Simulation of Underground Potash Mining Operations for Uralkali

Development of low-level simulation model of underground potash mining operations. The model was used to determine bottlenecks of existing processes and also to prove suggested improvements in underground mining operations for Uralkali, one of the world’s largest potash producer.
Period: May 2013 – September 2013
Industry sector: Mining
Client / Partner: Uralkali / Ernst & Young

Project objective
  • Develop the simulation-based integrated decision support tool for underground mining for long-term planning (a year) of number of vehicles and their distribution
  • Evaluate the existing mine operation efficiency
  • Calculate the performance of a new mine

Our scope of work

  • Development and testing of a simulation model on the AnyLogic 6 platform
  • Taking part in verification and validation of the simulation model
  • Technical and methodological support to Ernst & Young consultants during scenario analysis and improvements evaluation phases

Simulation model inputs

  • Geometric and mining-geological features of mines
  • Schedules, technological operations execution order and duration
  • Limitations of used machines and mechanisms (speed of the conveyors, shuttle cars capacity, etc.)

Simulation model structure elements

  • Simulation model with interactive presentation including the discrete-stream-based simulation of bunker-conveyor system

Simulation model outputs

  • Operational indicators of the mine (ore production, ore quality)
  • Mining machines and conveyor system capacity utilization
  • Identification of existing processes bottlenecks

Project result

  • Simulation-based identification of system bottlenecks, planning and optimization of underground mining operations
  • Proposals for improvement of mining processes which allow to provide 12-15% increase of production without capital investments

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