Pre-feasibility studies are an early stage analysis of a potential mining project. They are conducted by a small team and are designed to give company stakeholders the basic information they need to green light a project or choose between potential investments. These studies typically give an overview of a mining project’s logistics, capital requirements, key challenges and other information deemed important to the decision-making process.
When and why do companies undertake them?
Pre- feasibility studies act as one of the first explorations of a potential investment, following a preliminary resource report and the creation of an orebody model. Based on the data procured by various assessments, a pre- feasibility study may occur. Companies use these studies to collect information before investing millions of dollars into tasks like acquiring permits or research equipment.
What information do they include?
Pre-feasibility studies also take into account factors that may impact or interfere with the final project. That can involve community issues, geographic obstacles, permit challenges and more.
A comprehensive pre-feasibility study should include detailed designs and descriptions for mine operation, as well as cost estimates, project risks, safety issues and other important information. There should also be multiple options included in the study for tackling different issues, as that will provide organizations with more ways to overcome potential challenges.
What happens if results are positive? Negative?
If a Pre-feasibility study results in a positive base-case scenario, the company will likely move on to the next stage: a feasibility study. If the study is negative, an organization may head back to the drawing board or abandon the potential project altogether.