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Mixed Integer Linear Programming for Oil Sands Production Planning and Tailings Management

M. M. Badiozamani1, E. Ben-Awuah2,*, and H. Askari-Nasab1

  1. Mining Optimization Laboratory, School of Mining and Petroleum Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, T6G 2W2, Canada
  2. Mining Optimization Laboratory, Bharti School of Engineering, Laurentian University, Ramsey Lake Road Sudbury, ON, P3E 2C6, Canada

*Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 7057651151; fax: +1 7056754862. E-mail address: (E. Ben-Awuah).


In oil sands open-pit mining, further processing of the extracted oil sands generates massive volumes of tailings. To save space, the tailings are deposited in in-pit tailings containments constructed by internal dykes using mine waste material. In this paper, an integrated mine planning framework is proposed and implemented using mixed-integer linear programming to optimize the production schedule with respect to dyke construction and in-pit tailings deposition. A case study is carried out to verify the performance of the proposed optimization model. The results demonstrate how the produced tailings are deposited in the excavated mining pits as the mining operation proceeds and the in-pit dykes are constructed using mine waste material. The framework facilitates sustainable oil sands mining through a reduced environmental footprint.

Keywords: dyke construction, mine planning, mixed integer linear programming, oil sands mining, production planning, tailings management optimization

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