Activity Based Costing: Challenging The Way We Cost Underground Coal Mining Systems

Lind, G. H.
Organization: The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
Pages: 6
Publication Date: Jan 1, 2001
This paper discusses the traditional costing approach currently used in the underground coal mining industry. Activity Based Costing (ABC) is identified as being a potentially more effective manner in which to cost underground coal mining systems. With the use of a costing framework developed by the author incorporating new thinking to eliminate the shortcomings identified in the traditional costing approach, a comparison of two types of underground coal mining systems, viz. continuous miner and longwall, is conducted. It is found that under certain criteria, in all cases, irrespective of the way in which the systems are costed, the continuous miner system is currently the better investment. It is also observed that when a system is costed using ABC that better investment decisions result when compared to costing the same system using traditional costing techniques. It is further seen that traditional costing techniques tend to overestimate the total costs of a mining system. This paper shows one application of ABC that can be incorporated as a management tool.
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