Cost Estimating for Underground Mine Engineering

Cost Estimating for Underground Mine Engineering

Areas of Study: Management

Qualifies for CMS


Short Course Short Course
  • Audience Level: Professional Tool Tip
  • Dates: Unscheduled Tool Tip
  • Early Bird: Tool Tip
  • Enrollment: Included Tool Tip
  • Registration Fee: Tool Tip
  • Location: Spokane, WA, USA Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


This course provides engineers and evaluators the opportunity to learn to produce detailed, engineering-based cost estimates for underground mines. Participants work through a series of problems to derive the engineering parameters needed to estimate capital and operating costs, and they learn to assign costs based upon these parameters. Students then use these estimates in conjunction with discounted cash flow analysis techniques to identify the most economically advantageous approaches to development and operation. In addition to instruction in fundamental underground cost estimating techniques, course participants learn to both balance the size of underground openings with the associated ventilation requirements and, from a cost perspective, evaluate ramp haul and hoisting alternatives. Application-based cost estimating software packages are demonstrated, and then are compared to spreadsheet-based cost models.

An emphasis is placed upon the uncertainty associated with not-yet-fully-delineated engineering parameters and the process of dealing with that uncertainty. Students are given problems to work in class and discussions of results provide direct student involvement. For details of topics covered see course schedule.

While not a prerequisite, students who have taken the earlier course Introduction to Estimating Mining Costs for Prefeasibility Analyses will be able to apply techniques learned there to underground mine project design alternatives.

Pre-Course e-Learning

Prior to the course, registered delegates have access to online e-learning material consisting of an introductory course titled Estimating the Cost of Mining.

Certificate in Mining Studies

This course qualifies for two days of short course credit for the Certificate in Mining Studies (CMS), a continuing education program of accredited short courses, webcasts and online courses for lifelong learning in mining, supported by University of British Columbia, University of Arizona and University of ConcepciĆ³n. more details »

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Registered participants who attend the entire short course and complete an evaluation at the end of the course will receive a Certificate of Attendance, confirming the Professional Development Hours (PDH)/Continuing Education Units (CEU) earned. Please confirm with your employer and/or professional association that this course qualifies for CPD.

Who Should Attend?

The course is appropriate for engineers, mineral economists, project evaluators, and others with a background in mining and mineral resource development.

Scott Stebbins P.E.

Mr. Stebbins is licensed in Washington State, USA, as a professional mining engineer. For thirty years his work has focused on estimating the costs and determining the economic viability of almost every facet of proposed mineral development projects.

He began his career at the U.S. Bureau of Mines in 1980, where he was involved in the various aspects of mineral property evaluation. In 1990 he resigned from the Bureau and went to work for Western Mine Engineering, Inc. (now InfoMine USA, Inc.). While there, he specialized in cost model development and equipment operating costs determination. In 1995, he founded Aventurine Engineering, Inc., as a platform from which to develop and market cost-estimating and economic-evaluation software. In addition to software development, Mr. Stebbins has worked consistently since leaving the Bureau of Mines as a mine and mineral processing cost estimator and consultant with over 100 project evaluations to his credit.

Most recently, he was tasked with writing the chapters on both surface and underground mine cost estimating for the upcoming release of the 3rd edition of the Society of Mining Engineer's Mining Engineering Handbook.

Provisional Schedule

Instruction will take place from 9:00AM to 5:00PM each day, with a lunch break from noon to 1:00PM and 15 minute snack breaks in mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

The course includes following topics:

  • Engineering Based Cost Estimating
    • Introduction
    • Engineering-based cost estimates
    • Cost engineering
  • Engineering Parameters
    • Rock characteristics
    • Powder factors
    • Access and transport pathways
    • Water
  • Impacted Systems
    • Ventilation
    • Pumping
    • Services
    • Drainage
  • Hoists vs Conveyors vs Trucks
    • Shaft and ramp excavation and construction costs
    • Hoist, truck, and conveyor capital and operating costs
    • Complete haul system costs over time
    • Discounted Cash Flow comparison
  • Opening Size vs Fan Requirements
    • Fresh air requirements for equipment and workers
    • The impacts of installed and mobile equipment
    • Complete development and operating costs over time
    • Discounted cash flow analysis
  • Engineering Uncertainty
    • Identifying the sources of uncertainty
    • Bracketing the costs associated with parameter variability
    • Monte Carlo Risk Assessment
  • Cost Estimating and Economic Evaluation Software
    • Application-based estimates (Sherpa)
    • Application-based DCF analysis (Apex)
  • Spreadsheet Models
    • Spreadsheet-based estimates (Mining Cost Service/CostMine)
    • Spreadsheet-based DCF analysis (Excel)

How to Register

Complete and return the registration form by fax: 604 681 4166 or email: [email protected].

If you have any questions you can contact Edumine by phone at +1 604 683 2037.


The full fee for the two day program is USD 1,500. The fee covers the lecture, a comprehensive set of course notes, access to Edumine pre-course e-learning, a certificate of attendance, sandwich lunches and light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days before the course start date.

* A 10% discount is offered for groups of 5 or more OR if you provide your Annual Edumine subscription User ID at time of registration.

* A 10% discount is offered if you combine this course with Introduction to Estimating Mining Costs for Prefeasibility Analyses.

* These discounts cannot be combined.


The course will be held at Red Lion River Inn Hotel, 700 N. Division, Spokane, Washington, USA. Detailed arrival instructions will be sent to all participants 10-14 days prior to the commencement of the course.

Hotel Accommodation

If you need to make hotel reservations, we recommend:

  • The Red Lion River Inn, a quiet urban hideaway nestled along the beautiful north bank of the Spokane River. Just steps from Riverfront Park and the Centennial Trail, our guests have easy access to Gonzaga University, the Convention Center, and the INB Performing Arts Center as well as Spokane's best shopping, entertainment, restaurants and the downtown business district. When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine corporate rate".
    The link to the hotel website is:

Terms and Conditions

By submitting a short course registration form, you agree to pay the associated fees in full before the course start date.


Notice of cancellation must be given in writing by letter, fax or email and action will be taken to recover, from the delegates or their employers, that portion of the fee owing at the time of cancellation.

A 10% administration fee will be levied for cancellations made 4 or more weeks prior to the first day of the course. Thereafter, the following cancellation refund schedule will apply.

  • Cancellation made more than 3 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 70% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made more than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: 50% of the registration fee is reimbursed.
  • Cancellation made less than 2 weeks prior to the first day of the short course: no reimbursement of registration fees.

Edumine reserves the right to cancel an advertised course on short notice. It will endeavour to provide participants with as much notice as possible, but will not accept liability for costs incurred by participants or their organisations as a result of the course being cancelled or postponed. If a course is cancelled, fees will be refunded in full. Edumine also reserves the right to postpone or make such alterations to the content of a course as may be necessary.

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