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Associate Certificate

Cost Estimation for the Resources Industry

Commences 2 September 2024

PD Hours
Enrol now

ic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.png   AusIMM courses rated 4.9/5 (4.5k+ reviews)

Associate Certificate

Cost Estimation for the Resources Industry

Commences 2 September 2024

PD Hours
Enrol now

ic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.pngic_round-star.png   AusIMM courses rated 4.9/5 (4.5k+ reviews)

Gain tools, techniques and tips to create accurate cost estimations for the resources industry.


Quick facts

Duration Delivery Course Type next Intake PD Hours Language
20 hours
5 weeks
100% online
Associate Certificate
2 September
Up to 20

Course overview

The Cost Estimation Associate Certificate is designed to provide resources industry professionals with foundational tools and techniques to perform capital, operating and business cost estimations specific to the resources sector from scoping to feasibility studies.

Delivered by experienced industry leaders, this course draws from the AusIMM Cost Estimation Handbook and many case studies to provide practical tips for pursuing more accurate cost estimation.

Participants will also receive a digital copy of the AusIMM Cost Estimation Handbook - a saving of up to $198.

Enrolments now open

Next course commences 2 September 2024

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Limited seats remaining!

Course pricing

A discount of 10% is available for groups of 3 or more participants from the same organisation who enrol for the same course intake in a single booking. This discount will be automatically applied at checkout.
Price is inclusive of 10% GST
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Associate membership and enrolment bundle
Price is inclusive of 10% GST
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Price is inclusive of 10% GST
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Group training
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Earn digital credentials

Showcase your studies, validate your knowledge

Verify your new skills and knowledge with a digital badge that you can add to your LinkedIn profile, email signature, intranet, or any other online account.

Your badge links to a detailed outline of the course, showcasing and validating your new skills in a format that employers and colleagues can easily access and trust.

Free template

Business case to attend

Getting approval to undertake a course can sometimes be a challenge. To assist you in putting together a compelling business case to your manager, we have prepared an email template. It’s easy to use – just copy, fill in the blanks and email to your manager.

Who should attend?

Project and study managers
Build credible cost estimates for mining projects.

Financial analysts and decision makers
Understand cost estimation methodology, limitations and risks.  

Operational engineers and technologists
Estimate costs for budgeting, studies and equipment selection.

Learning objectives

  • Explain the purpose, characteristics and terminology of cost estimates in expenditure decisions and project studies
  • Describe methods for estimating capital, operating and business costs
  • Define accuracy, contingency, owner’s costs and timing
  • Demonstrate general estimation techniques, shortcuts and checks
  • Explain the use of benchmarking to validate cost estimates
  • Describe estimating costs for emerging technologies
  • Discuss cost estimation case studies

Course structure

The five-week course is a collaborative, hands-on online learning experience, taking learners approximately 20 hours to complete. Please note the live sessions are not mandatory, the virtual classrooms will be recorded and available on the same day for participants who are unable to attend the live event. Course content includes:

  • Weekly live virtual classroom
  • Additional resources and readings (case studies, videos, articles)
  • Selective examples of tools used
  • Group discussion forums
  • Learning activities in the form of short test questions

Module 1

Overview of Cost Estimation

  1. Describe the contexts in which cost estimation is undertaken and why it may be different in the minerals industry 
  2. Describe estimation techniques and how to deal with uncertainty
  3. Explain the terminology used in estimation and progress of studies in relation to reliability of estimates 
  4. Explain some causes of errors and the relationship between estimators and other stakeholders

Virtual classroom: Thursday 5 September, 11.30-13.00 AEST

Module 2

Capital Cost Estimation

  1. Describe the process of estimating capital costs
  2. Outline the objectives of different types of capital cost estimates
  3. Explain the structures of capital cost estimates – WBS, codes and cost types
  4. Discuss accuracy and contingency

Virtual classroom: Thursday 12 September, 11.30-13.00 AEST

Module 3

Operating Cost Estimation

  1. Outline the purpose and use of operational cost estimates
  2. Describe the different drivers of operational cost estimates
  3. Describe the methods used to determine operating costs
  4. Explain estimation skills and peer review

Virtual classroom: Thursday 19 September, 11.30-13.00 AEST

Module 4

Estimation Techniques, Challenges and Case Studies

  1. Describe one or more worked examples which illustrate the key concepts of cost estimation in the context of a 'real life' project
  2. Discuss the lessons learnt in one or more case studies that illustrate the context for cost estimation

Virtual classroom: Thursday 26 September, 11.30-13.00 AEST

Download the course brochure

Cost Estimation for the Resources Industry



Laura Daly

Principal Mining Consultant, AMC Consultants
Laura has a strong foundation in all areas of business analysis, from strategy through to measuring organisational performance. With demonstrated strengths in financial analysis and benchmarking, she has a comprehensive understanding of the cost drivers of a mining operation. Since joining AMC’s business improvement group in August 2002, Laura has provided the mining cost modelling and revenue components of various Australian and international conceptual, pre-feasibility, and feasibility studies across a range of commodities and mining methods.

Laura has also conducted numerous benchmarking and operational improvement studies which included detailed analysis of productivity and costs of operating underground and open-pit mines. She has also developed value driver trees to model mine to market costs, productivities and value. Prior to joining AMC, Laura gained hands-on experience as a mine geologist in data analysis, problem solving, quality assurance management systems, and managing drilling programs in underground and open pit operations.

Michelle Lawson

Michelle Lawson Management & Consulting Services Pty Ltd
Michelle has over 30 years of experience in Resources, Infrastructure, and Finance with leading global organisations. Her expertise spans high-level financial advisory, ESG, risk management, and board-level strategy planning. As a Fellow Chartered Accountant, she provides sharp financial insights into vast operations, enhancing business performance. Michelle brings a strong operational lens and commercial acumen, covering entire project life cycle from concept to operations and rehabilitation, together with over a decade of experience as an Executive Director and Joint Venture Committee Chair. She is currently a Non-Executive Director for the AusIMM and the Mark Hughes Foundation, as well as operating her own consultancy business.

Michelle has chaired several AusIMM committees, and has a special interest in diversity and inclusion, having won several awards at state, national and international levels. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce, is a Fellow of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, Governance Institute of Australia and Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Justice of the Peace in NSW.

Christian McMahon

Advisory Lead-Operational Excellence, Principal Mining Consultant, AMC Consultants
Christian has more than 25 years of experience in the mining and extractive industries. Christian’s operational experience includes multi-site mine management, management of technical services and production departments, asset management of fixed and mobile plant and mine rehabilitation. His primary expertise is in management of low-cost, low-margin mining operations and operational improvement in mining. He is an accomplished mine operational management and development specialist who has been responsible for businesses with very large OPEX and CAPEX budgets and large workforces.

Adrian Pratt

Principal, Adrian Pratt Mining Consultants
Adrian Pratt has a diverse background in mining projects that spans their evaluation, design, implementation, and operation. In 2014 he established own consultancy, which focuses on mineral project development in Australia and internationally. Prior to this he held senior technical support and operational roles with Ivanhoe Australia, Newcrest, BHP and Normandy Mining associated new projects.

Adrian holds a Bachelor of Engineering (Mining) from the University of NSW and a Masters of Minerals & Energy Economics from Macquarie University, and Certificates of Competency as a Mine Manager. He is a Fellow of the Australasian Institute for Mining and Metallurgy with Certified Professional (CP) accreditation, Member of the Institute of Engineers Australia with registration as a Certified Practicing Engineer and is a Registered Professional Engineer of Queensland (RPEQ).

Course Advisors

Peter McCarthy

Peter is a co-founder of AMC Consultants, an international mining consultancy established in 1985. With more than 50 years of experience in the mining industry, Peter has been responsible for underground and open pit mine feasibility studies, mine valuations and technical studies for projects in Australasia, Asia, Europe and Africa. He has published more than 60 technical papers and articles in his areas of interest and has served as a non-executive director of five public companies. He is a past President of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and received the Beryl Jacka award in 2009.

Peter has held Mine Manager’s Certificates in Victoria and New South Wales and has degrees in Mining Engineering and Mineral Economics. He is a Life Member of the Sovereign Hill Museums Association, an Honorary Fellow of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and a Chartered Professional Engineer.

Peter has chaired several AusIMM committees and working groups, and has a special interest in mining heritage.

Neil Cusworth

Chairman and Founding Director, Enthalpy
Neil is the Chairman and Founding Director of Enthalpy’s Australian, European and North & South American operations, as an independent Project Management services provider, since 1988.

Neil’s Project Management career has spanned almost four decades working as a Project Manager – Director on resource projects in most continents. Major projects have included Gordonstone Coal, Minera Alumbrera, Queensland Magnesium, Mt Isa Copper Smelter, sale of the Gladstone Power Station, Emu Downs Wind Farm, Anaconda Murrin- Murrin and the OPR – Crosslands Iron Ore project.

He has undertaken a variety of specialist advisory and Independent Peer Review assignments since 1988. These have included a wide range of Independent Peer Reviews and Expert Witness assignment for Reko Diq and Pascal Lama projects.

Neil’s speciality has including development and providing ‘best practice’ systems, procedures and reviews for multinational corporations including BHP Billiton, Barrick Gold, Antofagasta Minerals, Stanwell Energy, Cliff’s, MIM and Codelco. His focus since 1982 has been on defining the capital cost estimating standards in the mining sector.

Damian Peachey

Principal Consultant, AMC Consultants
Damian has more than 40 years of experience in the mining industry that includes broad operational and technical roles in management, maintenance, engineering, procurement and logistics. He has held a range of senior management roles in iron ore operations in Australia.

His focus in recent years with AMC has been on performance diagnostic studies, mining equipment asset management, selection and procurement, and cost estimations for global open-pit mining operations.

Enrolments now open

Next course commences 2 September 2024

Enrol now

ic_round-star.png ic_round-star.png ic_round-star.png ic_round-star.png AusIMM courses rated 4.9/5 (4.5k+ reviews) by past participants

So great to have a course taught by very experienced facilitators in their field of expertise. Great job done AusIMM.

Participant of July 2021 intake

I appreciate the time the presenters gave to this course. The knowledge from experienced professionals within the AusIMM is invaluable.

Participant of July 2021 intake

I am excited and looking forward to applying the learnings from this course in my next role and whenever necessary, I will definitely use these estimation tools to implement changes there.

Participant of July 2021 intake

I have been pleasantly surprised with the sheer extent of knowledge and depth of personal insights shared by the facilitators. I expected that they would be experienced but the breadth and depth certainly shines through. I give them my thanks for such an informative course which gave so many real-world examples and useful 'rules of thumb' and tips.

Participant of July 2021 intake

The course was very helpful as it provided insights into the issues and potential solutions for cost estimates for mining projects. The knowledge gained will be of great assistance in the projects that I am involved in.

Participant of July 2021 intake

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Frequently asked questions

The course will be run entirely online via a cloud-based Learning Management System (LMS) which can be accessed via computer, tablet or phone. Participants will simply need to have a working Internet connection and a computer, tablet or phone with sound to access the course. They will not be required to download any software and will not require any hardware like a webcam or microphone.

The course consists of four modules run over four weeks and an extra week to complete all course components. It is expected that participants will take about 20 hours to complete the course. This includes attendance at live virtual classrooms and completion of all learning activities.

Yes, it is a requirement for participants to complete all modules and pass all learning activities to receive their digital credential.

We aim to run two intakes each year.

Unfortunately no, the course must be completed in its entirety.

At the moment, no, but we will be looking at delivering the course in other languages in the near future.

Participants can earn professional development (PD) hours for undertaking the course. One contact hour of technical content is equivalent to one PD hour.

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