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Project-Finance Risks — Due Diligence Matters

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Author R Tinsley

Description

Project-finance risk assessment is mature and approached systematically. Mining industry due diligence remains fragmented with specialists addressing different aspects of the project such as reserves/JORC, environmental impact, commodity market, even financial analysis/ modelling. Each professional has a natural tendency to believe that the risk factors they have examined are the key ones necessary to be reviewed, as if their review will stand in isolation from others in the way a project materialises.

By first laying out the project risk categories and risk matrices, this paper examines the due diligence process with a keen eye to the risk assessment and overlap/interaction. Some cross fertilisation of due diligence techniques from other industry sectors is placed into the mining context.

Six case studies are then presented with regards to due diligence features in each project’s feasibility review or financial information/ offering memorandum. A power case first shows the differences between the due diligence expectations of banks versus bond financings. Then some Australian and Indonesian mining development cases are analysed to see the due diligence learning points. Some of these were project/due diligence failures. The conclusion focuses on the value of a systematic risk assessment for project evaluation, all from the project-finance perspective.

FORMAL
CITATION:
Tinsley, R, 2007.
Project-finance
risks – due diligence matters, in Proceedings
Project
Evaluation 2007
, pp
77-86
(The
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy:
Melbourne).