Distinctive knowledge in mining cost curves, supply and demand models

MineSpans enables strategic decision making by providing mining operators and investors with the most robust cost curves, tools, supply and demand models, and commodity outlooks.

Minespans by mckinsey: robust mining cost curves, supply and demand models

Cost Curves and Models

  • Highly granular historical and forecasted cash costs broken down by activity, including mining, processing, overhead, freight, treatment charges, refining charges, byproducts, royalties, and additional full sustaining costs, such as sustaining capital expenditures and corporate selling, general, and administrative costs
  • Detailed cost analysis by factors such as diesel, electricity, labor, consumables, and more

Supply and Demand Outlooks

  • Supply forecasts based on key parameters, including development stage, project type, location, owner, specific-country risk, and capital requirements
  • Proprietary methodology for mill-head-grade and reserve-grade erosion, life of mine, and supply scenarios
  • Demand outlook based on McKinsey’s internal demand model

Individual Mine Models

  • Excel outputs feature supply and cost breakdowns, including by parameters such as material moved, run of mine, strip ratio, recoveries, and grades
  • Mine models also allow flexing of macroeconomic inputs, commodity prices, exchange rates, oil price, wages, and power price

Our Commodities

Precious metals


Base metals


Base metals


Base metals / Battery materials


Battery materials


Battery materials


Bulk / Fertilizers


Our Methodology


Our teams gather and extract data from approved, publicly available sources, and then use a 15,000-point quality inspection to ensure completeness and accuracy.


Whenever possible, we supplement source data with MineSpans' own analysis of more than 1,000 cost and supply data points for each mine—data that’s evaluated by experts to ensure accurate and meaningful results.

Analysis and Insights

Our experts use the consolidated data to generate reports that answer the key questions of commodity demand, supply, and cost. These insights are delivered through an interactive portal, ensuring users can quickly and accurately find the content they require.


data points drawn

from more than 25,000 original and tagged source documents in multiple languages


individual net-asset-value mine models

with detailed supply and cost forecasts for operating mines and projects


global output coverage

based on a bottom-up historical and forecast supply and cost model


Rigorous and detailed analysis

Rather than settling for top-down estimates, our cost curves are built bottom-up, based on a robust and detailed analysis. All our models use the same framework, enabling clients to estimate supply and cost globally by commodity, country, region, mine, and operator.

Data quality and transparency

MineSpans employs a global network of analysts with extensive expertise who distill available public information to construct a consistent, structured model for each mining operation. Every sourced MineSpans data point is fully annotated with the original source document so that clients have full transparency into primary sources.

Global mining expertise

MineSpans leverages McKinsey’s 85 years of industry expertise alongside the extensive experience our mining professionals have across the entire mining value chain. Our team’s knowledge of the mining industry allows us to provide the most comprehensive and accurate perspective in the industry.

MineSpans overview

In this video, Chris Mulligan, solution partner, shares how MineSpans cost curves and supply and demand models can be effectively utilized for the benefit of mine operators, mine owners, and investors.

Client impact story


How a steel plant in India tapped the value of data—and won global acclaim

– By upskilling employees and innovating with analytics, Tata Steel’s plant in Kalinganagar, India, achieved performance gains that earned it recognition as a leading digital facility by the World Economic Forum. Test by Subhajit.

Inside a mining company’s AI transformation

– How copper-mining giant Freeport-McMoRan unlocked next-level performance with help from McKinsey data scientists and agile coaches.

Want to learn more about how MineSpans can help your organization?

Our Approach


1. Gather sources and extract data. We gather data from approved, publicly available sources, ensuring fair and transparent sources

2. Quality check. Data undergoes a 15,000-point quality inspection to ensure completeness, accuracy, and correctness

3. Enrich and calculate insights. Where we are unable to obtain source data, we enrich with our intellectual property, and calculate more than 1,000 supply and cost data points per mine

4. Quality check. Our model outputs undergo an expert evaluation to ensure results are accurate and meaningful

5. Generate reports and analysis. We generate meaningful and useful insights to answer key questions on commodity demand, supply, and cost

6. Quality check. Prior to publication, our team ensures the final product is ready for users

7. Publish and load data and insights to tools. We deliver our insights through an interactive portal, ensuring users can quickly and accurately find the content they require

M&A Assessment

The approach provided by MineSpans serves as an excellent tool for due diligence purposes as well as for potential M&A target identification. MineSpans insights are based on 85 years of McKinsey expertise, and the functional utility of data collected on a granular level are unmatched in terms of supporting strategic M&A.

“Very good insights, much needed replacement product. Very happy with granular approach, ‘best I've seen.’ Copper knowledge is excellent. Just another brilliant capacity of McKinsey.”
—Analyst, large full-service investment bank

Long-Term Operational Strategy

MineSpans demand, supply, and cost insights are a great tool used by mine managers around the world for daily operational management purposes. MineSpans also serves as an unrivalled tool for the long-term scenario modeling required for strategic decision making and operations management.

“Very good system, very user friendly, and this could help us further improve our operations. Excellent online scenario-modeling feature, will find a lot of utility.”
—Senior manager, global mining company

Capital and Financial Planning

Dynamic cost curves and mine models supported by modeling capability allow MineSpans users to make the right financial decisions with certainty. They are supported with transparent data contained within a document library and access to all sources by mine, company, and location. The robust data-quality-assurance processes ensure the highest level of confidence.

“The resources for data collection ensure better coverage. We understand why our mining CEO was impressed and wanted us to talk to you. This is exactly the kind of tool we need.”
—Analyst, global metal manufacturer

Want to learn more about how MineSpans can help your organization?