Real Options For The Valuation Of Mine Assets: From An Early Stage Of Exploration Through The Sequence Of Engineering Phases To Production


E. Tulcanaza

Mining companies normally establish exploration and research programs originated with actions in embryonic stage. At their early stages of development, these exploration and technological activities are subject to uncertainties that need, first, to be resolved, deciphered or, at least, mitigated for information reporting; and later, for valuation reporting. Under these circumstances, these exploration activities follow a sequence of development phases that range from exploration work to the profile, conceptual, and finally to basic engineering phases and construction. For information reporting, the International Template for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves integrates the minimum standards being adopted by the relevant professional bodies in Australia, Canada, South Africa, Chile, USA, UK, Ireland, and other European countries which set up the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO, These standards are based on the progressive collection of relevant information to reduce present and future uncertainties over time under a context of transparency, materiality, and technical competence. For valuation reporting several procedures have been disclosed and applied. However, in the last decades financial instruments such as real options, decision analysis, and games theory have developed into a niche of great potential for mine valuation applications. The objective of this paper is to provide a summary of the information reporting standards prepared by the Chilean National Commission for the Qualification of Competent Persons in Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and show a procedure and an application of real options to the valuation of the sequential development phases of a mine asset from the exploration stage through up to full development.
Keywords: CRIRSCO, standards, exploration mineral resources, mineral reserves