Just to recap thus far, we are discussing the life cycle of a mine and have so far touched on the exploration and environmental assessment phases. Today we will disclose in detail the exciting phase of construction.
This phase involves the construction of the mine facility, the mine itself, the processing plant, all roads, sewers and waterlines, as well as all the needed housing. Generally, it is the mining company’s role to manage the design, planning and construction of the operation. Once the exploration phase is complete with all the necessary permits and approvals confirmed, the construction phase which lasts several years can now begin. Such permits and approvals include:
- Permits for excavation, buildings and for explosive use
- Transmission line permits
- On site sewerage disposal permit
The duration of this phase all depends on the size, location and other important factors which allow for all of the equipment needed to be purchased, tested and adjusted enabling the best operating stages for the most efficient productivity outcome.
The advancement of the mine development is of vital importance to the investors and is communicated to them via press releases and/or shareholder reports. Such in-house publications communicate to investors if there are any setbacks and/or if the mining company is following the required regulations.
Within the construction phase mining company’s need to do some pre-planning namely, pre-construction. This includes the removal of old buildings, infrastructure development such as roadways, bridges and even railways and also includes building camps for all the workers. Pre-construction is highly involved with environmental and land managers and because miners have to adhere to certain guidelines in order to confirm their permits, sometimes wildlife needs to be relocated and plants as well as vegetation replanted. This is due to the fact that once the mine reaches the end of its life span the material needed to revamp and re-nourish the exploited area is viable.
Building the actual mine is a massive and complex job. Sometimes a mine doesn’t even look like a mine; it can indeed morph into a small city catering majorly for the housing of all workers. Other developments which can change the traditional look of a mine include schools, medical clinics and even recreational areas.