A Stochastic Simulation Framework for Truck and Shovel Selection and Sizing in Open Pit Mines


Material handling in open pit mining accounts for about 50% of production costs. The selection and deployment of efficient, safe, and economic loading and haulage systems is thus critical to the production process. The problems of truck and shovel selection and sizing include determination of the optimal number and capacities of haulage and loading units, as well as their allocation and operational strategies. Critical survey and analysis of the literature has shown that deterministic, stochastic, and experimental approaches to these problems result in considerably different outputs. This paper presents a comprehensive simulation framework for the problem of truck and shovel selection and sizing based on the random processes underlying the network-continuous-discrete event nature of the mining operation. The framework builds on previous research in this field and attempts to address limitations of available methodologies in the form of a comprehensive algorithm. To test the validity of the framework a large open pit mine was evaluated. The stochastic processes governing the uncertainties underlying the material loading and haulage input variables were defined and built into the stochastic model. Discrete event simulation was used to simulate the stochastic model. The proposed model resulted in several modifications to the case study.


Mining Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Discrete event simulation; Materials handling; Mine trucks; Random processes; Shovels; Stochastic models; Stochastic systems; Trucks; Continuous-discrete; Equipment selection; Experimental approaches; Large open-pit mines; Operational strategies; Production process; Simulation framework; Stochastic simulations; Open pit mining; Equipment selection and sizing; Stochastic simulation framework; Truck and shovel operation

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

2225-6253; 2411-9717

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2015 South African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (SAIMM), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2015