Mining Problem

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### Introduction

If you are looking for gold, you have come to the right place. Here, we let you dig for gold effortlessly, and we guarantee maximum profit. To simulate your gold-digging expedition, you are provided with a two-dimensional cross-section of earth in which you draw the gold ore deposits with the mouse. Then, based on parameters that you've specified for the cost of excavation and the value of gold, RIOT will automatically determine where you should spend your time digging!

RIOT's gold mining simulation divides the cross-section of earth into a grid of equally-sized blocks. We require that you specify the cost of excavating a full block, and the market value of a full block of gold. Constraints on the shape of your mine require that a block of earth (shown in yellow) cannot be excavated unless the three blocks above it (directly, and diagonally left and right) have also been excavated. (shown in blue)

The default block excavation cost is set to \$150 and the default gold block value is \$2000. Therefore, if your ore is deep in the mine, it may not be profitable to excavate it. On the other hand, if there are other ore deposits above it, or if the deposit is large, it may be worthwhile to excavate. Try your own excavations, with different configurations of ore deposits, and guess in advance the shape of the optimal mines!

Although RIOT uses a two-dimensional mining simulation for demonstration purposes, the actual open-pit mining problem is three-dimensional. Our demonstration problem uses the same preflow algorithm for the minimum cut problem to determine the optimal mine shape that is used to solve real three-dimensional open-pit mining problems.

This webpage is based on the mining problem as described in:
D. S. Hochbaum "A new-old algorithm for minimum cut in closure graphs," Manuscript June (1996).

This project is made possible by Professor Dorit S. Hochbaum's ONR research grant N00014-91-J-1241.

Questions or comments? Send mail to Professor Hochbaum.

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