Our team has been hard at work building a new cloud-based cost estimation platform, and we’re ready to share it with you. The new SHERPA Surface is the first in our new suite of cloud-based cost estimation applications, taking all the power and intelligence of our legacy SHERPA tools and transforming them into a slick, modern interface that you can access from anywhere.
SHERPA Surface is an innovative, engineering-based cloud application that helps you estimate the costs of open-pit mining. The application combines engineering-based estimating procedures with cost data from the Mining Cost Service to determine the appropriate capital and operating costs associated with surface development and mining.
All necessary salaries, hourly wages, and equipment and supply prices, drawn directly from our cost database allow for quick Estimates with Minimal Project Information. The application provides suggested values for all necessary engineering parameters, including items such as hole loading factors, material densities, explosive types, and bench heights. If instructed to do so, the program then proceeds to determine all pertinent costs with no further user input.
Experienced estimators can override any or all suggested engineering parameters by simply assigning their own values for each item. Equipment, supply, and manpower requirement values suggested by the program may also be overwritten. This feature allows you to incorporate your experience directly into the algorithms used by the program ensuring the most accurate estimates possible. For instance, local wage information may be used in place of the wages supplied with the database. Since costs can be adjusted for local conditions, the program is applicable worldwide. You can also determine whether your estimates use Metric or Imperial units on a project-by-project basis.
Our new, modern interface allows you to quickly navigate through all of the input screens with lightning speed. Finding and changing values is quick and easy, and tooltips on most inputs help explain the type of information requested and how the application determines its suggested values. Some tooltips even included alternate data to modify the application’s suggested values.
Complete project output reports offer a several views of your project estimations, including an Executive Summary, Total Project Cost Summary, and more. All of these pages can be exported in PDF format for quick and easy sharing with your team.
The cost estimating techniques used by SHERPA Surface rely on a number of project-specific engineering parameters, such as material densities and swell, powder factors, rolling resistance, drill penetration rates, drill bit and rod wear, and bench heights. These parameters, along with user specified haul profiles and ore and waste production rates, provide the foundation upon which the cost estimate is based. You may, of course, enter all these values directly into the application and manipulate them as needed. However, in cases where some or all of this information is unavailable, our platform suggests reasonable entries. In addition to its suggested entries, our tooltips provide guidance in determining alternate values.
SHERPA Surface's suggested entries allow you to complete reasonable estimates with a minimal amount of information. The only items that absolutely must be specified are daily production rate, shift schedules, haul distances and gradients for both ore and waste, and the total resource size. You can leave the rest up to us.
Once production and deposit data have been entered, the application begins the process of selecting equipment. Either specify you own fleet, or request that the application perform the task. If the application suggests the fleet, standard engineering techniques are used to select the types and determine the sizes of the excavators and haulers. SHERPA Surface then goes through an optimization process to determine the most economically attractive excavator/hauler combination.
Excavator and hauler productivities are determined using widely accepted engineering techniques. Equipment availability, bucket fill factors, material densities and swell, fixed cycle times, and travel speeds (adjusted for load and gradient) are all considered when determining productivity.
Once excavators and haulers have been selected, the program examines the specified powder factors, bench heights, and production requirements to select the type and determine the size of the blasthole drills. Requirements for ancillary equipment, including graders, pumps, dozers, lighting plants, water tankers, pick-up trucks, maintenance trucks, and explosives loaders are also provided. Again, you can alter any or all of the fleet selected by the application by simply overwriting the suggested values.
With the equipment fleet specified, the application begins the task of determining requirements for all other aspects of the operation. The numbers of hourly and salaried workers required to meet the specified production rate are estimated. Consumption rates for all pertinent supplies, including blasting materials, drill bits and rods, diesel fuel, electricity, repair parts, lubricants, and tires are calculated. The sizes of the shop, mine office, change house, and warehouse are provided, as are requirements for explosives storage facilities and the electrical distribution system. The application also estimates pre-production development and haul road requirements, as well as working capital, engineering, and management parameters.
Once all necessary cost engineering parameters have been determined, they are used in conjunction with the information contained in our cost database to calculate all relevant capital and operating costs. The results are then displayed under the Reports section of your project.
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