Engineering Design

The METS team has an in-house multi-disciplined engineering and design team providing engineering and design services to our clients. Our engineering and design capability is based on extensive operational and delivery experience gained over the last 30+ years that we have been providing services to the resource industry. We take pride in the success of our clients’ projects through providing practical, functional, cost effective and constructible solutions to complex problems.

METS Engineering includes experienced processing, electrical, mechanical, civil and structural engineers with substantial experience. Our METS team apply their expert knowledge to all stages of a project from front end engineering design, conceptual design, planning, detailed design through to commissioning.

Concept / Scoping Study

The Scoping Study is the first attempt at assessing the business case established by the venture analysis and the basic project parameters such as geological and deposit characterization, mineral resource configuration, head-grade, product quality, production rate, power requirements and water consumption. This phase identifies whether or not it is financially viable to continue exploration of the deposit. It also establishes the scope of the project, and a conceptual outline of the project architecture, which includes the development of preliminary process flowsheets, preliminary site location plan, conceptual plant layouts, and plant and support facility descriptions.

This may evaluate at a high level a number of options in order to establish the most likely route. The engineering is at a high level with a low order of accuracy. With an accuracy level of about +/- 50% we will identify whether or not it is viable to proceed to pre-feasibility stage.

Pre-feasibility Study

This phase is the first detailed assembly and evaluation stage of the project during which the project architecture is developed and key project parameters are measured and defined. It is an investigatory document largely based on testwork grades, recoveries and assumed data for the proposed project. It is the intent of this phase of the programme to provide information that will allow project owners senior management to assess the viability of the project.

This is the most critical phase of the evaluation process, as a “Go” decision at this stage will result in the expenditure of major funds to complete the Feasibility Study (FS).

METS provides a formal analysis of the predicted technical, economic and financial viability of a project. This usually evaluates the two most likely options and undertakes more detailed engineering to a +/-25% level of accuracy.

Feasibility Study

The Feasibility Study (FS) is a refinement of the recommended project concept, capital cost and operating cost developed as part of the Pre-feasibility stage. The feasibility study will describe how the recommended scope will be executed. Any trade-off studies that were not completed or resolved prior to the completion of the Pre-feasibility Study must be resolved during this phase. Only measured and indicated resources are reported at this time and diluted mineable reserves are utilised at this stage for mine production planning. There is no guarantee of project success; it only states the business case for a project.

This requires significant engineering and an accuracy of +/-10%. Only a bank can determine if its “bankable”. We have a standard table indicating what is in and out for each study described above.

Scope of the Feasibility Study:

  • Development of the mine over its proposed life in qualitative and quantitative terms;
  • Investigation of the required process covering conception, configuration and sizing;
  • Investigation of the required infrastructure and support facilities;
  • Investigation into the anticipated interaction with government and environmental protection agencies;
  • Review and evaluation of data provided by the client;
  • Procurement of documentation from third parties, e.g. relevant government publications and maps; and
  • Preparation of statements on technical aspects of the mine process plant, infrastructure, support facilities, logistics and environmental impact.

Definitive Feasibility Study

When the Feasibility Study passes the client’s internal corporate project investment criteria, a Definitive Project Study is produced which predicts capital and operating costs to an accuracy range of +/- 10-15%.

The original conceptual plan of the mining operation developed during the Feasibility Study would be extended and include amongst others:

  • Design criteria;
  • Equipment lists;
  • Process description;
  • General arrangements and outline drawings;
  • Capital and operating cost estimates;
  • Project schedule;
  • Specifications; and

Recommendation for implementation.