Project Development Process-An Overview

Cobb, William ; Milligan, David A.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 15
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1988
2.1 INTRODUCTION This chapter provides the reader with a sense of how a heap leach project may make an orderly, and hopefully non-traumatic, transition from discovery or acquisition to project construction. In making this transition a project can pass through several project development phases (i.e. ore definition and delineation, conceptual engineering, detailed engineering, and ultimately on to project construction and operation). "Go" or "no go" decisions may occur at any point in each of these phases. The transition from ore definition to detailed engineering should be accomplished via a well thought out program of interdisciplinary studies and an integrated, interdisciplinary project team. This chapter also describes, in general terms, a "roadmap" approach to the project evaluation process that must occur as project planning and development progress. It is the experience of the authors, as well as a myriad of companies who have been through the heap leach project development process, that a systematic approach will save many headaches, and many dollars. In fact, it is safe to say that a project with no formalized system of "objectives setting" and "milestone charting" may well flounder along the way, even if an economic ore body exists. Many papers and technical articles have been written about various aspects of mineral resource appraisal, economic evaluation, and mine development. Most of these invoke the same general philosophy of a systematic approach to project evaluation and development, although methods cited for attaining goals are quite variable. This is undoubtedly appropriate, given the fact that there is great variation in approach to project development (e.g., climatic considerations, ore body size and physical ore characteristics, permitting constraints, etc.). For the purposes of this chapter, two primary sources of information have been used to highlight the "road map" approach previously alluded to. These sources are cited throughout the text as Mackenzie (1980) and Snow and Michel s (1986). A brief summary of each of these sources is provided below: Brian GJ. Mackenzie of Queens University (Mackenzie, 1980) has developed a wealth of information concerning project development topics. Much of this information is synthesized in his notes for a short course entitled : "Mineral Exploration Planning and Economic
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