Determining the Optimal Rail Demand in a Surface Rail Operation

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Determining the Optimal Rail Demand in a Surface Rail Operation


In this project, a simulation model was completed for large stockpile operations and train loading facility within South Africa. The model included train arrivals, loading, slots, capacity evaluation and schedule optimisation.

Our Client’s Challenge

Being one of the largest mining companies in the world, with operations mining base metals and various other commodities, our client requested that an accurate, verified and validated discrete-event simulation model of current surface rail operations be completed. The model would start from the rail loading silo to the tippler yard. The model was be utilised to test various scenarios and highlight any bottlenecks and associated risks that the model’s results could indicate.

The upstream boundary was the surface silo at the mine and the downstream boundary will the tippler yard rail car drop-off sidings.  Various schedule and other operational constraints had to be included in the model to calibrate the model results against actual recorded cycle times. 

Project Highlights

  • The model predicted surface storage requirements at various levels of confidence
  • The outputs of the model’s operational improvements was able to effect deferring of capital for purchase of additional rolling stock

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