Open pit mining for minerals requires complex and informed planning. The order in which specific areas of the pit are mined is dependent on a number of critical factors and feasibility constraints. With thousands of options available, choosing which area of the pit to mine and in what order is an important and valuable challenge.
We investigated the problem in different length and time scales to find an economically beneficial open-pit mining sequence that meets all the feasibility constraints. This multi-scale approach coupled with our use of multi-threading ensures the solutions are found efficiently. Our algorithm is tested with data-set drawn from BHP Billiton's real life operational data, and won the Phase-X challenge with $35,000 in prize money.