Table 5: Resource Life
TABLE 5. Average reserve life and resource life (years) for major commodities as at December 2016
|Ore Reserves at Operating Mines||All Ore Reserves||Mineral Resources(1) at Operating Mines||Economic Demonstrated Resources(2)||All Resources(2)|
|1.||Inferred Resources are excluded from the calculation.|
|2.||Rounded to the nearest five years.|
Figures for reserve life and resource life are determined from the ratio of current reserves and resources to the latest production figures and provide an impression of future viability. They are a snapshot in time and do not reflect future changes in production and do not capture resource upgrades or discovery of new resources from future exploration.
In reality, industry practise is to steadily replenish depleted Ore Reserves by upgrading a similar quantity from Measured and Indicated Resources. In turn, Inferred Resources are upgraded to Measured and Indicated and new resources are added through exploration. Figure 1 shows the yearly variations in reserve life since 2002 for major commodities.
Figure 1. Trends in reserve life for major commodities from 2002 to 2016.