How to value an exploration project

China Mining Association – Minerals Exploration Branch Annual Conference Kunming, China, December 2002

The first half of the presentation summarises how the VALMIN Code is applied for assessing exploration projects.

The second half contains a number of interesting charts detailing the actual valuations of 150 exploration projects around Australia, as reported in the prospectuses of Junior Exploration Companies over the period 1997-2002.

It also looks at how accurate the VALMIN experts were at valuing exploration projects. This was done by comparing their valuations (as given in junior company prospectuses) measured against what the market said the projects were worth, as derived from the company’s share price one month after their IPO. There is a huge variation in the individual results – typically the by a factor of 3-5 times too high or too low. On average, the experts were over-optimistic by 40% !

A cynic would conclude that, while the valuation methodologies used are precise and reproducible, the results are often precisely wrong!

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