Document Type

Government Report

Publication Date



In this U.S. Bureau of Mines report, mine and mill cost models are presented to make quick estimates of the cost to develop mineral deposits in the desert region of the Southwest United States. Regression analysis was used to generate capital and operating cost equations for each model in the form Y = AXB, where Y is the cost estimated and X is the assumed daily capacity in short tons. A and B are constants determined by the regression analysis. Each is broken down into 11 subcategories to facilitate escalation of costs for inflation and to increase their versatility in economic evaluation work. This report contains 2 open pit models, 6 underground mine models, 11 mill models, and cost equations for access roads, powerlines, and tailings ponds. In addition, adjustment factors for variation in haulage distances are provided for open pit models and variation in mining depths for underground models.


U.S. Bureau of Mines Information Circular 9298, 35 pp.