Authors: Bartlett, PJ


Cite As:
Bartlett, PJ 2011, 'Strategic and tactical risk in mining', in Y Potvin (ed.), Strategic versus Tactical 2011: Proceedings of the Fourth International Seminar on Strategic versus Tactical Approaches in Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 349-357,

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Mining is generally held to be a risky business. An understanding of the risks that impact on mining operations at all levels of risk including worldwide financial and commodity cycles, country risk, project risk and operational risks, all need to be considered and understood by mining operations irrespective of their size and complexity. To gain an insight into risk several definitions of risk are considered and an attempt is made to differentiate between strategic and tactical risks. Strategic risks associated with mining are most commonly identified and considered during the exploration and the acquisition phases of mining operations and, in most of the major mining houses, are dealt with at the corporate level. Some strategic risks are briefly discussed. Country risk, considered by most mining companies as a strategic risk, is reviewed in some detail to illustrate how the perception of risk can have a major impact on the decisions of mining companies as well as on the economies of countries that are perceived to be risky. The potential impact of risks on mining projects is discussed. Risks at an operational level on mines are reviewed to determine which of these can be considered strategic and which tactical. Ways in which risk is assessed and used to plan and operate mines is considered.

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