The Valuation of Advanced Mining Projects & Opera Ting Mines: Market Comparable Approaches


Craig Roberts

While various methods are available to estimate a mining project's value, value is only established through a transaction. Comparable methods allow the value estimated for a mining project to be benchmarked against mining project values established in the market. Comparable methods thus are a key tool for ensuring value estimates are congruent with what the market would actually pay. For example, if the value estimated for a mining project using discounted cash flow analysis differs significantly from the value implied using comparable market methods, the valuator may be using metal price or discount rate assumptions that differ significantly from those the market is currently willing to pay for.The paper provides an overview of market comparable valuation approaches, and discusses some of the difficulties and limitations that arise in using these approaches. The types of market values that are typically utilised are discussed, including asset sale prices, share prices (market capitalisations), and values established in corporate mergers and acquisitions. Topics discussed include methods used in estimating a mining project's value based on the market value of the company that holds the asset, and limitations that arise because of unique features of mining projects and of companies that hold them.It is concluded that market comparable and fundamental (e.g. NPV) approaches to project valuation should not be viewed as alternative approaches to estimating project value, but rather can and should be integrated to derive a single value estimate based on both market andfandamental data. A method for integrating these approaches is discussed, and illustrated by example.
Keywords: mining project, value