Long-Term Planning for Open Pits for Mining Sulphide-Oxide Ores in Order to Achieve Maximum Profit

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Profitable exploitation of mineralised material from the earth’s crust is a complex and difficult task that depends on a comprehensive planning process. Answering the question of how to plan production depends on the geometry of the deposit, as well as the concentration, distribution, and type of minerals in it. The complex nature of mineral deposits largely determines the method of exploitation and profitability of mining operations. In addition to unit operating costs and metal prices, the optimal recovery of and achievement of maximum profit from deposits of sulphide-oxide ores also depend, to a significant extent, on the level of technological recovery achieved in the ore processing procedure. Therefore, in defining a long-term development strategy for open pits, special attention must be paid to the selection of an optimal procedure for ore processing in order to achieve the main objective: maximising the Net Present Value (NPV). The effect of using two different processes, flotation processing and hydrometallurgical methods (bioleaching acid leaching), on determining the ultimate pit is shown in the case of the Kraku Bugaresku-Cementacija sulphide-oxide ore deposit in eastern Serbia. Analysis shows that the application of hydrometallurgical methods of processing sulphide-oxide ore achieved an increase in NPV of 20.42%.

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