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Cost-Estimating Software for Reclamation Bonds

Sherpa for Reclamation Bonds is an engineering-based, menu-driven program that uses project and site parameters supplied by the user to estimate the equipment, labor, supply, and administrative costs associated with mine site reclamation. The program is designed to estimate the costs of a multitude of common reclamation tasks including:


Slope Reduction
Road Rehabilitation
Spreading & Contouring
Fine Grading


Culverts & Pipes

Site Work

Fence Installation
Soil Stabilization


Solid & Liquid Waste


Well Construction
Sample Collection & Analysis


Drill Holes
Leach Pads
Ponds & Impoundments

Planting & Seeding

Live Plants
Soil Amendment

Sherpa also breaks down each of the above categories into a variety of subcategories where appropriate. For instance, under the Adit Closure heading, costs can be estimated for any one of the following closure methods:

Adit Closure

Concrete Plug
Concrete Block Wall
Foam Plug
Earth Backfill
Bat Gates

And under the Solid & Liquid Waste Disposal heading, costs can be estimated for the disposal of any of the following:

Solid & Liquid Waste Disposal

Solvents - Liquid
Solvents - Sludge
Antifreeze - Liquid
Antifreeze - Sludge

Disposal Methods

Hauled to a disposal facility
Buried onsite
Hauled to a transfer station
Burned onsite

A variety of machines are available in the program, any of which can be assigned as necessary. The program database contains engineering and cost information for various sizes of the following:

Available Project Machinery

Percussion Drills
Air Compressors
Crawler Loaders
Pick-up Trucks
Hydraulic Shovels
Auger Drills
Rear-dump Trucks
Wheel Loaders
Concrete Trucks
Hydraulic Breakers
Concrete Pumps
Flat-bed Trucks
Tanker Trucks
Trash Pumps

The program also automatically estimates project mobilization and demobilization costs.

In order to comply with Federal standards, Sherpa uses Davis-Bacon wages for its labor cost estimates. Wages for a number of regions within the United States are included in the program database, and each can be adjusted for local variances. In addition to the costs of most required reclamation tasks, Sherpa also provides estimates for the following project overhead charges:

Project Overhead Charges

Project Contingency
Project Engineering & Design
Contractor's Profit
Agency Indirect Costs
Liability Insurance
Agency Contract Management
Bond Premium

Factors used in the determination of these fees are those typically used by the Bureau of Land Management in their bonding process.

Current supply and equipment prices along with the Davis-Bacon wages are contained in a separate database, which is automatically queried by the program. Most cost values found in the database are supplied by Western Mine Engineering, Inc.'s Mining Cost Service. All costs, prices, wages, and administrative fees can be easily altered by the user within the operating parameters of the program. A user's manual fully explains program operations, utility functions, and most of the algorithms used in the cost-estimating calculations. The manual also contains a detailed tutorial example that enables the evaluator to quickly learn how to use the primary features of the program. Help screens are available for all but the most apparent entries. These screens explain the type of information requested by the program and the way in which Sherpa determines its suggested values. Help screens also provide the user with alternative data that can be used to modify Sherpa's suggested values. Complete project output reports may be sent directly to a printer. In addition, program output may be saved to text files that can then be imported into any major word processing program to further enhance printed output.

Here's How Sherpa for Reclamation Bonds works:

First, enter basic information regarding the project such as location, distances to support and disposal facilities, and project duration. Then move on to a series of screens where you can enter engineering parameters associated with specific site tasks. For instance, if the reclamation plan requires the removal of a concrete foundation, the program provides a screen upon which you enter the foundation thickness, height, perimeter length, and method of reinforcement, along with the distance to the disposal site. The program immediately estimates and displays equipment and labor requirements (in terms of hours), along with the equipment unit operating costs and the hourly wage estimates. You can then view all the information displayed by Sherpa and adjust it as necessary. The program provides ten separate entry screens for each reclamation task. For instance, if you had eight adits scheduled for closure at one site, then you would enter the engineering parameters for each on a separate screen.

After you have filled out a screen for each site task, you then move on to a series of screens where you can review preliminary results. If these seem inappropriate, you can return to the input screens and make adjustments as necessary. The first result screen displays the equipment fleet required to accomplish your reclamation project. Sherpa's cost engineering processes are designed to minimize the number of machines mobilized to the site. For example, if several separate tasks would each typically require a different sized bulldozer, the program attempts to apply one or two sizes to all the tasks, and if this is technically feasible, it reduces the fleet accordingly. On the next result screen, Sherpa displays the crew required for your project.

The program then displays a summary of the costs for each site task. All subsequent calculations are based upon this summary value. These calculations include estimates of project administrative costs such as contractor's profit, liability insurance, bond premium, engineering and design fees, indirect costs, and project management fees. A contingency is also provided to cover the costs associated with unanticipated or unforeseen project requirements. As with all costs displayed in the program, you can adjust any of these fees as necessary.

Finally, Sherpa totals all the project task costs and administrative fees to provide an estimate of the required reclamation bond value. You can then send the results to either a printer or a text file and save all the entered data to a project file.

Contact us:
Phone: +1 (509) 328-8023

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