Assignment briefing - field trip report RSE3040 – MINING SYSTEMS Mining System Report SITUATION You are employed as a graduate Mining Engineering by Monash Consultants. The company has been engaged by Resource Limited (RL) company to assist in the pre-feasibility study for a new mining project called Gingko. Because of your mining background you have been seconded to a team of analysts comprising business and technical experts to assist in the study. The viability of the Gingko project is being re-assessed in light of the current state of the minerals commodity market. As yet no detailed planning has been undertaken. The deposit was acquired by RL company several years ago as part of a portfolio of projects in a company acquisition but was left undeveloped. Aside from marketing considerations, the mining project is likely to involve a system of mining that lies outside of RL’s expertise though aspects of the deposit make it sufficiently attractive that it was not divested by the company. A decision now needs to be made as to whether to sell the prospect at a profit, develop it into a mining fully operational mining project or, wait for further improvements in the market. The Client’s senior management have requested information that would assist them in their decision-making process since it has little experience in managing this type of mining operation. RL has specifically requested it be supplied with information on the nature of processes and systems used in a similar type of mining operation, the nature of issues that have to be dealt with in managing the operations and, the threats and opportunities related to the start-up and operation of this type of mining operation. OBJECTIVE You have been asked to prepare a report based on the mining system of the site where you did your vacation work. Alternatively, site visit, consultation with any site engineer or benchmark any operation against report criteria on internet is also encouraged. The objective of your report is to assist the Client in an analysis of the attractiveness of the Gingko project. In framing the report, you must examine various elements that make up the core processes at the mining operation. OUTPUTS A written report is required that summarises the findings and meets the objectives as outlined above. The report should be in the style of a formal technical engineering report prepared to an appropriate professional standard. Specifically, the report must address each of the following core mining processes and state the date(s) you visited the mine site. At a minimum the report should include for each operation the following points. 1. Background: a brief description of the mining operation: including information on the company; the location and size of the mining project; the project start date; scale of 2 operation; cost of start-up (development and commissioning); and, any other relevant information. 2. Geology: a description of the mineral deposit including details on the geology (minerals, grades, structure etc) and a statement of the mineral resources and mining reserves. Also include a description of the various methods of exploration used to define the orebody. 3. Mine planning: what mining methods are used, provide an outline of the mine layout, what, if any, are the scheduling issues, does any blending take place on or off site and what mine planning systems are used. 4. Mine system: type of mining systems employed, means of access and materials handling, type and number of equipment used, number of operators and maintainers, production rates, an estimation of mining costs (this is usually difficult to obtain) and any major factors affecting mining. Staffing arrangements including whether the operation is owner- operated or contracted. 5. Mineral processing: description of the processing that takes place and equipment used, what is the throughput rates, size of stockpiles, characteristics of mine products and typical assay values of products. 6. Downstream processing: what if any further processing occurs off-site by the mining company, how is this done and how this is factored into the revenue flow, e.g. toll smelter charges etc. 7. Market: description of type and size of products; the nature of the market size, its turnover and method of selling/buying; how has the commodity price changed over the past eight (8) years and what is the expected outlook in the next three (3) years (this will affect revenue flow). What are the arrangements for selling the product? In addition to the Core Processes, the following service & support functions should be discussed. What arrangements are there in place to maintain the fixed and mobile plant / infrastructure and equipment at the site (e.g. contracted out or owner managed)? What infrastructure and other service requirements to support the mining operation – water, power etc? What arrangements are in place to provide these? What are the products from the operation and what quality constraints are there on the products (product specifications etc)? Who are the customers for the mine products and what measures have been put in place to transport the products off-site? The report should also comment on the following where applicable. The major issues that confronted the company in starting up and/or running the operation (e.g. rehabilitation, environmental management, land tenure, finance, distance, staffing requirements and training, mining technical issues etc). How were these issues resolved, if at all? What are the main issues that are facing the mine as a whole and each of the core processes of geology, mine planning, mine operations and mineral processing? What environmental issues and/or constraints face the mine and how are these being managed? 3 Are there any issues with the local community and other stakeholders? What attempts have been made to address these issues by management? Are there any aspects of the project considered as “best practice” that should be highlighted to the Client for consideration and implementation? QUANTITY In order to achieve a Passing grade for the assignment, it would be expected the length of the main body of the report (i.e. excluding appendices) would be no less than 2000 words in order to adequately address all the requirements as outlined above. The maximum report length is 4000 words. The report should include tables, (good quality) illustrations and appendices as appropriate to support the text of the report. Brevity rather than quantity is desired in the report. Even so, all issues as outlined need to be addressed. All data/information should be properly referenced. Information that is not directly relevant may be included in the report’s appendix. Whenever estimates are used rather than actual data, these should be indicated for the benefit of the Client. QUALITY STANDARD The assignment must be submitted in accordance with the submission requirements of assignments. One objective of this assignment is to develop skills and demonstrate competence in research (the ability to source, integrate and analyse relevant information from a wide range of sources that encapsulate current understanding of a topic) and report writing as much as an ability to develop an engineering solution. It is expected that the project will be undertaken in a professional and ethical manner with an appropriate standard of presentation and analysis. The following points on technical writing are expected to be integrated into the report. Format. The report must be typed. Formatting should conform to the standards as defined in (in order of precedence) the MEA Report Writing Guide1. All tables and illustrations must be referred to in the text of the report and each should be appropriately labelled. Structure. A conventional report structure should be used. In addition to the usual report sections, the report must contain a Title page, Summary, Table of Contents, Introduction, Conclusion and Recommendations and, a Reference list. Any additional information that indirectly supports the analysis should be placed in the Appendix. Style. Writing style should be consistent with a professional technical report; it should be formal and written in the third person. Assumptions need to be appropriate to the situation and justified. Referencing. All reference sources must be acknowledged appropriately in the text of the report including any table or illustration etc used in the report. The author/date referencing 1 Hagan, P and Mort, P, 2011. Report Writing Guide for Mining Engineers (Mining Education Australia). 4 system should be used as detailed in the MEA Report Writing Guide and a list of all sources used in the report included in the References section of the report. In terms of analysis, the study should whenever appropriate make reference to current industry best practice. Whenever assumptions are made they need to be explicitly stated, appropriate to the situation and justified. Options should be evaluated from the perspective of technical design, operational impact (including safety) and economics. RESOURCES It is expected that information will also be sourced from journal articles, conferences, reports etc and it must be properly referenced in the report in an approved manner. TIMING The due date for submission will be released during semester. Should there be any other commitments on the due date then the report must be submitted before the scheduled due date. ASSESSMENT CRITERIA Ensure you read all of this assignment carefully and that you address all the requirements in your report. In general terms, assessment will be based on: how well the defined objective and outputs were presented in the report; originality and clarity of discussion; quality and depth of your research; level of critical thinking; quality of reporting style and presentation. No report will lead to zero assessment for this Assignment.