Enterprise Optimization at Semafo's Mana Gold Mining Operations, Burkina Faso, West Africa


P. Moryoussef, R. Peevers, G. Whittle

Enterprise optimization is a relatively new optimization approach to mine planning used to jointly consider all aspects of a mining operation affecting the mine planning process and related valuation. In this paper, it is applied at SEMAFO's Mana operations in Burkina Faso, consisting of several open pits and a proposed underground mine. The surface-minable ore is relatively shallow, and the pits are long and linear. The underground operations, as currently envisioned, will consist of a stoping operation accessed by two ramps from the surface. Power is a concern at this property due to local power being produced largely by diesel generators, and it has become one of the key optimization constraints. Other important parameters are the mining and processing rates, underground configuration and cutover elevation. Enterprise optimization was found to improve net present value for the Mana Operations property by simultaneously optimizing multiple parameters and constraints to arrive at an optimal pit and mining phase design, optimal cut-off grades over time, and optimal ore feed based on ore hardness, power constraints, and head wades. Reserves were expanded several times over the course of the study to improve the valuation of the mining operation and put SEMAFO in its present enviable position of ongoing reserve increases.
Keywords: Burkina Faso, SEMAFO, Mana operations