PDRI for Mining Projects

RT-366 Topic Summary
RT 366


The mining industry plays an important role in the global economy. However, in spite of significant investment in capital projects in the mining sector, failed projects are unacceptably frequent and the success rate of mining projects leaves much to be desired. Due to the significant shortcomings in the sector, the CII Africa Chapter and CII’s Upstream, Midstream, and Mining (UMM) Sector Committee commissioned this research, which adds a Project Definition Rating Index (PDRI) for mining projects to the family of PDRIs already developed by CII.

Research Team 366 (RT-366) followed a methodology similar to the ones earlier CII research teams used as they developed the previous PDRIs. After soliciting input from industry participants, the authors conferred with experts from mining operations and in engineering, procurement, and construction management companies to identify, refine, and assign weights to 180 elements. RT-366 validated the weighted PDRI for Mining Projects by testing it against completed projects.

Teams can use the PDRI for Mining Projects to measure the level of maturity of a mining project study. This new tool can assist both decision-makers and project team members in assessing the readiness of a project study to progress on to execution. A project team can step through the tool’s comprehensive, weighted list of elements to address issues during the front end planning phase of a mining project. This process can help project team members find a common understanding of which areas to study and show the relative importance of the various elements. Project teams can use the PDRI as a self-assessment tool during any stage of the project study, to identify which areas of the study require more definition. Teams can also use the tool to calculate an overall PDRI rating at any stage, and this rating will indicate the overall level of readiness of the project to proceed to its next phase.

Key Findings and Implementation Tools

1 : Scores from the PDRI for Mining Projects Can Help Predict Project Outcomes

Based on their analyses, the researchers could identify a cutoff point for each of six aspects of project performance. They also used linear regression to fit the data to a straight line, enabling them to predict the effects of increasing or decreasing the PDRI score by 100 points. The team discovered the following findings (FR-366, pp. v-vi).

Reference: (FR-366)

2 : Scores from the PDRI for Mining Projects Are Comparable to the Results of Other PDRIs

The structure of PDRI for Mining Projects built upon some standard elements used by previous PDRIs, but mining proved to be a complicated industry to assess. Where each previous PDRI considered 70 or fewer elements, PDRI for Mining Projects consists of 180 elements, which are divided into four sections and 18 categories. Given this unusually large number of elements, the team had to decide whether to create a different scale for scores in this PDRI or to weight the results to make them conform to the established range.

The authors decided to develop this PDRI so its range of potential outcomes is similar to the previous PDRIs (between 70 and 1000). This means that anyone in the projects community who is familiar with PDRI tool will readily understand scores in the PDRI for Mining Projects, because they follow a familiar scale. The suggested cutoff of 200 or 150 is also in line with the existing PDRIs and would thus be easy for the projects community to understand.

Reference: (FR-366)

Key Performance Indicators

Improved quality, More predictable cost and schedule outcomes