Financial Considerations

Halls, John L.
Organization: Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration
Pages: 28
Publication Date: Jan 1, 1982
INTRODUCTION In this section, it is assumed that the reader is an engineer with sufficient training in underground mining work, preferably with budgetary control, to understand the mining methods outlined in other sections of this handbook. The mining-method descriptions are not repeated herein; only sufficient information is provided to enable the reader to comprehend the development of the costs presented. All costs are in 1977 US dollars, except where explicitly stated otherwise. CAPITAL INVESTMENT The capital investment in the underground mining portion of any mining property includes the following: 1) The development of original access involving adits, shafts, declines, etc. It includes the necessary equipment for transporting men, materials, and rock. 2) The purchase of mine equipment including loaders, underground haulage equipment, fans, pumps, electrical distribution, surface facilities associated with the underground mine, etc. 3) Sufficient preproduction mine development to assure steadily increasing production after startup. De- pending upon the mining method used, the preproduction development should provide a supply of three months to one year of ore that is developed and is ready to be stoped. Underground development also includes excavations other than shaft stations, loading pockets, sumps, etc., which usually are associated with the means of access and are excavated by the contractor. These excavations could include a crusher cavern, an ore- storage pocket, and underground workshops that may or may not be included by the shaft-sinking contractor. Portions of these could be delayed until after production begins, but it is preferable to complete them during the development phase, so there is no interference with the production buildup. 4) The staff and labor costs for all phases from inception through final production. 5) The provision of mine-surface equipment and facilities strictly applicable to the underground portion of the operation. The required facilities include a changehouse with a lamp room, a first-aid station, compressors, an electrical substation, workshops, a ware- house, water pipelines to the concentrator, water storage tanks, explosive storage, etc. A concrete-batch plant, a sand-fill plant, and boilers for heating may be required. 6) Other direct and indirect costs. 7) Engineering, design, and procurement costs. 8) Contingency allocations. 9) Contractor's fees, startup costs, and owner's costs. Original Access As part of a study for the US Bureau of Mines, Dravo Corp. conducted an extensive literature research survey covering underground operations in the United States between 1963 and 1973. Table 1 is compiled from the section of that study pertaining to the types of access to underground mines. Table 1 does not include distances attributable to the deepening of existing shafts, nor does it include shafts bored by raise drills or downhole machines that need existing underground workings for the disposal of the cuttings. During the period under review in the report ( 1963 through 1973). concrete-lined circular vertical shafts were the predominant means of providing the first access to a new underground mine; these shafts accounted for 80% of the original access in terms of the number of accesses completed, and 75% in terms of the total verti- cal linear distances. The inside diameters of the conventional circular shafts ranged from 3.7 to 7.0 m (12 to 23 ft). Most (72% ) of these conventional shafts were for production,
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