Mining is an inherently risky business: from the technical, environmental, social and economic uncertainties associated with advancing an exploration concept to a viable project; to the risks associated with the operating, market, and safety risks and uncertainties attached to a developed mine; and the final mine closure process.
Investors and other stakeholders assessing the risk, opportunity and relative value associated with a resource project need to appreciate the project in its correct context. Errors, omissions, biased reporting or conflicting information in reporting may result in a misinterpretation of technical and financial results, leading to biased estimates or assumptions on project value (Noppé, 2016).
Simplistically, a project can be assessed on three key areas for positioning the project in its correct relative context, namely:
- the project development stage
- the confidence in the estimated quantities and
qualities of the resource, reserve and/or product
- the level of accuracy, precision and confidence in the technical and economic studies supporting the project.
In the latter case, the ‘technical and economic’ information includes assessing the necessary social, environmental and commercial/legal/governmental approvals for the project.
Responsible management of a resource project through its full life cycle relies on competent and dependable control and direction being effectively provided by the technical, business and board leadership of the organisation. In turn, the project information must be effectively communicated between various disciplines, these disciplines and the company, and the company and its stakeholders.
Noppé, M A, 2016. Responsible management and transparent reporting across the project life cycle, in Proceedings Life-of-Mine 2016 Conference, pp 5–7 (The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: Melbourne).