The Cost Data and Advice You Need to Make Informed Mining Decisions

2020 Sherpa for Mineral
Processing Software

Lower your risk and quickly
calculate Capital and Operating
with our newest Sherpa module.

Our programs are designed, coded, and produced by people who estimate costs for a living. We are first and foremost a mine cost engineering firm. We want you to estimate costs quickly and we want you to have confidence in those costs. We want you to have the ability to determine the costs of all pertinent design alternatives in a timely manner. Sherpa gives you all this.

All new for 2020, Sherpa for Mineral Processing is an engineering-based, menu-driven application that uses project, feed, and site parameters supplied by the user to estimate the operating costs and capital expenditures of a mineral processing plant.

Operating costs include those associated with wages, salaries, supply consumption, and equipment operation. Capital expenditures cover equipment purchase and installation, site work, buildings, construction management, administration, and design and engineering.

Working with the information provided by the evaluator, the program first suggests a flowsheet based upon both the type of deposit, the suite of commodities, and the ore and gangue minerals.

Currently, feed parameters attributable to the following deposit types have been captured by the program:

  • Epithermal
  • Orogenic Gold
  • Carbonate-hosted Stratabound
  • Breccia
  • Vein
  • Porphyry
  • Carlin
  • Volcanic-hosted Massive Sulfide
  • Skarn
  • Magmatic
  • Archean Anorthosite Pluton

Commodities for which plant designs have been included in the program database include:

  • Gold
  • Silver
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Platinum
  • Palladium
  • Tungsten
  • Barite
  • Zinc
  • Iron
  • Nickel
  • Beryllium
  • Cobalt
  • Calcite
  • Molybdenum
  • Chromium
  • Diamonds
  • Phosphate
  • Fluorspar
  • Silica
  • Titanium
  • Anorthosite

And, currently, the following flowsheet designs are available:

  • Gravity/Carbon-in-Pulp
  • Two-product Flotation
  • Single-product Flotation/Gravity
  • Single-product Gravity/Flotation
  • Pressure Leach/Carbon-in-Leach
  • Heap Leach/Carbon Adsorption
  • Heap Leach/Merrill Crowe
  • Single-product Flotation
  • Agitated Tank Leach
  • Carbon-in-Pulp
  • Crushing/Optic Sorting
  • Three-Stage Crushing

The operating and capital expenditures associated with a variety of ancillary facilities are also estimated in the program environment. Currently, these include:

  • Heap Leach Pads and Ponds
  • Tailings Impoundments
  • Fresh Water Storage Ponds
  • Mill Water Recycle Ponds
  • Project Camp
    • Dormitory, Cafeteria, and Recreational Facilities for remote operations
    • Expandable to accommodate mining and other workforces
  • Power Generation Facilities
  • Transmission Lines

Other program features include:

  • Current supply costs, wages, salaries, and equipment prices are contained in a separate database, which is automatically queried by the program. Most cost values found in this database are supplied by CostMine's Mining Cost Service. All costs, prices, wages, and salaries can be easily altered by the user within the operating environment.
  • 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 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 can be exported to text files. These files can be imported into the software of your choosing for further evaluation.

Here's how Sherpa for Mineral Processing Plants works:

With the feed characteristics entered and the flow sheet suggested, the program proceeds to emulate flow through the plant to arrive at a material balance. These calculations estimate the flow rate, size fraction, and solids density of the feed into each machine to determine their required capacities (and resulting sizes). With the balance calculated and the flowsheet displayed, you can click on any machine in the flowsheet to activate a screen that provides you the means to change any of the operating parameters of that machine. As an example, the screen for a SAG mill:

Sag Mill Suggested/Editable Values, Example

  • Feed Rate
  • Bond Work Index
  • Feed Size (and percent passing)
  • Product Size (and percent passing)
  • Pulp Density
  • Circulating Load
  • Length:Diameter Ratio
  • Mill Diameter
  • Mill Length
  • Drive Horsepower
  • Feed Specific Gravity
  • Media Consumption Rate
  • Media Specific Gravity
  • Media Price
  • Pulp Retention Time
  • Liner Consumption Rate
  • Mill Charge
  • Liner Price
  • Pulp Load (percent solids)

With that information in hand, the program works to estimate the installation labor and supply requirements for each machine, which include:

  • Concrete
  • Pipe
  • Steel
  • Insulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Electrical
  • Coatings

Once you are satisfied with the values for all these machine parameters, the program goes on to estimate engineering requirements for a variety of ancillary facilities, such as a tailings impoundment, water supply and treatment system, mill building, power supply, and even a project camp, if required.

When all necessary cost engineering parameters have been determined, they are used in conjunction with the information contained in the cost database to calculate all relevant capital expenditures. Operating costs are also estimated and in addition to labor and equipment operation, the program estimates the consumption and resulting costs for all the reagents typically required for the specified feed and the recovery process. All results are then displayed on the screen and may be exported to text file.

Are you an engineer, geologist, or a financial analyst who needs to know the cost of starting and operating a mining project at today's prices?

Would you like to increase the speed and accuracy of your cost estimates?

Sherpa for Mineral Processing is for you!

...Complete, Up-to-Date Mining Cost Information ...

One characteristic is common to all successful mining companies: their decisions are based on the best, most accurate cost information available. To get that information, many of them turn to CostMine's Mining Cost Service and Sherpa software.

The Sherpa for Mineral Processing program was developed working with our network of mining companies, mineral processing suppliers and manufacturers. This assures you complete, detailed information that reflects current, actual conditions.

Join the many successful companies, mining schools, and government agencies throughout the U.S., Canada, and around the world who rely on CostMine to help them with:

  • Development Decisions
  • Appraisals and Acquisitions
  • Mining and Processing Evaluations

Contact us:
Phone: +1 (509) 328-8023
Mail: InfoMine USA, Inc. 100 N. Mullan Rs., Suite 102, Spokane Valley, WA 99206

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