Engineering-Based Cost Estimating for Underground Mines

Engineering-Based Cost Estimating for Underground Mines

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: Vancouver, BC, Canada Tool Tip
  • Duration: 2 days
  • CEUs: 1.6 (16 PDHs) Tool Tip

Course Summary


This course intends to equip engineers and evaluators with the skills needed to produce detailed, engineering-based cost estimates for underground mines. Participants will have the opportunity to estimate the costs of a series of underground mine design alternatives, and then use these estimates in conjunction with discounted cash flow analysis techniques to identify the most economically advantageous approach. In addition to instruction in basic and advanced underground cost estimating techniques, course participants will learn to balance the sizes of underground openings with the associated ventilation requirements and, from a cost perspective, evaluate ramp haul and hoisting alternatives. In addition, ancillary system costs relevant to the design alternatives are identified and estimated, and then incorporated into the overall analysis.

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

While not a prerequisite, students who have taken the earlier course, Estimating Mining Costs for Prefeasibility Analyses, will be able to apply some of the techniques learned there to the engineering-based approach taught in this course.

Pre-Course e-Learning

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

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 Concepción. 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 geologists, 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 12:30pm to 1:30pm and 15 minute snack breaks in mid-morning and mid-afternoon.

Day 1:
Time Session
08:15 – 08:45 Registration and breakfast
08:45 – 09:00 Welcome and introduction
09:00 – 10:30

Engineering-based cost estimating

  • Introduction
  • The engineering-based estimating process
  • Cost engineering
10:30 – 10:45 Break with refreshments
10:45 – 12:30

Engineering Parameters

  • Rock characteristics
  • Powder factors
  • Access and transport
  • Water
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00

Mine systems

  • Services
  • Pumping
  • Drainage
  • Ventilation
15:00 – 15:15 Break with refreshments
15:15 – 17:00

Material transport options

  • Shaft and ramp excavation and construction costs
  • Hoist, truck, and conveyor capital and operating costs
  • Haul system costs over time
  • Discounted cash flow analysis
Day 2:
Time Session
09:00 – 10:30

The relationship between opening size and fan requirements

  • Fresh air requirements for machines and workers
  • The impacts of installed and mobile equipment
  • Complete ventilation development and operating costs over time
  • Discounted cash flow analysis
10:30 – 10:45 Break with refreshments
10:45 – 12:30

Engineering uncertainties

  • Identifying and understanding the sources of uncertainty
  • Bracketing costs associated with engineering parameter variability
  • Monte Carlo risk assessment
12:30 – 13:30 Lunch
13:30 – 15:00

Cost estimating and economic evaluation software

  • Application based estimating systems (Sherpa)
  • Application-based DCF packages (Apex)
15:00 – 15:15 Break with refreshments
15:15 – 16:30

Spreadsheet models

  • Cost estimate data sources: Mining cost service and CostMine USA
  • DCF algorithm derivation
16:30 – 17:00

Comments, review, and administrative debrief

How to Register

To register yourself, click the ‘Register Now’ button and complete the online registration form.
To register on behalf of someone else, or to register groups of 2 or more, please contact us; discounts may apply.

Questions? Please contact Edumine: +1 604 683 2037 or [email protected] and we will get back to you during regular business hours, Monday - Friday, 8:00am to 5:00pm Pacific Time.


The fee covers the lecture, access to Pre-Course e-Learning, a certificate of attendance, and catered breakfasts and lunches including light refreshments. The fee does not cover accommodation.

Early Bird: there is a 10% discount if you register at least 30 days prior to 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. The maximum discount that can be applied is 20%.


The course will be held at InfoMine Inc, Vancouver, Canada, Suite 640 - 580 Hornby Street, Vancouver, BC. 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 following hotels. Each hotel is within a 5-15 minute walking distance of the course venue and provides convenient access to transportation and 'Canada Line' rapid transit to/from Vancouver International Airport.

When making reservations make sure to ask for the "InfoMine corporate rate".

  • Executive Hotel Le Soleil, named by Resorts & Great Hotels Magazine as "One of the Top 100 Hotels in the World," has been recipient of the American Automobile Association's (AAA) 4-Diamond rating since its opening. Executive Hotel Le Soleil differentiates itself with a unique mixture of stylish sophistication and old world elegance. Featuring 119 luxury boutique lodging accommodations, it is conveniently located across the street from the InfoMine/Edumine offices. Experience Copper Chimney restaurant's award winning chefs and enter into an exotic world of Indian fusion food.
    The Hotel Le Soleil's website is:

  • Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver: make yourself at home in one of the Metropolitan Hotel's 197 elegantly appointed guestrooms and suites. Enjoy the Metropolitan's 24-hour Business Center; fully-equipped Health Club with indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and squash court; and the Diva at the Met restaurant, a AAA 4-Diamond rated restaurant featuring Vancouver's finest cuisine, celebrated Chef's table, and distinguished wine cellar. The Metropolitan has received a "4 Green Keys" rating through the Green Key Eco-Rating Program.
    The Metropolitan Hotel's website is:

  • Vancouver’s most art-full hotel, the Listel Hotel is a cultural tourist’s dream and a showcase for eco-friendly practices. Packed with original art, this 129 room boutique hotel boasts comfortable, contemporary furnishings and a perfect location in the West End, the city’s most eclectic shopping and dining neighbourhood. The hotel is also home to Forage, a pioneer in sustainable restaurant operations and home to Chef Chris Whittaker’s award-winning farm-to-table fare. Forage is known for its small plate dining and BC wine and craft beer on tap.
    The Listel Hotel's website is:

  • Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel: experience the modern comforts of the historic full-service business hotel located in the core of downtown Vancouver. Their West Coast hospitality will ensure your stay is as comfortable as possible. Discover true value at the Days Inn Downtown Vancouver Hotel as they provide FREE Wireless Internet, Bottled Water / Tea & Small Business Center. InfoMine’s corporate rate includes $10.00 breakfast voucher, best available room at check-in, Day Pass to Health and Fitness Centre around the corner.
    The Days Inn Downtown's website is:

  • The Delta Vancouver Suites is a 225 all-suite property designed with business travel in mind. Centrally located in the Heritage District of downtown Vancouver, the hotel is just one block from Waterfront Station, the main hub of the Canada Line providing convenient and economical transportation to/from the Vancouver International Airport. The hotel is in close proximity to many corporate offices, the Vancouver Convention Centre and government offices making business connections easy. Attractions such as Rogers Arena and BC Place Stadium and neighborhoods including Gastown, home to many of the best restaurants Vancouver has to offer are all a short walk away. The Delta Vancouver Suites' website is:

For further information about hotels in Downtown Vancouver, see the following website:

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.

Resources for Engineering-Based Cost Estimating for Underground Mines

These links provide additional resources that will enhance your study, learning and research related to Engineering-Based Cost Estimating for Underground Mines.

Related Online Courses

more »

Related Short Courses and Webcasts

more »

Related Online Tools

more »