Heap Leach planning over time

The heap leach utility can also be used to track and plan leaching operations through time. Users have the ability to enter primary and secondary leach cycle dates and durations into Opencontour to track irrigation levels throughout the leach pad. This can be done by drawing polygons around the various irrigation areas in the model and applying the dates and levels of irrigation. This allows metal extraction levels to be tracked throughout the HLP and optimized to maximize performance.

Mine Cashflow Utility Chart
Tons of ore mined by phase report

Opencontour mining software captures where and when ore is loaded onto the heap leach pad and the ore grade stacked through time, which is then input into the model. This allows for quick analysis of what-if scenarios and the ability to make adjustments to mine schedules or HLP stacking plans. Software tools then map the best stacking scenarios for multiple pads or process streams through time.  

Metal and gold heap leach recovery
Mine revenue NPV financial chart


Opencontour mine optimization model 3D-I

Heap Leach Pad Recovery Models


Mine optimization is at the core of the Opencontour. The heap leach utility was built with trade-off modeling and scenario mapping in mind to maximize metal extraction. Opencontour mining software has developed the heap leach modeling module to include optimized heap leach pad recovery as part of the overall mine plan. This includes tools for stacking, leaching, ore characterizations, and the leach extraction modeling that go directly into a comprehensive model. Sensitivity and Monte Carlo analyses outline parameters needed to configure HLPs to produce optimum results while accounting for operational constraints. The heap leach recovery module is in development and will be available in Q2 2021.

METAL Recovery

Opencontour's heap leach optimization model determines the recovery sum of each block cell to assess performance throughout the heap leach pad. A software algorithm identifies areas where it is most optimal to leach, based on metrics (such as solution-to-ore ratio) to maximise metal recovery and reduce solution waste. This information enables mine operators to make decisions regarding loading scenarios to improve leaching performance across the pad.

Iterations find the best scenario based on:

  • Grade / lithology placement

  • P80 size

  • Heap stacking height

  • Leach expansion – CAPEX

  • ROM versus crush

Heap Leach Model Operational Consideration

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mine-to-heap optimization


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