Wardell Armstrong has a long track record of assisting companies throughout the world with their mining projects whether it be as technical advice or as project audits for investment decisions. We provide a broad range of in-house mining services including open pit and underground optimisation studies, mine design, geotechnical and hydrogeological aspects, ore reserves, scheduling, ventilation, equipment, maintenance, labour and infrastructure, ore and waste management, as well as financial appraisal.

We have a highly experienced team of engineers able to address the needs of the modern mining industry gained through years of working around the globe. Particular expertise has been acquired in Africa, Europe, Central Asia, Russia, Southeast Asia and South America and with a strong focus on precious and base metals, although more recently, we have been at the forefront of some of the strategic metals driving the EV revolution, particularly lithium.

We have excellent facilities at our main offices and process testwork facilities and laboratories in Cornwall, UK, and use the latest software to help model and evaluate increasingly complex and sensitive projects.

A mine design is vital input for Ore Reserve reporting, and has a major impact on the economics of any mining project where the mine design must be efficient and accurate.

Wardell Armstrong has a proven expertise in the design of underground and surface mines across a range of commodities on both greenfield and existing operations, and our design engineers regularly complete a range of works for high-level conceptual studies from Scoping through to Pre-feasibility and Feasibility level.

Using both Datamine and Geovia’s optimisation, scheduling and design software we can produce optimal short and long-term production plans to match project-specific constraints, allowing companies and investors to make informed strategic decisions.

The JORC reporting code defines an ore reserve as ‘the economically mineable part of a Measured and/or Indicated mineral resource’. It is defined by Pre-feasibility or full, Definitive Feasibility Studies, which include any modifying factors and allowances for losses when material is extracted, and demonstrates that extraction can be reasonably justified at the time of reporting.

Wardell Armstrong has the in-house expertise to derive ore reserves on a variety of commodities from projects all around the world, following the competency and transparency adopted by the major internationally recognised reporting codes such as the JORC Code (2012) and CIM.

Ore Reserve statements are supported by technical reports which will cover any and all Modifying Factors. According to JORC (2012), these are ‘considerations used to convert Mineral Resources to Ore Reserves. These include, but are not restricted to:’

  • Mining
  • Processing
  • Metallurgical
  • Infrastructure
  • Economic
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Environmental
  • Governmental

Wardell Armstrong, through our comprehensive Mining sector experience, is able to integrate these key modifying factors into the estimation of ore reserve.

Geotechnical engineering is a critical sector for any project. For mining, slope or underground stability analysis and design is a key requirement. For Ore Reserve estimation geotechnical engineering is one of the key modifying factors required under the JORC Code (2012) and is a major component for a successful mine design.

Wardell Armstrong has experienced Chartered Engineers who can advise and undertake works ranging from greenfield geotechnical drilling programme design, slope or underground stability assessments, numerical modelling and optimisation, operational audits, up to and including remediation/rehabilitation works.

Our in-house hydrogeologists and modellers assess mine-water conditions and make expert recommendations for dewatering, management and monitoring strategies.  We deliver mine-water studies from concept to Definitive Feasibility stage. We have developed a significant number of dewatering and de-pressuring models using a variety of modelling codes including FEFLOW and similar 3D numerical groundwater models. We have considerable experience of appraising data, identifying important surface and sub-surface features and processes and recommending appropriate hydrogeological investigations. If required we can supervise and provide technical assurance of hydrogeological field programmes. As well as dewatering strategies to maintain dry pits or reduce piezometric pressures behind pit-walls, our experts provide assessments of environmental hydraulics and inputs to impact assessments, recommissioning and closure stages and detailed mine water balances.

Wardell Armstrong has experience in multiple countries, commodities, and environments, and has a proven project track record.

Mine planning is more than scheduling rock movement. The roles of mine planning, costing, and equipment selection are interlinked and key drivers into the ultimate mine design and financial appraisal. Equipment selection starts from basic desktop work through to full feasibility. It drives not only costs, but also mine dilution, mine design, and scheduled performance which Wardell Armstrong is able to optimise and consider during mining appraisal.

Wardell Armstrong is able to provide mine planning using industry leading software to short-term detail as well as undertake trade-off and optimisation studies to quickly evaluate the best design options for project analysis.

Using industry leading software, Wardell Armstrong is able to offer a total waste management solution, including detailed scheduling and waste dump management. Waste handling and design forms part of Wardell Armstrong’s capability and is included in an integrated approach considering environmental restrictions, haulage requirements, and optimum design, ultimately through into mine closure.

Wardell Armstrong’s team is able to schedule and control sensitive waste material storage, as well as deliver optimised haulage control and minimal planning and construction impact. Wardell Armstrong is able to produce 3D designs which are fully integrated and linked to mine planning.

Wardell Armstrong offers an integrated mine planning capability. Mine planning can be conducted from short-term to long-term planning. Wardell Armstrong’s life of mine planning is able to consider multiple options and provide reassurance through cashflow analysis on a range of options.

Wardell Armstrong uses the latest mining planning software which is integrated through the mine design and scheduling. Life of mine planning is often used to base key production decisions, which Wardell Armstrong is able to include and provide detailed analysis and results to the client.

Wardell Armstrong can provide engineering expertise ranging from mechanical engineers, civil engineers, mine shaft engineers and structural engineers for mine site customers to achieve the best performance levels for their business and equipment. This can include increasing operating efficiency, equipment selection, service planning, and the implementation of maintenance engineering methodology tailored to each operation.

We can provide the initial studies developing a new mining operation from grass roots to the expansion of existing operations, as well as providing the technical due diligence on operations to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

All mine production produces a waste stream; tailings. Tailings design and management is a key part of Wardell Armstrong’s capability, we are able to offer a complete solution from mineral processing test work, full design (optimisation and trade-off), and environmental and closure solutions in-house. Having this capability allows Wardell Armstrong to quickly optimise or indeed revise a plant design to offer the best solution both environmentally and financially to the client.

Wardell Armstrong has expertise in all types of tailings deposition methods and design, including conventional methods as well as more modern or specific environmental methods (dry-stack).

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