Improving Scenario Analysis Capabilities at Agnico Eagle


Pierre Matte, Agnico Eagle

In the past few years, Agnico Eagle worked on improving the life of mine and budget process to have more reliable understanding of the realities and potential of each operation.  As the mining business continues to evolve and is becoming more complex in almost every aspect, the need to have an efficient mine planning process has never been more evident.   To help provide a more reliable picture of the future, we have created a platform to collect all internal and external potential projects but the creation of such a platform also revealed our lack of scenario creation capabilities.    As a result, we initiated a project called Integrated Business Planning, or IBP, 2 years ago to provide better tools to our mine planners to accelerate the planning process.  The life of mine process for any given mine takes approximately 4 to 6 months to complete, from geological modelling to financial output.  Current mine design and planning practices are a combination of semi-integrated computer-assisted planning software, computer-assisted drafting software, in-house tools and manual work. The result is an ineffective process that is slow to respond to the mining environment and market conditions. Gap analysis and action plan were completed after mapping of the actual process at each operations.  The action plan was divided in 3 major areas: Geology, mine design and planning, and costing.  Specific objectives and targets were set for each area to reduce the time to produce a mine planning scenario from 4 months to a week. The new planning process was tested at our Meliadine project where we ran multiple scenarios during the course of 2018.  With this process, the time needed to run a scenario from reserves to financial output is approximately 3 weeks.   Results proved it is achievable to produce a full planning process in a week but there are remaining issues that still needs to be solved.
Keywords: Mine planning, Scenario creation, planning process, business planning