Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
SEKE, D.. From metal to money: the importance of reliable metallurgical accounting. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2014, vol.114, n.1, pp. 1-6. ISSN 2411-9717.
Metal inventories are usually reported in financial statements of mining companies. However, the value of these inventories can be reliable only if the metals in stock are measured within acceptable tolerances. Reliable metal balancing requires accurate mass measurement, sampling, and chemical analysis. Many mining companies are usually unable to validate the accuracy of metals in inventories at the end of their financial year. This is mainly due to poor mass measurement, sampling, and chemical analysis practices. This has an adverse impact on metallurgical accounting and metal valuation. In addition, it puts a lot of stress on external auditors, who have the duty to recommend the approval of the financial statements to the board of directors. Although a full value chain of metal reconciliation includes the accuracy of Mineral Reserve definition and grade control at the mine, this paper discusses the implementation of best practices for mass measurement, sampling, and chemical analysis at processing plants. This is an important aspect of sampling and reconciliation that is required in order to improve the reporting of inventories in the financial statements of public mining companies.
Keywords : metallurgical accounting; corporate governance; sampling; analysis.