Political Metallurgy: "Sandbagging" Versus Prudent Caution, and Other Political Considerations
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Jan 1, 2001
The project development metallurgist is faced with an interesting dilemma: The use of overly conservative metallurgical projections and cost estimates can kill a project that has the potential to provide needed jobs and growth to a company's bottom line. On the other hand if the metallurgist uses a highly aggressive approach by trimming capital and operating cost estimates to the bone and by applying highly optimistic metallurgical projections, there is a risk of creating a project that can never live up to expectations. The metallurgist must walk a tightrope between "sandbagging" and "overoptimism," and this tightrope is fraught with political intrigue and difficulty. This paper takes a some- what lighthearted look at some of the political aspects associated with this issue, and other issues, and offers a few guidelines for walking the "political metallurgical" tightrope.