Service sectors we operate in:
Jim is a mining engineer with over 30 years experience in underground mining, including mines of tin, coal and industrial minerals, in the UK and North America. For 15 years until he retired in 2010, he taught mining subjects at the Camborne School of Mines (University of Exeter) to graduate and post graduate level.
He self-published his first text book in 2018:-
“UNDERGROUND MINE PLANNING – An introduction to practical mine planning for small and medium sized mines”.
Discoveries of new, large, high grade ore deposits are still being made but they are increasingly rare. The mining industry is facing a general trend of decreasing reserve values and consequently lower revenues. Ore reserves are finite and new deposits are unlikely to be as valuable as those already discovered. As the largest and richest reserves are being mined out, there are fewer new ones left to find. Many smaller ore reserves have been identified but they are unable to support large scale mining. Yet as demand for most minerals is increasing and because small ore reserves can only be worked by small mines, it seems inevitable that there will be a resurgence in small and medium scale underground mining, to bring on stream these deposits.
Planning is somewhat different at small and medium sized mines. They tend to use smaller scale techniques – narrow vein stoping methods, small section developments, slushers, chutes, smaller gauge rail track, steeper drifts, rope haulages, short hole blasting, hand held drills, car and cage hoisting and so on. They are also more self-sufficient, relying less on external contractors. At the same time, lower grade ores and decreasing economies of scale mean that particularly high standards of mine planning are necessary for success.