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


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.

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Correspondence to Keith R. Long.

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Long, K.R. A Test and Re-Estimation of Taylor’s Empirical Capacity–Reserve Relationship. Nat Resour Res 18, 57–63 (2009).

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