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Over the last 20 years, utilization of mineral resources has improved dramatically following changes in mine technology and operating practices, resulting in lower costs and increased productivity. Improved deposit modeling methods, better understanding of geotechnical constraints, optimized mine designs, automated production scheduling, new methods of ore control, progress in the design of blasting, loading, and haulage equipment, and changes in operating practices—all contributed to better utilization of manpower and equipment and significantly lowered production costs. Safety and environmental concerns are an integral part of mine design, construction, operation, and closure. But to reap the benefits of these changes, early...

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