SHERPA                                   
                   COST-ESTIMATING SOFTWARE FOR RECLAMATION BONDS 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 


Photograph by Fred Photograph by Fred Voetsch

Sherpa for Reclamation Bonds is an engineering-based, menu-driven program that uses project and site parameters supplied by the user to estimate the equipment, labor, supply, and administrative costs associated with mine site reclamation. The program is designed to estimate the costs of a multitude of common reclamation tasks including:

               
EARTHWORK
                    Excavate/Stockpile
                    Excavate/Load/Haul/Dump
                    Load/Haul/Dump
                    Slope Reduction
                    Road Rehabilitation
                    Spreading & Contouring
                    Fine Grading

                DEMOLITION
                    Buildings
                    Foundations
                    Pavement
                    Culverts & Pipes
                    Fencing

               
SITE WORK
                    Fence Installation
                    Soil Stabilization
                    Armoring
                    Scarifying

       
       
DISPOSAL
                    Vehicles
                    Machinery
                    Solid & Liquid Waste

               
MONITORING
                    Well Construction
                    Sample Collection & Analysis

               
CLOSURES
                    Adits
                    Shafts
                    Drill Holes
                    Leach Pads
                    Ponds & Impoundments
                    Pumping

               
PLANTING & SEEDING
                    Seed
                    Live Plants
                    Soil Amendment

Sherpa also breaks down each of the above categories into a variety of subcategories where appropriate.  For instance, under the Adit Closure heading, costs can be estimated for any one of the following closure methods:

                ADIT CLOSURE
                    Concrete Plug
                    Concrete Block Wall
                    Foam Plug
                    Earth Backfill
                    Bat Gates

And under the Solid & Liquid Waste Disposal heading, costs can be estimated for the disposal of any of the following:

               
SOLID & LIQUID WASTE DISPOSAL
                    Solids
                    Tires
                    Solvents - Liquid
                    Solvents - Sludge
                    PCB's
                    Acids/Bases
                    Oxidizers/Cyanide
                    Antifreeze - Liquid
                    Antifreeze - Sludge
                    Oils

                DISPOSAL METHODS
                    Hauled to a disposal facility
                    Buried onsite
                    Hauled to a transfer station
                    Burned onsite

A variety of machines are available in the program, any of which can be assigned as necessary. The program database contains engineering and cost information for various sizes of the following:

                AVAILABLE PROJECT MACHINERY
                    Backhoes
                    Percussion Drills
                    Bulldozers
                    Air Compressors
                    Crawler Loaders
                    Pick-up Trucks
                    Draglines
                    Graders
                    Hydraulic Shovels
                    Auger Drills
                    Rear-dump Trucks
                    Mulchers
                    Scrapers
                    Tractors
                    Wheel Loaders
                    Concrete Trucks
                    Hydraulic Breakers
                    Concrete Pumps
                    Flat-bed Trucks
                    Cranes
                    Tanker Trucks
                    Trash Pumps
  

The program also automatically estimates project mobilization and demobilization costs.

In order to comply with Federal standards, Sherpa uses Davis-Bacon wages for its labor cost estimates. Wages for a number of regions within the United States are included in the program database, and each can be adjusted for local variances. In addition to the costs of most required reclamation tasks, Sherpa also provides estimates for the following project overhead charges:

                PROJECT OVERHEAD CHARGES
                   
Project Contingency
                    Project Engineering & Design
                    Contractor's Profit
                    Agency Indirect Costs
                    Liability Insurance
                    Agency Contract Management
                    Bond Premium


Factors used in the determination of  these fees are those typically used by the Bureau of Land Management in their bonding process.

Current supply and equipment prices along with the Davis-Bacon wages are contained in a separate database, which is automatically queried by the program. Most cost values found in the database are supplied by Western Mine Engineering, Inc.’s Mining Cost Service. All costs, prices, wages, and administrative fees can be easily altered by the user within the operating parameters of the program. A user’s manual fully explains program operations, utility functions, and most of the algorithms used in the cost-estimating calculations. The manual also contains a detailed tutorial example that enables the evaluator to quickly learn how to use the primary features of the program. Help screens are available for all but the most apparent entries. These screens explain the type of information requested by the program and the way in which Sherpa determines its suggested values. Help screens also provide the user with alternative data that can be used to modify Sherpa’s suggested values. Complete project output reports may be sent directly to a printer. In addition, program output may be saved to text files that can then be imported into any major word processing program to further enhance printed output.
 

HERE'S How Sherpa for Reclamation Bonds works:

First, enter basic information regarding the project such as location, distances to support and disposal facilities, and project duration. Then move on to a series of screens where you can enter engineering parameters associated with specific site tasks. For instance, if the reclamation plan requires the removal of a concrete foundation, the program provides a screen upon which you enter the foundation thickness, height, perimeter length, and method of reinforcement, along with the distance to the disposal site. The program immediately estimates and displays equipment and labor requirements (in terms of hours), along with the equipment unit operating costs and the hourly wage estimates. You can then view all the information displayed by Sherpa and adjust it as necessary. The program provides ten separate entry screens for each reclamation task. For instance, if you had eight adits scheduled for closure at one site, then you would enter the engineering parameters for each on a separate screen.

After you have filled out a screen for each site task, you then move on to a series of screens where you can review preliminary results. If these seem inappropriate, you can return to the input screens and make adjustments as necessary. The first result screen displays the equipment fleet required to accomplish your reclamation project. Sherpa’s cost engineering processes are designed to minimize the number of machines mobilized to the site. For example, if several separate tasks would each typically require a different sized bulldozer, the program attempts to apply one or two sizes to all the tasks, and if this is technically feasible, it reduces the fleet accordingly. On the next result screen, Sherpa displays the crew required for your project.

The program then displays a summary of the costs for each site task. All subsequent calculations are based upon this summary value. These calculations include estimates of project administrative costs such as contractor’s profit, liability insurance, bond premium, engineering and design fees, indirect costs, and project management fees. A contingency is also provided to cover the costs associated with unanticipated or unforeseen project requirements. As with all costs displayed in the program, you can adjust any of these fees as necessary.

Finally, Sherpa totals all the project task costs and administrative fees to provide an estimate of the required reclamation bond value. You can then send the results to either a printer or a text file and save all the entered data to a project file.

DEVELOPED BY: AVENTURINE ENGINEERING, INC.
IN CONJUNCTION WITH: BUREAU OF LAND MANAGEMENT, OREGON, AND WESTERN MINE ENGINEERING, INC.


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