The 1/9th Rule - An assessment of the valuation and structure of Canadian exploration agreements 1988-1992


L. Kilburn

A survey of 281 mineral exploration agreements examines the ratios among three ways that may be used to purchase an interest in a mineral property, viz: pay cash, pay shams and make future expenditures on the property. The dollar value of the future expenditures exceeds that of cash or shams by about nine times in most of the 110 agreements that contain cash-expenditure or share-expenditure components. Results suggest that cash and shams are treated about the same in terms of value. Buyers and sellers haw opposing priorities for the way that they prefer to purchase a mineral property. These opposing priorities should give rise to a perceived 50:50 balance between cash/share payment and future expenditures to satisfy the idealized situation described by most definitions of fair market value (FMV). This balance between cash/share payments and future expenditures appears to be rationalized in negotiations to a FMV when expenditures are nine times greater than cash and/or payments. On this basis, it is proposed that the FMV of a property may be determined by aggregating the dollar amount of the cash/share payments plus one-ninth the dollar value of future expenditures, as set forth in the respective purchase agreement, and proportionately applying such aggregate to full property value.
Keywords: mineral exploration agreement, mineral property, fair market value, FMV