Difference between revisions of "Course outline"

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(Final design report)
(Deliverables, marks, and schedule)
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| Development of ''MineWiki'' article || 15%||
| Development of ''MineWiki'' article || 15%||
| Progress report || 25% ||
| Progress report || 20% ||
| Final project report || 40% ||
| Summary presentation || 10% ||
| Final project report || 35% ||
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{| class="wikitable"
{| class="wikitable"
| Proposal for ''MineWiki'' article || Friday 27th January ||
| Proposal for ''MineWiki'' article || Friday 19th October ||
| Completion of ''MineWiki'' article || Friday 16th November ||
| Completion of ''MineWiki'' article || Friday 2nd March ||
| Mid-year progress report || Friday 30th November ||
| Mid-term progress report || Friday 9th March ||
| Summary presentation || Week starting 25th May ||
| Final project report || Friday 6th April ||
| Final project report || Friday 5th April ||

Revision as of 16:04, 10 September 2012

MINE 448 - Winter 2012

Underground Mine Design Project

Instructor: Dr. Steve McKinnon

Goodwin 335


Course objectives

The objective of this course is to complete a scoping study of an underground mine. This year, the project is based on an orebody belonging to Barrick Gold. The study will extend from the orebody block model through to design, costing and calculation of economic parameters. Students will work in groups in consultation with the instructor and will meet every second week to discuss the status and to work through details of the project. The design should bring together procedures and information learned in all courses taken in the mining program.

The specific skills developed in the course, in terms of Engineering Accreditation units, are shown in the following table.

CEAB Units Math Basic Science Comp. Studies Eng. Science Eng. Design
66 0 0 12 0 54

Emphasis is placed on the demonstration of information literacy and communication skills (researching information and reporting), plus mining engineering design capability. The number of units (and therefore workload) is typical of a single term course, but in order to allow more time to work on the project, the workload will be stretched over the full academic year.

Deliverables, marks, and schedule

The main goal of the course is to deliver a complete scoping study for the proposed mine. However, additional deliverables are required, which are typical in mining practice (except for the MineWiki article).

Distribution of Marks

Weekly meeting participation 10%
Weekly progress reports 10%
Development of MineWiki article 15%
Progress report 20%
Summary presentation 10%
Final project report 35%


Proposal for MineWiki article Friday 19th October
Completion of MineWiki article Friday 16th November
Mid-year progress report Friday 30th November
Summary presentation Week starting 25th May
Final project report Friday 5th April

Project meetings

Every second week there will be a scheduled meeting during which the project status will be discussed. Group members are expected to attend these meetings and contribute to the discussion. Attendance will be taken and a general participation mark assigned. Meeting times will be set during the first week of classes.

Progress reports must be prepared for each meeting. This report must be sent by e-mail to the instructor prior to the scheduled meeting, and a paper copy must be presented at the scheduled meeting time. These reports must be typed and generally be less than 2 pages in length. The objective is to write a concise summary of:

  • work completed in the previous week,
  • an assessment of progress relative to the planned project timeline,
  • an outline of any problems identified,
  • a list of and an assignment of the next tasks.

The reports should follow a format that clearly identifies the meeting date, group members, and the agenda as described. An overall assessment of these progress reports will be made at the end of the course.

In order to provide leadership experience, responsibility for coordinating group work and writing the report should be rotated amongst group members. The primary author of the progress report should be indicated on the report.

The first progress report must be a Ganttt Chart showing the proposed schedule of tasks to be completed and estimates of the time-lines. This chart should include dates of major deliverables. Given the group nature of the work, some tasks will be carried out in parallel, but some must be done in series thereby creating critical path tasks. These critical path tasks should be identified in advance as they could be potential bottlenecks. This schedule will be used to monitor progress throughout the design project and may be modified periodically.

An additional requirement will be to maintain a detailed log of hours spent by group members on the following activities:

  • Time spent outside of meetings working on design aspects of the project. This will include independent time, plus time spent in the computer room. Hours spent on these two categories should be clearly distinguished.
  • Time preparing the communications aspects of the project, which will be the progress reports, mid-year progress report, and final report.

This log should be maintained by the group in Excel format and delivered together with the final report at the end of the course. A summary of the timesheet during the two weeks prior to each meeting should be included in each progress report.

MineWiki article

Each year, design groups collect a significant amount of valuable information (equipment and mining costs, development rates, supplier contacts, design methodologies etc.) that are documented in the final reports but are not available for future use. To capture some of this information, this Wiki (MineWiki) is being developed. As a course deliverable therefore, each group is required to create a Wiki style article on a topic of choice. The topic, scope, and other details are to be approved by the instructor. A proposal for the topic, contents etc. must be submitted no later than Friday 19th October.

The style of the contribution is aimed at knowledgeable users (yourselves). The article should be informative, concise, supported by an example if you consider it useful, and contain verifiable references. Supporting spreadsheet files or graphics can also be included. Browse WikiPedia for examples of style (including the extensive writing guides in the help files). The article should be entered directly into MineWiki with all appropriate formatting. A link to the wiki is here

In order to edit an article in the Wiki, permissions must be assigned by the instructor. Groups should designate the main editor so that editing permissions can be set in a timely manner.

The due date of the wiki article is Friday 16th November. The intention is to provide a time window that should enable groups to make use of at least some portions of the knowledge base. A marking form will be provided and used in determining the overall mark for each group.

Mid-year progress report

This report will serve as a template for the final report. It will be a formal report, and should include table of contents, labeled figures etc. A detailed style guide for the report will not be provided, but it should follow typical professional standards. Examples can be found on SEDAR [1], and other guidelines for report writing can be found on the Applied Science communications web site [2].

The mid-term progress report should include a complete status of all aspects of the project completed, such as an outline of the orebody to be mined, mining method, development schedule etc. and identification of work still to be completed. Partially complete sections should also be included. It is strongly recommended that tasks be written when completed in order to avoid a major last-minute writing effort.

Although the exact content of this report (number of sections completed vs level of detail in each) will depend on the amount of progress made by each group, the level of effort and amount of work included in the report should be representative of the midpoint of the course. It is expected that the initial sections of the report (introduction, description of orebody, mining method selection etc.) will be in final form. It should NOT be assumed that most of the project can be completed in the winter term.

Final design report and presentation

The final printed report will present the entire feasibility study as a stand-alone report. As such, it should introduce the project, take the reader clearly through all steps, state all necessary assumptions, and make conclusions regarding feasibility of mining of the orebody using the methods selected. Supporting material should be included in appendices, which should also be clearly readable, i.e. not simply lists of data or copies from spreadsheets. For examples of technical reports, search the SEDAR [3] web site, or Queen's on-line writing resources [4].

Deliverables for the final report must include the following:

  • printed report
  • honesty statement
  • table indicating how each group member contributed to the report and presentation
  • electronic copies of all related files, including Word and PDF copies of the report and the Excel files used for calculations (especially the cash-flow spreadsheet, equipment costs, mining costs etc.)

The final mark will include a portion for completeness, to account for the delivery of these items.

Final presentations will be made at the end of the course, summarizing the mine designs.

Departmental late policy

In order to be fair to groups that complete assigned work on schedule, there will be penalties for late work, following the standard policy of the Department.

  • There will be a 10% penalty per day for late reports.
  • Weekly progress reports more than one week late will not be accepted.
  • No work can be accepted after the final day of classes.
  • Following the new departmental policy, no reports will be accepted at the main office. If reports are handed in outside of the regularly scheduled group meeting times, they should be done in the designated contact hours (see below).

Contact hours

Times for the weekly meetings will be scheduled with each group during the first week of classes. Following this, a schedule of office hours when the instructor will be available for consultation will be posted. Outside of these hours, availability cannot guaranteed.


In order to complete this project, material from many previous courses will be used. As a primary source of information, course notes and books should be consulted. There are also many resources in the library and on the web (e.g. many equipment manufacturers post details of their products online). The latest issue of the Mining Sourcebook will be made available, which contains a lot of valuable information from various mining operations. In addition, various information will be posted on the web site. If you are having trouble obtaining some information, this can be discussed during the weekly progress meetings, where the best course of action will be decided. Consultation with other professors in the department is possible, but should be considered as a last resort.

A library guide has been prepared for the mine design project. It contains useful links to various library and internet resources. Also note that the mining liaison librarian (Wenyan Wu) is available for consultation for researching mining related literature.

  • Library course guide:[5]

For guidance on report preparation, standards, style etc. there is a collection of information at:

  • Queen's communications resources:[6]

By law, all public Canadian companies working in the minerals industry are required to file various types of information for public scrutiny, including exploration reports, technical reports (feasibility studies), shareholder reports etc. These are all available at the SEDAR web site:

Two sets of standards for reporting are used globally, JORC and NI 43-101. They are quite similar, and can be found at:

  • National Instrument 43-101:[8]

Two additional very useful references are availble in the Engineering library

Mining Cost Services HD 9506 U63 A1715 2008

Mining Cost Services is designed to increase both the speed and accuracy of mining feasibility studies. Cost data is presented in simple format for both Canada and the United States in areas covering electric power, natural gas, labor, supplies, equipment, smelting, transportation, taxes and miscellaneous development series.

Mine and Mill Equipment Costs TN 345 M56 2008

The guide provides estimators with an exhaustive list of the capital and hourly cost associated with owning and operating equipment typically used in mining and mineral processing operations. It also has an introduction to the methodology and an explanation as for how to use the guide.

Factors to consider

In the mine design study, many factors must be considered. Since each orebody has unique aspects, there is no universal list of topics that should be addressed. However, as general guidance, a list of Design topics is provided (also on navigation bar).