A decision support system for changes in operation modes of the copper heap leaching process

Manuel Saldaña, Purísima Neira, Víctor Flores, Pedro Robles, Carlos Moraga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Chilean mining is one of the main productive industries in the country. It plays a critical role in the development of Chile, so process planning is an essential task in achieving high perfor-mance. This task involves considering mineral resources and operating conditions to provide an optimal and realistic copper extraction and processing strategy. Performing planning modes of operation requires a significant effort in information generation, analysis, and design. Once the operating mode plans have been made, it is essential to select the most appropriate one. In this context, an intelligent system that supports the planning and decision-making of the operating mode has the potential to improve the copper industry’s performance. In this work, a knowledge-based decision support system for managing the operating mode of the copper heap leaching process is presented. The domain was modeled using an ontology. The interdependence between the variables was en-capsulated using a set of operation rules defined by experts in the domain and the process dynamics was modeled utilizing an inference engine (adjusted with data of the mineral feeding and operation rules coded) used to predict (through phenomenological models) the possible consequences of var-iations in mineral feeding. The work shows an intelligent approach to integrate and process opera-tional data in mining sites, being a novel way to contribute to the decision-making process in com-plex environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1025
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2021


  • Heap leaching
  • Intelligent recommendation systems
  • Planning modes of operation


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