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Using Stochastic Discounted Cash Flow and Real Option Monte Carlo Simulation to Analyse the Impacts of Contingent Taxes on Mining Projects


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Author M R Samis, G A Davis and D G Laughton


The great variability of mineral and energy prices has motivated some governments to incorporate a windfall profits tax into their mineral taxation regimes. Windfall profits taxes are a means for governments to capture additional mineral revenue when mineral prices are considered higher than some historic level. Governments need to be aware of the effects of such contingent taxes on the exploration, development and operating decisions of mining companies. Mining companies need to be able to calculate the full impact of windfall profits taxes on the economics of their projects. This paper examines the valuation of a multi-phase copper-gold project in the presence of a windfall profits tax. Real options Monte Carlo simulation is used to characterise the different exposures of the mine owner and of the government to the risky cash flow streams that they receive from the project. The results highlight that Monte Carlo simulation paired with the real option valuation method is able to account appropriately for the differing risk exposures, while the traditional discounted cash flow valuation model is not. Our key conclusion for governments and mining companies is that the impact of contingent tax and royalty terms can and should be assessed using advanced valuation techniques, and the results used to improve contract designs under the constraint of actual and perceived fiscal system stability.

Samis, M R, Davis, G A and Laughton, D G, 2007.

Using stochastic discounted cash flow and real option Monte Carlo Simulation to
analyse the impacts of contingent taxes on mining projects, in Proceedings
Evaluation 2007
, pp
Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy: