Costs of Underground Mining Materials and Supplies

Lawrence, Brain W. ; Lim, Vincente M. Jr.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 11
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
Underground mining operating costs consist pri¬marily of direct costs such as labor, supervision, ma¬terials, and supplies, plus indirect costs. The material and supply costs vary substantially between mines but commonly range from 35 to 60% of the total direct costs. As part of the preparation of accurate operating cost estimates for a project, information must be as¬sembled to select the material and supply items and to determine the quantities of these items that will be required. Cost data then can be incorporated with the estimated material and supply requirements to determine the total material and supply costs for the project. Estimated quantities will vary considerably between mining projects depending upon factors such as the type of material being mined, the mining method, the equip¬ment selected, drilling and blasting techniques, mucking and haulage methods, ground support requirements, number of men employed, etc. Valuable information often can be obtained from suppliers and manufacturers, including data on current operating practices for similar projects, recommenda¬tions for the specific project, and preliminary cost quota¬tions. However, quotations obtained for estimates are generally higher than the prices paid at the time of purchase. Mines operating in the area, or those mining under similar conditions, also can provide essential design information, but it often is difficult to obtain cost information from the operators. Estimated costs for the most common major items of underground materials and supplies are presented in the accompanying tables. They represent current costs or cost ranges and are intended to be used only as a guide when preparing budgetary estimates for materials and supplies. Cost data were obtained mainly from suppliers and manufacturers, with up to three quotations being ob¬tained for each item whenever possible. In most cases, as noted in the table footnotes, prices were based on quantities representing normal requirements for me¬dium-size mine operations. Every attempt was made to assure accuracy. However, the cost for most items, especially those with multiple sources, can deviate sig¬nificantly for various reasons such as geographical loca¬tion, current market conditions, quantities ordered, size of the customer (which could influence the ultimate quantities purchased), and the ability of the purchasing department. It is also for these reasons that the actual amount individual mines are now paying for specific items may vary from the estimated cost in the tables. The cost for specific sizes of items that do not appear in the tables often can be factored from the data pre¬sented. Costs for many items can be converted easily to a unit that sometimes is more basic, but not as com¬monly used, such as from a length to a weight unit. Other items not listed, such as repair parts for equip¬ment, will involve contact with suppliers to determine specific recommended requirements and to obtain costs for these items as related to each individual project. Costs are expressed in terms of US dollars as of 1978 unless otherwise specified. All measurements, sizes, and weights are expressed in conventional units (i.e. feet, inches, pounds) ; applicable metric conversion fac¬tors follow each table. Costs are represented for drill steel and bits; mining explosives; blasting caps; blasting supplies; ground sup¬port items; ventilation equipment; utility pipe, utility hose, and accessories; mine track and accessories; tires for underground equipment; lubricants and fuels; and miscellaneous supplies.
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