Ultra-Fast Pit Optimizer

GeoMine’s FlowPit is an ultra-fast open-pit optimization module. FlowPit implements the industry standard Lerchs-Grossmann’s 3D pit optimization algorithm with a novel implementation. FlowPit’s highly efficient and scalable implementation achieves a superior magnitude speed-up compared to competitors. For small block models (with about 1 million non-air blocks), FlowPit takes seconds to complete a single optimization run instead of hours. For huge block models (with 15~30 million non-air blocks), FlowPit takes full advantage of today’s multi-core CPUs to determine the optimum final pit limit within half an hour. For huge block models (with 50~100 million non-air blocks) without super-blocking, FlowPit Ultimate can determine the optimum pit limit within 3 hours on modern i7 PCs equipped with 32 GB RAM.

To arrive at a solution in a realistic time frame for large block models, most existing mine planning software for open pit mining (pit optimizers) uses super-blocking to reduce total block counts drastically. Consequently, this materially affects the solution accuracy, which has just been quantifiable up to now. Usually, a single careless 2x2x2 reblocking can result in a final pit with up to 7% profit loss and a slight pit slope change (please refer to the Impact of Reblocking on Pit Optimization for a detailed analysis). With FlowPit, mine planners no longer need to super-block their block model and even if they do, they now have a proper tool to evaluate the impact of their chosen reblocking configuration on their block model. This advance in computational speed with guaranteed optimality makes FlowPit an effective tool not just for determining the optimal pit limit but also for Sensitivity Analysis that allows the planner to conduct reliable “what if?” scenario analyses quickly.

FlowPit features a powerful slope modeling sub-module: not only can pit slope angles be varied by sectors and levels, but they also can be varied by both regions and rock types within regions (where other competitors that we know of can only change the pit slope angle by either regions or by rock types, not both)

FlowPit also offers a unique Stochastic Optimization option that allows a group of block model realizations as input and thus enables mine planners to quantify geological uncertainty and risks inherent in any mineral resource projects in a single optimization run.  

FlowPit Key Benefits

Different types of nested pits can be generated to create life-of-mine schedules (with iScheduler) that aim to either maximize NPV or meet the production target.  

Sensitivity analysis allows the user to see the impact of changes to any variable (price, costs) on the project’s profitability, as well as the impact of geological uncertainty.

This option allows a group object consisting of multiple block models to be used as input. It enables mine planners to quantify geological uncertainty and risk inherent in any open pit project in a single optimization run.

Allows the user to detect and correct potential errors in the input block model before optimization starts.

Allows maximum flexibility in report generation without custom scripting.

GeoMine-FlowPit is capable of processing 100mil blocks.

Property lines that must not be crossed can be specified as a 2D polygon or a 3D mesh to confine the optimization process.

Output to CSV format and DXF format.

Exploiting parallelism on multi-core CPUs for ultimate performance.

Supports multi-minerals, partial/percentage or sub-blocked block models with unlimited user conditions or constraints. FlowPit’s Cell Scripting Engine opens the door to virtually infinite possibilities for mine planners that make a difference.

Slope angles can vary by region and rock types within the regions, sectors, and/or levels.

Option to normalize and reblock input block model if needed.

Supports an extensive range of ASCII file formats exported by all General Mining Packages.

System Requirements:

“…Our clients demand solid reliable results suitable for rolling out the budget forecast and the “what if’’ scenarios offered by most software solution providers do not live up to our expectations. However, ThreeDify software has given us the competitive edge in doing so…”
Sarel Blaauw
CEO, Tacmin Madini