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So You Want to Fast Track Your Project

Jeff Osborn, Neal Rigby
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
First presented: 
PDAC 2019
Project Evaluation
The various stages of development from exploration through multiple levels of study, conducting permitting and social license activities, procuring, constructing, commissioning, ramp up, and finally reaching the end goal of a stable producing mineral project can be fraught with complexities that can lead to many frustrations and delays.

There are several strategies that can be employed to streamline the development process and mitigate risks of project failure or underachievement. These strategies include up front planning and project framing, execution strategy, and risk mitigation during the project to move more quickly through the development process to the end goal of stable production.   

The upfront strategies include consideration of why a project is being fast tracked and defining what this means to the project team and setting clear project objectives. A process to develop the project includes up front evaluation of key technical drivers, social and environmental factors, funding mechanisms, requirements to access those funds, understanding the final mineral product market,  how the project fits in that market, considerations of the location and key in-country characteristics that impact development of the project, construction delivery strategy, and finally the selection of the execution team.

Once the upfront strategies are developed, the execution of the project can take place. During execution several best practice tactical processes can allow more effective project execution. The processes include evaluating and defining the key technical (nature or mineral deposit driven) aspects of the project, developing a realistic comprehensive and detailed project schedule to manage progress, creation of a simplified technical economic model to test results throughout execution, working design activities in parallel, implementing “cold eyes” project reviews and cross-functional reviews to identify bottlenecks and mitigate issues that arise during design, establishing and maintaining a living risk register, and establishing defined decision-makers and criteria used to make decisions.

Adopting these strategies and tactics can reduce the inherent risks associated with fast tracking a project.


Feature Author

Jeff Osborn
Jeff has 30 years of mining and engineering experience specializing in surface and underground mining, construction, and energy-related services, including production.  With his extensive understanding of surface and underground mining, waste disposal, mine infrastructure, and mine economics, Jeff is able to coordinate these efforts in a way that maximizes the value of a Feasibility Study.
Jeff has worked with multi-cultural and multi-consultancy teams to develop and execute field programs and coordinate the engineering needed to complete feasibility-level studies. He has a sound understanding of how to combine information from different disciplines to create comprehensive and robust feasibility studies. He is also proficient in defining and mitigating project risks. Jeff has maintained schedules, managed and controlled costs, and planned scopes to the required level of detail on multiple projects. 
Mining Project Management Specialist
BEng Mining, MMSAQP
SRK Denver
Dr. Neal Rigby
Dr. Neal Rigby has over 42 years of experience in the international mining industry. The major focus of his consulting work for the past 25 years has been as the director of various SRK multidisciplinary teams in numerous major due diligence audits, competent person’s reports and other reports supporting the rationalization, merger, disposal, financing and acquisition activities of international mining companies and mining finance institutions. In this role, Neal has been in the position to independently certify to shareholders, stock exchanges and financial institutions the “bankability” i.e. fundamental value and risks and opportunities of mining projects.


Independent Project Review Specialist
SRK Denver
SRK Africa