Engineers and Geoscientists BC

The Steps in Open Pit Mine Design

Friday, May 26, 2023
8:00 AM–8:30 AM Pacific Time: Registration and Breakfast
8:30 AM–4:30 PM Pacific Time: Seminar
Holiday Inn Vancouver-Centre (Oak Room) 711 West Broadway Vancouver BC V5Z 3YZ
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Participants will need to bring a laptop with them to the seminar as no print materials will be provided.

Event Details


Tasha Booth

Event Description

It is important for the team members of any mining project, particularly the decision makers, to have a clear understanding of the mine design process and the stages of mine development. This course reviews and discusses the principles of open pit mine design, using examples and practice exercises. Some of the most important aspects of mine design are introduced and explained

Event Presenter(s)

Dr. Anoush Ebrahimi, P.Eng.
Principal Consultant, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.

About the Event

The course begins by explaining different stages of the mining projects. It is followed by defining strategic mine planning as a crucial evaluation tool for open pit projects. In this section the course demonstrates how, by using strategic mine planning techniques, it is possible to uncover project opportunities and risks.

Open pit mine design techniques are briefly introduced including the Lerchs-Grossmann pit optimization algorithm. A list of design input parameters and potential constraints for the mine design are introduced and explained. The effect of input parameters on the economics of projects is explored. Additional concepts introduced are mill production rate determination, mining dilution, cut-off grade analysis, stockpiling, mine production scheduling, and NPV optimization. Some of the topics include short case studies and examples of real-life projects. To further develop a good understanding of the concepts, example exercises will be undertaken in the workshop throughout the day. Participants must bring a laptop to this session.

Learning Objectives

This course will help you and your team achieve the following objectives:

  • Learn the principles of pit optimization and mine planning for those who are involved in the decision-making process for mining projects.
  • Become familiar with the procedures, terms, conditions, limits, and critical inputs of mine design.
  • Help readers of technical reports and investors better understand and interpret mine design reports.
  • Discuss key mine design terms and concepts (e.g., best case, worst case, base case, cut-off and cut-over grade, strip ratio, metal equivalent, and dilution).
  • Review and discuss certain mine design techniques (e.g., LG algorithm and production scheduling).

Target Audience

  • Engineers and geoscientists involved in mining projects.
  • Managers and directors of exploration and mining companies.
  • Bankers, financial professionals, and investors.
  • Project managers who are not familiar with mine design.

Key Takeaways

  • Understanding the steps of open pit mine design.
  • Becoming familiar with the procedures, terms, conditions, limits, and critical inputs.
  • Grasping a bigger picture of the stages for open pit mine design development.
  • Gaining a better understanding of fundamental concepts in mine design, such as cut-off grade, dilution, and optimization.
  • An excel file to practice with.


Dr. Anoush Ebrahimi, P.Eng.

Principal Consultant, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc.

Anoush Ebrahimi is a mining engineer with more than 30 years of experience in mine planning and design, from conceptual studies through to the mine construction. He has designed small and large open pit mines in Canada and abroad that went into operation. Anoush specializes in strategic mine planning, mine evaluation, open pit optimization and design, production scheduling, mine layout optimization, mine simulation, and computer modelling. Dr. Anoush Ebrahimi is an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia and an active member of CIM, SME, and Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia.