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Mining Dilution: Variable Versus Fixed Factor

Anoush Ebrahimi
Monday, February 26, 2018
First presented: 

Mining dilution affects the economy of mining projects in many ways. For example, dilution increases costs and can cause reconciliation issues that are common in mining operations. A common approach to estimating mining dilution is to apply a fixed factor to the entire block model. The fixed dilution factor is usually driven by assumptions that are made based on experience and general knowledge. Mining dilution occurs in contact area of ore and waste, but not in the centre of the orebody. Because fixed dilution factor ignores the changes of values within an orebody, the designs driven by such studies can become suboptimal. The methodology described in this paper assures dilution factors are calculated on a block-size scale and honor the variability of values within the orebody. Applying a variable dilution factor enhances the accuracy of mining studies and subsequent economic evaluations. This will be demonstrated using a case study.

Feature Author

Dr. Anoush Ebrahimi

Anoush Ebrahimi is a mining engineer who has worked for open pit mines, consulting companies, and universities as well as in software development. Anoush has more than 25 years of experience in mine planning and design. He has designed multiple small and large open pit mines in Canada and abroad, including copper, gold, molybdenum, poly metal, coal, manganese, phosphate, bauxite, and oil sand projects. He has worked on mining projects from conceptual studies through to construction.  

Anoush specializes in strategic mine planning, mine evaluation, open pit optimization and design, production scheduling, mine layout optimization, mine simulation, and computer modelling.

Dr. Anoush Ebrahimi is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and an active member of CIM, SME and Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia.

Principal Mining Engineer
PhD, MSc, BSc
SRK Vancouver
SRK North America