Create cost estimates for minerals processing plants

CostMine is working to develop a cost estimating tool for mineral processing plants that is similar to Sherpa software for surface and underground mining. As one might imagine, the problems faced creating such a tool are quite different than those faced when developing the software for estimating mining costs. The algorithms needed to translate the information provided by a variety of flow-sheets to the material flow balance, which are required to properly size the mineral processing machinery, are quite different than those needed for the more direct problem of liberating, collecting and moving a fixed amount of material to the plant.

This year, the operating and capital costs for the flotation, carbon-in-pulp, and agitated tank leach mill models in Mining Cost Service were estimated using this new software for mineral processing plants. This software program provides a level of detail equivalent to that used to provide costs for the surface, underground, and placer mine models found in Mining Cost Service.

In short, the results include:

1. Complete equipment list

2. Labor and salaried staff requirements

3. Supply consumption rates for the mineral processing modes

4. Cost estimates for the construction of mill buildings

5. Cost estimates for the tailings containment facilities

While the mineral processing cost-estimating software is still in its later stages of development, its release is anticipated in some form within the next six months. Check the CostMine website periodically to follow the progress of this processing program. On the website, there are also tutorials on Sherpa for Surface and Underground Mines and Apex for Economic

Until the program release, CostMine can produce custom models on a project by project basis.

The new Cost Models in our Mining Cost Service cost estimating guide incorporate current equipment purchase prices along with the costs to operate the equipment, the costs of consumable supplies, and the cost for wages and salaries. All these 2017 costs and prices are from Mining Cost Service, Mine and Mill Equipment Costs: An Estimator’s Guide, or annual Wages and Salaries surveys – all published by CostMine.

The time spent by companies independently compiling cost data can be decreased significantly by utilizing these industry proven publications.