Mining investment moves into digital age
Prospector turns technical reports into searchable intelligence Metal Tech News Weekly Edition – March 18, 2020
Last updated 6/27/2020 at 5:33am
A global mining expert and entrepreneur has teamed up with a Boston-based tech firm that specializes in using machine learning to optimize market research to create Prospector, a new company and online platform that brings mining sector investment into the digital age.
Considered "the Zillow for the mining industry," Prospector uses artificial intelligence to streamline and simplify the complex geological, engineering and financial data in mining and mineral exploration technical reports.
Like Zillow, which has grown to a $7 billion real estate company by connecting potential home buyers to sellers, Prospector uses a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that allows any device with an internet connection and web browser access to data.
Applying the SaaS platform to mining and mineral exploration projects and companies, Prospector mines publicly available technical data to provide investors with an AI-enabled, accessible and institutional-quality tool to find and fund mining assets – saving them time and money, while also identifying opportunities investors might otherwise miss for lack of deal flow.
This innovative platform is the brainchild of Emily King, a geologist and visionary with extensive mining industry experience that includes roles with the U.S. Department of Defense, early-stage ventures and publicly traded companies.
Seeing a glaring need for a way to digest publicly available but extremely cumbersome technical data on mining projects, King founded Prospector as a partnership between her consultancy, Global Venture, and Northern Light, a Boston-based industry leader in machine-learning powered management platforms, to present the results in a highly intuitive and searchable interface.
"The goal is to attract new sources of capital to the mining industry and to increase metal supply required for the renewable energy-electric vehicle economy of the future," said King. "We want Prospector's AI to open the door to millennials investing in mining and optimize deal flow for traditional investors."
Among the most important sources of information for mining investors are National Instrument (NI) 43-101 reports, which are technical reports required by mining and mineral exploration companies listed on Canada's Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX) and Toronto Venture Exchange (TSX-V).
These reports delve critical mining investment information such as resource and reserve estimates, mine development plans, preliminary economic assessments, feasibility studies, and other data. These reports, however, contain complex geological, engineering and financial information, and are often 500 to 1,000 pages long – highly technical and lengthy reads that make mining investment analysis extremely cumbersome for an individual looking to make timely investment decisions.
Prospector turns this unwieldy data into market intelligence contained within a user-friendly search engine that even non-traditional mining investors can use and understand – putting a list of global mineral assets that fit investors' investment criteria at their fingertips.
"43-101s are lengthy, complex documents with many formats and data tables embedded in them. Investors seeking to mine them for a nugget of insight will greatly appreciate the power and versatility of our machine learning-enabled Prospector application developed by Northern Light," said King.
King's concept has earned the praise of Visual Capitalist, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based firm that has perfected the art of turning highly technical data from mining and other sectors into relatable information through the power of infographics.
"The 43-101 report is the backbone of mining investment research and reporting," said Visual Capitalist Natural Resources Editor Nicholas LePan. "However, current methods for reporting are outdated in a digital age where information is easily searchable and retrievable with a few keywords. Prospector brings NI 43-101 reports into the modern digital era to the professional and regular investor."
By advancing the mining sector into the digital age, Prospector allows investors to select companies and mines to compare and contrast in a dashboard that provides the ability to analyze social media, market intelligence and reporting on individual companies and commodities.
King says this will increase transparency, providing a level playing field to quality mineral projects, and provide a vital tool for generalist investors considering a mining sector that is in desperate need of new, innovative sources of capital.
"We can't transition to a low-carbon, high-tech economy without mining the copper, gold, and rare earths needed to make solar panels, lithium-ion batteries, wind turbines, and electric cars," she explains. "We want to get millennials and tech and green energy investors to support the new economy by investing in the mines we need to make that new economy a reality."
Prospector will be accessible through tiered membership for retail and institutional investors, as well as family offices. Investors and subscribers search the world's mining assets by their investment criteria (or those of their clients) to generate mining assets that fit.
In addition to providing a searchable digital platform that will save investors time in researching mining projects, Prospector's AI-powered capability is expected to assist in the due diligence carried out by mining companies ahead of potential mergers and acquisitions.
The Prospector platform will open to the public before mid-year. In the meantime, product demonstrations can be requested by emailing [email protected]