Revisiting your mine plans

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When was the last time you looked at your mining schedule? Or mining cost model? How long ago was the last optimisation or mining review carried out on your block model(s)?

In many cases a mining project will remain robust to minor fluctuations if it reaches a mature stage of production, but in this current fiscal climate it may prove prudent to have a second look at these very important variables. It’s often the case that by the time a problem arises, or an opportunity to exploit an advantage is identified, it’s too late to make the appropriate adjustments on the ground or at the coal face.

So what are some of the easiest steps you can take to make sure that your project is still in good shape, or that you’re not missing out on an opportunity? Here are some simple steps that you can take to perform a relatively quick “health check”:

·        Drag out the old mining study and have a look at all of the costs applied to the optimisation or mining review. They may have been relevant at the time of the study, but do they still look realistic for now and continuing into the future?

·        Look up the sensitivity tables relating to variables such as cost and sell price fluctuations. These tables will tell you at a glance what areas are prone to trouble. For example, depending on the particular characteristics of the project, small percentage fluctuations to particular variables can have a larger than expected effect. It helps to identify these variables and hone in on them for further review.

·        Make the necessary updates to your variables and complete a quick first pass optimisation or mining review. Compare the new outputs to the mining study and insert them into your schedule. Do the new results come close to those shown in the original study?

Once established, this review process can take place at regular intervals or pre-determined trigger points as part of a continuous improvement process. If you have the appropriate professionals on site at your disposal this process should be fairly quick and relatively painless to carry out and then continuously implement. However, if this is not the case then Auralia Mining Consulting can help you through this process and provide training and continual support for now and into the future.

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