Project Evaluation 2012
Project Evaluation 2012
The Application of Value Engineering Principles to Mining Studies
The life cycle of a mining project begins with initial regional exploration and ends with mine closure and rehabilitation. Between resource definition and the commencement of mine construction is the study phase. In this phase technical concepts and processes are defined, evaluated and assessed with the aim of establishing whether the deposit is economically feasible. The study phase usually involves various steps from a concept/scoping study to prefeasibility and ultimately definitive feasibility study. The complete study phase can take several years. Although the costs for studies are low in comparison to actual construction and operating costs of a mining project, they are significant especially for junior exploration and mining companies advancing projects to the point of being funded.The studies aim to determine selected parameters for the project, eg mining and processing methods, operating strategy, etc and provide a roadmap for project development ahead. Although mining studies are of the utmost importance for the mining project and the project owner, they are usually carried out using a conventional engineering approach: the consultant or design engineer works to a defined scope of work. The resulting design might be based on good engineering, but might often also fail to provide the solution for the project owner that delivers the best shareholder value. An alternative to this more traditional approach to project evaluation is what we have termed a value engineering approach. Value engineering is a creative, organised effort, which in the case of a mining study analyses the requirements of the study for the purpose of achieving the essential outcomes with the highest shareholder value. The outcome of a study is a concept that delivers the highest achievable value of the resource project and shows the way ahead to realise this value. Through a group investigation by experienced, multi-disciplinary teams the value of the resource is improved through the study of alternative options, methods and processes. The scope of the study is not limited to a narrowly defined engineering scope, but to the creation of value.The study commences with the identification of key value drivers and risks, based on the available information (drill data, geotechnical data, metallurgical test work, etc). This enables the quantification of key uncertainties, risks and value adding opportunities. Study efforts concentrate on key value drivers and are not unnecessarily spent on side issues. This approach can significantly reduce the time frame and costs for the study phase.This paper describes in more detail RMDSTEM's value engineering approach to mining studies and illustrates it with examples and case studies.CITATION:Schrimpf, T and Bryan, I, 2012. The application of value engineering principles to mining studies, in Proceedings Project Evaluation 2012 , pp 163-170 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).
Contributor(s): T Schrimpf, I Bryan
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- Published: 2011
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