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MinEx Consulting

Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration


Global discovery trends 1950-2009:
What, where and who found them
Richard Schodde
Managing Director, MinEx Consulting
Panel Discussion:
Exploration expenditures are increasing, but discoveries are not. Why?
PDAC 2010, 7 March 2010, Toronto
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Overview
Discovery trends for the World since 1950 . howmany deposits
were found, what commodities are involved, where were they
found and who discovered them ?
Study covered Non Ferrous Metals (Cu, Zn, Pb, Ni, Co, Mo, Mn etc),
Precious Metals (Au, Ag, PGEs), Diamonds, Uraniumand
Others (Sn, W, Nb, Mineral Sands etc)
Have excluded Bulk Minerals (coal, iron ore, bauxite) and Industrial Minerals
(kaolin, talc, phosphate, potash etc)
Have excluded discovery of satellite deposits feeding into an existing mill
within an established mining camp
(i.e. count Ekati as one world-class discovery, not 20 small discoveries)
Analysis limited to Major deposits (i.e. > 1 mt Cu-equiv, > 100kt Ni,
> 1 Moz Au, >10 m carats, >25 kt U
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O
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)
Also assessed quality of the discoveries (Tier 1 & Tier 2)
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MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Data sources & coverage
Deposit info
Have a database of 48,800 mineral deposits around the world.
Discovery histories on 13,800 deposits
Discovery data on 2600 major deposits
Discovery data on 1390 major deposits found around the world since 1950,
excluding satellite deposits
Estimate that the analysis captures ~95% of all major discoveries
Also assessed quality of the discoveries (Tier 1 & Tier 2)
Exploration expenditures
Relied on the Metal Economics Group for exploration spend data post-1992
For prior years, have own estimates, derived from various industry studies
(Mackenzie & Doggett , Tilton etc), government agencies (NRCan, ABS, OECD etc)
and published company reports
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MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
How many major deposits were found ?
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MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Number of mineral discoveries in the World
Major deposits found in the World: 1950-2009
5
Number
N = 1390
Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
On average 20 to 30
Major deposits found
each year
Discovery rate was
been significantly
lower in last decade
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Number of discoveries by Region
Major deposits found in the World: 1950-2009
6
Number
N = 1390
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Number of discoveries by Region
Major deposits found in the World: 1950-2008
7
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Over last 20 years there
has been a steady shift
away from the
established countries
(Can+USA+Aust)
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Number of discoveries in Western World
Major deposits found in the Western World: 1950-2009
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Number
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
N = 1138
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
We are spending more on exploration
but have less to show for it
Exploration expenditures and Major discoveries in the Western World: 1950-2009
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Number
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
Sources: MinEx Consulting, and exploration data
from 1993 onwards from MEG
Expenditures went up,
but discoveries are down
Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
N = 1138
Exploration $ (2009 $B)
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
What commodities were found ?
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Number of discoveries by Commodity
Major deposits found in Western World: 1950-2009
11
Number
N = 1138
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
In recent years most of the
discoveries in the Western
World were gold
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
In the 1980s there was a major shift over to gold exploration
Major deposits found in Western World: 1950-2009
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Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
Gold currently makes up
60-80% of all major
discoveries
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Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Most of the metal found is tied up in a handful of deposits
Amount of copper found in primary Cu deposits >0.3 Mt Cu in Western World: 1950-2009
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Note: Chart include minor adjustment for deposits missing from the database
Source: MinEx Consulting Sept 09
Mt Cu
Estimate
Most of the copper
found came from
a handful of
giant deposits
Andina
Olympic
Dam
Escondida
Grasberg
Collahuasi
Pebble
Oyu Tolgoi
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Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Most of the gold found is in deposits >1 Moz
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz in World: 1950-2009
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Estimate
Moz
Source: MinEx Consulting Feb 2010
Note: Chart include minor adjustment for deposits missing from the database
Most ounces found are associated
with discoveries >1 Moz. This is
where companies should focus
their exploration efforts
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
The gold industry is struggling to replace the ounces it mines
Amount of gold found and mined in the World: 1950-2009
15
Estimate
Moz
Source: MinEx Consulting Feb 2010
Note: Chart include minor adjustment for deposits missing from the database
Not all discoveries turn into mines, and not all gold mined is recovered
Over the last decade, gold
production exceeded gold found.
This is not sustainable!
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
And at the same time, the average grade of gold
found and mined continues to decline
Grade (g/t Au)
Sources: Discovery data from MinEx Consulting Jan 2010
1950 -2000 Production data derived from Mudd Nov 2007
2000-10 Production data from GFMS Mine Economics Feb 2010
Average grade of gold discovered in the World
(3-Year rolling average for discoveries >1 Moz)
Average grade of gold
mined in the World
Average grade of gold mined in
USA + Canada + Australia + South Africa
Note: Primary gold deposits only
1.8 g/t
6.6 g/t
in 1980
2.0 g/t
in 2008
0.92 g/t
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries in the World
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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1950-59
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
All Years
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Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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1950-59
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
1960-69
Key observation is that the
industry keeps finding new
areas to explore
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
20
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
1970-79
Key observation is that the
industry keeps finding new
areas to explore
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
1980-89
Key observation is that the
industry keeps finding new
areas to explore
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
1990-99
Key observation is that the
industry keeps finding new
areas to explore
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
23
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
2000-09
Key observation is that the
industry keeps finding new
areas to explore
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Gold Discoveries over time
Amount of gold found (including by-product Au) in deposits >0.1 Moz
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Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
2000-09
and current
hot spots
Columbia
& Ecuador
West Africa
Central
Africa
China
Far East Russia
Alaska &
Yukon
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How good are these discoveries ?
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MinEx Consulting
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Only a handful of the discoveries made each year
are Company-Makers
All Tier 1 & 2 deposits found in the World: 1950-2009
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Number
N
Tier1
= 114
Note: Excludes bulk and industrial mineral discoveries
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
The industry only finds
5-10 Tier 1&2 deposits
each year
N
Tier2
= 281
and only 1-2 of these
are World-Class
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
Recent Tier 1 discoveries include
2007: Los Sulfatos (Cu)
2006 : Fruta del Norte (Au), La Colosa (Au) and Rossing South (U
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)
2004 : Moto (Au) and Eucla (Mineral Sands)
2002: Oyu Tolgoi (Cu-Au) and Pebble (Cu-Au)
2001: Lagunas Norte (Au) and Aurora (Au)
2000: La Sampala (Ni)
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Who made the discoveries ?
27
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Who made the discoveries
Major deposits found in the Western World: 1950-2009
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Number
Have pro-rated shared discoveries
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
Caution: Incomplete
discovery data for
recent years
N = 1138
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Who made the discoveries
Major deposits found in the Western World: 1950-2009
29
Junior Companies now
account for over half of
all Major discoveries in
the Western World
Note: Major defined as >1 mt Cu-equiv, > 1 Moz Au-equiv, > 100 kt Ni, > 10 m carats >25 kt U
3
O
8
Have pro-rated the unknown deposits across the other discovery categories
Source: MinEx Consulting March 2010
MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
Conclusions
Since 1980, the main game in-town has been gold
Currently 60-80% of all major discoveries are gold
The current hot spots for gold are Columbia/Ecuador, West Africa and Central Africa
Very few major lead-zinc, diamond or uranium deposits have been found in the last decade
In the last 20 years there has been a steady shift away from the established countries
In the 1980s, Canada + USA + Australia accounted for over half of all major discoveries.
Now it is less than 20%
Since the 1990s Juniors have played a significant role in discovery
Currently over half of all major discoveries in the Western World are made by Junior companies and
small producers
In spite of record exploration expenditures, the rate of discovery has declined
over the last decade
Industry now finding less than 10-20 Major deposits per year
Only 1-2 of these are World-Class
The gold industry is struggling to replace the ounces it mines
The size and grade of the discoveries (for gold) is declining
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MinEx Consulting
Strategic advice on mineral economics & exploration
QUESTIONS ?
31
Contact details
Richard Schodde
Managing Director
MinEx Consulting
Melbourne, Australia
Email: Richard@MinExConsulting.com