Valuing Mineral Opportunities as Options


Robert T. McKnight

Traditional techniques for valuing resource projects companies have been primarily based on discounted cashflow methods (DCF) or by comparison to similar projects with an apparent market capitalization. Many resource projects are really forms of options to invest rather than a future cashflow stream. Employing the DCF method to value a resource project which is really an option to invest, can dramatically underestimate the real value of the project. The analytical tools required to evaluate options, while more complicated than the usual spreadsheets used for DCF, are becoming more easily available and usable by managers. This paper will discuss the background of options valuation and some of the tools which will make it easier for managers to estimate the value of projects and companies which have significant real option values.
Keywords: discounted cashflow methods, DCF, options