Postdevelopment studies show that, once in operation, about 70% of mines perform below the prediction of their feasibility studies, with underperformance usually caused by deficiencies in the collection of primarily geology related data prior to designing the mine and planning its operation. A major reason for these deficiencies is probably a generally narrow understanding by many geologists of metallurgy as well as geotechnical and mining engineering. Additionally, geologists often do not appreciate the types and quantities of data required by metallurgists, geotechnical engineers, and mining engineers for mine design, planning, and operations. Critically, there is commonly inadequate communication between all four professional groups. For obvious and logical reasons, the principal focus of geologists has generally been considered the discovery of a mineral deposit and subsequent resource definition and estimation of its grade and tonnage, leading to the creation of detailed geologic and grade models of the deposit. While grade and tonnage are cornerstones to mine development, equally important to mine design is the geotechnical model, which is constructed progressively over three stages of mining study using information obtained from four separate geology-related models. Enhanced understanding of mining and metallurgy by geologists plus appreciation of the metallurgical and mining uncertainties inherent in geologic data by metallurgists and geotechnical and mining engineers can contribute to significantly improved mining outcomes.

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