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INTRODUCTION

EPCM stands for Engineering, Procurement, and Construction Management as far as this article is concerned. There are other meanings that might bedevil you if you do a Google search. For example consider Essential Procedures for Clinical Microbiology or European Project & Change Management. The one I liked best was European Photonics Clusters Meeting. As the EPCM Consultants Home Site says "we provide a range of project services, from feasibility studies to commissioning and operations support."

EPC VERSUS EPCM
To make matters more confusing, there is sometimes another acronym, namely EPC. Is EPC different from EPCM? One view is no, as epitomized by this comment from Eng-Tips Forums: "There is no absolute definition. Most large consulting companies call themselves EPC and/or EPCM. Think Bechtel, Fluor, Jacobs, Kellogg, etc. They all act as the main contractor, sub-contractor - often at the same time, on different projects in-house, and to/with each other. It's one of those industry jargon acronyms that people throw around, and most don't really know its exact definition/meaning, and now, it doesn't have an exact definition/meaning." This is not quite true. For there is a difference between EPC and EPCM, as noted by another commenter to Eng-Tips Forums: EPC means the company is contracted to provide engineering, procurement and construction services. Think Design & Construct style contracts, where the project is largely Contractor managed and the cost risk and control are weighted towards the Contractor and away from the Owner. EPCM means the company is contracted to provide engineering, procurement and construction management services. Other companies are contracted by the Owner to provide construction services and they are usually managed by the EPCM contractor on the Owner's behalf. Think professional services contracts, where the project is largely Owner managed and the cost risk and control is weighted towards the Owner

It is worth looking at the discussion of the mechanics and legalities of EPCM contracts in the book. As the blurb notes. purchasing agents. and anyone who is responsible for some portion of a project and wants to know how it all fits together. Some books on project management may help. The electronic version is available on-line. these are some of the people involved in a mining project who may want to know more about EPCM: engineers. and liability possible between a mine. It all boils down to who takes the responsibility to make things happen. Surprisingly there is little else. Process plant engineers may be interested in the Handbook for Process Plant Project Engineers by Peter Watermeyer. Most are project descriptions of mines where EPCM has been used. responsibility. senior managers. the definitive book is EPCM(C): Managing Capital Projects for Mining by Dan Mackie. people who design. you probably won't learn much new from this book. but there are none I care to recommend. BOOKS In mining. The book is an easy read focusing primarily on first principles. Useful if you can access the site. estimators. If you know a little about project management. Here are some advantages of each from Prodigy: EPCM Advantages: • • • • supply Lower Overall Cost Staff's Sense of Ownership More Control over Process Better for less defined projects with anticipated changes to scope of Less Legal Litigation (Identify issues early and remedy situation before • larger problems arise) • Owner's Financing Flexibility EPC Advantages: • • • • • One Stop Shopping "One point of Contact" "Hands off" approach to project Minimal Staffing Requirements Minimal Legal Risk Best for Well defined projects with Detailed Engineering Complete before EPC Contractor selected (Minimal Unknowns). CONSULTANTS & CONTRACTORS An easy way to read project descriptions of EPCM in mining is to do a Google search using the full words "engineering procurement construction management mining. Certainly it hardly touches on the many variations of EPC versus EPCM versus the many subsets of contract. OneMine has 14 technical papers for the keyword "epcm". a mining company." It is also a good way to confirm which consultants and contractors offer such services to the mining industry. company presidents. procure. risk. construct and manage.An excellent comparison of EPC versus EPCM and the many aspects of each is at the Prodigy Engineering Group site. The (C) stands for Commissioning. And who takes the risks and/or reaps the rewards. Here are some of the more interesting: .

did the conceptual engineering. and looked after overall project health and safety. to oil and gas contracts. an extension of the EPCM concept. the UMTRA Project. quality.S. If like Northern Dynasty you find yourself with an ore body that involves a mine bigger than you can bring to fruition yourself. SNC Lavalin has the heft but no EPCM mining project descriptions I can find. This arrangement worked well. Australasia. They also have released this publication which elaborates further on their EPC services. Thus in Jacobs we characterized the sites. etc hassles. But then again you may. and managed all construction work on site. We closed 24 uranium mill tailings sites in ten states. SOME PERSONAL REFLECTIONS I once worked for Jacobs on a very large project. TWP are an African based EPWM & EPC company that sevices the mining & minerals industries as well as a range of civil engineering projects. And for others worldwide. Ausenco Minerals (part of the Ausenco group of companies) specializes in EPC and EPCM. this may be better than brining in another big mining company to relieve you of the planning. and schedule management and control. commissioning and operations services. Africa and Asia. The contract situation was complex. Information ranges from presentations to awards. The first. although I suspect it was expensive. The DOE had a relatively small group of folk to manage two contractors. MK Fergusson did the final engineering design (which we reviewed). finalized the environmental impact statements. Point is that as a mining company you are unlikely to want to retain one consultant to be your intellectual advisor and guide. . retained individual contractors for each site's construction. Department of Energy (DOE). Jacobs was responsible for what you may call the intellectual work. and another consultant to do the final design and construction management. Our client was the U. with projects in the Americas. Jacobs Engineering is working for Syncrude and Suncor on many a project. MK Fergusson was responsible for construction. Fluor provided EPCM services to mines from oil sands Alberta to heap leach pads in Chile.AMEC has several results on their site for EPCM.