Valuation of Non-Producing Mineral Properties Using Market Comparables


William E. Roscoe

Non-producing mineral properties include those at various stages of exploration, properties at the pre-feasibility or feasibility stage, properties with currently uneconomic mineral resources, and past-producers. The market approach is applicable to all these types of non-producing mineral properties. Income approach methods such as discounted cash flow and option pricing are generally not applicable to properties at the exploration stage, but may be applicable to non-producing mineral properties with defined mineral reserves or mineral resources.The value of a non-producing mineral property depends on its perceived potential for the existence and discovery of an economic mineral deposit. The potential, in turn, depends on a number of factors which must be considered when choosing market comparables. These comparability factors include such items as geology, mineralization, stage of exploration and results, mineral resources, location and geography, and political jurisdiction. The date of the market comparables must be within a reasonable time period of the valuation date of the subject property. Although it is difficult to find good market comparables because of the unique nature of mineral properties and the small number of transactions, these difficulties are compensated for by analyzing a number of transactions on similar properties to develop a range of values for the subject property.For valuation purposes, market comparables can be expressed in terms of total property value, value per unit area (e.g., $ per hectare), or value per unit of metal contained in mineral resources (e.g., $ per ounce of gold, or $ per pound of copper). The market comparable value can be used to estimate the value of the subject property by using the total property value, unit area value or contained metal value.
Keywords: exploration, mineral resources, pre-feasibility, feasibility, mineral properties