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Project Evaluation — The Customer’s Perspective


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Author D F Sinclair


It is often said in business that if you don’t have a customer you don’t have a business. The same rule applies to project evaluation; if you don’t have customers you really don’t have a viable project. It is therefore essential that in the early stages of project evaluation the following fundamental questions are addressed:

  • What products will this project produce?

  • Who are the potential customers?

  • What are the customers’ requirements with respect to
    grade and impurities?

  • Do they have adequate capacity to take the production
    from the proposed project?

  • Will the products introduce adverse effects in the
    customer’s process circuits?

  • Will additional waste streams requiring disposal be

In the past the attitude has been along the lines of the customer will take whatever we produce at the mine site. Times have now changed with customers now operating under much tighter environmental regulation with waste disposal becoming increasingly difficult. It would therefore be prudent that the principles of product stewardship be used as a tool in project evaluation.

This paper will provide a general discussion on customer requirements and provide detail on case studies of the impact of mine products on smelter process circuits. It will provide examples where there were synergies between the mine product and the smelter circuit and where the mine product had adverse impacts on smelter performance.

Sinclair, D F, 2007.
evaluation – the customer’s perspective, in Proceedings
Evaluation 2007
, pp
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: