Most of the existing mines today were discovered decades ago, only to be finally brought on-stream by the companies working patiently to assess the mine economics, the technologies and viability under strict environmental conditions imposed, as the world’s development causes climate change, putting more pressure on companies to adopt / enforce clean development mechanisms. BHP and Rio Tinto, two of the world’s largest resource companies have project pipelines well into the future and some of these projects were discovered decades ago.
Today’s discoveries, spearheaded mostly by speculative explorers, backed by investors as publicly listed entities run a very tight and competitive business of identifying greenfields, progressing forward into new exploration grounds. Only with a well managed team and the foresight of management, can such greenfield ventures have any meaningful chance of success in finding anything. Discoveries have been made on remote volcanic islands in Indonesia; in deserts in remote Xinjiang Province, China; in the steppes of Mongolia; in Alaska; in South America and the western shores of African continent.