Case Studies

Open Pit Life of
Mine Modelling


A large open pit mine required the development of a life of mine costing model to assess various life of mine planning options.

The task required a large number of diverse options to be assessed. The current tool required repeatedly copying and saving spreadsheets. A more efficient framework was required to allow understanding of the value drivers between the operating strategies.


A RuleFour model was developed for operating and capital cost estimates for the life of mine options. The mine production and equipment schedules were undertaken within a mine planning system and interfaced into RuleFour using standardised CSV files. These inputs along with other modelling inputs were used to develop a detailed, first principles build up of operating costs and equipment capital. This information was interfaced into a corporate valuation model and analysis was undertaken in PowerBI.

The RuleFour solution allowed ten different operating scenarios to be run on a single model meaning only one framework had to be maintained and updated allowing more time for analysis.


  • The use of a common framework that could accommodate multiple operating scenarios – to generate a new scenario was simply a click of a button to copy an existing scenario and importing revised physical and equipment schedules.
  • The ability to analyse multiple options in a single integrated package – RuleFour was integrated to a PowerBI analysis package that allowed the modeller to validate inputs/outputs and understand key drivers between scenarios.
  • Having both RuleFour and PowerBI web-based allowed for data to be easily shared across multiple people.
  • A standardised CSV output could be used to feed into the client’s corporate valuation model.

Similar RuleFour modelling frameworks and process have been used on studies relating to processing plant upgrades and its effect on the mine plan and different mining studies assessing impacts of type and location of infrastructure, creeks and alike.

Underground Mine
Due Diligence


Our client required the development of a costing model to assess the viability of an underground mine on which they were undertaking a due diligence. The client wanted to understand the validity of the information provided in the dataroom and to run sensitivities on key value drivers.


An underground mine framework was developed and calibrated to the information provided in the dataroom. The framework was generic so it could be easily repeated and allowed for a quick interface for production information and incorporated key inputs and drivers to develop a cost and capital estimate. Additional scenarios were incorporated into the model to assess key sensitivities of timing of acquisition, production level, equipment mix, productivity, manning and other key input assumptions.

The mine production schedules were interfaced into RuleFour using standardised CSV files and separate scenarios were run by changing various input assumptions to help quantify the opportunity and risks of the potential investment. The pivot view feature of RuleFour allowed costs to be analysed on an activity, equipment and/or cost type basis. The user could drill down into the costs and understand the cost drivers back to its input source.

RuleFour added value to the client’s Due Diligence process helping validate the dataroom information and quantify the risks and opportunities for their potential investment.


  • RuleFour allowed models to be accessible by simply adding a user as opposed to having to use FTP sites to share information.
  • The use of a common framework accommodating multiple scenarios meant the process to generate a revised scenario based on changed inputs and assumption was fast.
  • RuleFour’s in-built functionality using Lists, Associations and Templates lead to an efficient and targeted model build.
  • The quick model build allowed more time to analyse and understand key inputs and outputs.
  • Multiple lists were used in the development of the model so key activities, equipment and cost types could easily be quantified and the Pivot View functionality allowed for the data to be ‘sliced and diced’ to better understand the outcome.
  • A standardised CSV output was configured to feed into the client’s corporate valuation model.

UG hard rock feasibility study and factored consumables


A feasibility study for a large underground hard rock mine required the development of a detailed cost model. The starting point for the RuleFour model was an existing 19MB spreadsheet which was effectively replicated. The detailed cost model was combined with other inputs such as processing in the financial models to support the project business case and decision making.

In addition to calculating the costs, the model required the generation of 100’s of factored consumables which were driven by the mine plan. Items such as Jumbo drill metres, ground support consumables and drill and blast consumables vary by development profile and annual schedule.


Factored physicals were calculated as part of the RuleFour cost model. The RuleFour model imported the base assumptions such as consumption rates by development profile (e.g. 0.9m, 1.8m, 2.4m and 3.0m split sets per metre) and the mine plan (e.g. metres of development by profile).

Templates were developed for each key area of derived physicals such as drill metres, ground support consumables and drill and blast consumables. The templates were then associated with each development profile generating the 100’s of factored physicals and consumables. The resulting schedule of consumables could then be costed based on unit rates.


  • The use of templates meant that the large number of factored physicals items could be generated quickly and reliably. For example, the “Key Consumables” template was applied to the fifteen development profiles and ten ground support profiles following the creation of the 45 elements of the template rather than 45 elements created for each of the 150 possible unique combinations.
  • The inclusion of the derived physicals in the RuleFour cost model meant that scenarios and iterations could be reliably run with a short turn around when new mine plan cases were generated.
  • Different views of the mine planners and the cost modellers to validate the inputs and assumptions and workings of the model.

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