Coal Reserve Evaluation
The coal reserves and coal resources on tracts of land are often placed as collateral for loans or a part of a mining venture which requires funding. We evaluate the coal reserves in accordance with the Reserve Classification System of the United States Geologic Survey. Our staff reviews all public information sources, as well as any reserve information, maintained privately. Based upon our review, the reserves are classified as “measured” (coal reserves which are present with a high degree of probability and are believe to be economically mineable) and “inferred” (coal reserves which may be present and whose economic mineability is unknown). The level to which the reserves are classified depends upon the detail of information available. Our findings are presented on a suitable map with the major mining blocks in the principal coal seams identified and depicted and in tabular form for ease of understanding. We perform the service satisfying the valuation requirements of general accounting principles.
Coal Reserve Exploration
Coal reserves are estimated by determining the minable area and coal seam thickness from core drilling of the property. Often, insufficient information (a lack of core holes on the property) exists to properly calculate the quantity of reserves to the degree of accuracy required by financial institutions to authorize loans. In our design and supervision of coal exploration programs, we locate core holes based upon known geology and terrain in order to obtain the most comprehensive information at the least cost. Coal reserves are classified in accordance with their proximity to a core hole or known location of measured thickness, such as an outcrop. Spacing of core holes is critical in the accuracy of a reserve estimate. Very few core holes spaced far apart provide a less accurate estimate of the true quantity and minability of the coal present. In our experience, inadequate exploration of a property accounts for the majority of errors in coal property valuations and in coal reserve estimation.
A comprehensive valuation of a coal property which is being actively mined must consider three principal areas:
• The amount and distribution of the coal reserves
• The existing and future mine production and
• The contractual and market coal prices upon which the royalty percentages are applied.
The accuracy of the property valuation depends upon the accuracy of the above areas. Major inaccuracies in any of the above areas can materially affect the timing and amount of cash flow from the property and subsequently, its present value calculation. We have experience in each of these areas and have valued reserves and physical facilities consistent with the market conditions and industry capability in the appropriate time frame.