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best practice in minerals projects

Axiom Project Services was awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership grant as part of the Queensland Government’s Advance Queensland program in a competitive grant process. The research was conducted in partnership with the University of Queensland’s School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering. 

The Advance Queensland program was designed to promote innovation through small business project funding. The research aimed to tackle the ever-prevalent issue of best practice in minerals project studies, and was partly supported by a share of $434,000 funding supplied by the Queensland Government.

Axiom Project Services, joint beneficiary and project facilitator, engaged University of Queensland mining engineering graduate Charlie Graham to conduct the study into best practice in planning and preparation of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies for minerals development projects.

The research involved a survey with industry to capture current practices and a comprehensive literature review which examined a theoretical framework for improved practice. The sample included mine developers, development financiers, technical and project consultants/engineering houses, and Government regulators such as EPA and DNRM.

The results identified that technical methodology varies greatly across the industry. While a whole host of guidance is provided for individual areas of minerals projects, with regards to leading practice, it can be difficult to see the wood from the trees. With regards to leading practice, it was identified that mining companies are driven by greater corporate objectives which undoubtedly steer their projects through a combination of standards and guidelines that satisfy their own agenda.