1 The Schedule Optimization Tool

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1.1 An Overview
1.2 What’s New in SOT Version 3?
1.3 System Requirements
1.4 Disclaimers

 

1.1 An Overview

The Schedule Optimization Tool (SOT) software assists with the formulation of life-of-mine schedules that maximize a user-selected objective, such as net present value (NPV).  Conventionally, SOT is deployed after development and stoping activities have been designed with precedence links in place to enforce the necessary excavation order of adjacent activities; for example, a precedence link would be in place from an access drive to the corresponding stope.

 

SOT uses an evolutionary search algorithm to generate optimized schedules.  An evolutionary algorithm, although it does not guarantee an optimal result, can solve problem instances that are intractable with exact optimization methods.  Every schedule generated by SOT is feasible in the sense that it adheres to all precedence constraints and operational resource constraints.

 

1.2 What’s New in SOT Version 3?

SOT v3 introduces several new features and a new look to the Schedule Optimization Tool.  This version offers a complete update of the underlying code for better performance, improved memory usage, and a more stable program.  Listed below are some of the improvements you’ll find in SOT v3, many of which were motivated by customer requests!

User Interface:  The interface for SOT v3 offers a cleaner look and feel, making items easier to find.  From importing projects to viewing results, the entire user interface has been redesigned.

Assignment of Types:  SOT v3 does not constrain you to field associations and units selected on import.  You can now set and change these associations as needed.

Equipment:  One of the biggest changes to the functionality of SOT v3 relates to equipment.  Equipment quantities and capacities have now been integrated for better performance and ease of use.  Further, SOT v3 now gives the option to specify alternative equipment sets.

View Resource Allocation:  You can easily view how SOT v3 assigned your resources throughout the mine life.

Activity Filters:  Activity Types have been replaced with Activity Filters.  You can now filter by any text field and value in order to flexibly apply a number of properties, including costs and equipment, with the new ability to assign weight and length fields selectively.

Activity Splits:  SOT v3 can now split tasks in order to schedule priority tasks earlier in the mine life while adhering to capacity constraints.

Guidance:  SOT v3 now allows multiple Guidance Types and/or Guidance Intensity amounts to be configured in one Execution.

New Objective:  In addition to the optimization objectives in SOT v2 (maximize NPV or maximize peak NPV), SOT v3 includes a new objective – the maximization of a schedule’s profitability index, or a peak profitability index.

Multi-Core:  SOT v3 can run on up to 4 logical cores, allowing for reduced run times.

Baseline Executions:  SOT v3 can now conveniently reproduce an imported schedule, for quick financial and resource analysis, and for a baseline comparison with optimized schedules.

 

1.3 System Requirements

 
 

1.4 Disclaimers

As always, the user will need to thoroughly review in advance any SOT schedule that is chosen as the basis of a long-term plan or operational schedule. SOT is not intended to generate a true economic assessment of a mining operation, but only to provide a comparative assessment of alternative options.

 

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