenario located on the side panel menu.

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  2. An Added Dependencies Scenario will be created; to add a set of Added Dependencies to the scenario click the button add entry button.
  3. An Added Dependencies set will be created; to define the Domain of the dependency set double click on the cell in the Domain column.

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  1. A Select Domain dialog window will appear; select from the drop-down list the text field (populated with blank and/or numeric values and/or characters) you wish to use to define the Domain; click OK.

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  2. To define the Criterion for the Added Dependencies set, double click on the cell in the Criterion column.

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  3. A Select Criterion dialog window will appear; select from the drop-down list the text field (populated with blank and/or numeric values and/or characters) you wish to use to define the Criterion; click OK.

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  4. The text fields used to generate a set of Added Dependencies are now defined. To define how the Criterion text field values will be ordered, check or uncheck the checkbox in the Ascending Order column.

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    2 1 book iconMultiple sets of Added Dependencies can be defined in an Added Dependencies Scenario, including “nested” dependencies. See example below.

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    If they are not set up with care, Added Dependencies can cause dependency link cycles, which will be detected by SOT when a run begins. To reduce the number of dependency links generated, leave the text field value blank for activities that do not need to be constrained by Added Dependencies.

  5. The set of Added Dependencies has now been defined in the Added Dependencies Scenario; to save the scenario click the button save button.

 

6.2.7 Plants

Plants are used to define weight Capacity Constraints, representative of milling and processing constraints. Costs of milling and processing can be represented and defined for Plants as Sustaining Expenditures and Point Expenditures. Imperfect recoveries when processing ore are accounted for using Recovery Factor Profiles. Multiple Recovery Factor Profiles can be defined and utilized under one Plant definition.

To define a Plant,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Plants from the drop-down menu.

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  1. The Plants window will open; double click on [+] Plant located on the side panel menu.

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  2. A Plant will be created; enter a name for the Plant and save by clicking the button save button.

    image285

 

Capacity Definition

A Capacity Definition for a Plant allows the user to specify a Capacity Constraint and the duration (granularity) for which the constraint is to be enforced. Capacity Constraints impose an upper limit on a production field quantity that can be scheduled, over some defined time period. The Capacity Definition can be set up to enforce constraints either uniformly or periodically.

 

For convenience, the limit (capacity) for Capacity Constraints can be defined by the user in terms of either minutes, hours, days, weeks or years (e.g., 100 units per day will have the exact effect of 700 units per week); this choice of period for defining the capacity is independent of the enforcement period.

The Capacity Constraint can be set to either constant, time dependent or to initiate when a specific activity completes. An activity that initiates a Capacity Constraint change is referred to as a Trigger Activity. Likewise, a capacity change defined using a Trigger Activity is referred to as a Capacity Trigger. In order to only apply a Capacity Constraint to activities with a particular attribute value, a Condition Scenario can be defined for the Capacity Definition.

Employing a Plant Capacity Definition will constrain the weight quantity that can scheduled to be sent to the plant in a specified time period.

To define a new Capacity Definition:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Definition located on the side panel menu under a defined product.

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  1. A new Capacity Definition window will open and the Capacity Profile tab will be visible.

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  1. A Capacity Constraint can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Capacity column.

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  2. A Capacity Entry dialog box will pop up; uncheck the Unlimited Capacity checkbox.

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    When a capacity is set to Unlimited, no constraint will be applied to the production field quantity that can be scheduled.

  1. To set a uniformly-enforced capacity, ensure the Uniform option is selected.

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    OR

    To set a periodically-enforced capacity, ensure the Periodic option is selected.

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  1. For a Uniformly enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Plant weight per unit time. Click OK. In this case, no enforcement period duration can be set; enforcement of the given Capacity will effectively be ‘to the minute’.

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    OR

    For a periodically enforced Capacity Constraint, set the maximum desired Plant weight per unit time, then set the time period over which this Capacity Constraint is to be enforced. Click OK.

    image290

    When uniform capacity enforcement is selected, the capacities are strictly enforced to the minute and as a consequence the schedule may be over-constrained. To allow for a similar Capacity Constraint but with an assumption of some realistic “buffer” in the mining system, Periodic capacity enforcement can be utilized. Uniform capacity enforcement is appropriate in the less common case when there is no such “buffer” in the system.

    Unlike Uniform capacities, Periodic capacity enforcement will permit saw-toothing of the production field over the enforcement period.

    To limit saw-toothing (i.e., to avoid excessively high ‘spikes’), the shortest enforcement period possible, without over-constraining the schedule, should be defined for Periodic Capacity Constraints. For example, enforce a capacity over a weekly period rather than on an annual basis.

    Example: A Periodic capacity can be defined as 3,000 tonnes per day, enforced weekly. This results in an actual Capacity Constraint of 21,000 tonnes per week. Depending on how the project is set up, it is likely that this capacity will result in an average daily quantity of close to 3,000 tonnes per day. However, defining the Capacity Constraint using this method will also allow 3,010 tonnes to occur within a day, or even a ‘spike’ of 5,500 tonnes, so long as the capacity of 21,000 tonnes per week is not exceeded.

  1. The setting default is for a constant Capacity Constraint to occur for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Capacity Constraint, define the duration for which the initial Capacity Constraint will occur by double clicking on the cell located in the Duration column.

    image291

    It is important to note that the capacity defined and summarized in the Capacity Definition table (14,000 tonnes per week) is not guaranteed to occur in the schedule, but rather is the maximum that is permitted to occur.

  1. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Capacity Constraint is to change; click OK.

    image154

  2. A new Capacity Definition row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the Capacity Constraint table. The newly created capacity row can now have a Capacity Constraint defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time-dependent Capacity Constraints can be defined in this manner for a single Capacity Definition.

    image292

 

Capacity Trigger

To initiate a change in the Capacity Constraint as a result of a specific activity completing, a Capacity Trigger can be defined.

  1. To define a Capacity Trigger click on the Capacity Triggers tab.

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  2. The Capacity Trigger window will open; to create a new Capacity Trigger, click on the button add capacity trigger button.
  3. The new Capacity Trigger row, with Trigger Task and Capacity Change column, will be visible; to define a Trigger Activity, double click on a cell in the Trigger Task column.

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  4. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger Task column; to define the capacity change, double click on the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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  2. A Capacity Trigger window will appear; enter the desired capacity change. Click OK.

    image297

    The Capacity Constraint change can be a negative value.

  1. The quantity change entered will be displayed in the cell in the Capacity Change column.

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    If a Capacity Trigger has been defined and a Capacity Constraint has not been set (capacity is set to unlimited) then the Capacity Trigger will be ignored.

    Multiple Capacity Triggers (Trigger Activity and Capacity Change) can be defined for a single Capacity Definition.

    The enforcement period will match that of the Capacity Constraint definition.

    Only the first Capacity Constraint defined in a profile will be applied when a Capacity Trigger is defined; all other Capacity Constraints defined in the profile will be ignored.

 

Condition Scenario

Condition Scenarios can be defined for any Capacity Definition, and limit application of the Capacity Definition to activities that meet a specific Condition defined with reference to text attribute fields. Only activities with the same text attribute value (as set in the Condition) will be forced to adhere to the Capacity Constraint.

To define a Condition Scenario,

  1. Double click on [+] Condition Scenario located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  2. A new Condition Scenario window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired text field.

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  3. Click the button add group button.
  4. A new Condition Scenario row will appear in the table; double click on the cell in the Values column.

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  5. A Select Condition Attributes dialog box will open; the dialog box will list all unique attribute values contained in the selected text field. Check the boxes next to the attribute value(s) that will be subject to the Capacity Constraint; click OK.

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  6. Additional capacity conditions can be defined (using a different text field) for the same Condition Scenario by repeating the steps outlined above.

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    When more than one attribute field is used to define a Condition Scenario, the Capacity Constraint will be applied when an activity possesses all attribute field conditions defined.

 

Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing consists of applying Capacity Constraints at user-defined amounts above and below the originally set Capacity Constraint. The user-defined incremental changes are applied to the original Capacity Constraint and are referred to as steps. To reflect the change in cost from adjusting the Product Capacity Constraints, an expenditure adjustment to the Fixed Expenditures of the project can be defined for each step. The primary intent of Capacity Flexing is to allow for quick setup of Capacities above and below (or just above) a baseline constraint.

To define a Capacity Flexing scenario for a Plant Capacity Constraint:

  1. Double click on [+] Capacity Flexing located on the side panel menu under a defined Capacity Definition.

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  1. A new Capacity Flexing scenario window will open. Define the magnitude of change above and below the Plant Capacity Constraint by entering the ore weight (change) into the Step size field and selecting the appropriate units from the drop-down lists.

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  1. Select the number of steps to generate above and below the original Capacity Constraint by adjusting the value in the # of steps field.

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  1. To generate the steps defined, click on the button refresh button.
  2. The Flexing table for the defined step and step size will appear; define the change to the project’s Fixed Expenditure by double clicking on a Fixed Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

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    Fixed Expenditures Adjustments are applied to each Fixed Expenditure entry defined in the Financial Scenario selected for the Run. Refer to Section 6.2.9 an explanation of Fixed Expenditures.

    A positive Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the overall project expenditures.

    A negative Fixed Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the overall project expenditures. The Fixed Expenditure may be reduced to 0, but will not become less than 0.

  1. Define the change to the Plant’s Sustaining Expenditure by double clicking on a Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment cell and entering a value.

    image311

    Sustaining Expenditures Adjustments are applied to each Sustaining Expenditure entry defined for the Plant.

    A positive Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment will result in an increase to the Plant Sustaining Expenditures.

    A negative Sustaining Expenditure Adjustment will result in a decrease to the Plant Sustaining Expenditures.

  1. The effects of the defined Capacity Constraint adjustment can be reviewed in the Capacity table. To review the capacity effects of a specific step, select from the View drop-down list the desired step to review.

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  1. Save the Plant configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

Point Expenditure Profiles

A Plant Point Expenditure is a Plant cost that is applied at a given point in the mine life based on the cumulative percentage of material extracted (as a percentage of the total quantity in the project). Point Expenditures are defined using a table; once the specified percentage of material has been extracted, the fixed cost is incurred. The percentages at which the Point Expenditures are incurred are all user defined. The 0% mark is when material associated with the Plant is first scheduled. The 100% mark is when material associated with the Plant is last scheduled. As a result of this cost application method, the time at which the cost is incurred (and thus the discounting) will vary based on the schedule generated.

0% does not mean the cost will be applied at schedule start date; when material associated with the Plant is first extracted is project and schedule dependent.

The cumulative percentage complete is determined using a production field and production field quantities that have been assigned to the Plant in the Activity Filter Scenario. The sum of the entire production field is not considered, only values that adhere to the filter set in Activity Filter Scenario.


To define a Plant Point Expenditure Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Point Expenditure Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Plant.

    image316

  1. A new Point Expenditure Profile window will open; to add a percentage-cost row click button add entry.
  2. To define the expenditure, enter in the Percent cell the percentage of material that must be extracted before the cost is to be applied.

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  1. Double click on the Cost cell to enter the cost that is to be incurred.

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  2. Define as many Point Expenditures as necessary; numerous Point Expenditures can be defined for a single Point Expenditure Profile.

    image318

 

Sustaining Expenditure Profiles

Sustaining Expenditure Profiles are reoccurring Plant costs incurred for the entire time period from when the Plant is first used until its last usage in the mine life. An annualized cost is applied over a user defined time interval, beginning at the time of the first use of the Plant. The expenditure time intervals are set in relation to the Plant usage start date rather than in relation to the schedule start date or by calendar dates.

To define a Plant Sustaining Expenditure Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Sustaining Expenditure Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Plant.

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  1. A new Sustaining Expenditure Profile window will open; a Sustaining Expenditure can be defined by double clicking on the cell in the Annual Cost column and entering a value.

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    Values entered into the Annual Cost column should be the cost for an entire year, even if the defined durations are less than a year. SOT v3 will apply a pro-rated cost to partial years.

  1. The setting default is for a constant cost to occur annually for the entire mine life. To create a time dependent Sustaining Expenditure, define a duration until the next Sustaining Expenditure is to occur by double clicking on the cell in the Duration column.

    image321

  2. A Set Duration dialog box will appear; define the time period until the Sustaining Expenditure is to change. Click OK.

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  3. A new Sustaining Expenditure row, which is offset by the duration that was just defined, will appear in the table. The newly created expenditure row can now have a Sustaining Expenditure defined (in the same manner as outlined above). Numerous time dependent Sustaining Expenditures can be defined in this manner for a single Sustaining Expenditure Profile.

    image323

    The annual cost incurred can be changed multiple times over the life of a schedule.

 

Recovery Factor Profiles

Product recoveries after processing can be defined using Recovery Factor Profiles. Recovery Factor Profiles are defined under configured Plants, individually for each product. Recovery Factor Profiles are made up of recovery percentages specific to particular product head grades, where a head grade is calculated as the average product quantity as a percentage of ore quantity for a given day. The table is prepopulated with recovery percentages corresponding to the lowest and highest product grades present in the project, and additional grade-recovery point definitions can be input by the user. For product head grades not explicitly defined with a recovery factor, the recovery factor is calculated by linearly interpolating between configured grade-recovery points. Trigger activities can also be defined to initiate the utilization of a Recovery Factor Profile.

To define a Recovery Factor Profile,

  1. Double click on [+] Recovery Factor Profile located on the side panel menu under a defined Plant.

    image324

  1. A new Recovery Factor Profile window will open; select from the drop-down list the Product for which the Recovery Profile will apply.

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    Recall that a separate Recovery Factor Profile needs to be created for each Product for which a recovery will be applied. The Product drop-down list is not to toggle between profiles but to select between Products that have been defined.

  1. The Grade-Recovery Factor Table will prepopulate with two rows corresponding to the highest and the lowest grade present in the project. Begin by double clicking on the Recovery Factor cell for the highest grade row and entering a recovery percentage.

    image326

  1. To create a new recovery-grade definition click the button add entry button.
  2. A new row will appear; double click the Grade cell and enter a value for the head grade of the product.

    image328

  3. Define the Recovery factor for the newly entered head grade by double clicking on the corresponding Recovery Factor cell and enter a percentage recovery.

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  4. Repeat this procedure to create as many Grade-Recovery Definitions as necessary.

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Recovery Profile Trigger

To initiate the application of a Recovery Factor Profile after a specific activity has occurred, a Trigger Activity can be defined. Recovery Profile Trigger Activities allow for multiple profiles to be used over the course of one schedule.

To define a Recovery Profile Trigger Activity,

  1. For a defined Recovery Factor Profile click the button 3 dots button.
  2. A Select Task window will appear where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

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  1. The activity selected will be displayed in the Trigger field.

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  1. Save the Recovery Factor Profile by clicking the button save button.

 

6.2.8 Activity Filter Scenarios

Activity Filter Scenarios group activities with text field-based filters for purposes including associating resources and defining costs. Filters can be used to assign a length production field and unit along with a weight production field and unit. The filters also classify activities as Ore and/or Objective.

When a group of activities is classified as Ore, the Product contained in the activities will contribute to the revenue calculated for the schedule. Classifying a group of activities as Objective, usually stopes and not ore development, will result in the optimization algorithm prioritizing those activities in the schedule.

Activity Splitting parameters that enable scheduled activities to pause for periods of time are also defined in the Activity Filter Scenario.

To create an Activity Filter Scenario,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Activity Filter Scenario from the drop-down menu.

    image97 7

  3. The Activity Filter Scenario window will open; double click on [+] Activity Filter Scenario located on the side panel menu.

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  1. An Activity Filter Scenario will be created; enter a name for the Activity Filter Scenario and save by clicking the button save button.

    image336

 

Activity Filters

Using project text fields, Activity Filters group activities so that length fields, weight fields, equipment, plants, costs (unit costs, plant costs, equipment costs and activity costs), Ore flags, Objective flags and Split flags can be assigned. Accordingly, a separate Activity Filter is often created for each group of activities that possess a unique set of these definitions and assignments. It is important to note that overlapping Activity Filters (i.e., different Filters that contain the same activity) can be created, but may increase the likelihood of project setup errors. The user must ensure each activity is accounted for by a filter.

To allow for a straightforward Activity Filter setup, often a text field is created in the third party scheduling tool prior to creating the SOT project, which groups activities by the settings that will be defined in Activity Filter Scenarios. Note that the order in which Activity Filters are listed is important where overlaps occur; SOT interprets the Activity Filters and their settings from top to bottom. If overlapping Filters are present, the settings assigned by the bottom most applicable Filter will be the settings assigned to an activity.

To group activities with Activity Filters,

  1. Select from the text field drop-down list, populated with all the text fields in the SOT project, the desired text field to create a filter with.

    image338

  1. Select from the text field value drop-down list, populated with all values in the selected field, the value you wish to create a filter with. If All is selected from the drop-down list, the created filter will be applied to all values that exist in the drop-down list; this is useful for the assignment of length and weight production fields.

    image339

  1. Click on the Add button to create the filter. OR

    Click on the Add All button to create a filter for each one of the values that exist in the field selected from the first text field drop-down list.

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  1. The filter(s) will be created and the field and field definition used to create the filter summarized in the Filter column.

    image342

    image343

 

Production Field Assignments

The Activity Filter Scenario table is the only place that production fields for weight and length are associated with activities. Each Activity Filter can have production fields set as length field and/or weight fields. It is these length and weight fields that are constrained in the schedule by assigned Equipment. They are also the weight and length fields used to calculate the project costs and revenues contributed by individual activities. Different Activity Filters can use different production fields as length or weight fields.

To configure an Activity Filter’s length and weight field,

  1. To set a length field and length unit, double click on the chosen Activity Filters Length Field.

    image344

  2. A Select Length Field dialog window will open. Select from the production field drop-down list the production field (containing length values) that will be used as the length field for the Activity Filter.

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  1. Select from the length unit drop-down list the unit (metres, inches or feet) to associate with the selected production field.

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  1. Click the button add button to add the production field-unit definition to the Select Length field list.
  2. The production field-unit definition will now be a selectable option in the Select Length field list; click on the newly created production field-unit definition to select it and click OK.  

    image348

  1. To define a weight field and unit, click on an Activity Filter and double click on its Weight Field cell.

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  2. A Select Weight field dialog window will open. Select from the production field drop-down list the production field (containing weight values) that will be used as the weight field for the Activity Filter.

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  1. Select from the weight unit drop-down list the unit (grams, troy ounces, ounces, pounds, kilograms, short tons, tonnes, tons, or carats) to associate with the selected production field.

    image351

  1. Click the button add button to add the production field-unit definition to the Select Weight Field list.
  2. The production field-unit definition will now be a selectable option in the Select Weight Field list; click on the newly created production field-unit definition to select it and click OK.

    image352

  3. The Activity Filter is now configured with a length field, weight field and units for each. This can be repeated for activities for which length and weight fields apply.

    image353

 

Ore

The Product weight resulting from an activity is calculated from the activity’s Product grade and the weight field assigned by the Activity Filter. Classifying a group of activities as Ore will result in the Product weight contained in the activities being included in the schedule revenue calculation. Likewise, only Contaminant costs calculated from Ore activities will be included in financial calculations for a schedule. All activities containing material that is going to be processed should be set as Ore.

All stopes and ore development activities that are above cut-off grade should be defined as ore.

 

To define an Activity Filter’s ore classification,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Is Ore cell.

    image353 2

  2. An Is Ore dialog window will open. To define the activities as ore select the True setting; click OK.

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    OR

    To define activities as non-ore (waste), select the False setting; click OK.

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    The Unchanged option leaves this setting as it was defined by previously-applied Filters.

  1. The Activity Filter ore classification is now set.

    image356

 

Objective

Classifying activities as Objective will cause the optimization algorithm to prioritize those activities when generating schedules. Activities that should be set as Objective are principle revenue generating tasks. For example, stoping activities where ore is extracted should be set as Objective, while ore-containing development activities required to access the stope should not be defined as Objective. The classification of tasks as Objective or as Non-Objective influences the scheduling of activities when subject to Sliding. When Sliding is enabled (see Section 6.3.4), Non-Objective activities will be scheduled ‘just-in-time’ relative to when Objective activities are scheduled, subject to other project constraints, including Equipment capacities.

To define an Activity Filter’s Objective classification,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Is Objective cell.

    image356 2

  2. An Is Objective dialog window will open. To define the activities as Objective select the True setting; click OK.

    image357

    OR

    To define activities as Non-Objective, select the False setting; click OK.

    image358

    image359

    The Unchanged option leaves this setting as it was defined by previously-applied Filters.

  1. The Activity Filter Objective classification is now set.

    image360

 

Equipment Set Assignments and Costs

Equipment Sets are comprised of one or multiple Equipment Definitions and are assigned to groups of activities in the Activity Filter Scenario. Activities assigned an Equipment Set are subject to the Capacity Constraints and costs defined for the Equipment in the Set. In order for an activity to be scheduled, the Equipment Set assigned to it must be available. When an Equipment Set is made up of numerous Equipment definitions, all Equipment in the set must be available for assignment to the activity for it to be scheduled. Multiple Equipment Sets can be assigned to an Activity Filter and SOT will choose between Sets based on availability at the time SOT is trying to schedule the activity.

Equipment assigned to an Activity Filter will be utilized to constrain the scheduling of activities and to calculate equipment-based activity costs in terms of the Filter’s defined weight field or length field. When calculating Equipment usage and activity financials, the Filter’s weight field will be used if a weight Equipment type is assigned and the Filter’s length field will be used if a length Equipment type is assigned. Equipment Costs, defined in the Activity Filter Scenario table, are unit costs that will be multiplied by the relevant Activity Filter’s production field value (assigned weight or length field). These Equipment Costs are incurred when an activity is scheduled, as the length is advanced or weight is extracted.

Multiple units of Equipment may be assigned to one activity. However, the activity duration will remain unchanged; the activity rate will not be increased when multiple Equipment units are assigned.

To assign Equipment Sets and Equipment Costs to Activity Filters,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Equipment Set cell.

    image361

  2. An Equipment Associations dialog window will open to the Sets tab.

    image362

  1. To create an Equipment Set click the button add button.
  2. A new Equipment Set will be create for the Activity Filter; define an Equipment Set by selecting from the previously defined Equipment using the checkboxes.

    image364

    If more than one Equipment definition is selected in an Equipment Set associated with an activity, SOT will require that all Equipment in the Set be available for the activity to be scheduled.

  1. To set the number of equipment instances that should be assigned to an activity and/or an Equipment Cost click on the Properties tab.

    image364 2

  2. Select from the drop-down list the relevant Equipment and click the button add equipment button.

    image366

  3. The selected Equipment will be added to the Properties table. Double click on the Units Allocated cell and enter the number of instances of Equipment that must be assigned to a single activity.

    image367

    Recall that Units Allocated setting defines the number of Equipment units that must be assigned to a single activity.

    When multiple units of Equipment are assigned in SOT, the activity rate and duration will remain unchanged.

  1. To set an Equipment Cost double click on the cell and enter the unit cost (applicable to length or weight unit, based on the Equipment type) to be incurred whenever the Equipment is utilized.

    image368

    Recall the Equipment unit cost is calculated from the Equipment type (Length Field or Weight Field) defined for the Activity Filter. Only activities assigned the Equipment will incur this cost.

  1. If desired, multiple Equipment Sets can be defined for an Activity Filter, allowing for either Equipment Set to be assigned to the task when scheduling.

    image369

    When multiple Equipment Sets are defined, SOT will choose the set that will result in the activity finishing earliest, subject to availability.

 

Plant Assignments and Costs

Plants defined under the Plants Menu can be assigned to groups of activities in Activity Filter Scenarios. As with Equipment Set assignments, activities assigned a Plant are subject to the Capacity Constraints and costs defined for the Plant. Plant costs defined in the Activity Filter Scenario are unit costs calculated using the Activity Filter’s assigned weight field. Plants also apply Recovery Factors to Product weight calculations and use the weight field assigned to the Activity Filter to do so. Only activities whose weight (Activity Filter weight field) is intended for the Plant should have the Plant assigned to it. This is due to the fact that Plant’s costs and Capacity Constraints are determined from all the material weight subject to the Plant, not just the material weight classified as Ore.

To assign Plants to Activity Filters,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Associated Plant cell.

    image370

  1. A Select Plant dialog window will open. Select from the drop-down list, a Plant to associate with the Activity Filter; click OK.

    image371

  2. To set the Plant Costs, double click on the desired Activity Filter’s Plant Cost cell.

    image372

  3. A Plant Cost Override window will open. Click the Set Cost checkbox to allow a Plant Cost entry to be made.

    image373

    Recall the Plant unit cost is only calculated from the Weight Field defined for the Activity Filter, meaning that only activities subject to the Activity Filter will incur this cost.

    The Set Cost setting enables successive overlapping Filters to override activity costs initially set by a Filter. A cost assigned to an activity by a filter at the top of the Activity Filter table will be overridden by another Filter (lower down on the table) that has assigned a different cost to the same activity.

  1. Enter a Cost (activity weight unit cost) to apply whenever activities subject to this Activity Filter are scheduled. Click OK.

    image374

  2. The Plant Unit Cost is now set for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps to set Plant Associations and Plant Costs for other Activity Filters.

    image375

 

Activity Costs

Activity Costs are defined for groups of activities using an Activity Filter and are incurred when an activity is scheduled. Activity Costs are used to apply costs associated with specific groups of activities in the project. The Activity Cost is incurred while the activity is scheduled—evenly per minute over the course of the activity.

To define Activity Costs for an Activity Filter,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Activity Cost cell.

    image376

  2. A Set Activity Cost window will open. Click the Set Cost checkbox to allow an Activity Cost entry to be made.

    image377 2

    The Set Activity Cost setting enables successive Filters to override activity costs initially set by a Filter. A cost assigned to an activity by a filter at the top of the Activity Filter table will be overridden by another Filter (lower down on the table) that has assigned a different cost to the same activity.

  1. Enter a cost to apply whenever an activity subject to this Activity Filter is scheduled. Click OK.

    image377 3

  2. An Activity Cost is now set for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps to set Activity Costs for other Activity Filters.

    image377 4

 

Unit Costs

Various costs can be incurred by activities based on their production fields. A cost per unit of production field can be applied to groups of activities for any production field. Production fields must be defined as either an Activity Filter’s length or weight field or defined as an Other Property to be used to apply unit costs.

 

Length Unit Costs

Length Unit Costs are defined for groups of activities with an Activity Filter. The Length Unit Cost applies a cost per unit of length, calculated from the length production field defined for the Activity Filter. It is assumed that the production field quantity is consistently advanced throughout the duration of an activity, and accordingly Length Unit Costs are incurred evenly (per minute) over the course of the activity.

To define Length Unit Costs for an Activity Filter,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Length Unit Cost cell.

    image379

  1. A Set Length Cost window will open. Click the Set Cost checkbox to allow a Length Unit Cost entry to be made.

    image380

  2. Enter a Length Unit Cost to apply when an activity subject to this Activity Filter is scheduled. Click OK.

    image381

    Recall the unit cost is only calculated from the Length Field defined for the Activity Filter, meaning that only activities subject to the Activity Filter will incur this cost.

    The Set Cost setting enables successive overlapping Filters to override activity costs initially set by a Filter. A cost assigned to an activity by a filter at the top of the Activity Filter table will be overridden by another Filter (lower down on the table) that has assigned a different cost to the same activity.

  1. A Length Unit Cost is now set for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps to set Length Unit Costs for other Activity Filters.

    image382

 

Weight Unit Costs

Weight Unit Costs are defined for groups of activities with an Activity Filter. The Weight Unit Cost applies a cost per unit of material weight, calculated from the weight production field defined for the Activity Filter. It is assumed that the production field quantity is consistently extracted throughout the duration of an activity, and accordingly Weight Unit Costs are incurred evenly (per minute) over the course of an activity.

To define Weight Unit Costs for an Activity Filter,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Weight Unit Cost cell.

    image382 2

  1. A Set Weight Cost window will open. Click the Set Cost checkbox to allow a Weight Cost entry to be made.

    image383

  2. Enter a Weight Unit Cost to apply when an activity subject to this Activity Filter is scheduled. Click OK.

    image384

    Recall the unit cost is only calculated from the Weight Field defined for the Activity Filter, meaning that only activities subject to the Activity Filter will incur this cost.

    The Override Cost setting enables successive overlapping Filters to override activity costs initially set by a Filter. A cost assigned to an activity by a filter at the top of the Activity Filter table will be overridden by another Filter (lower down on the table) that has assigned a different cost to the same activity.

  1. A Weight Unit Cost is now set for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps to set Weight Unit Costs for other Activity Filters.

    image385

 

Other Property Unit Costs

Other Property Unit Costs are defined for groups of activities with an Activity Filter and a previously defined Other Property. The Other Property Unit Cost applies a cost per unit of the Other Property, calculated from the Other Property production field selected for the Activity Filter. It is assumed that the production field quantity occurs consistently for the duration of an activity, and accordingly Other Property Unit Costs are incurred evenly over the course of an activity.

To define Other Property Unit Costs for an Activity Filter,

  1. Double click on a chosen Activity Filter’s Other Property Costs cell.

    image386

  1. A Set Property Costs window will open. Ensure the Set Property Costs checkbox is checked.

    image387

  2. Select from the drop-down list a previously defined Other Property.

    image388

  3. Click the button add property button to add it to the Other Property Costs table.
  4. Double click on the Cost cell and enter an Other Property unit cost to apply when an activity subject to this Activity Filter is scheduled. Click OK.

    image390

    Recall the Other Property cost is only calculated for the Activity Filter, meaning only activities subject to the Activity Filter will incur this cost.

    Multiple Other Properties can be added to the table to define multiple Other Property unit costs within a single Activity Filter.

  1. An Other Property Cost is now set for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps to set Other Property Costs for other Activity Filters.

    image391

 

Splits

Splits are used to interrupt activities, effectively allowing activities to pause for a period and then resume. Permitting an activity to Split enables its equipment resources to be allocated to another activity before it is complete. When activities are not required to continue consistently until completion, but can start and stop, it allows for more flexible resource allocation.

image392

The properties of Splits are defined using three parameters in SOT v3: the maximum number of Splits, the minimum Split Duration and the maximum Split Interval. A Split is one continuous portion or segment of the Split Activity. The Split Duration is the duration of a Split (or segment of the Split Activity). The Split Interval is the duration between the stopping and restarting of the activity and can be considered to be the “pause” between Splits.

To configure the Split settings,

  1. Double click on the chosen Activity Filter’s Splits cell.

    image393

  1. An Activity Splits window will open. Allow Splits to occur by selecting the Allow Splits setting.

    image394

    OR

    Prevent Splits from occurring by selecting the Disallow Splits setting.

    image395

    image396

    The Unchanged option leaves this setting as it was defined by previously-applied Filters.

  1. Define the minimum duration of an activity split (activity segment), by entering a duration into the Minimum split duration field and selecting the appropriate time unit from the drop-down list.

    image397

  2. Define the maximum time period that can elapse between activity segments by entering a duration into the Maximum split interval field and selecting the appropriate time unit from the drop-down list.

    image398

  3. Define the maximum number of segments an activity can be divided into when activities are split by entering a value into the Maximum # of splits field. Click OK.

    image399

  4. Activity Split settings are now defined for the Activity Filter; repeat the steps outlined to set Split settings for other Activity Filters.

 

Copying Filter Definitions

To facilitate reproducing settings on multiple Activity Filters, Filter definitions can be copied over to other Filters. Settings can be selectively copied or completely copied over.

To copy resource assignments, costs, Objective designations, Ore classifications, Split settings or length and weight field assignments,

  1. Click on the button forward arrows button for the Activity Filter populated with the fields you wish to copy to other Filters.

    image401

  1. A Copy Filter Values dialog window will open for the selected Activity Filter. Select from the Values list the column data you wish to copy over by clicking the checkboxes.

    image402

  1. Select from the Copy to Filters list the Activity Filters to which the selected field definitions will be copied to by clicking the checkboxes. Click OK.

    image403

  2. The selected field definitions will now be replicated in the selected Activity Filters.

 

View Effects

  1. To review effects of the Activity Filter scenario settings, click the button view effects button.
  2. The Effects table will open; SOT’s interpretation of the Activity Filter Scenario is displayed for each activity.

    image405

 

6.2.9 Financial Scenarios

The Financial Scenario is where a financial model can be input for use in calculating a schedule’s financials. Discount Rates, Royalty Rates, Unit Inflation Rates and Fixed Expenditures are all defined for the purposes of calculating schedule revenues, costs, cash flows and net present value (NPV). The option of pre-calculated activity revenues instead of SOT-calculated revenues can also be configured for Financial Scenarios.

To create a Financial Scenario,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Financial Scenarios from the drop-down menu.

    image97 8

  3. The Financial Scenarios window will open; double click on [+] Financial Scenario located on the side panel menu.

    image406

  4. A Financial Scenario will be created; enter a name for the Financial Scenario.

    image407

  1. Save the new Financial Scenario by clicking the button save button.

 

Discount Rate

The Discount Rate is the percentage by which the schedule cash flow is discounted annually when calculating its net present value (NPV). With the default setting, a discount is applied beginning in the first year of the mine life (except on Fixed Expenditures); an option exists to instead begin discounting in the second year.

To define a Discount Rate,

  1. Enter the desired rate into the Discount Rate field.

    image409

  2. Click the button discount application button.
  3. Leave the check box checked to discount the NPV in the first year of the mine life, or uncheck the checkbox to begin discounting in the second year.

    image411

 

Unit Cost Inflation

Unit Cost Inflation is the annual rate used to inflate costs that are directly associated with activities. In Schedule Reports, costs are reported before Unit Cost Inflation has been applied, and the cost incurred due to Unit Cost Inflation is reported in the Inflation column.  Unit Cost Inflation is applied to Other Properties costs, unit weight costs, unit length costs and activity costs. Plant costs, Sustaining Expenditures, Point Expenditures, Fixed Expenditures and Contaminant costs are not inflated by Unit Cost Inflation.

To define a Unit Cost Inflation,

  1. Enter the desired rate into the Unit Cost Inflation field.

    image412

 

Royalty Rate

The Royalty Rate is an annual percentage of revenue that is subtracted from the total revenue. It is applied to all revenue in the schedule, both SOT-calculated and pre-calculated. In Schedule Reports, revenues are reported without the Royalty Rate applied, and the cost incurred due to a Royalty is reported in the Royalties column.

To define a Royalty Rate,

  1. Enter the desired rate into the Royalty Rate field.

    image413

 

Pre-Calculated Revenue

The Pre-Calculated Revenue setting provides the ability to use a production field populated with activity revenues, either in conjunction with or instead of SOT-calculated revenues. A production field populated with dollar values is used to define a scenario’s Pre-Calculated Revenue.

All values in the production field selected as the Pre-Calculated Revenue will be used in financial calculations, not just those associated with activities flagged as Ore.


To define a Pre-Calculated Revenue,

  1. Select from the Pre-Calculated Revenue drop-down list the production field populated with the desired activity revenues.

    image414

 

Fixed Expenditures

Fixed Expenditures are costs applied at specific times over the course of the mine life.  Fixed Expenditures are set to occur at times relative to the schedule start date (not calendar dates). Fixed Expenditures are applied at the beginning (day 1) of the defined year or fractional project year.

To define Fixed Expenditures,

  1. In the Fixed Expenditure tab, click the button add entry button to add a new Fixed Expenditure definition.
  2. A new row will appear; to define the project year when the expenditure will be incurred, double click on the cell in the Year column and enter the desired year or fractional year.

    image416

  3. To define the value of the expenditure double click on the Costs cell.

    image417

  4. A Fixed Expenditures dialog window will open. Click the button add button to add a cost entry.

    image418

  5. A Cost row will be created; double click on the Cost cell and enter a value.

    image419

  6. To label the Cost that was just defined, double click on the Comment cell and enter a comment.

    image420

  7. Create and label as many costs as desired and click OK.

    image421

  8. The Fixed Expenditure defined for the year will now be summarized in the table. Define additional Fixed Expenditure by repeating the steps outlined.

    image422

 

Expenditure Triggers

Expenditure Triggers are costs incurred when a specific activity, a Trigger Activity, has occurred.

To define an Expenditure Trigger,

  1. Click the Expenditure Triggers tab.

    image423

  2. The Expenditure Triggers table will now be visible; click the button add trigger button to add a new Expenditure Trigger.

    image425

  3. A new row will appear; to define an activity as a Trigger Activity double click the Trigger Task cell.

    image426

  4. A Select Task window will open where all of the activities in the project will be listed by their imported task ‘Activity ID’ and ‘Name’; scroll or search for the activity of interest, select the activity and click OK.

    image427

  1. To define the expenditure that will be incurred when the selected activity occurs, double click on the cell in the Expenditure column and enter the desired value.

    image428

  2. Define as many Expenditure Triggers as required for the scenario by repeating the steps outlined.

 

6.2.10 Mine Scenario

Mine Scenarios bring together constraints and settings defined for a project, for later use in Execution Configurations. To compare and tweak configurations, numerous Mine Scenarios with different project configurations can be created. An Activity Filter Scenario, a Financial Scenario, an Added Dependency definition, Products, Contaminants, Equipment, Plants, Other Property and Text Attribute Capacity definitions can all be set for a Mine Scenario. Not all parameters are required to be set, but in general an Activity Filter Scenario, Financial Scenario, Product and either an equipment or plant constraint definition should be included.

To create a new Mine Scenario,

  1. Click on the Mine Scenario menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Mine Scenarios from the drop-down menu.

    image97 9

  3. The Mine Scenario window will open; double click on [+] Mine Scenario located on the side panel menu.

    image429

  1. A Mine Scenario will be created; enter a name for the newly created scenario.

    image430

  1. Save the new scenario by clicking the button save button.

 

Activity Filter Scenario

A configured Activity Filter Scenario should be selected for every Mine Scenario created. Selecting an Activity Filter Scenario will populate the Mine Scenario with Equipment and Plants assigned in the Activity Filter Scenario. Without an Activity Filter Scenario selected, Equipment or Plants will not be included, nor configurable in the Mine Scenario. Likewise, Equipment and Plants will need to have been associated with activities in the Activity Filter Scenario for them to be selectable options in the Mine Scenario.

To select an Activity Filter Scenario for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select from the Activity Filter Scenario drop-down list an Activity Filter Scenario configured with the desired settings.

    image432

  2. The Mine Scenario will now be populated with the Equipment and Plants associated with activities in the selected Activity Filter.

    image433

 

Financial Scenario

A configured Financial Scenario should be selected for every Mine Scenario. All settings defined in the chosen Financial Scenario will be applied when calculating the value of generated schedules. If no Financial Scenario is selected for a Mine Scenario, a default will be used with all fields set to 0.

To select a Financial Scenario for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select from the Financial Scenario drop-down list a Financial Scenario configured with the desired settings.

    image434

 

Added Dependencies

An Added Dependencies definition can be selected for a Mine Scenario but is not required. Only one Added Dependencies definition can be set for a Mine Scenario. All settings defined under the chosen Added Dependencies will be enforced when generating schedules.

To select an Added Dependencies Definition for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select an Added Dependencies Definition from the Added Dependencies drop-down list.

    image435

 

Products

Product settings configured under a Mine Scenario are used to calculate schedule revenues. In general, the defined Product(s) should be selected for all Mine Scenarios; there can be an exception when Precalculated Revenues are used. It is important to understand that not all settings defined for Products are used when generating schedules, only Products and settings selected for the Mine Scenario. Products selected for a Mine Scenario can be configured with Price Profiles, Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions. Unless Precalculated Revenues are used, Products will have to be configured with a Price Profile; Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions are not necessarily required. Numerous Products can be selected and configured for a single Mine Scenario.

To configure Products for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Products from the Configure drop-down list.

    image436

  2. All Products defined in the project will be listed. Click the checkboxes of the Products you wish to include in the Mine Scenario.

    image437

  1. Expand the Product settings by clicking the arrow to the right of the listed Product.

    image437 2

  2. Configure the Product by first selecting a previously defined Price Profile from the Price Profile drop-down list.

    image438

  3. If a Capacity Constraint has been defined that you wish to set for the Product, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

    image439

  4. If a Condition has been defined that you wish to include for the Capacity Constraint double click the Condition Scenario cell.

    image440

  5. A Select Condition Scenario dialog box will open; select a previously defined Condition Scenario for the Capacity Constraint from the drop-down list. Click OK.

    image441

  6. The Product is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Product settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left. Repeat steps for all Products as needed.

    image442

 

Contaminants

Contaminant settings configured under a Mine Scenario are the settings used by SOT when generating schedules. It is important to understand that not all settings defined for a Contaminant are used when generating schedules, only the Contaminants and settings selected under the Mine Scenario. Contaminants selected for a Mine Scenario can be configured with Cost Profiles, Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions. None of these settings are required; only those relevant to the project should be selected for inclusion in the Mine Scenario. Numerous Contaminants can be selected and configured for a single Mine Scenario.

To configure Contaminants for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Contaminant from the Configure drop-down list.

    image443

  2. All Contaminants defined in the project will be listed. Click the checkboxes of the Contaminants you wish to include in the Mine Scenario.

    image444

  3. Expand the settings of the Contaminant by clicking the arrow to the right of the listed Contaminant.

    image444 2

  4. If a Cost Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Contaminant, select from the Configure drop-down list a previously defined Cost Profile.

    image445

  5. If a Capacity Constraint has been defined that you wish to set for the Contaminant, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

    image446

  6. If a Condition has been defined that you wish to include for the Capacity Constraint double click the Condition Scenario cell.

    image446 2

  7. A Select Condition Scenario dialog box will open; select a previously defined Condition Scenario for the Capacity Constraint from the drop-down list. Click OK.

    image447

  8. A Contaminant is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Contaminant settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left. Repeat steps for all Contaminants as needed.

    image448

 

Equipment

Mine Scenarios will be automatically populated with the Equipment assigned in the Activity Filter Scenario selected for the Mine Scenario. Equipment assigned to a Mine Scenario can be configured with Point Expenditure Profiles, Sustaining Expenditure Profiles, Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions. None of these settings are required; whichever are relevant to the project should be set for the Mine Scenario. Configuring Equipment for a Mine Scenario is usually a primary method used by SOT for constraining schedules. Only the Equipment assigned and settings configured for a Mine Scenario are used when generating schedules. Numerous Equipment definitions can be defined and set up in one Mine Scenario.

To configure Equipment for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Equipment from the Configure drop-down list.

    image449

  2. All Equipment assigned in the Activity Filter Scenario will be automatically listed and selected for the Mine Scenario. Expand the settings of the Equipment you wish to configure by clicking the arrow to the right of the listed Equipment.

    image450

  3. If a Point Expenditure Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Equipment in the Mine Scenario, select from the Point Expenditure Profile drop-down list a previously defined Point Expenditure.

    image451

  4. If a Sustaining Expenditure Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Equipment in the Mine Scenario, select from the Sustaining Expenditure Profile drop-down list a previously defined Sustaining Expenditure.

    image452

  5. If a Capacity Constraint has been defined that you wish to set for the Equipment, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

    image453

  6. If a Condition has been defined that you wish to include for the Capacity Constraint double click the Condition Scenario cell.

    image453 2

  7. A Select Condition Scenario dialog box will open; select a previously defined Condition Scenario for the Capacity Constraint from the drop-down list. Click OK.

    image454

  8. The Equipment is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Equipment settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left. Repeat steps for all Equipment as needed.

    image455

 

Plants

Mine Scenarios will be automatically populated with the Plants assigned in the Activity Filter Scenario selected for the Mine Scenario. Plants assigned to a Mine Scenario can be configured with Recovery Profiles, Point Expenditure Profiles, Sustaining Expenditure Profiles, Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions. None of these settings are required; whichever are most relevant to the project should be set for the Mine Scenario. Plants are primarily configured to apply Recovery Profiles to Products extracted from Ore activities. Only the Plant and settings configured for a Mine Scenario are used when generating schedules. Numerous Plants can be set up for a single Mine Scenario.

To configure a Plant for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Plants from the Configure drop-down list.

    image456

  2. All Plants assigned in the Activity Filter Scenario will be listed and selected for the Mine Scenario. Expand the settings of the Plant you wish to configure by clicking the arrow to the right of the listed Plant.

    image457

  3. If a Point Expenditure Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Plants in the Mine Scenario, select from the Point Expenditure Profile drop-down list a previously defined Point Expenditure.

    image458

  4. If a Sustaining Expenditure Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Plants in the Mine Scenario, select from the Sustaining Expenditure Profile drop-down list a previously defined Sustaining Expenditure.

    image459

  1. If a Capacity Constraint has been defined that you wish to set for the Plant, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

    image460

  2. If a Condition has been defined that you wish to include for the Capacity Constraint double click the Condition Scenario cell.

    image460 2

  3. A Select Condition Scenario dialog box will open; select a previously defined Condition Scenario for the Capacity Constraint from the drop-down list. Click OK.

    image461

  4. If a Recovery Factor Profile has been defined that you wish to set for the Plant, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Recovery Factor Profile.

    image462

  5. The Plant is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Plant settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left.

 

Other Properties

Other Property settings configured under a Mine Scenario are constraint settings used by SOT when generating schedules. Other Properties assigned to a Mine Scenario can be configured with Capacity Constraints and Capacity Constraint Conditions. To be selected and configured for a Mine Scenario, Other Properties do not have to be associated with an Activity Filter. Likewise, for Other Property Costs defined in the selected Activity Filter Scenario to be incurred, an Other Property does not need to be selected for the Mine Scenario.

Other Properties can also be utilized to track and report a particular field for SOT-generated schedules. If you define an Other Property with no Capacity Constraints and assign it to a Mine Scenario, the scheduled Other Property production field quantities will be available for review in the schedule reports.

To configure an Other Property for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Other Properties from the Configure drop-down list.

    image463

  2. All Other Properties defined in the project will be listed. Click the checkboxes of the Other Property you wish to include in the Mine Scenario.

    image464

  3. Expand the selected Other Property you wish to configure by clicking the arrow to the right of the listed Other Property.

    image464 2

  4. If a Capacity Constraint has been defined that you wish to set for the Other Property, click the checkbox in the Include column corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

    image465

  5. If a Condition has been defined that you wish to include for the Capacity Constraint double click the Condition Scenario cell.

    image465 2

  6. A Select Condition Scenario dialog box will open; select a previously defined Condition Scenario for the Capacity Constraint from the drop-down list. Click OK.

    image466

  7. An Other Property is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Other Properties settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left. Repeat steps for all Other Properties as needed.

    image467

 

Text Attribute Capacities

Text Attribute Capacities are utilized in generating schedules only when Text Attribute Capacity definitions are selected for a Mine Scenario. Text Attribute Capacities assigned to a Mine Scenario can be configured with Capacity Constraints. Multiple Text Attribute Capacities can be assigned to a single Mine Scenario.

To configure Text Attribute Capacities for a Mine Scenario,

  1. Select Text Attribute Capacities from the Configure drop-down list.

    image468

  2. All Text Attributes that have Text Attribute Capacities defined in the project will be listed in the first column on the table. To define a Text Attribute Capacity Constraint for the Mine Scenario double click on the Scenario cell corresponding to the Text Attribute you wish to constrain.

    image469

  3. A Select Capacity Scenario dialog window will open. Select from the drop-down list the previously defined Text Attribute Capacity Constraint you wish to apply. Click OK.

    image470

  4. The Text Attribute Capacity Constraint is now configured for the Mine Scenario. The Text Attribute Capacity Constraint settings selected for the Mine Scenario are summarized in the Mine Scenario Summary located on the left. Define any additional Text Attribute Capacity Constraints in the same manner.

    image471

 

6.3 Execution Configuration Menu

Parameters which dictate how Executions are conducted are found under the Execution Configuration Menu. A Run generates schedules using given settings, while an Execution is a set of one or more Runs invoked at the same time and then carried out by SOT. An Execution is configured using a Mine Scenario, Run Settings, a Guidance Set, a Seed, and Capacity Flexing Set. A Guidance Set is used to dictate how initial schedules are generated; they are intended to provide good starting points for the optimization engine. Seeds are saved SOT solutions in the form of activity priorities, similarly employed to provide good starting points for subsequent optimizations. Capacity Flexing Sets are used to efficiently generate multiple Runs within one Execution, each subject to incrementally altered Capacity Constraints. Run Settings determine how SOT will generate schedules, including whether optimization will take place, and provides parameters for such optimizations.

In Execution Configurations, any number of Executions can be set up for Mine Scenarios subject to some or all of these settings.

 

6.3.1 Guidance Settings

Guidance provides a mechanism for generating good initial (heuristic) solutions to be used by SOT as a starting point for the schedule optimization. Guidance assigns relative priorities to all Objective activities, usually Stopes. (Note that, for all of the explanations in this section, Pinned activities are excluded and treated separately, even if they are flagged as Objective.) As schedules are generated by SOT, when multiple activities are competing for Equipment or other limited Resources, higher-priority activities and their predecessors will be allocated the Resources first, and the start times of lower-priority activities will be deferred until the Resources they require become available.

A Guidance Intensity parameter, input as a percentage, defines the frequency with which Guidance, rather than randomness, will be used in determining priorities of Objective activities for a given solution. Allowing for Guidance Intensity less than 100% incorporates some degree of randomness into the initial solutions generated.

Each Guidance Type prioritizes Objective Activities differently. Most require a Driving Product to be defined, and some require a Mine Area and/or Rank to be defined. The Driving Product is defined using a Product configured in the project and the Mine Area is defined using a text field. Rank is defined using a production field and can be directly applied as Guidance. A Guidance Setting should be defined prior to creating an Execution Configuration.

An overview of the Guidance Types is given in the table below.

Guidance Type Strategy Assessment Domain
Highest Product Grade Prioritizes Objective Activities from highest Driving Product grade to the lowest Driving Product grade. Activity
Highest Product Grade Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to their Mine Area’s overall Driving Product grade; and then within each Mine Area from highest Driving Product grade to lowest. Mine Area then Activity
Highest Product Weight Prioritizes Objective Activities from highest Driving Product weight to the lowest Driving Product weight. Activity
Highest Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to their Mine Area’s total Driving Product weight; within each Mine Area, Objective Activities are then prioritized from highest Driving Product weight to lowest. Mine Area then Activity
Indexed Highest Product Grade Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to both their Driving Product grade and the overall grade of the Mine Area to which the activity belongs. Activity & Mine Area
Indexed Highest Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to both their Driving Product weight and the total Driving Product weight of the Mine Area to which the activity belongs. Activity & Mine Area
Least Access By Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities by their Mine Area, according to the least amount of access (length of Non-Objective activities) required for the Mine Area per unit weight of Driving Product. Within each Mine Area, Objective Activities are then prioritized by the least amount of access per unit weight of Driving Product. Mine Area then Activity
Indexed Least Access By Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to both the least access (length of Non-Objective activities) per unit weight of Driving Product and the total access required by the activity’s Mine Area. Activity & Mine Area
Lowest Cost Product Weight Prioritizes Objective Activities from the lowest cost per unit weight of Driving Product to highest cost per unit weight of Driving Product. Activity
Lowest Cost Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to their Mine Area’s cost per unit weight of Driving Product; within each Mine Area, Objective Activities are then prioritized from lowest cost per unit weight of Driving Product to highest cost. Mine Area then Activity
Indexed Lowest Cost Product Weight Mine Area Prioritizes Objective Activities according to both their cost per unit weight of Driving Product weight and by the Mine Area costs per unit weight of Driving Product to which the activity belongs. Activity & Mine Area
Rank Prioritizes Objective Activities according to the user defined Rank field, in ascending order. Activity
Rank then Product Grade Prioritizes Objective Activities according to the user defined Rank field. Objective Activities sharing a Rank value will be prioritized by Driving Product grade. Activity
Rank then Product Weight Prioritizes Objective Activities according to the user defined Rank field. Objective Activities sharing the same Rank value will be prioritized by Driving Product weight. Activity

 

Multiple Guidance definitions can be made within one Guidance Setting configuration. For each Guidance definition a separate Run will be conducted.

To configure a Guidance Setting set,

  1. Click on the Execution Configuration menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Guidance Settings from the drop-down menu.

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  3. The Guidance Settings window will open; double click on [+] Guidance Set located on the side panel menu.

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  4. A new Guidance Setting will be created; name the newly created Guidance Setting.

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  1. To add a new Guidance Type to the Guidance Setting configuration select from the Guidance Type drop-down list the desired Guidance Type.

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    The most beneficial Guidance Type is project dependent. Typically, non-learning Runs using different Guidance Types are carried out to determine the best Guidance Type for the project.

    All Guidance will conduct a Run for each Guidance Type for which their respective Rank Fields and Mine Area Fields are defined. All Guidance can be used instead of manually selecting every Guidance Type for a Guidance Set. However, if Rank Fields and Mine Area Fields are not defined, Runs will not be conducted for Guidance Types that use these fields.

    No Guidance will not apply any Guidance Formula, but will assign random priorities to un-pinned Objective Activities.

  1. Click the button add entry button.
  2. A new Guidance entry will be added to the Guidance Settings table. The Product to which the Guidance Type will be applied needs to be selected. To select the Driving Product double click on the Driving Product cell.

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  3. A Select Driving Product dialog box will open; select from the drop-down list the Product to define as the Driving Product. Click OK.

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    The weight and grades of the Product selected as a Driving Product will be used to calculate the priorities of un-pinned Objective Activities at the beginning of each Reset. Other Products present in the project, not defined as a Driving Products, are not included in determining priorities. For this reason it is best to set the project’s primary Product as the Driving Product.

  1. For Guidance Types that use the Rank field to prioritize activities, (Rank, Rank then Product Grade and Rank then Product Weight) a production field will need to be selected for use as a Rank. To select a Rank field, double click on the Rank Field cell in the Guidance Setting table.

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  2. A Select Rank Field dialog box will open; select from the drop-down list the production field to define as the Rank Field. Click OK.

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  3. For Guidance Types that use Mine Area to prioritize activities, a field will need to be selected for use as a Mine Area. To select a Mine Area field, double click on the Mine Area Field cell in the Guidance table.

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  4. A Select Mine Area dialog box will open; select from the drop-down list the text field to define as the Mine Area Field. Click OK.

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  5. The frequency with which Guidance will be used to set priorities of Objective Activities for each solution needs to be defined. To set the Intensity double click the Intensity cell and enter a percentage value.

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    The most suitable Intensity percentage is project dependent. Typically, multiple non-learning Runs with different intensity percentages will be carried out to determine the best percentage.

  6. A Guidance Setting has now been configured. Numerous Guidance Types can be configured under one Guidance Setting; repeat the previous steps to define additional Guidance Types.

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    When numerous Guidance Types are defined for a Guidance Setting configuration a separate Run will be conducted for each.

  7. Save the Guidance Setting by clicking the button save button.

 

6.3.2 Seeds

Seeds record activity priorities from previously generated SOT schedules. A Seed can be used as an initial solution in a Learning Run, or for recreating schedules based on previously generated schedules, possibly with altered constraints and financial settings applied. When a Seed is used in a Run, the Seed will be used as the initial solution for every Reset. When a schedule is generated from a Seed using exactly the same constraints (pinned activities, lags, Capacity Constraints and ‘Start No Earlier Than’ dates), the generated schedule will be the same as the schedule used to create the Seed. To save a Seed, refer to Section 9.2.4.

Pinned Objective Activities are not assigned priorities; pinned activities will not be included in Seeds.

When using Seeds generated from schedules with pinned activities, if the same activities are not pinned when using the Seed, those activities will be randomly inserted into the schedule. It is often best to not use Seeds in this circumstance.


To review or rename a saved Seed,

  1. Click on the Execution Configuration menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Seeds from the drop-down menu.

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  3. The Seeds window will open; double click on the name of a previously saved Seed located on the side panel menu.

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  1. The Seed will open and its Sequence table and Dependency Map table will be visible. The Sequence table lists the project’s activities and their priorities. The Dependency Map table lists the dependencies that exist for the Seed.

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  2. The name of the Seed can be changed by entering a new name into the name field and saving the Seed by clicking the button save button.

 

6.3.3 Capacity Flexing

Capacity Flexing Sets are used to efficiently generate Runs with systematically modified Capacity Constraints within one Execution. Often used to compare the effects that Capacity Constraint differences have on schedules, Capacity Flexing Sets can be applied to both learning and non-learning Executions. Capacity Flexing Sets are created from Capacity Flexing definitions that have already been set up for specific Capacity Constraints. As few or as many definitions as desired can be selected and saved as a Capacity Flexing Set. Capacity Flexing Sets are later combined with other project settings to create an Execution Configuration. For a Capacity Flexing definition to be included in an Execution, a Capacity Flexing Set must have been created for it and the Set selected in an Execution Configuration.

To define a Capacity Flexing Set,

  1. Click on the Execution Configuration menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Capacity Flexing from the drop-down menu.

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  3. The Capacity Flexing window will open; double click on [+] Capacity Flexing Set located on the side panel menu.

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  4. A new Capacity Flexing Set will be created with a table listing all the Capacity Flexing definitions in the project as well as the corresponding fields and Capacity Constraints. Name the newly created set.

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  1. Enable a Capacity Flexing definition for a defined Capacity Constraint by double clicking on the Selected Capacity Flexing cell corresponding to the desired Capacity Constraint.

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  2. A Select Capacity Flex dialog window will open; select from the drop-down list the desired Capacity Flexing Set. Click OK.

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  3. The selected Capacity Flexing Set will now be listed in the table for its Capacity Constraint. Additional Capacity Flexing Sets can be enabled for the Capacity Flexing configuration if desired.

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    Multiple Capacity Flexing Sets can be enabled within a single Capacity Flexing Set Scenario however running an Execution with such a setup can be extremely time consuming. A Run will be created for every combination of Capacity Flexing Steps for the Capacity Flexing Sets included in the configuration.

  1. Save the Capacity Flexing Configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

6.3.4 Run Settings

Run Settings should be set up prior to creating an Execution Configuration and running an Execution. Run Settings are controls set to dictate aspects of scheduling as well as the ‘learning’ or optimization process.

The set of schedules in each iteration of a Reset is known as a Population. The size of the Population is user defined and remains consistent within an Execution. In the first iteration of each Reset a new Population is generated. When Learning, genetic algorithm operations are carried out on the Population, to produce new schedules in each iteration. When the best solution has not significantly improved in several iterations the Reset is considered to be ‘Stagnant’ and will end.

Multiple Resets can occur within a Run. After a Reset has ended, if there are additional Resets to be carried out in the Run, the next Reset will begin; otherwise the Run will end. Multiple Runs can occur within an Execution. If additional Runs are to be carried out in the Execution, the next Run will begin; otherwise the Execution will end.

An Optimization Objective is selected as the goal of the optimization: NPV, Peak NPV, Profitability Index or Peak Profitability Index, as described in the table below. An Optimization Objective is a required Run Setting. Schedule Fitness Scores are reported for all completed Executions in Results and will coincide with the Optimization Objective selected.

Optimization Objective
NPV Maximize the net present value (discounted annual cashflows) of a schedule.
Peak NPV Maximize the Peak NPV (i.e., maximum cumulative NPV) of a schedule. The cumulative NPV is calculated on a weekly basis.
Profitability Index Maximize the ratio of schedule NPV to the minimum cumulative NPV where the minimum cumulative NPV is a negative value or else 0 (if the minimum cumulative NPV is always positive). The cumulative NPV is calculated on a weekly basis.
Peak Profitability Index Maximize the ratio of the Peak NPV (i.e., maximum cumulative NPV) to the minimum cumulative NPV where the minimum cumulative NPV is negative value or else 0 (if the minimum cumulative NPV is always positive). The cumulative NPV is calculated on a weekly basis.

 

When learning is not enabled, only one iteration will occur in a Reset, and the Population size defined for the Run will be the number of schedules produced for the Run.

Scheduling parameters which establish constraints related to activity dates are also configured under Run Settings. All scheduling parameter settings are applied regardless of whether learning is enabled. The Pin Marker Field and Max Lag settings require text fields to be configured prior to the SOT project being created. The Start Date is the only scheduling parameter required to be defined in a SOT project; all other scheduling parameters are optional. The purpose and usage of SOT scheduling parameters are as follows.

Scheduling Parameter Purpose and Implementation
Start Date The calendar date the schedule is set to begin. A schedule Start date must be defined to conduct an Execution.
Pin Date Activities prior to the Pin Date will be locked to the activity Start date imported when the project was created. Activities after the Pin Date will be scheduled by SOT. Intended for use when a schedule that has already commenced is imported and some activities have already been completed or are in progress.
Pin Marker Field A text field can be used to lock activities to imported Start dates. Activities with non-blank entries, contained in the field assigned as the Pin Marker field, will be locked to the Start date imported for the task when the project was created. Activities with blank entries will be scheduled by SOT. Similar to Must Start On Constraint Dates, activities are required to occur on imported Start dates however the Pin Marker setting provides flexibility in turning on or off the use of the imported Start dates.

By utilizing text fields, the Pin Marker setting provides the ability to select alternative sets of activities that should adhere to imported dates, or to remove the constraint all together within the same SOT project. Pin Marker Field non-blank entries can be any numeric or text value.
Sliding While still adhering to all project constraints, postpones the Non-Objective Activities in a schedule to as late as possible without causing the postponement of any Objective Activities. Sliding generates schedules with “just-in-time” development to the extent possible given equipment constraints and other project constraints. Sliding will also move Objective Activities earlier in the schedule when possible due to the resources that are made available by the postponement of non-objective activities.
Max Lag A text field is used to define a maximum time period that may occur after a predecessor activity finishes before its successor activity must start. The Max Lag field value associated with the Successor activity should contain numeric values that will be interpreted as the maximum lag. Max Lag field entries can be defined in terms of average years (365.2425 days), average months (30.436875 days), weeks, days, hours or minutes. Text fields must be defined as a Max Lag field prior to the creation of a SOT project. It is important not to have 0 entries where no Max Lag is needed, but to leave those entries blank.

 

The Max Lag text field formats accepted by SOT are as follows.

Text Field Format

SOT Interpretation

##.##m minute
##.##mi minute
##.##h hour
##.##d day
# day
##.##w week
##.##mo month (30.436875 days)
##.##M month (30.436875 days)
##.##y year (365.2425 days)

 

The Learning parameters that govern the SOT optimization (Learning) process are also specified in Run Settings, and are summarized in the table below.

Learning Parameters Description
Population Population specifies the number of solutions that are generated in each iteration of the Learning process.
Resets A Reset is a set of 1 or more iterations beginning with the generation of an initial Population. Other than for single-iteration Resets, Learning is used from one iteration to the next until Stagnancy (convergence) occurs.

The Resets parameter determines the number of Resets that will occur before a Run terminates.
Top Resets For a Run, a set of Best Schedules (as per the Optimization Objective) is retained and made available for review. The parameter Top Resets indicates the number of Resets for which 1 or more Best Schedules should be retained. This parameter is used to introduce diversity in the saved schedules, because schedules from a given Reset are often quite similar.
Top Schedules per Reset For a Run, a set of Best Schedules (as per the Objective) is retained and made available for review. The parameter Top Schedules per Reset indicates how many Best Schedules should be retained from each of the Top Resets.
Elitism Elite Schedules specifies the number of best solutions in a Population that will be carried over, without modification, from one iteration to the next during Learning. Elitism only functions within a Reset. Generally, it is best to keep the number of Elite Schedules below 50% of the Population.
Stagnancy When no significant improvement (as per the Objective) has been made to the best schedule in the Reset over a given number of iterations, the Learning process is considered Stagnant (converged) and the Reset will terminate.

Stagnancy Count is the number of learning iterations with no significant improvement that are permitted before the learning process is considered Stagnant and the Reset will terminate.

Stagnancy Criterion is the percentage improvement of the best schedule’s Fitness Score for the selected Optimization Objective (in the Reset) that is considered a significant improvement.
Threshold The Threshold is based upon the average Fitness Score of the worst of the Top Schedules produced in the first iteration of the Reset; it is used to decide whether an initial Population of a successive Reset will be the basis for Learning, or whether the Reset will immediately terminate. This is intended to prevent SOT from spending time Learning from poor starting points.

The Threshold parameter is a percentage value, positive or negative, and it is used to set a Required Average Fitness Score, relative to the worst schedule on the Top Schedules list. The average fitness of the initial Population of a Reset must meet or exceed this value in order to proceed to Learning. If the average Fitness of the initial Population is below the Required Average Fitness Score, the Reset will be terminated, and will consist of a single iteration. An exception is made when any Reset whose initial Population generates a new Top Schedule.

Crossover

During Learning, pairs of solutions from one iteration are combined to create new solutions of the next iteration. The Crossover Point, given as a percentage, identifies where the ‘splicing’ of two solutions occurs when they are combined.
Mutation Non-Elite solutions (those created by Crossover) may be modified by Mutation. When a solution is subject to Mutation, a portion of the activities are assigned modified priorities.

Mutation Probability is the likelihood, for each non-Elite solution, that it will be mutated.

Mutation Intensity is the percentage of activities that will potentially be given modified priorities in the solution that is mutated.

 

To define a Run Settings configuration,

  1. Click on the Execution Configuration menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Run Settings from the drop-down menu.

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  3. The Run Settings window will open; double click on [+] Run Setting located on the side panel menu.

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  4. A new Run Setting configuration will be created. Begin by naming the newly created Run Setting.

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  1. Define the number of solutions comprising a Population by setting the Population field.

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    If learning is not enabled, Population will be the number of schedules generated in the Run.

    If learning is enabled then Population will be the number of solutions generated each iteration throughout the optimization (Learning) process. A Population size of 20 is commonly used in SOT optimizations – larger for small projects and smaller if necessary for large projects due to memory and time limitations.

  1. Select the optimization Objective from the Objective drop-down list.

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  2. Check or uncheck the ‘Exclude production field values for activities with zero duration’ option according to the requirement of the project.

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    For activities in the schedule that are zero duration the ‘Exclude production field values for activities with zero duration’ setting when enabled will not include their production field values in scheduling, reporting or financial calculations.

  1. Select a calendar date with the Start date selector; this will be the start date of SOT schedules.

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  2. Leave the Pin date option checkbox unchecked.

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    OR

    Use the originally imported schedule until a specified date by clicking the Pin date option checkbox and selecting a date from Pin date selector.

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    The imported schedule is unchanged until a user-defined date Pin date, regardless of any SOT project settings. After the Pin date, activities will be scheduled by SOT.

    SOT Capacity Constraints may be violated when these imported Start dates are used to schedule activities.

  3. If relevant to the project, enforce imported Start dates for specific activities by selecting the appropriately configured text field from the Pin marker field drop-down list or leave as –None--.

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  4. Disable the Sliding option.

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    OR

    Force Non-Objective Activities to occur as late as possible, in relation to their successive Objective Activities, by leaving the Sliding setting enabled.

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  5. Disable the use of the max lag feature by unchecking the Use max lag checkbox.

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    OR

    Allow the use of the Maximum Lag field, to enforce a maximum amount of time between a predecessor activity and its successor being scheduled, by leaving the Use max lag checkbox checked.

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  6. Leave Learning disabled and define the number of (unoptimized) best schedules to save by entering the desired quantity into the Top Schedules field.

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    OR

    Enable learning (if an optimization Run is being configured) by clicking on the Use Learning checkbox and modify learning parameter defaults by clicking on the Learning Settings checkbox.

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    If conducting a schedule optimization, learning must be enabled.

  7. If learning was left disabled the Run Setting is now configured and should be saved by clicking the button save button. OR

    If learning was enabled the Learning Settings will now be visible and require configuring. Define the number of Resets to include in the optimization run by entering the desired quantity into the Resets field.

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  8. Define the number of Top Resets SOT will save and report by entering the desired quantity into the Top Resets field.

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    If there are more Resets in the Run than are saved, schedules from Resets with the highest Fitness Score will be saved.

  9. Define the number of top schedules SOT will save and report for every top Reset saved, by entering the desired quantity into the Top Schedules per Reset field.

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    Only schedules with the highest Fitness Score, produced within a saved Reset, will be saved.

  10. Define the number of solutions to carry over unchanged from one iteration to the next during Learning by entering the desired quantity into the Elite Schedules field.

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    The number of Elite Schedules should typically be 1 or more but not exceed 50% of the Population.

  11. Define the number of iterations to be used in the assessment of a Reset’s Stagnancy by entering the desired quantity in to the Stagnancy Count field.

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  12. Define the Stagnancy Criterion by entering (as a percentage) the Fitness Score increase considered to be significant enough for Learning to continue.

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  13. Define the Threshold by entering the minimum required initial Reset value in terms of a percentage increase over the initial Reset value of the worst Reset on the top schedules.

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    If it is found that Resets terminate prematurely, the Threshold may be set too strictly.

  14. Define the Crossover Point by entering a percentage.

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  15. Define the likelihood each solution will be subject to Mutation by setting the Mutation Probability field as a percentage.

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  16. Define the percentage of the solutions that may be Mutated by entering a percentage into the Mutation Intensity field.

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  17. The Run Setting has now been configured. Save the Run Setting configuration by clicking the button save button.

 

6.3.5 Execution Configuration

Execution Configurations bring together sets of the scheduling and project controls that generate schedules when Executed. Using different setting combinations, various Execution Configurations can be created and Executed within the same SOT project. An Execution Configuration is set up by selecting a configured Mine Scenario, Guidance Setting, Run Setting, Seed and Capacity Flexing Set. Typically, an Execution contains at least a Mine Scenario, Guidance Setting and Run Setting. Seeds and Capacity Flexing Sets are optional settings implemented for specialized purposes.

To set up an Execution Configuration,

  1. Click on the Execution Configuration menu located on the main task bar.
  2. Select Execution Configuration from the drop-down menu.

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  3. The Execution Configuration window will open; double click on [+] Execution Configuration located on the side panel menu.

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  1. A new Execution Configuration will be created. Begin by naming the newly created Execution Configuration.

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  1. Select a configured Mine Scenario from the Mine Scenario: drop-down list.

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  1. Selecting a configured Run Setting from the Run Settings drop-down list.

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  1. Selecting a configured Guidance Set from the Guidance Set drop-down list.

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  1. If conducting an Execution using a Seed, select from the Seed drop-down list a previously saved Seed.

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  1. If conducting an Execution with Capacity Flexing select from the Capacity Flexing Set drop-down list a previously configured set.

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  2. An Execution Configuration has now been set up. The number of runs that will be carried out, based on the settings and scenarios selected, is summarized at the bottom of the Execution Configuration window.

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  3. Save the Execution Configuration by clicking on the button save button. The Execution Configuration is ready to be Executed.

    Combining a Capacity Flexing Set and a Guidance Set containing numerous Guidance Types will create many Runs. The time to complete the Execution may be exceedingly lengthy.

 

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