Core Values: Strategies to Maximize the Value of New Drillholes

Brooke Miller
Thursday, December 3, 2015
First presented: 
American Exploration and Mining Association 2015 Annual Conference
Project Evaluation

A successful drilling program should be guided by the milestones of project development. Drillholes designed for a variety of analytical objectives can have multiple applications to increase the value of the project. By considering the types of information available and the required studies for permitting and project economics, stakeholders can maximize the value of their new drillholes. The resource estimate is the main vehicle for property valuation, and it is important to understand that the resource is defined by more than just metal grades. In addition to the abundance of economic elements, metallurgical recovery and rock density directly impact the resource. Rock quality, geochemistry, and groundwater influence the conceptual mining shape to which the resource is constrained, or the mine design, for more advanced projects. Although these characteristics may not be evaluated for all drilling samples, an abundance of additional data are available at minimal added cost, compared to re-drilling for those data later. 

A drilling program presents an opportunity to test the current conceptual model of a deposit, typically based on previous drilling programs. Validation of the historical dataset with data from strategically located new drillholes may increase the modeler’s confidence in the existing data set, and save the time and expense required for an extensive drillhole twinning program. By considering all technical studies required for project development, new drillholes can add value to the property beyond the resource estimate.

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