Ten-year anniversary special: The journey from explorer to producer

Ten-year anniversary special: The journey from explorer to producer

For a decade, BDO in Australia has analysed the financial health of ASX-listed explorers, witnessing companies transition from exploration to development and finally into production.

Our special ten-year anniversary report highlights the unique stories of three mining companies and their journey from explorers to producers:

  • Pilbara Minerals Ltd,
  • Capricorn Metals Ltd, and
  • Image Resources NL.

Unknown to some, companies in the exploration phase must supply detailed quarterly cash flow information under Appendix 5B of the ASX Listing Rules. Once an exploration company is reclassified as a producing entity, it transitions naturally from the quarterly dataset.

The life cycle of exploration companies varies across different commodity types and is mainly dependent on external market factors, operating conditions, and commodity prices. As a result, there is no definitive timeline for an exploration company’s journey to production.

Some exploration companies are acquired by more significant players when they hit a valuable resource discovery. Other exploration companies may try to move into the development phase on their own but encounter obstacles, such as funding or approvals to mine. Yet, a select few exploration companies persevere, overcoming obstacles to eventually fulfil the proverbial journey of exploration to production.

This report analyses these three companies' historical cash flow data over the last ten years to identify key trends and insights. While each of these organisations has its unique path to production and differs amongst commodity focus, they all share a common thread – their roots in Western Australia.

Download report