An Overview of Benchmarking Capabilities

Sourcing benchmark data can be a time consuming task, and time is a valuable commodity in consulting. Benchmarking is essential for defining early stage limitations for estimating Mineral Resources and for informing clients of key areas for improving operations.

Every deposit and operation has its own unique characteristics, so the challenge is to identify enough comparable data for a meaningful analysis. The greater the level of detail required and number of constraints placed on the benchmark data, the more challenging it becomes to generate a sufficiently large and reliable data population quickly.

SRK subscribes to database sources that provide a continually up to date and informed position for benchmarking; they complement our extensive in house experience and systems. For commodity price assumptions, this process extends to regularly updating the market consensus on metal price forecasts, for internal guidance and professional dialogue with clients.

It is important to understand the limitations of database sources, which is why SRK subscribes to a range of the best and most recognised products. In many instances these database subscriptions are not comprehensive enough to complete the full benchmark task the client requires so additional investigations and enquiries are needed.

Recent examples of benchmarking exercises completed by SRK include the following:

• Review of open pit iron ore and chromite mine technical and cost operational parameters such as design, equipment, labour, maintenance and energy consumption to provide an operator in India targets for future expansion.

• Operational improvement exercise for a client with multiple underground lead-zinc mines in the USA. The project covered due diligence, data collection and value tree analysis to determine key drivers for establishing improvement targets.

• Market research for a major distributor of mining equipment in Russia and a number of African countries to determine the future sales forecasts of open pit and underground equipment.

• On-going monitoring of a decline cover drilling and grouting program to prevent water inflow in Europe and comparison with the key performance indicators of similar projects to facilitate efficiency and reduced costs.

• Benchmark capital and operating cost breakdown analysis of underground copper-gold mines utilising sublevel caving and open stoping methods to assist with determining reasonable cost estimates for a developing project in Eastern Europe.

• Review of technical and cost parameters for mines utilising underground shrinkage methods to use as means of comparison on a due diligence commission for a potential investor.

SRK has a large global multidisciplinary base of experienced mining professionals and associates who can typically cover all reasonable benchmarking requests.

When undertaking benchmarking assignments, SRK focuses on what needs to be achieved to develop an efficient approach and regularly communicate throughout our global network to access additional knowledge and support to complete the task.

Chris Bray:

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