Valuation of mineral properties without mineral resources: A review of market based approaches


Ross D. Lawrence

Comparable transaction analysis is the best known of the market approaches to valuation of exploration-stage mineral properties. The analysis of option and farm-in agreements can also provide useful guidance to valuators. While such approaches can be distorted by incomplete analysis, market-based methods are capable of providing consistent, credible results when carried out carefully with due consideration paid to all factors which buyers and sellers consider when dealing in the real market. IntroductionMineral properties without defined resources present one of the most challenging tasks to the mineral valuator. This paper will concentrate on market-based approaches to valuation of such properties. Other authors at MM2000 presented papers on cost and income approaches. Sorentino (2000) also provides a useful overview with some provacative commentary on methods.Market based-approaches are based on the principle of substitution and include such techniques as: comparable transaction analysis (sometimes referred to as sales comparison analysis); farm-in commitment (or option agreement) analysis; rules-of-thumb; and comparable market value analysis.Are there any valuation standards available to assist the valuator? In Canada there are none that apply to the valuation of mineral assets or securities. This problem is being addressed, at least in part, by the CIMVal Committee of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM)1. Further, the recently established Canadian Association of Mineral Valuators will be giving consideration to the adoption of valuation standards.
Keywords: standards, valuation, mineral properties, market-based