About the content
Mining underpins much of our technology and industries as well as modern society in general. A successful mine should be run efficiently and responsibly from exploration through to closure, with sound economic management every step of the way. In this course you’ll examine the business aspect of mining, focusing on the life cycle of a gold mine and discovering the technical and economic issues that affect the exploration, planning, operation and closure of a large-scale mining project.
The Business of Mining has recently won the Best in Class in the University category of the Interactive Media Awards in the USA. The judging criteria included design, content, feature functionality, usability, standards compliance and cross-browser compatibility.
By the end of this course you will be able to:
- Discover how new mineral deposits are found and examine the economic factors that govern their development.
- Plan the complete life cycle of a mine, from initial infrastructure requirements through to operation, closure and rehabilitation.
- Experience the 'living plan' of a mine and see how extraction and processing of minerals is constantly adjusted to suit market conditions.
- Investigate how economics and market forces influence the decision to close a mine.
Module 1: Exploration
Analyse geophysical surveys and geochemical data. Conduct exploratory drilling and try your luck at striking gold. You may find something, but are the market conditions in your favour?
Module 2: Mine Planning
What infrastructure will you build to run your mine? Will you use a local workforce, or a fly-in/fly-out model? What are you planning to do with your mine waste? Can you pay for all of this and still make a profit?
Module 3: Operation
Drill, blast and muck. Process your ore and recover as much gold as you can. Sounds pretty simple, until the gold price takes a tumble and suddenly your mine plan needs adjusting.
Module 4: Closure and Post-closure
Nothing lasts forever, particularly in mining. Eventually you're going to run out of gold, or the market will change and your profit margin will disappear. How will you ensure you leave a safe, rehabilitated site?
Associate Professor, WA School of Mines: Minerals, Energy and Chemical Engineering
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