Authors: Morrison, D; Webb, R; Akerman, A; Parsons, H


Cite As:
Morrison, D, Webb, R, Akerman, A & Parsons, H 2015, 'Mine design impact on operating and capital costs', in Y Potvin (ed.), Design Methods 2015: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Design Methods in Underground Mining, Australian Centre for Geomechanics, Perth, pp. 433-441,

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As new orebodies adjacent to existing operations become deeper and more technically challenging, there is a need to reduce capital demand and operating cost. Implementing conventional designs in deeper deposits can only expect approval if there is a significant increase in ore value, e.g. increased preciousmetal values. The effect of increasing depth and technical difficulty is like inflation: continuous improvements may be sufficient to maintain an acceptable return on investment (ROI), but only a step-change in mining practice can offer a significant increase in ROI. The Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation’s (CEMI) objective is to bring innovation to the mining business by helping supply companies take developments with a high technical readiness level (TRL) through to a commercial product and by conducting operational simulations to demonstrate the impact on mining costs. We present several technical innovations focused on economic impact, including increasing advance rates to accelerate access, eliminating operational delays to increase production rate, a new approach to ventilation, and a novel extraction sequence to reduce capital demand and reduce the time to first production. The results of the simulations are presented in terms of improved ROI and net present value (NPV).

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