MINE 4811 - Mine Plant Design and Valuation

Project Outline
Instructor: Dr. Steve Zou, Room G201

To design and evaluate a mine plant (case study) in a given geological, technical, economic and operating environment.

Milestones and Outline:
In order to ensure timely completion of the Mine Plant Design and Valuation, the project has been divided into several sections. The major topics to be covered in each section are outlined in the following. However, they are by no means the full coverage of an individual project. Each student is responsible for the completeness of contents in his/her particular project in consultation with the instructor.
All sections must be completed in time and progress reports submitted as indicated in "Project Reports". Previous courses dealing relevant topics are to be reviewed. However, "Recommended Reference Materials" should be consulted for complete information.

1. Project Preparation
Tasks: to collect necessary information, establish a data base for the project and define the problem to be tackled in the project.

a). Mine project information and data base

general project information: location, accessibility, topography, climate, etc.

ore deposit: orebody (shape and size), major and minor minerals, proven, probable and possible ore reserves and associated grades geological conditions: general geology, rock types, geological structures, mechanical properties of rock and ore, and groundwater condition

economics: metal prices and forecasts, corporate income taxes, royalties, equipment depreciation and mining regulations (may be deferred to Section 8).

b). Problem formulation
Study and analyze the collected data, and define the project for the mining venture. A written project outline should be prepared, which must include: the project title, background, problems to be solved, objectives, scope and methodology.

2. Selection of Mining Method, Mine Planning and Production Scheduling
tasks: to make an overall mine plan and a production schedule.
estimates of minable ore reserves
selection of mining method
location of surface plant (also consult Section 5)
production scale and rate (annual & daily tonnage)
short, medium and long term plans for removal of ores and wastes
selection of operating schedule (hours/shift, shifts/day and days/year)

3. Mine Design

Tasks: to design an underground mine or a surface mine as appropriate to your case.

a). Underground mine design

major development: shafts / slopes / adits, main levels, main ramps, etc.

minor development: raises/winzes, declines, sublevel, cross-cuts, stope
preparation, etc.

mine maps: plans and sections

design of ventilation networks

design of drainage system

In all stages, due consideration must be given to the stability of all mine openings and the working environment.
b). Surface Mine Design

major development: haulage routes, overburden removal (short and long term plan)

minor development: box cut, in-pit ramps and declines, berms pit design
and optimization (pit layout and slopes)

mine maps: plans and sections

bench design and bench slope stability

design of waste dump sites and drainage system

slope stability monitoring.

4. Selection of Mining Equipment

tasks: to select proper equipment for mining operation

development and production equipment: selection (type and number) and
acquisition of equipment based on production targets, preventive
maintenance program, inventory of spare parts

ventilation and compressed air equipment: main and auxiliary fans,
compressors and accessories

drainage equipment: pumps and pipelines, etc.

5. Surface Plant Design

tasks: to layout surface facilities and select a mineral processing technique.

a). Layout of surface plant

mine infrastructure: power and water supply, communication and
transportation systems, etc.

mine engineering: mine planning, survey, geology and ground control, etc.

mine services: mechanical and electrical workshops, warehouses, etc.
mineral processing plant mine administration

other facilities: accommodation, commuting, recreation, etc.

b). Mineral processing facilities

selection of mineral processing technique
design of a flow chart for the operation.

6. Mine Management

tasks: to set up a management system for the mining venture and provide
other supports

organization structure
skilled and unskilled labour force
project financing.

7. Environmental Issues

tasks: to deal with relevant environment issues.

waste management: tailings ponds and waste dumps
environment protection and remediation plans
surface reclamation plans
subsidence control.

8. Mine Evaluation --- Economic Analysis of the Mine Venture

tasks: to conduct economic analysis of the venture and evaluate the profitability

capital and operating cost estimates including mine taxation
revenue estimates based on metal price forecasts and mine production
base case cash flow modelling and analysis of results
risk and uncertainty analyses --- random input variables and associated
probability density functions, experimental design
conclusions (profitable?) and recommendations (go or no go?).

Application Software:

AutoCAD, Excel, @RISK/PCDEP simulation packages

Grade Assignment:

Progress reports30%
Final written report70%

Project Reports

This project requires several progress reports and a final report as scheduled in the following. In order to ensure that the project will be completed in time, all relevant project activities should be completed as scheduled and a progress report must be submitted by the due dates before 4:30pm. All progress reports must have sufficient technical contents to demonstrate that adequate work is done.

Late submission will be subject to a penalty after the respective due dates: 0.5% of the final grade per day for the progress reports and 1% for the final report up to the maximum percentage assigned above. This penalty also applies to the corrected final report up to the maximum
of 10%.

Report Format (see hard copy)

  • back to the top
  • go to Professor Steve Zou's home page