Valuation of Mineral Exploration Properties Using the Cost Approach

2003

William E. Roscoe

Mineral exploration properties are those on which an economically viable mineral deposit has not yet been discovered. Such properties are bought, sold, optioned and joint ventured on the basis of their perceived potential for the existence and discovery of a viable mineral deposit. The intrinsic value of an exploration property is therefore based on the exploration potential. One measure of the exploration potential is the amount that can be justified to spend on exploration for a viable deposit.The appraised value method uses a cost approach to value exploration properties. It is based on the premise that an exploration property is worth the meaningful past exploration expenditures plus warranted future costs to test remaining exploration potential. Results of past exploration work are analyzed in order to retain only those past expenditures that are productive in terms of identifying remaining potential. Warranted future costs comprise a reasonable exploration budget to test that potential.INTRODUCTIONThe purpose of this paper is to describe a cost approach to the valuation of mineral exploration properties and to provide some valuation examples. The particular cost approach described is the Appraised Value Method, which is best applied to mineral properties at the exploration stage.At present there are no comprehensive regulations or guidelines in Canada which specify what approaches and methods to use for the valuation of mineral properties. In this paper, the Appraised Value Method described is one method that the writer considers to be accepted industry practice for mineral properties at the exploration stage.Mineral properties are valued for a number of reasons, including mergers and acquisitions, non arm's length transactions, pricing of initial public offering of stock, support for property agreements, litigation, expropriation, and insurance claims.
Keywords: exploration property, appraised value method
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