Data sources and documentation

Data sources

There are three types of data you will need, and the sources of these are usually historical data and financial statements:

  • Production of minerals: historical and future
  • Prices: historical actual realized prices by mineral, and a robust basis for forecsasting the future. Depending on data availability, we can source third party forecasts, design a number of price scenarios or use a fixed price
  • Exploration, development and operating costs by the major categories relevant for fiscal modeling

We will start by reviewing data sources together. During this process, you will be supported mainly by Open Oil modeling team in our opening data clinic.

For your data search, we invite you to check on Aleph, a database of corporate filings from the extractive industries recently developed by Open Oil.

Through Aleph, you can text­-search across two million documents and counting ­ documents that were disclosed by oil, gas & mining companies to financial regulators such as the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the Canadian SEDAR database or the Australian Stock Exchange.


Rigorous documentation of data sources is critical for the robustness and credibility of model results, and we are developing standards for how we document data sources within the model, and if there remains a gap how we can fill it by making a sensible assumption. Judgment will often be required, which is where the Open Oil team’s experience will come in useful.

The format of an OpenOil Stage 1 model is deliberately designed to promote its progression to a Stage 2 model. Thus, its documentation consists on:

  1. A spreadsheet model developed in Excel and audited by the Open Oil team.
  2. Documentation within the model and a document summarizing and referencing all sources.
  3. A one page narrative summary of the main features of the Dashboard, and initial findings from the model on the pre­fiscal economics of the project.
  4. (Optional) An information gap analysis answering what specific data sets would improve the accuracy of the model.

It is important to keep the data sources organized, for documenting and publishing purposes. We suggest you classify your documents into these different folders according to source:

  • Company documents
  • Constractual documents
  • Laws and Regulations
  • Models
  • Secondary: Technical reports from SEDAR, EITI reports

With this data, we will together assess the capacity to continue working in this project, and evaluate the possibility of creating working groups for the projects that can go forward in the development of a project cash flow model.

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