Natural Resources Research

, Volume 18, Issue 1, pp 57–63 | Cite as

A Test and Re-Estimation of Taylor’s Empirical Capacity–Reserve Relationship

  • Keith R. Long


In 1977, Taylor proposed a constant elasticity model relating capacity choice in mines to reserves. A test of this model using a very large (n = 1,195) dataset confirms its validity but obtains significantly different estimated values for the model coefficients. Capacity is somewhat inelastic with respect to reserves, with an elasticity of 0.65 estimated for open-pit plus block-cave underground mines and 0.56 for all other underground mines. These new estimates should be useful for capacity determinations as scoping studies and as a starting point for feasibility studies. The results are robust over a wide range of deposit types, deposit sizes, and time, consistent with physical constraints on mine capacity that are largely independent of technology.


Mine capacity mine planning feasibility studies scoping studies Taylor’s rule Hotelling’s rule 


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Copyright information

© International Association for Mathematical Geology 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.U.S. Geological SurveyTucsonUSA

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