Geological Science and Engineering

Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering
Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Economic Guidelines for Mineral Exploration 

Professional Development Seminar  

December 2 - 7, 2018

Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering 

Queen's University


Purpose of the Seminar

The seminar is intended for participants with responsibilities for mineral exploration. Project geologists, exploration managers, corporate planners, and government policy analysts will find it to be a useful opportunity to study, learn and utilize economic evaluation principles as applied to support exploration and acquisition decisions. The seminar will develop those evaluation skills which enable explorationists to translate geological knowledge and expertise into economic criteria. The purpose is to encourage successful exploration by providing economic support for exploration investment and planning decisions; improving communications within and among exploration groups and mining companies; assisting participants in asserting control over their exploration activities; and providing an improved basis for mineral policy assessments in government.

Seminar Content

The following topics will be included:

  • Exploration Economics and Evaluation - the mineral supply process; mining company planning; evaluating costs, risks, and returns; the investment decision process; economic evaluation techniques.

  • Concept of Cash Flow - specification of currency; end-of-year convention; taxation considerations; constant and current money values; real changes in future economic conditions.

  • Cash Flow Criteria - total profit; project size; operating margin; competitive cost position; payback period.

  • Time Value of Money - cost of capital; economic justification of investment; time value relationships.

  • Discounted Cash Flow Methods - classification of alternatives; equivalent annual value; net present value; present value ratio; rate of return; comparative strengths and weaknesses; the problem of contradictory results.

  • Mining Taxation Considerations - effect of taxation on individual cost and benefit elements; individual project and integrated company tax bases; mining taxation systems in Canada, and selected international jurisdictions.

  • Sensitivity and Risk Analysis Techniques - analyzing the possible effects of uncertain parameters; definition of strategic variables; answering 'what if' questions; traditional risk analysis methods; the probabilistic concept of risk; estimating probabilities; analytical risk analysis techniques; the monte carlo simulation technique; risk adjusted cost of capital.

  • Evaluation of Exploration Projects - the mineral conversion process; basic information requirements; technically feasible alternatives; estimation of ore reserves; estimation of revenue; net smelter return conditions; estimation of capital and operating costs; inflation and exchange rate considerations.

  • Exploration Planning Issues - establishing minimum acceptable exploration target conditions; examining the returns from exploration success; comparing the economics of finding and acquiring ore reserves; structuring exploration agreements.

  • Exploration Economics and Strategies - role of exploration in the mining company; international case study appraisals of exploration economics; historical trends in exploration expenditure, technological advances and changing exploration targets; assessing costs, risks, and returns for exploration environments of interests.

Seminar Schedule   

The seminar begins Sunday afternoon and ends at noon on the following Friday.


2 pm


The Mineral Supply Process 

Exploration Economics

6 pm

Get Acquainted Hour



Concept of Cash Flow


Cash Flow Estimation 

Cash Flow Criteria


Small-Group Work



Time Value of Money 

Appropriate Discount Rates


Discounted Cash Flow 

Alternative Evaluation Methods


Small Group Work



Mining Taxation Considerations


Sensitivity and Risk Analysis



Minimum Acceptable Targets


Holistic Project Evaluation


Small Group Work



International Case Studies



Morning Sessions are 8:30am - 12:00pm
Afternoon Sessions are 1:30pm - 5:00pm
Evening Sessions are 7:00pm - 9:00pm

Seminar Structure

Lectures and discussions will focus on exploration, development and acquisition investment issues. Emphasis is placed on small group work interspersed with formal lectures and open discussions.

The seminar is designed to sequentially introduce relevant evaluation techniques culminating in full holistic evaluation of mineral investment opportunities by the end of the week. The sessions address a wide range of international case studies, drawing on the seminar leader's experience, particularly in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, China and Peru.

Participants should bring a calculator or a laptop computer. A comprehensive 400-page set of seminar notes and other seminar materials will be distributed at the beginning of the seminar.

Seminar enrollment will be limited to a maximum of 25 registrants.

Seminar Leader

The seminar will be led by Dr. Michael Doggett. He is the Principal Consultant of Beach Meadows Resources Inc. based in Vancouver where he consults to a wide range of mining and exploration companies. He currently sits as a Director on two public companies  As well as the Mineral Deposits Research Unit at the University of British Columiba. Additionally, he is the president of El Olivar Imperial a private Peruvian company in the custom milling and tailings reprocessing business.

Dr. Doggett is an Adjunct (Group 1) Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering where he served as Director of the Mineral Exploration Master's Program from 1997 to 2007 and in the Robert M. Buchan Department of Mining at Queen's University.

He holds degrees in geology and mineral economics from Mt. Allison University and Queen's University. His areas of expertise relate to the economic analysis of mineral exploration and acquisition.

Dr. Doggett has taught professional development seminars in mineral project evaluation and exploration strategic planning to more than 2000 professionals in a dozen countries.

Seminar Location & Participant Accommodations

The seminar will be held at the Four Points Sheraton HotelKingston, Ontario, Canada located at:

285 King Street East │ Kingston │ ON │CAN│ K7L 3B1 │ 613.544.4434 │  

The Four Points Sheraton is located one kilometre east of the University's main campus. This recently renovated hotel is located in the centre of downtown Kingston and contains full conference facilities, on-site business centre, indoor pool, whirlpool, sauna, and exercise rooms. All guest rooms include voicemail, internet connections, and work desks.

Getting Here:

Queen's University is situated in the city of Kingston, Ontario on the north eastern shore of Lake Ontario halfway between Toronto and Montreal, and 150 kilometres north of Syracuse, New York. The city is easily accessible by road, rail and air.

Access by car from Montreal (290 km) and Toronto (260 km) is via Highway 401, and from Ottawa (160 km) via Highways 416 & 401.

Regularly scheduled bus and rail service is available from all three cities.

There is also limousine service from Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto and Syracuse.

Air Canada has several flights per day to Kingston from Pearson International Airport in Toronto.

Registration and Payment Information

Registration Fee: $4,400 + 13% HST = $4,972 (Canadian dollars) 

The registration fee covers:

  • accommodation from Sunday to Thursday night in private room at the  Four Points Sheraton Hotel (Kingston)

  • meals from lunch on Sunday to lunch on the following Friday

  • seminar notes and other seminar materials

Registration and Payment Options :

  1. Please fill out the printable Registration Form (download here) and send it, along with your cheque payable to Queen's University, to the address below

  2. Fax registration form with completed credit card information to 613.533.6592 (Visa or MasterCard only)

  3. Email scanned registration form with completed credit card information to

Seminar Cancellation Policy

Registrants may cancel for full refund up to 30 days prior to the start of the seminar. Thereafter, cancelations are subject to a $300 service charge. Persons with confirmed registrations eight (8) days prior to the start of the seminar who do not attend will be charged a fee of $800. Substitutions may be made at any time.

Seminar Inquiries

For further information regarding the Economic Guidelines for Mineral Exploration Professional Development Seminar, please contact:

Kelly McCaugherty 

Professional Development Seminar Coordinator

Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering

Queen's University │Room 240 │ Bruce Wing │ Miller Hall

Kingston │ON │ CAN │ K7L 3N6

Tel: 613.533.3017 │ Fax: 613.533.6592