Mining students learn to develop feasibility studies using high-tech solution

Image courtesy of UBC

Students at the University of British Columbia’s Norman B. Keevil Institute of Mining Engineering are partnering with tech company Riivos Inc. to design their Mine and Plant Feasibility Study capstone projects.

The projects are part of their required courses and in order to complete them, the students are using a Riivos-built mining financial technology software that allows them to quickly and easily input and analyze the financial and physical components of their feasibility studies. According to Riivos, this helps them spend less time building spreadsheet models and more time optimizing their mine project economics.

“In this year-long study, students are getting exposure to business problems that the industry is facing and they’re coming up with solutions,” said Andrea Arduini, the UBC professor leading the Feasibility Study course, in a media statement. “Our students need to be able to see the holistic picture of how decisions can have a wider impact not only on the mine, but also on the environment and on the community.”

The projects challenge students to use the knowledge and skills gained during their studies to solve real-world problems.

Arduini explained that the Riivos-UBC partnership stemmed from a team of recently-graduated UBC mining engineers working at the San Francisco-based enterprise SaaS.

The former students -she said- wanted to expand the breadth of skills training available at their alma mater and identified an opportunity to improve the understanding of financial modeling, financial metrics, and how mine plans factor into high-level financial statements.

“Our aim in building this application for UBC mining students is to help them run more scenarios, more quickly, so they can test feasibility and define the cases that will produce optimal results,” said Tom Struttmann, Group Executive of Riivos Mining and Industry Advisory Council Chair at the Colorado School of Mines.

In Struttman’s view, the learning they get from these projects will allow the young men and women involved deliver value to the industry faster.

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