The client is a global leader in aluminium, one of the world’s most widely used metals. Active in the sector for more than 110 years, the client operates large-scale, high-quality bauxite mines and alumina refineries globally.
Strategic decision making for the global bauxite operations was a complicated and time consuming task. Planners were using sophisticated tools to make decisions, but the underlying optimisation technology had become dated and cumbersome; the data had to be aggregated, resulting in a loss of detail leading to lower quality solutions. The existing tool would unpredictably produce higher quality solutions when more constraints were added. This meant planners would explore hundreds of scenarios to see which one might give them the best solution with no guarantee of optimality.
With each scenario often taking more than a day, the planning team were looking for a better tool that used the latest in optimisation technology.
Polymathian, in close consultation with the client's subject matter experts built and designed a numerical optimisation based decision support tool. Using the latest technology, the tool is able to model more complex mining value chains than the incumbent tool, with much higher fidelity. It is able to produce the optimal solution, eliminating the need to explore multiple scenarios, in much shorter time frames.
As the tool utilises the latest optimisation technology in a range of innovative ways; it is able to scale to solve truly enormous problems, much larger than those previously solvable. Scenarios can now be generated to include value chains spanning multiple mines, plants, ports and customers. Something that no other tool on the market is able to do with as much detail.
In a carefully controlled bench-marking test, the tool greatly increased NPV when compared to solutions produced by the incumbent tool. With such impressive results, the tool is now being used to assist the planning operations of all bauxite assets in the clients global portfolio.