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Contract Mining versus Owner Mining – The Way Forward

R.S Suglo


Mining involves many operations such as rock breakage, materials handling, equipment maintenance, mine design, scheduling and budgeting. At one stage or the other mine managements often have to decide whether to undertake a major mining operation using their own equipment and personnel or to contract the operation out to a specialised mining contractor.
By contracting out one or more of their mining operations, the mining companies can concentrate on their core businesses. This paper reviews contract mining and owner mining to determine the merits and demerits of each and how they affect the economies of the mining companies. The results show that the decision to adopt owner mining or contract mining is influenced
by the life of the mine, the availability and use of capital, and that contract mining helps to reduce the cost of mines with short life spans. The general trends in the mining industry show that contract mining will be the way forward for most mines under various circumstances in the future.