Efficient, effective testing of exploration targets is dependent on quickly determining a project’s geological chances of success and capacity to generate an economically viable mine. The industry has embraced geological ranking systems, now commonly driven by the mineral systems approach (Wyborn et al., 1994; Hronsky, 2004), as a means of measuring the geological potential of a project. Once established, geological ranking systems are a quick and easy way of prioritising exploration projects.
Financial assessment of an exploration project’s potential is often a time consuming, costly and expert-driven process. Evaluation of early-stage prospects is often overlooked for these reasons and also due to the high levels of uncertainty in potential size, grade, orientation and continuity. Complete Target allows users (of all capacities) to quickly test the effect of these physical changes to the overall viability of the exploration project. Using established algorithms, the system automatically optimises an open-pit, underground or combination of open-pit and underground mines and reports on the physical and financial results of this optimisation. Due to the simplicity of use and speed of the process, sensitivity testing of key parameters can be completed and the results used to drive success criteria for future exploration drilling programs. Exploration drilling budgets can then be allocated or reallocated to projects most likely to generate a positive outcome.
When the financial evaluation of the exploration project is coupled with its geological ranking confidence, the user can generate an estimated monetary value (EMV). The EMV is a risk-discounted, income-based valuation of the prospect at the present time (Kreuzer et al., 2008). All prospects can then be objectively ranked by geological, financial or EMV irrespective of commodity type, deposit style, location or exploration-stage.
Furthermore, the sum of all EMV’s will provide a tenement exploration value or total exploration portfolio value. Amongst other uses, determination of portfolio value will allow for competitor analysis and valuation and a justification of exploration value for tax purposes.