20 January 2012 - Aurecon and mining services company JKTech today announced that they have entered into a strategic alliance to deliver client solutions that effectively reduce total costs on resources projects.
The alliance will be known as JK Aurecon.
The past 12 years have seen the capital costs surrounding mining infrastructure increase by 30% to over 70% of total project cost. (Source ABS).
As the technology transfer company for the Sustainable Minerals Institute (SMI) at the University of Queensland, JKTech has access to leading edge technologies and methodologies. The combination of Aurecon’s historical infrastructure expertise with JKTech’s mineral processing methodology and ore characterisation techniques, will offer client solutions in the global resources project development market that effectively reduce total project costs, through an alternative method of delivering projects.
“What JK Aurecon is proposing through this alliance”, says Dan Curry, Development Leader Resources at Aurecon, “is a new feasibility model that links expert assessment of mine processing and enabling infrastructure”.
Traditionally, the driver for engineering firm selection for mine feasibility studies has been relevant process plant design experience, with the secondary assumption that any related infrastructure scope can be successfully delivered. This may have been appropriate when plant and equipment were the main costs and infrastructure delivery (in developed countries) was relatively simple.
Today, infrastructure dominates mine capital cost and risk; this is why JK Aurecon proposes that it is more appropriate to deliver a mine feasibility study from the perspective of enabling infrastructure Engineers (with developing world experience). The study should rather incorporate process plant design as one of several specialist packages. Benefits will include reduced and more certain project costs, lower requirements for electricity and water, leading to more sustainable mines, and staged delivery of infrastructure in line with more accurate project lifecycle scheduling.
Commenting on the alliance, Paul Hardy, CEO of Aurecon said “This alliance is supported by a cultural alignment and desire between our two organisations to think outside the box to provide original design solutions for our clients in line with their project’s technical and geographical characteristics”.
"The importance of optimising the infrastructure design with the plant and mine design is becoming more critical as the costs and demands for power, water, steel etc increase. Aurecon’s expertise with infrastructure combined with JKTech’s geometallurgy, mining and processing expertise along with one of the largest databases of processing plants that exists, will lead the mining industry into the next phase of optimised mine design," said Dr Dan Alexander, CEO of JKTech.