Optimising declines in underground mines

M. Brazil, D. H. Lee, M. Van Leuven, J. H. Rubinstein, D. A. Thomas, N. C. Wormald

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28 Citations (Scopus)


This paper describes a method for optimising the layout of a decline in an underground mine. It models a decline as a mathematical network connecting the access points at each level of the proposed mine to the surface portal. A feasible decline is one satisfying all operational constraints such as gradient and turning radius requirements. The task is to find the decline that minimises a given cost objective. Typically, the cost objective will be some combination of development and operational costs representing a project cost or a life-of-mine cost. The procedure to find the optimal decline has been automated and the paper describes the current capability of Decline Optimisation Tool (DOT) software, A case study on the optimisation of a decline to service the Jandam goldmine in the Pajingo field of Newmont Australia Limited demonstrates the practical application of the technique.

Original languageEnglish
JournalTransactions of the Institutions of Mining and Metallurgy Section A: Mining Technology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • DOT software
  • Modelling
  • Optimising declines
  • Underground mines

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