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Sales comparison valuation of development and operating stage mineral properties

Mining Engineering , 2011, Vol. 63, No. 4, pp. 89-89

Ellis, Trevor R.


Minerals appraisers/valuers often find great difficulty in attempting to employ the sales comparison approach to the market value appraisal of development and operating stage mineral properties. An important factor generally overlooked is a comparison of net operating income (NOI) margins on a per-unit-of-production basis between mineral properties, whether these be demonstrated or forecast margins. NOI margins can vary greatly between mines or quarries that are producing similar products. Ultimately, the expected NOI margin determines what a buyer is willing to pay for an income-producing property.

Here, common criticisms of the sales comparison approach by mineral appraisers are introduced. These are counterbalanced by raising some issues in the way the inputs for the income approach are usually derived by minerals appraisers and by review of some conspicuous examples of the much-too-common misuse or abuse of the income approach in market value mineral appraisals. Example transaction analyses and sales comparison analyses are used to demonstrate the author’s methodology for adjusting units of resource in his transaction adjustment tables. The examples are used as the basis for a discussion of ways to employ adjustments for operating economics and many other factors, while warning against the potential for double counting. The conclusions include a recommendation that minerals appraisers attempt to apply at least two of the three valuation approaches when appraising the market or fair value of development and operating stage mineral properties, the two being thesales comparison and income approaches.