Cost-Estimating Software for Underground Mines













Sherpa Underground is an engineering-based, menu-driven program that uses production and deposit data supplied by the user to calculate over 800 engineering parameters, which are in turn used by the program to estimate equipment, labor, and supply costs. The user works through these parameters, changing them as necessary to tailor the estimate to conditions at a specific location.

Sherpa for Underground MINES is DESIGNED TO:

Here is how Sherpa for Underground Mines works:
Sherpa software estimates costs using an engineering approach. Users work through a series of screens on which parameters estimated by the software are presented in a manner similar to the typical progression used in a traditional engineering-based cost estimate.  All of these screens are accessed from one main menu.  Consequently, users are never more than one step from the menu and cannot lose track of their location within the program.  At any time, users may return to any of the previously viewed screens, alter input parameters, and view the impact on project costs.

To operate the program, the user first enters information regarding production specifications such as tons mined per day, hours per shift, shifts per day, and the types of equipment used for primary hauling.  Deposit parameters (height, width, thickness, dip, and location relative to surface) and appropriate mining methods are also specified.

Next, the program suggests preproduction and daily development requirements based upon the production, deposit, and method specifications provided by the user.  Development requirements for adits, ramps, shafts, drifts, crosscuts, access raises, draw points, ore passes, ventilation raises, and underground openings are suggested as necessary. These requirements include items such as opening size, advance rate, rock support needs, and location. The program also suggests supply prices, hourly worker wages, and staff worker salaries. These suggested values are reviewed by users and adjusted as necessary for their particular site.

Continuing, the program then suggests all necessary equipment parameters.  Requirements for stope and development drills, muckers, and haulers are all provided.  Primary haul equipment available to the user includes hoists, load-haul-dumps, rear-dump trucks, locomotives, and conveyors. General production equipment such as rock bolt drills, crushers, raise borers, shotcreters, fresh water and drain pumps, ventilation fans, compressors, backfill mixers and pumps, ANFO loaders, exploration drills, and service vehicles are also considered.  Equipment parameters provided by the program typically include size, type, and power specifications.  As with all values suggested by the program, users review the equipment parameters and change them as necessary to accommodate their special requirements.

Engineering parameters are suggested next.  Items such as the number of blastholes, drill penetration rates, and muck and haul equipment cycle times are suggested for each development heading.  Daily use and power consumption values are provided for all equipment, including crushers, pumps, mixers, compressors, and ventilation fans, as well as for the primary haul equipment.  Raise borer drilling and reaming rates are suggested by the program, as are daily rock support material requirements (rock bolts, timber, shotcrete, concrete, and steel.)  In addition, daily manpower requirements for all the underground workers and salaried staff are itemized.  All these variables are displayed for the user and are easily altered to reflect conditions at a specific operation.

Finally, project costs are estimated and displayed.  Daily and per-ton costs for supplies, hourly laborers, salaried workers, and equipment operation are all displayed on an annual basis, as are the capital costs associated with purchasing equipment, driving adits, ramps and underground openings sinking shafts, and constructing surface facilities (shops, offices, plant buildings, worker change houses and warehouses). Values for working capital, engineering and project management fees, and a contingency fund and also provided.  All costs are fully itemized.

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