Direct block scheduling technology: Analysis of Avidity
Abstract This study is focused on Direct Block Scheduling testing (Direct Multi-Period Scheduling methodology) which schedules mine production considering the correct discount factor of each mining block, resulting in the final pit. Each block is analyzed individually in order to define the best target period. This methodology presents an improvement of the classical methodology derived from Lerchs-Grossmann's initial proposition improved by Whittle. This paper presents the differences between these methodologies, specially focused on the algorithms' avidity. Avidity is classically defined by the voracious search algorithms, whereupon some of the most famous greedy algorithms are Branch and Bound, Brutal Force and Randomized. Strategies based on heuristics can accentuate the voracity of the optimizer system. The applied algorithm use simulated annealing combined with Tabu Search. The most avid algorithm can select the most profitable blocks in early periods, leading to higher present value in the first periods of mine operation. The application of discount factors to blocks on the Lerchs-Grossmann's final pit has an accentuated effect with time, and this effect may make blocks scheduled for the end of the mine life unfeasible, representing a trend to a decrease in reported reserves.