Optimising value chains from Mine-to-Market

Process Plant

BlendOpt Process Plant Optimisation


Key Features

  • Variable feed rates.
  • Combine manual decisions with optimised decisions for cut-points
  • Combine manual decisions with optimised wash vs bypass decisions
  • Combine manual decisions with optimised product decisions
  • Wash, crusher, bypass, and rejects cost modelling


  • Coal
  • Iron Ore


BlendOpt.Processing is a holistic strategy optimisation tool that can model a variety of processing plant flow networks and processing constraints.

For instance, it can improve wash vs bypass decisions as well as the density cut-point for dense medium cyclones while accounting for washability, feed blend requirements, sales targets, and downstream/upstream inventories in the context of the integrated mine planning problem.

In addition to strategy optimisation, BlendOpt.Processing supports the detailed scheduling of daily campaigns.


Optimise strategies for feed blending, density cut-points, and wash vs bypass

Process Plant Modelling Requirements

In the coal domain, if the CHPP is at risk of becoming a supply chain bottleneck, then modelling maximum operating capacity will ensure planned product coal volumes are achievable. Operating capacity may need to be modelled to change over time to reflect planned maintenance or other expected events.

In some circumstances the CHPP feed rate will depend on the seam processed and there are circumstances where feed blending can positively or negatively impact feed rates, which influences operating capacity and may also need to be modelled.

If there are options to wash or bypass coal, then it is typically beneficial for these decisions to be mathematically optimised within BlendOpt as they substantially impact operating costs, production yields and final coal quality. The relevance of mathematically optimising CHPP operating parameters depends on coal washability and infrastructure. If CHPP operating choices are straightforward due to particle density distributions or the curvature of the ash:yield relationship, then it might only be necessary to optimise wash versus bypass decisions. In many circumstances however there will exist dense medium cyclones (DMC) for coarse coal with cut-points that should be mathematically optimised, assuming availability of accurate data. While the impact of DMC density on quality and yield can be quantified, rules and logic will sometimes provide insufficient guidance on how wash decisions impact final product blending options, contracted sales obligations, product pricing and total revenue.

This is particularly the case for complex deposits containing many seams or ply groupings, and it is in this domain of complex decision making that BlendOpt.Processing can offer significant benefits to an operation. In some CHPP designs, DMC rejects can be fed to a secondary DMC circuit, with the decision to operate the secondary circuit depending upon reject material properties. In this case there is typically the option to allocate processed coal from the secondary and primary DMC to different products. The CHPP design sometimes allows other processed size fractions to be allocated to either primary or secondary products, and these decisions can also be optimised for some operations.

For short-term planning exercises, realistic CHPP processing plans may also need to account for other practical considerations such as minimum campaign size and stockpile rehandle costs. BlendOpt can manage the complexity of your processing and stockpile/rehandle decisions by simultaneously leveraging the power of the BlendOpt.Processing compute cloud, and mathematical optimisation.