wrong, something is very wrong

RISK UNDERVALUATION IN MINERAL PROJECTS

Reporting to markets should (have to!) be complete, independent and competent.

Risk is a key factor; in most cases, along with commodity price, the most important variable defining a project’s value. The importance of a good estimate of the risk measure (the discount rate in DCF models) cannot be overemphasized.

Yet, something is wrong, very wrong:

  • In most cases (in a sample of 77 documents reporting pre-feasibility, feasibility studies and valuation exercises of operating assets), the magical discount rates used in DCF are 5% and 8%, accounting for 26% and 27% of the cases (10% accounts for 17%). In 75% of the analised cases, the used discount rate is ≤ 8%. Let’s say you are an investor, would you accept a lower than 8% rate in most mineral projects?
  • The 5% magical number is pervasive in gold projects. A new rule can almost be written; IF gold THEN 5%.
  • Reports include countless pages of technical minutia and detail of doubtful utility for the average investor; yet only a handful of them has any discussion or justification of the chosen discount rate.
  • Country risk is irrelevant; I will grant that the 77 sample is relatively small but the anecdotal evidence shows that the same risk is attributed to projects in the US and Canada or in Burkina Faso and Colombia.

Please bear in mind these are preliminary results; as more data is compiled, new trends may develop. Although I tried to have a random sample, diamond and gold projects may be overrepresented (20 and 21 out of 77, respectively).

I will present these and other results at SME’s Mining Finance Conference in NYC on May 1 and 2, a little more than a week from now. If you are attending, I would like to discuss in person the reasons behind this and how should this (can it?) be remediated – or shouldn’t reporting to markets be complete, independent and competent?

Being a member of SME and of the Society of Economic Geologists – SEG I will try to discuss this issue within these professional organisations. Your comments (in person or through online fora) are always welcome.

Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference, New York 2017

SME – Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration
5th Annual Current Trends in Mining Finance (CTMF) Conference
New York, April 30th – May 3rd, 2017

Managing through the Cycle,
Investing for the Future

SME_HORZ

Intended for senior executives and mining industry specialists, bankers, financial analysts, investors, portfolio managers, and engineers, the CTMF Conference bring influential experts together to discuss opportunities, current trends and issues that affect mining and project finance, investment, raising capital, and project management, smart use of data and technology to manage project costs and risks.

The New York Section of the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration is the host and organizer of the SME’s annual Current Trends in Mining Finance Conference. In the heart of New York (where else?), the CTMF Conference format encourages networking and discussions  with colleagues, fellow professionals and key experts – at the Sunday Dinner, breakfasts, breaks, lunches and evening receptions and workshops.

Read the 2017 Conference’s Agenda here.
Please note, schedule and content is subject to change.
To check for any updates, revisit the Conference’s website.
Register here. Questions, comments, suggestions: Tim Alch.

The organisation thanks Shearman & Sterling LLP, the host of the 2017 CTMF Conference again at its conference facilities in  Midtown Manhattan. We also thank the Government of Quebec as a returning as Sponsor of the Monday May 1st Lunch – a Senior Official from Quebec will be a Key Note speaker.

Quebec will  also host an evening reception on Monday May 1st at their offices in Rockefeller Center to which  conference delegates will be invited.
Quebec is also returning with a delegation of mining companies.

At the dinner on Sunday April 30th, 2017 Neal Rigby, PhD, CEng, AIME, MIMMM, Corporate Consultant (Mining) at SRK Consulting will be one of two Guest Speakers. The Sunday dinner – after two pre-conference workshops – is an enjoyable time to meet others, including members of the New York finance, investment and analyst community.

 SME also thanks the other sponsors including:

Newmont Mining Corporation, EnviroSuite, Dassault Systemes, SRK Consulting,
Ernst & Young LLP, Hatch Ltd., Matamec Explorations,
Nemaska Lithium, Abernathy MacGregor, Golder Associates,
BDO USA LLP, Agapito Associates and others

Contact Tim Alch if you have questions and or would like to join in the support of CTMF with these  and other leading firms. Start improving your ROI by registering before March 31st: REGISTRATION.

Registration includes breakfasts, lunches and receptions on Monday, May 1st and Tuesday, May 2nd. The dinner on Sunday, April 30th and workshops are separate fees.