Every mining project has a similar process, from discovering natural resources like coal, oil, and gas to surfacing and mapping. Each project needs planning and design. Also, other factors include resources, inventory, and supply chain management—those need to be addressed. Moreover, you need to take care of post-mining details.
Every mining project, regardless of size, benefits from a stable plan and an excellent project manager who is familiar with mining project management. It is beneficial for your project manager to understand the mining process to develop a robust plan for your mining project.
The mining process includes detailed steps that are needed to complete your mining project. It can be further broken down into five phases – exploration, planning/design, development, production, and closure. Depending on the size and scope of the project, each stage has its own set of challenges.
The good news is that with an integrated cloud-based mining project management software, managing these project phases can now be accomplished easily and efficiently. Let’s look at the five stages of a mining project and uncover how the project management technology helps during each phase.
1. Exploration & Prospecting (Initiation Phase)
This is the number one and most crucial step of the mining process. It begins with opening a mine. Companies must first discover an economically adequate amount of the deposit.
The companies should hire geologists to understand the characteristics of the land and to determine the presence of mineral deposits.
Surface mapping and sampling
A professional geologist gathers all the geological data from the rocks that lie at the surface. The geologist would look for boundaries between various rock types and designs, and also for fault lines and evidence of the stones experiencing deformation.
The measurements are taken for mineral exploration to gather data about the physical properties of rocks and deposits.
This type of analysis defines the proportion of metallic and non-metallic substances available in a model, known as an assay.
Mineral exploration involves drilling to explore the contents of existing ore deposits and possible sites to produce rock chips and core samples.
Exploring locations is challenging. This is where drilling and sampling comes into play and delivers the information to establish estimates of its quantity and grade.
How ProjectPro can help
ProjectPro can help you manage labor and subcontractors such as geologists on project sites. You can keep track of everything on a single integrated platform and process your payroll smartly.
2. Mine-site Design & Planning
Once the miners are adequately confident that there is a financially feasible amount of deposit, the project can move to the planning stage.
Companies will develop multiple plans with various variables (timeframe, amount of ore mined) to assess if the variables fulfill the criteria.
From exploration to mining of natural resources, it is critical to ensure that essential safety and operational risks are considered in developing a mine. The mine plan should permit the miners to work in the safest way feasible.
Before you create a mine plan, you should always consider its impacts on the environment and include significant strategies to lower them.
How ProjectPro can help
Planning for mining projects has been revolutionized over the years. Thanks to Microsoft Dynamics Business Central.
The integrated accounting software makes it feasible for miners to determine likely blockages to work on projects with remedies even before the project starts. It makes data management more accessible during the planning phase and allows more precise and up-to-date data sharing.
When you receive data from all the team members and store it in a centralized database, the human errors are reduced, and the whole crew stays on the same page.
Once the plan or roadmap is clear, the real work begins. This is the most extended phase of the process and, depending on the site size, it can take anywhere from 10-20 years before the mine is all set for production.
However, measuring the productivity of your mining project can be challenging, depending on how unique your process is.
Typically, miners set their production goals, but productivity at a few mines is constrained by location. Mines are striving to minimize operating expenses while continuing to improve productivity.
How ProjectPro can Help
At this stage, key team players build a project timeline schedule that forms a logical workflow. Having dedicated scheduling software like ProjectPro ensures smooth sailing as the project evolves.
When the project team has been assigned different tasks, team members coordinate their duties around everyone’s schedules. Several scheduling views become handy as teams allow you to switch between calendar, Gantt charts, and timelines.
This is considered the project execution phase, where all the planning will pay off. Before any construction starts, the miners, designers, and engineering teams have already put a lot of effort into making a project thrive. The center set belongs to the contractor and subcontractors during the construction phase.
The planning and production phase should progress smoothly if the project team has diligently and adequately executed. But even with sound planning, your project team might still have challenges. One such powerful challenge for the phase is mismanaged scheduling.
How ProjectPro can Help
Specialized software like ProjectPro supports on-site project management through project monitoring during the various project phases. The mining experts can use software to manage quality control, monitor miners' safety programs, coordinate permits, monitor project performance, and perform technical inspections to keep track.
The last step in mining operations is closure and reclamation. Mine businesses have to think about a mine closure strategy before they start to build. Governments need guarantees that operators have a method and the funds required to close the mine before they are ready to issue permits.
Undoubtedly, closeout is an integral phase when all the equipment and labor must be managed efficiently to get rid of costly delays.
How ProjectPro can Help
Document management plays a core role during the closeout. The documents produced during a mining project can be helpful for several reasons for the owner’s team and are an essential reference tool that the owner can use months or even years after project completion if required.
When all documents for each job are stored in one location, uncertainties and errors are minimized. This is where ProjectPro comes into play.
Technology makes our lives more comfortable and efficient in numerous areas, and the mining industry is no exception. Keep in mind how fast it is to utilize a chainsaw rather than a handsaw. If you think it’s time to offload the project management burden, consider moving to the fully integrated construction accounting software- ProjectPro. Schedule a demo now.