How to Mine Economically

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Mining optimization is in many ways a buzzword, and is sometimes overused and misunderstood. But at its heart remains a valid question: how can a company operate a mine to make it reach its full potential? Ultimately, most businesses judge the success of their optimization by reading the bottom line. Simply put, if a company runs a commercially successful operation, they are doing well. Of course, they could always be doing better, and optimization to a point of perfection is perhaps not possible – but that is no reason not to try.

In this article from Mining Magazine, Bryan Pullman, Associate and senior mining engineer at Golder Associates UK, outlines how an integrated approach can cut operating costs. He argues that operators need to involve all disciplines engaged in planning, developing and operating a mine to detect precisely where margins can be increased, and how. A common issue is that a problem in one area originates from a cause in another. Optimal financial decisions may, for instance, sacrifice technical objectives – while fulfilling local stakeholders’ expectations may lead to financial compromises. Companies need a broad investigation into technical, geological, environmental, financial and social issues simultaneously to successfully optimize operations.

Photo credits: Matt Kapust/Sanford Laboratory.

Pullman argues that the biggest challenge for projects on the journey towards operational efficiency is often to minimise operating costs without limiting operating capabilities. Using examples from Golder’s work across the globe, he shows how mining companies can accomplish this. The article – in one the world’s leading mining titles – highlights Golder’s broad expertise and range of services offered to the mining industry.

You can read the full article here (subscription required).


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