How to determine costs for a Mass Haul Analysis

The Mass Haul Analysis uses cost to determine the optimization of the Mass Haul and to determine the best way to move materials on site. It uses the cost of the material, the process, the haulage cost on site and the haulage cost to and from off site locations to determine the cheapest way to move all of the materials on site in the most effective manner.

Having said the above, many people ask “how do I determine these costs and how accurate do they need to be”. The answer to this can be many things, but the following can be used as guidelines.

If you don’t have the costs, or if you think the costs for a type of item are the same, then enter the same value for all of them e.g. the cost of one haul road vs another, or the cost opf a material from Borrow Site A vs Borrow Site B. Then the only thing that matters to the optimization is the distance of haul from the materials source location to the required destination (an on site location consuming that material or an off site location where you are wasting the material.

If you have two options A and B and you would prefer the software to choose A over B unless it is so expensive in comparison to B or if A runs out of material and you have to use B, then you can set A to be cheaper than B. If A is Cheaper and the haulage distances are the same or shorter then A will always win, however when the haul ranges get larger, then the cost of the haulage and haul road use become a factor, such that at some point B becomes more economical for the mass haul. You can weight A heavily against B using the cost of A vs B and ignore the cost outputs knowing that they are a weighting factor only and not absolute costs.

If you know your costs or can approximate them to real values, then the mass haul analysis will generate you a cost estimate to execute the mass haul process. If you for example find what you think is a cheaper borrow source, you can add it into the analysis, and see what it does to the overall cost of the project. Cost will always give you a relative change (the cost went up or down) when you change the scenarios by giving it more options, but if you are using realistic numbers it will give you a precise estimate of the change in cost based on the new scenario. This allows you to do What If scenario planning to analyze different alternatives to execute the project.