A decision support system for mine evaluations – a new tool for project planning

By identifying a project's critical design areas and potential bottlenecks during the earliest stages of a project's life cycle, project managers can significantly improve their chances of delivering a successful project. This article examines a process for using an integrated cost estimating and scheduling tool--a decision support system (DSS)--to evaluate pre-feasibility studies of underground mineral resource zones (better known as mines). In doing so, it describes the need for this system, the methodology used to develop the proposed DSS, and the traditional process of evaluating mines. It describes how an information system provides the mechanism needed to translate cost profiles and work breakdown structure (WBS) into reports, using the precedence diagramming method (PDM) to develop schedules and the WBS so as to monitor costs and resource quantities. It then describes the results of a data analysis on using DSS and the benefits of using DSS to evaluate mine studies.
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