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Flexibility, technical quality float projects in volatile times

A Van Zyl, M Wertz
Wednesday, January 1, 2020
First presented: 
African Mining Market

Volatile commodity markets — unsettled by fast-moving technologies and geo-political instability - are demanding that new mineral projects adopt a flexible approach based on high-quality technical studies.

"Mining is an industry accustomed to swings in commodity prices, but the pace of these changes has certianly quickened," said SRK Consulting partner and principal consultant Andrew van Zyl. "This complicates planning and means that developers can be even less certain of their project's economic viability."

While there is no silver bullet in this predicament, it does mean that flexiblity becomes a key consideration in project design - as it can allow for quicker adjustment to changing market conditions.

Feature Author

Andrew Van Zyl


  • Mine and project valuation;
  • Mining conventions;
  • Economics;
  • Recent valuations greater than $ 1 billion for chrome, copper and Gold;
  • Technical adviisor to the Government of Cameroon for the Mbalam Mining Convention and rail and port concessions.


Andrew has been involved in the fields of Mining and Engineering.  His expertise includes

  • Technical advice during mining convention negotiations;
  • Financial/techno-economic modelling;
  • Exchange rates and macroeconomics;
  • Research and reporting;
  • Precious and base metals due diligence;
  • Project management (managing tenders, the detailed design of processes and equipment, estimation, the procurement and erection of the equipment and have managed the cold and hot commissioning of process plants;
  • Tender management (analysis of project financials and risk);
  • General management (developing, budgeting, marketing and completing projects);
  • Quantitative analysis including model development and strategic analysis;
  • Process engineering and commissioning experience;
  • Operation of process plants, including a rapid train loading terminal.
Director | Principal Consultant
SRK Johannesburg
Marcin Wertz


  • Mine planning and design of underground hard rock mines and study management


Marcin Wertz has been involved in the field of mining engineering. His expertise includes:

  • Reviewing mining methods, underground layouts and production scheduling for various underground hard rock mines and mining studies;
  • Conducting reserve audits with emphasis on resource-to-reserve conversions;
  • Evaluating underground operations including productivities being achieved to determine bottlenecking and/or overstaffing;
  • Carrying out mine design and production scheduling activities for various underground projects involving a range of geometries from conventional tabular deposits through vertical fissure/vein type deposits to massive deposits;
  • Co-ordinating and managing mining scoping studies through to full feasibility studies to bankable standard involving multi-disciplinary teams including other consulting firms.



Partner | Principal Mining Engineer
SRK Johannesburg
SRK Africa