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n South African Journal of Industrial Engineering - Managing uncertainty in typical mining project studies

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Abstract

Mining project studies and their evaluation are characterised by high uncertainties. These uncertainties range in magnitude from, and are prevalent in, the geological data on which the project is based, through to the final prices received for the ore, metal, or mineral being sold to the market. The process for managing uncertainties in mining projects could have a huge impact on the decision about the final option and on the project composition. It is therefore critical that a systematic process is followed that manages these uncertainties effectively and consistently throughout the project phases, and when evaluating various options one against the other. This paper discusses the results of an investigation to determine the extent to which risk management was applied in twenty different project studies in the mining environment. The results of these studies indicate that uncertainties relating to typical mining project studies are not well understood or managed. A process to manage these uncertainties throughout the project development phases was developed and used in a typical pre-feasibility study. The results indicate that the process can be successfully implemented; and that the process helps to develop the project faster by focusing the project teams most on the uncertainties that affect the project need or requirement.

Projekstudies in die mynboubedryf en die evaluasie van sodanige projekte word gekenmerk deur hoë onsekerheid. Hierdie onsekerhede wissel in grootte, en is teenwoordig vanaf die geologiese data waarop die projek gebaseer is tot by die finale prys waarvoor die erts, metaal, of mineraal verkoop kan word. Die proses wat gebruik word om die onsekerhede in mynbouprojekte te bestuur kan 'n groot impak hê op die uiteindelike opsie wat gekies word en die samestelling van die projek. Dit is derhalwe van uiterste belang dat 'n sistematiese proses gevolg word om die onsekerhede effektief te bestuur deur die verloop van die projekfases en wanneer alternatiewe met mekaar vergelyk word. Hierdie artikel bespreek die resultate van 'n ondersoek wat gedoen is om te bepaal tot watter mate risikobestuur toegepas is vir twintig projekstudies in die mynbou-omgewing. Die resultate van hierdie navorsingsprojek in die mynboubedryf het aangetoon dat die onsekerhede met betrekking tot tipiese projekstudies in mynbou nie goed verstaan word deur bestuur nie. 'n Proses om hierdie onsekerhede deur die loop van die ontwikkelingsfases van die projek te bestuur is ontwikkel en toegepas op 'n tipiese voor-doenlikheidstudie. Die resultate toon aan dat die proses suksesvol geïmplementeer kan word en dat die projek vinniger ontwikkel kan word deur die projekspanne te fokus op die onsekerhede wat die behoefte van die projek die meeste beïnvloed.

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/content/indeng/25/2/EJC165144
2014-08-01
2016-12-09
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