PDAC 2019: So…You want to fast track your Mining Project!

Mineral resource development projects are inherently complex with many interactive elements to consider and manage.

Advancing Feasibility to Construction   |   Wed. March 6   |   10:00 - 10:25 am     Room 717

The various stages of development from exploration through multiple levels of study, conducting permitting and social license activities, procuring, constructing, commissioning, ramp up, and finally reaching the end goal of a stable producing mineral project can be fraught with complexities that can lead to many frustrations and delays.

There are several strategies that can be employed to streamline the development process and mitigate risks of project failure or underachievement.  These strategies include up front planning and project framing, execution strategy, and risk mitigation during the project to move more quickly through the development process to the end goal of stable production.   

The upfront strategies include consideration of why fast tracking the project and defining what this means to the project team and setting clear project objectives.    A process to develop the project includes up front evaluation of key technical drivers, social and environmental factors, funding mechanisms and requirements to access those funds, understanding the final mineral product market and how the project fits in that market, considerations of the location and key in-country characteristics that impact development of the project, construction delivery strategy, and finally the selection of the execution team.

Once the upfront strategies are in place, the execution of the project can take place.   During execution several best practice tactical processes can allow more effective project execution.    The processes include evaluating and defining the key technical (nature or mineral deposit driven) aspects of the project first, developing a realistic comprehensive and detailed project schedule to manage progress, creation of a simplified technical economic model to test results throughout execution, working design activities in parallel, implementing “cold eyes” project reviews and cross-functional reviews to identify bottlenecks and mitigate issues that arise during design, establishing and maintaining a living risk register, and establishing defined decision-makers and criteria used to make decisions.

Adopting these strategies and tactics can reduce the inherent risks associated with adopting a fast track project mentality.

 

Neal Rigby
Neal Rigby

Corporate Mining Consultant
nrigby@srk.com

Dr. Neal Rigby has over 42 years of experience in the international mining industry. He was the SRK Global Group Chairman for 15 years (1995 to 2010), a Corporate Mining Consultant and Principal Mining Engineer and had formerly served on the boards of several SRK Group companies. Neal has performed mining engineering, project management and management consulting for a wide range of metalliferous, coal, diamond and industrial mineral projects.

pdac 2019

 

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