Dump Profiling – Economic Benefits of Materials Movement Analysis

Last modified by Rhianna Goodwin on 2017/01/31 14:50

Executive Summary

Mass haul/materials movement analysis should be considered for large or complex rehabilitation projects to improve dozer push productivities and reduce the costs of final landform construction. A materials movement analysis looks at a material cut/fill job to determine where large volumes of material should be transported in order to achieve a final design surface.


After tracking the cost of rehabilitation at a Bowen Basin mine site over consecutive years, it was obvious that dump profiling was not being performed efficiently. Apart from some survey pegs, little guidance was given to dozer operators. This resulted in a lot of material rehandle and time wasted in constructing the final surface.

As a result, an earthworks efficiency consultant (3D Data Guidance) was engaged to provide a materials movement/mass haul analysis. Materials movement analysis looks at a material cut/fill job from a top down point of view to determine where large volumes of material should be transported in order to achieve a final design surface.

For the past two years, materials movement analyses have informed the dozer push operations at this mine site. Significant savings have been made as a result of improved dozer productivities and less material being moved. Savings have also been made in fuel use and equipment availability has improved as a result of rehabilitation projects being completed in a reduced timeframe.


  • Improve dozer efficiency
  • Material moved once and to the final position the first time
  • Complete project faster
  • Guidance tool for dozer operators
  • Minimise costs of construction


For a materials movement analysis to be completed, a company can develop their own design to provide to the consultant, or the consultant can develop the design and perform the analysis as a package. If the consultancy develops the design, rehabilitation specifications need to be provided, along with boundaries, limitations, special requirements etc. The dump topography, or as constructed surface, needs to be provided in either instance.

Material final destination selection is based on many factors including:

  • Distance, gradient & direction of push 
  • Machine performance criteria - All push production estimates are based off performance data for the specified machine
  • Project goal e.g. maximum cost per cubic metre
  • The outputs of a materials movement analysis include:
  • Dozer guidance files (outlining push volume, push grade, push distance, push direction)
  • Dozer final landform surface
  • Push distance tables
  • Cut/fill maps and plans


The cost of dozer push ($/bcm moved) has reduced by nearly 40% due to materials movement analysis being used at this mine site in the past 2 years. Rehabilitation programs have been completed ahead of schedule and under budget as a result of clear guidance in the profiling stage.


What was learned

Recommend that a materials movement analysis is undertaken on large or complex rehabilitation projects, as the cost spent for the analysis is generally recouped by efficiencies made in final landform construction.

Benefits delivered

  • Approx. 40% reduction in cost of profiling ($/bcm)
  • Rehandling of material minimised
  • Projects completed faster
  • Reduced dozer hours and fuel use


Example of how “cut to fill” push arrows are generated to aid in scheduling and provide a logical workflow.



3D Data Guidance (http://www.3ddataguidance.com/)



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