Optimum mine environmental planning

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


An approach and technique for optimizing mine environmental planning was developed. As a basis for discussion, the perspective of the environment was reviewed for several disciplines. The characteristics of environmental planning and some common methods in environmental planning were reviewed. As a further basis for discussion, mining and environmental practices were reviewed.

A specific discussion of various subjective and qualitative approaches to and ways of optimizing mine-environmental relations were presented, prior to development of the new quantitative approach. This approach relies on analysis of three-component resource-action-receptor chains and the real and subjective value flows associated with these. Two techniques for optimizing these chains were presented as (1) graphical solution and (2) linear programming.

A case study of a simple mining project is analyzed by the graphical and linear programming techniques. Then a discussion is presented of the various limit cases in mining and how they would be resolved in such a type of analysis.