Concepts & Topics

Resource potential and the economic assessment of extractive industry projects

Washing and separating wolframite concentration in a small surface mine in Rwanda (March, 2011)

A country can only develop its extractive industries sector in accordance with sustainability principles if information about its mineral resources is available. The mining authorities therefore gather extractive industry and geological data, which is made available for example, in mineral resource maps, mineral deposit inventories and guidelines for investors. By providing this information, countries can reduce the commercial risks for companies engaged in resources development and thus promote investment in exploration and extraction. The more comprehensive the information provided by the government, the easier it is for businesses to engage in the country’s extractives sector – and the greater the likelihood of a deposit being discovered and developed into a mine. 

Economic assessments for resource deposits

Not all the mineral resources discovered are commercially viable, so after successful exploration, mining companies conduct economic assessments as a basis for their decision on whether or not to proceed with extraction. These assessments are usually submitted to the mining authorities as part of the application for a mining permit. The authorities must scrutinise the assessment during the licensing procedure. Therefore, an understanding of how to interpret geological data is important. Find out more about this topic here. more

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