探鉱活動の資源経済的評価と銅資源確保のための役割 [in Japanese] Economical Evaluation of Exploration Activities and Role for Reserves Replacement of Copper [in Japanese]
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The exploration activities play an important role for the steady supply of non-renewable resources such as copper. On the other hand, exploration activities will be very risky and vulnerable to the level of corporate financial situations. Its budget will be easily reduced at the time of depressed metal prices and economic recessions.<BR>This study focuses on the copper production cost from exploration to refining stages, and the reserves replacement of copper through exploration and project acquisition during 1992-2001, and examines the implications for the exploration strategies. The exploration cost or discovery cost can be defined by the exploration spending for the discovery of unit of metal. This paper includes (1) quantitative analysis of copper production cost, (2) reserves replacement by exploration and project acquisition, (3) exploration vs acquisition costs.<BR>Since copper prices rose record high level of 6,722 $/t in 2006, acquisition costs during 2006 were compared with the past during 1992-2001, and obtained the following results;<BR>(1) Exploration is the most economic strategies for the copper reserves replacement,<BR>(2) Acquisition costs are becoming higher along with the higher copper prices during 2006.
Shigen-to-Sozai 124(2), 105-111, 2008-02-25
The Mining and Materials Processing Institute of Japan