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|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.|