15a. Decommissioning costs
One economic agent, usually the government, permits the extraction of mineral deposits, to be undertaken by a separate economic agent. Usually the extractor will pay an amount, often called royalties in the case of mineral resources, to the government for access to the resources. The issue arises as to how to allocate the resource rent that accrues from the extraction of the resource when the legal ownership and the economic ownership of the underlying resource is split. This then flows to consideration of the appropriate estimates of the value of the resource on the balance sheets of the different economic agents.
15b. Recording ownership of mineral-related assets
The SEEA-2003 suggested more than one option in recording decommissioning costs and recording of ownership of mineral-related assets. According to the 2008 SNA, decommissioning costs (terminal costs) lead to the creation of a fixed asset which has to be recorded as gross fixed capital formation in the asset accounts. Similarly, the asset account should in each period reflect a consumption of this fixed asset. The gross fixed capital formation is recorded at the end of the life time of the related asset, while the recording of the consumption of fixed capital takes place during the life time of the fixed asset. In order to estimate and record the consumption of fixed capital before the terminal costs actually takes place, it is necessary to estimate an expected terminal cost, which can be used as the basis for the calculation of consumption of fixed capital.