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Practice Guide to Auditing Mining Revenues and Financial Assurances for Site Remediation

The Life Cycle of Mining Projects

The mining industry is a major sector of the economy in Canada and in many other countries around the world. Mining projects are usually capital-intensive, long-term, and potentially very lucrative. The revenues they generate are significant for both private companies and governments. However, not all mining projects come to fruition and, when they do, it is only after many years of planning, exploration, and development.

Phases of a Mining Project

The typical life cycle of a mining project (surface or underground mining) includes four phases:

  1. exploration and feasibility,
  2. planning and construction,
  3. operations, and
  4. closure.

An overview of this life cycle is presented in Figure 4. For larger mines, completing this life cycle can take several decades.

Figure 4

Typical Life Cycle of a Mining Extraction Project (from an industry perspective)

Typical Life Cycle of a Mining Extraction Project