We provide a range of engineering services at various stages, i.e. conceptual, pre-feasibility, feasibility, basic engineering, and detail engineering.

Conceptual Engineering:
Conceptual engineering is the initial stage of a project where ideas and concepts are explored and evaluated. It involves developing a high-level understanding of the project's goals, requirements, and possible solutions. At this stage, engineers focus on feasibility studies, rough cost estimates, and preliminary analysis to determine the viability of the project.

Pre-Feasibility Engineering:
Pre-feasibility engineering builds upon the conceptual stage and involves a more detailed analysis of the project's feasibility. Engineers explore various design options, evaluate technical and economic risks, and conduct preliminary assessments of the project's viability. This stage helps in determining whether the project should proceed to the next level of study.

Feasibility Engineering:
Feasibility engineering is a comprehensive study that assesses the technical, economic, and legal aspects of a project. Engineers conduct detailed investigations, feasibility studies, and market analysis to evaluate the project's potential success. This stage involves identifying potential challenges, risks, and opportunities associated with the project, and making a final decision on whether to proceed.

Basic Engineering:
Basic engineering, also known as front-end engineering design (FEED), focuses on developing a solid foundation for the project. Engineers define the project's specifications, requirements, and major components. They conduct detailed analyses, create process flow diagrams, determine equipment and material requirements, and establish preliminary cost estimates. The objective is to create a robust and well-defined plan for the project.

Detail Engineering:
Detail engineering is the final stage before the actual implementation of the project. Engineers create detailed designs, construction plans, and specifications for every aspect of the project. This includes detailed engineering drawings, equipment specifications, procurement plans, and construction schedules. The goal is to provide comprehensive and accurate information that can be used for the construction, installation, and operation of the project.

It's important to note that the specific terminology and stages may vary across different industries and engineering disciplines. Additionally, there may be additional stages or variations within each level based on the complexity and requirements of the project.

Underground mining operations often include mine backfill. The three most common techniques are cemented rockfill (CRF), hydraulic fill (HF) and cemented paste backfill (CPB). Depending on the geotechnical requirements, the materials are mixed with cement binder to provide the required strength. Uncemented fill (such as uncemented rockfill) is also commonly practiced to minimize the cost of removing development waste rock from the underground. In some cases, these backfill techniques are applied for mine remediation. For example, a mix of paste backfill and self-leveling concrete were used to stabilize the arsenic chamber underground at Giant Mine in Northwest Territories, Canada. Clearly, each of the three types of backfill techniques have its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes a trade-off study is first carried out to identify one or a combination is most suitable for a specific application. In our experience, CAPEX is not always the best indicator for selecting a backfill method. Other factors such OPEX, safety, environment, society, throughput and impact to the overall mining or remediation operation are important to consider. Net Present Value (NPV) is one metric that can be used to provide a more holistic and long-term analysis. Note: hydraulic fill is sometimes referred to as ‘sandfill.’

In general, pipeline is an efficient method to reliably transport a large quantity of solids. In the context of our work, this ranges of designing water, slurry, hydraulic fill and paste backfill pipeline. Oftentimes, the design principals and off-the-shelf products from other industries translate well to backfill. In some cases, special designs, modeling and engineered solutions are required. Over the years, there are commonly used techniques and designs. Nevertheless, we find that ‘copy and paste’ piping design from one site to another without proper engineering can have safety, financial and reliability implications. Often, this is because of the difference in the materials, throughput climate, pipeline routes, etc. It is worth noting that an increasing effort in the backfill industry has been invested in improving the reliability and safety of the product and designs. We are excited to see and learn the latest solutions offered by engineers and various vendors.

As part of the engineering services, we produce or review capital cost expenditure (CAPEX) and operating cost expenditure (OPEX). Depending on the level of studies, an appropriate effort should be put in to achieve the desirable level of accuracy. Over time, we have developed a database and a productive working relationship with vendors and contractors to quickly and reliably produce cost estimations. As a result, we are able to provide support in sourcing products and procurement, based on our clients’ timeline and other requirements.

Backfill systems, equipment, and distribution piping networks sometimes require a closer look. This can be due to incorrectly programmed equipment resulting in undesirable backfill quality, or poor system reliability. We provide on-site support such as commissioning, process calibration, backfill quality audit and process troubleshooting.

At the present time, there are only relatively a small talent pool of backfill specialists around the world. It can be difficult to efficiently execute backfill projects without having the appropriate expertise. Currently, we provide project management, bid evaluations, training workshops to promote efficient and successful project delivery. Feel free to reach out to us for inquiries; we are happy to provide references.