This is the third in a series of articles about the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO). The first article was an interview with Niall Weatherstone, Chairman of CRIRSCO (CIM Magazine, February 2008) the second described the background and goals of CRIRSCO (CIM Magazine, March/April 2008).
In 2007, CRIRSCO was adopted as the Reserves and Resources Task Force of the International Council on Mining and Metals. This decision by ICMM has resulted in an increased level of funding for CRIRSCO and the ability to advance its objectives. In mid-October 2007, CRIRSCO members met in London England to discuss the status of each of the member countries’ reporting codes and the progress of various CRIRSCO projects.
Update on national reporting codes
Australia: The last update of the Australian JORC Code was in 2004. While there are ongoing discussions about issues that arise from the application of the latest version of the Code, there are no plans to update JORC in the near future.
Canada: The Canadian Securities Administrators revised National Instrument 43-101 in December 2005. At the same time, the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum published updated Resource and Reserve Definitions that are incorporated by reference in NI 43-101. CIM is continuing work on developing Best Practice Guidelines to assist practitioners in the estimation of Mineral Resources and Reserves.
South Africa: The South African Mineral Reserve Committee is currently awaiting an update of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Limited Listing Rules, which will incorporate both SAMREC and SAMVAL (South African valuation guidelines). The official launch of both codes is expected in 2008.
Europe: The Pan-European Reserves Reporting Committee expects to release a consultation draft in 2008. Emphasis is being placed on industrial minerals and aggregates, which constitute a very large industry in Europe.
Chile: The Chilean Certification Code was approved in early 2008. As part of the Code, a National Commission is being established to screen and review reports on a random or specific basis.
United States: The Society of Mining Engineers updated the SME Reporting Guidelines in 2007. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not accepted these more up-to-date definitions and guidelines. The SME committee will continue to discuss the incorporation of these Reporting Guidelines with SEC. SME has also established a class of membership, a Registered Member, which includes disciplinary measures for non-compliance with the SME guidelines.
CRIRSCO and the Society of Petroleum Engineers have compared (mapped) the CRIRSCO Template, as discussed in the article published in the February 2008 issue of CIM Magazine, to the SPE’s Petroleum Resource Management System hydrocarbon classification system. CRIRSCO and SPE reported the results of this exercise to the International Accounting Standards Board’s Extractive Activities Research Project team, which is developing accountancy standards for the reporting of mineral resource assets. It is expected that the results of this exercise will appear as an IASB discussion paper in 2008.
CRIRSCO has also taken a lead role within the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Ad Hoc Group of Experts, in mapping the CRIRSCO template to the United Nations Framework Classification system. CRIRSCO and SPE have jointly presented proposals for certain modifications to the UNFC which, if adopted, would mean that the CRIRSCO Template and SPE Petroleum Resource Management System become guidelines for the UNFC. These two mapping processes now mean that, for the first time, there is the potential for a globally unified resource classification system with conformity at a high level between industry reporting practice for minerals and hydrocarbons and the UNFC.
In 2008, CRIRSCO faces a number of challenges. It will need to continue to remain proactive in its dealings with international bodies, such as the United Nations Economic Commission and the International Accounting Standards Board, to build on the progress made during 2007. In addition, CRIRSCO will continue to develop relationships with the financial regulatory authorities and provide educational materials to highlight and complement the Reporting Codes.
John Postle is a mining engineer who has worked in the industry for many years. When taking time off, he likes nothing better than a rainbow trout on the end of a fly line.
Deborah McCombe, executive vice president of Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates, is a consulting geologist who is strongly involved in Canadian disclosure standards for the mining industry.