It doesn’t matter how long you have worked in the mining industry, at some point you will probably have taken part in a due diligence review. You might have been asked to help create a data room. Perhaps your company is looking at a potential acquisition. Maybe you’re a consultant with a particular expertise needed by a due diligence team. It’s likely that due diligence has impacted on many of us at some point in our careers.
The scope of a due diligence can be exceptionally wide. There are legal, marketing, and environmental aspects as well as all the technical details associated with a mining project. The amount of information provided can be overwhelming sometimes.

I’m a big fan of checklists

Checklists are great and they can be very helpful in a due diligence review. A scope checklist is a great way to make sure things don’t fall through the cracks. A checklist helps keep a team on the same page and clarifies individual roles and tasks. Checklists bring focus and minimize sidetracking down unnecessary paths.
Recognizing this, I have created a personal due diligence checklist for such times. A screen shot of it is shown below. The list is mainly tailored for an undeveloped project but it still has over 230 items that might need to be considered.

Each due diligence is unique

Not all of the items in the checklist are required for each review. Maybe you’re only doing a high level study to gauge management’s interest in a project. Maybe you’re undertaking a detailed review for an actual acquisition or financing event. It’s up to you to create your own checklist and highlight which items need to be covered off. The more items added the less risk in the end; however that requires a longer review period and greater cost.
You a create your own checklist but if you would like a copy of mine just email me at and let me know a bit about how you plan to use it (for my own curiosity). Specify if you would prefer the Excel or PDF versions.
Please let me know if you see any items missing or if you have any comments.
Now that we have an idea of what information we need to examine in a due diligence, the next question is where to find it.
Previously I had written a blog titled “Due Diligence Data Rooms – Help!” which discussed how we can be overwhelmed by a poorly set up data room. My request is that when setting up a data room, please consider the people who will be accessing it.

Due Diligence isn’t for everyone

Due diligence exercises can be interesting and great learning experiences, even for senior people that have seen it all. However they can also be mentally taxing due to the volumes of information that one must find, review, and understand all in a short period of time.
Some people are better at due diligence than others. It helps if one has the ability to quickly develop an understanding of a project. It also helps to know what key things to look for, since many risks are common among projects.
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5 thoughts on “Mining Due Diligence Checklist

  1. Saurabh Priyadarshi

    Great Article Ken.
    Read with deep interest.
    Indeed each project requires tailoring to achieve the desired objective.
    I would appreciate if you could mail me an excel verson of your Due Diigence check list.
    I hope to add something more to it as we go ahead .
    Best Regards
    Saurabh P

  2. Ken Kuchling Post author

    Saurabh, Thank you for your feedback. I will email you the Excel version of the DD table. Regards, Ken

  3. Mark Hoffmann

    Hi Ken,

    I enjoyed your article also, and concur that each project requires tailoring to achieve the desired objectives and commonly the process is in more than 1 stage with a higher level review to begin before a more indepth review subject to passing the high level review. always an interesting process as they are all unique. similiar to Saurabh i would appreciate an excel version copy of you DD table.

  4. Ken Kuchling Post author

    Hi Mark, Thanks for the feedback and comment. The table has been emailed to you….Ken

  5. Robert kaldor

    Hi Ken,
    good to see many people in the same situation not wanting to reinvent the wheel.
    While each of my projects has different criteria, and different focus, i would love to get a copy and see how it works with non diluted funding solutions for mining companies that i offer.
    excel spreadsheets would be very useful.
    If you could send a brief of your company and what services you specialise in i would keen to find out more.
    regards Robert

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