The importance of OPEX for local economic benefits and how to maximize them
The expenditures linked to the operation and maintenance (OPEX) of a mine often generate a significant amount of economic activity. In fact, benefits derived from OPEX are generally much larger than those generated by the capital expenditures linked to the construction of the mine facilities (CAPEX). Given (1) the large size of funds allocated to OPEX (including maintenance and operating capital), (2) its duration over time (OPEX lasts much longer than CAPEX) and (3) the nature of the goods and services required to operate a mine, OPEX represents a significant business opportunity for local businesses. This in turn is likely to play a role in the social acceptability of the mine for local communities. This presentation will focus on two themes: (1) by using real impact assessments of Canadian mines, demonstrate the relative importance of benefits generated, over the life of the mine, by OPEX compared to those generated by CAPEX, over time; and, (2) show how it is possible to maximize local and regional benefits from OPEX.