© 2008

Economic Evaluations in Exploration


About this book


This textbook, now in its second English edition, is originally a translation of the G- man textbook “Rechnen für Lagerstättenkundler und Rohstoffwirtschaftler, Teil 1”, also translated into the Chinese and Russian languages. Compared to the previous English and German editions the chapters have been updated with new examples and in many cases amended. The textbook is intended for the economic geologist who deals with the evaluation of deposits at an early stage of development. Once an exploration project has reached the feasibility stage, the exact calculations that are necessary for a comprehensive te- nical and economic assessment will be performed by a team of geologists, mining engineers, metallurgists, and economists. In the early stages of exploration, however, any evaluator of deposits must be able to cover the whole spectrum himself. Since only order of magnitude parameters are available at this early stage, the c- culations can only yield order of magnitude results. Precise calculations would even be misleading, since the evaluation does not yet aim at accurate economic assessment but at making the right decision: should the investigation be abandoned or should it be continued at higher costs and with more detailed methods.


Economic Geology Exploration Geology Mineral Deposits Resource Estimation Statistics mining

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.HannoverGermany
  2. 2.Bundesanstalt für Geowissenschaften und Rohstoffe (BGR)HannoverGermany

About the authors

Friedrich-Wilhelm Wellmer worked for the German mining company Metallgesellschaft world wide and he was Director of Exploration for the Metallgesellschaft of Australia in Melbourne before joining the Federal German Geological Survey, the BGR in Hannover. From 1996 to 2005 he was Director of the BGR and also of the State Geological Survey of Lower Saxony. Wellmer taught raw materials policy and economic geology at the Technical University Berlin.

Manfred Dalheimer worked for the mining companies Centromin Perú and Metallgesellschaft before joining the BGR. From 1991 to 1997 he was head of Mining and Environment, and from 1997 to 2003 of Mineral Economics. Since 2003 he has been head of International Cooperation, America. Dalheimer is a mineralogist and holds a doctorate in economic geology.

Markus Wagner is a specialist in the assessment and evaluation of mineral resources. Since 2003 he has been head of Mineral Economics as well as Mining for the BGR. He has worked as an exploration geologist, project manager and consultant in many countries. Wagner is a geologist and industrial engineer and holds a doctorate in mineral economics.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Materials & Steel
Oil, Gas & Geosciences


From the reviews of the second edition:

"This textbook is designed for economic geologists who deal with the evaluation of deposits at an early stage of development. … the book contains a useful list of references and a number of appendices, including tables, graphs, mathematical formulae, and internet addresses. … is a handy reference for practitioners and a useful textbook for students." (Jean-Michel Rendu, Economic Geology, Vol. 103, 2008)

"The textbook is intended for the economic geologist who deals with the evaluation of deposits at an early stage of development. … It provides both the student and the geologist in the field with a complete set of rules and methods enabling them to perform a quick initial evaluation of the deposit without the support of specialists or computers … . The case histories, exercises, metal prices and terminology, especially concerning ‘reserves and resources’, have been fully updated in this second edition." (Glückauf, Vol. 145 (6), July, 2009)