Project Evaluation 2012
Project Evaluation 2012
Managing Uncertainty on the Cut 8 Project
Debswana, owned by the Government of the Republic of Botswana (GRB) and De Beers in a 50:50 joint venture partnership, operates the Jwaneng diamond mine in Botswana - the most valuable diamond mine in the world. The mine provides between 60 - 70 per cent of Debswana's earnings, and about 30 - 40 per cent of the GRB's income. In 2008, the company embarked on the Cut 8 Project - an open pit waste cut-back to expose more diamond bearing ore to sustain mine life by another six to seven years. This undertaking was much larger than previous cut-backs; it increased the waste stripping ratio threefold, increasing significantly the waste handling fleet of trucks, shovels and infrastructure, and impacted a large part of the materials handling plant which required replacement with new facilities. The project coincided with the beginning of the Global Financial Crisis (GFC) and a slowdown in the economy. Its $4 billion total life cost was billed as the largest private investment project in Botswana' which produced heightened expectations amongst stakeholders that it would redress some of the issues brought about by the GFC and leave behind a legacy of jobs, increased opportunities for citizen owned business and improved social infrastructure.Most of the big project challenges were non-technical and ranged from dealing with various stakeholdersatall levels, a 25 per cent currency depreciation of the Botswana Pula against the South African Rand, obtaining work permits for non-citizens in a job starved environment, managing construction to world class safety standards, managing the low productivity of construction workers and producing a viable legacy program that satisfied the GRB and stakeholders. Whilst most of these risks were identified in front end studies, the magnitudes were in many instances underestimated. Managing this uncertainty on Cut 8 can provide valuable lessons to other projects in a similar environment, or at least provide the information to indicate that these factors should be adequately provided for in the financial evaluation of a project in the form of budget, schedule, contingency or risk mitigation.CITATION:Jones, G M and J Rademan, 2012. Reliability of expert judgements and uncertainty assessments, in Proceedings Project Evaluation 2012 , pp 109-116 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
Contributor(s): G M Jones, J Rademan
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- Published: 2011
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