There have always been development projects that fall short of expectations. In the last decade, we have seen more than the usual number of mining and oil/gas development projects taking significantly longer to develop and costing materially more than expected. The recent resource-equity market slump proves that investors are now far more cautious about investing new capital in the mineral and petroleum resources sector.
What have we learned since 2005? Why have projects missed their targets? Why do investors often feel misled?
Valuation of a project and the estimation of value is a more complex process than the evaluation of the merits of project development. The merit of project development can be clear from a prefeasibility evaluation, but this is no reason to skip the rigour of a feasibility study. The valuation of any project that is developed with any added risk should be discounted for this added risk.
The development of a project impacts on other stakeholders, and the indirect cost of these impacts can have material implications for the cost structure, time and ultimate valuation of the project for its financial backers. The development of new projects (and thereby supply) can also have an impact on commodity prices, and therefore an impact on returns for financial backers.
This paper will provide commentary on the author’s experiences and observations as a project developer and operator for 25 years, before becoming a project financier a decade ago.
Rozman, L I, 2016. Project evaluation and valuation – an investor’s golden rule, in Proceedings Project Evaluation 2016, pp 31–36 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).