Economic Evaluation and Optimization of Mineral Projects

8 modules


Course Length
8 hours

Edumine Courses

10 Oct 2019



The predominant economic evaluation technique for a mineral project, from pre-feasibility study stage to operating mine, is the discounted cash flow (DCF) method. A DCF evaluation will include a detailed year-by-year cash flow projection spanning the life of the mineral reserves plus the DCF metrics of net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR). DCF methodology is accepted by industry, the financial community and regulatory bodies.

This course examines the requirements, practice, and application of DCF methodology, as well as insights into the potential pitfalls to be found in such evaluations. Principal course topics include:

  • Discounted Cash Flow
  • Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR)
  • Determination of Discount Rate
  • Metal Price, Inflation, Debt and Taxes
  • Targeting, Scoping and Ranking
  • Optimizing Production Rate and Project Size
  • Project Expansion Analysis
  • Trade-Off Analysis
  • Equivalent Annual Cost Analysis

The course includes practical applications of DCF methodology, with examples, to project evaluation, mineral process selection, process optimization, project expansion, selection of equipment and comparison of alternatives.

This course is designed for an audience of mining professionals and managers who require a practical understanding of economic evaluation and financial analysis methods and their application to mineral projects.


  • Lawrence Devon Smith


Duration: 8 Hours
Access: 90 Days
Category: Financial
Level: Cross train
Version Date: January 13, 2003

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Course Content

Economic Evaluation and Optimization consists of 10 viewing sessions of 30 - 60 minutes each with supporting figures, tables, examples, appendices and interactive course reviews. Course duration is equivalent to approximately 8 hours of viewing content.

The content of this course is taken from a paper published in Mineral Processing Plant Design, Practice, and Control published by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. (SME) (

Learning Outcomes

  • Discuss the discounted cash flow (DCF) method, net present value (NPV), internal rate of return (IRR) and their application to mineral projects.
  • Discuss the application of DCF methodology to optimization of mineral projects.
  • Discuss the application of DCF methodology to selection of mineral project alternatives.
  • Apply the knowledge gained to practical economic evaluation and financial analysis of mineral projects.

Recommended Background

  • A basic understanding of mineral project economics and mining operations from a financial perspective.
  • A degree in mining engineering or its equivalent (recommended).


By completing/passing this course, you will attain the certificate Edumine Certification

Learning Credits

Table of Contents
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Module 1: The Discounted Cash Flow Method
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Knowledge Check - Module 1: The Discounted Cash Flow Method
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Module 2: Determining the Optimum Project
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Knowledge Check - Module 2: Determining the Optimum Project
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Module 3: Comparison of Project Alternatives
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Knowledge Check - Module 3: Comparison of Project Alternatives
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Module 4: Appendices
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Added 5 months ago, by Anonymous
I've got a lot of idea, thanks.
Added 7 months ago, by Sammoussi
Added 8 months ago, by DIDIA
Very Good course
Added 8 months ago, by Mamadou
Pour le technicien que je suis, ce cours a été passionnant et m'a permis de retrouver certaines formules mathématiques utilisées en ingénierie appliquée également utilisées dans les calculs d'évaluation des projets.
Added 8 months ago, by Tanguy
Added 8 months ago, by John
Added over 1 year ago, by Dominic
Added almost 2 years ago, by Charles
I am very grateful
Added about 2 years ago, by Anonymous
The content of the course is very light for the amount charged and could readily be obtained on free sources. The course lacks any complex real life examples related to mining, such as case studies of past evaluation and optimization projects that have either gone really well or terribly wrong.

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