Mining Industry

Sustainable social licensing to operate:  Westernclear believes mining organizations increasingly need to gain a social license to operate, understand local needs, and address concerns about environmental safety and access to water and land. Our relationship with our miners helps reduce these concerns, as we help them address all necessary steps before approvals are obtained for permitting and licensing projects. Our collaborative approach with governments and communities is the key to mitigating this risk; it is an urgent need for social teams to prepare them for entry into a new market.

Relationship contract management:  At Westernclear we understand that contract mining has become a critical area for mining companies as miners focus on improving mining quality, quantities, and grades at a lower production cost. Major mining organizations may have the opportunity to curb the contract lifecycle management, but for small businesses, it’s increasingly important to ensure timely project delivery, reduced risks, and better managed costs.

Project development:  Several new and potential projects have complex infrastructure challenges requiring road, rail, and port infrastructure development in cities outside of where the mining activity takes place. Westernclear plans to foster new intergovernmental, community and joint venture partners that would remove any untimely commissioning of projects that may have an impact on future operations and deliverables.

Reduce commodity risk exposure:  The mining industries, like most businesses, have faced increasing challenges as a consequence of the recent global pandemic and public health crisis. Though production may have slowed down with so many exporting issues on iron ore and copper, the gold markets have been bolstered by the finance communities’ regard for gold as a haven.

Cost optimization:  Mining operations are capital intensive and require significant daily cash outflow, with the majority of capital expenditure for mining equipment either owned or leased. Reviewing and optimizing the asset portfolio and operation can help with this and reduce costs. This reduction in equipment costs can provide a competitive edge. In addition, contractors can help reduce costs and make significant savings by providing specialized leasing services for mining equipment. This leasing out from an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) through a service and supply contract can help the miner implement its strategy at a lower cost.

Lack of skilled manpower:  The mining industry is facing a shortage of skilled manpower partly due to workers’ disinclination to relocate to remote regions. There is also an increase in costs due to certain arrangements, such as the fly-in/fly-out (FIFO) arrangement currently used in Australia. The implications are clear, and companies will need to make higher investments for training of employees.

Cost of carbon and benefits:  Several unique features of the mining sector should be evaluated when considering the design of carbon pricing mechanisms. The natural constraints posed by shrinking ore deposits for commodities such as gold imply that mining companies now must go deeper for the same level of output. Consequently, a relative mechanism that places a blanket carbon price per unit of output may not be immediately relevant, as companies will need to expend greater amounts of energy and hence carbon emissions to achieve the same level of output. A benchmarking approach may be more appropriate. The mining industry is generally highly exposed to international trade, which implies that different levels of carbon pricing across regions can lead to potentially significant competitiveness concerns for national industries. The design of national schemes therefore should account for these potential cross border concerns. 

Assurance function:  Companies are looking towards initiatives such as business reengineering and cost optimization to protect their shareholder value. During turbulent times, shareholders, boards, and C-level executives need greater confidence in their strategic decisions and an increased assurance against business threats and compliance obligations. Thus, an enhanced assurance function is required to aid in such confidence.

Individual Miners with Institutional Mandate

Mining & Investment

Westernclear invests in the mining sector, which allows our investors to participate as well.  The mining sectors is one of the largest and most important sectors in the global economy. We believe that by investing in this industry, we can grant our investors greater return on their investment. Though before investing in a mining company, it is important to understand the nature of the mining industry and the related risks. The mining industry regularly experiences highs and lows. The returns can be substantial, but the risks are high.

Westernclear can help in many areas to ensure investment in this sector is profitable to the mining group and their investors:

Regulation and technical support

Monitoring the feasibility stages of mining projects Learn more here

Thorough and adequate due diligence on the following:

o What are the stages involved in carrying the project to a successful completion?

o How much time and money will it take to complete these stages? How will these costs be funded?

o Do the promoters have experience and expertise in the mining industry? Have they previously carried out a mining development project successfully?

o Are the estimates (quality of the mineral reserves or resources, production volume, costs, timeframes) presented in detail in a technical report prepared by an independent, qualified person?

o What terms and conditions must be met for the company to keep its rights in the project? Are they difficult to meet?

o What risks might impede the execution of the project?

o Have other mining companies attempted to develop this deposit in the past, and abandoned it? Why did they abandon it? What will be different this time?

o How much money has been raised for, and spent on, this project?

o Is the project located in a politically stable country? 

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Monitoring the Feasibility Stages of Mining Projects

We perform the quantity and quality of mineralization analysis if drilling samples meet the necessary requirements

The mining company begins by estimating the quantity and quality of mineralization, i.e., the mineral resource. It carries out drilling to obtain soil samples. Once drilling has revealed the presence of a mineral resource, the next step is to determine whether the deposit can be mined.

Preliminary economic assessment and feasibility studies:

The mining company will conduct the following assessments:

Preliminary economic assessment - to tell our investors whether a mining project has the potential to be viable.

Pre-feasibility and feasibility studies - to help determine with more certainty whether the mining project is viable.

Our studies analyze and evaluate economic, technical, and geological factors.

Is the project profitable?

Westernclear helps the company to evaluate the economic profitability of the project, including whether the price of the ore on world markets will justify the investment.

Uncertainty about the future price of ore could make it more difficult for us to fund the project.

Our partnership with the mining company will help clearly evaluate the technical feasibility of the project.

  • What infrastructure will be needed for extracting and grading of the ore?
  • Is the deposit easily accessible?
  • Have the technologies been proven?

We will also factor in the project's environmental and social aspects.

  • Is the project being accepted by the nearby communities?
  • How far away is the nearest road?

Throughout our assessment process, our officers and experts will help the company to determine whether the project justifies the large sums of money that will be needed to operate the mine. At each stage, Westerclear officers may put the project on hold until optimal conditions materialize (such as increased demand for the ore).

If Westernclear determines that the project will be profitable, the mining company will obtain the funding required for the development of the infrastructure and mining of the deposit from our asset-backed investment fund. It is important to understand this process can take a long time and cost a lot of money. We are anticipating between 12 to 36 months for such work to be completed, and large capital may be required. Overall, we believe the success of a mining project depends to a large extent on the quality, integrity and competence of the potential mining partner and their officers.