We present a mixed-integer program to schedule long- and short-term production at LKAB's Kiruna mine, an underground sublevel caving mine located in northern Sweden. The model minimizes deviations from monthly preplanned production quantities while adhering to operational constraints. Because of the mathematical structure of the model and its moderately large size, instances spanning a time horizon of more than a year or two tend to be intractable. We develop an optimization-based decomposition heuristic that, on average, obtains better solutions faster than solving the model directly. We show that for realistic data sets, we can generate solutions with deviations that comprise about 3-6% of total demand in about a third of an hour. © 2010 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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