The life of a mine site can be characterised by three distinct project stages - exploration, construction and mining and development. The ‘construction’ and ‘mining and operations’ phases of a mine site’s project timeline are distinctly serviced by a number of contractors which specialise in large scale contracts where the management, procurement and delivery lies with the responsibility of the contractor. This is most apparent in the construction phase of a mine site’s life where large EPCM (engineering, procurement, construction & management) contracts are tendered.
The earliest phase of a mine site’s life cycle is the ‘pre-construction’ or exploration phase. Historically, these have been managed in-house by the mining companies with a number of service agreements being managed by the company or geologist. With the increased demands of the resources boom on the scale, number of contractors and complexity of this project phase, bottle-necks and reduced efficiency within the projects are occurring and subsequently pre-construction phases are running overtime and over budget.
What is being asked are solutions to meet this increased requirement for successful exploration and pre-construction site work. The term 'turn-key drilling supply' is being used to seek a more streamlined and efficient service delivery.
HDR | Salva are able to take the concept of ‘turn-key exploration suppliers’ to the next level. Salva has adopted the concept and benefits of the EPCM contract model and applied it to the exploration phase of the project life-cycle.
The benefit of such an arrangement is that there is significantly reduced management input required on the part of the client with regard to this phase of operations. Once a budget, time frame (and geological and site scope) has been developed, Salva’s exploration group will schedule, budget and determine the level of resources required to complete the plan within the time frame.
ESPM contracts allow the client to focus on the key approvals and engineering study requirements of the project rather than having to be pulled into the competing time role of daily operations management.
As with the EPCM model, ESPM contracts are designed to be flexible; some projects will maintain different aspects of their operational procurement of management support. As a results, each element of ESPM can be removed or altered to create a bespoke package of services which will fulfil the scope of the project. For example, a site may have an existing safety system and SSE in place, in this case (although HDR | Salva's exploration teams are trained and familiar with Salva's SHMS) the safety supplier aspect of the contract can be removed, resulting in an EPM contract.