March/April 2009


Proposed amendments to NI 43-101

By D. McCombe

In January 2009, the Canadian Securities Authorities’ (CSA) policy coordination committee approved a project for the revision of National Instrument 43-101, Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101). The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC) will be the lead jurisdiction drafting the amendments.

Six jurisdictions will participate in the project: British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Ontario, Quebec and New Brunswick. Industry consultations will occur between February and May 2009. The BCSC plans to hold small focus groups with selected industry stakeholders (geologists, lawyers, brokers/analysts, listed companies, consulting firms, etc.) and all groups or individuals will be able to email comments to the BCSC. Information about the process is posted on the BCSC’s website. Interested parties may also send comments directly to the BCSC.

Another way to register your comments is to contact a member of the CSA Mining Technical Advisory and Monitoring Committee (MTAMC). MTAMC was established in 2001 as the CSA recognized that exploration, development and mining are highly technical, constantly changing and international in scope. Accordingly, the CSA required input from industry representatives to assist in the fair and reasonable implementation of NI 43-101.

The CSA’s objective was to select an advisory committee small enough to facilitate efficiency yet large enough to permit broad, professional, industry-sector and regional representation. The mandate of MTAMC is to:

  1. Serve as a forum for continuing communication between the minerals industry and the CSA, including reporting on industry concerns with NI 43-101 and recommending possible solutions.
  2. Assist in the evaluation of foreign professional associations and reporting systems.
  3. Advise the CSA on issues arising from the implementation of NI 43-101, including disclosure issues that arise and matters that are appropriate for relief from NI 43-101.
  4. Advise the CSA on industry and professional developments related to securities regulatory issues; in particular, assist the CSA in keeping up with developments in mineral reserve and mineral resource definitions and accounting standards relevant to the minerals industry.
  5. Consult with the CSA on other matters relating to securities regulation of the mining industry.

Currently, the MTAMC is co-chaired by Robert Holland, chief mining advisor of the BCSC, and Craig Waldie of the OSC. Committee members are: Brian Abraham, Fraser Milner Casgrain LLP, Vancouver; Lynda Bloom, Halo Resources, Toronto; Michel Champagne, Sidex, Montreal; Catherine Gignac, Toronto; Greg Gosson, AMEC Americas Limited, Vancouver; Bernie Haystead, Toronto; Alf Hills, Vancouver; Keith McCandlish, Associated Geosciences Ltd., Calgary; Duncan McIvor, Delta; Chester Moore, Scott Wilson Roscoe Postle Associates, Toronto; John Morganti, Vancouver; John Postle, Toronto; Gerald Riverin, Ressources Cognitore Inc., Rouyn-Noranda; Ken Shannon, Corriente Resources Inc, Vancouver; and Val Spring, Watts Griffis and McOuat, Toronto. Francis Manns, TSX, and Leon Lyszkiewicz, TSX Venture Exchange, are observers on the MTAMC. 

Another committee that was established in 2001 was the CSA-Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Reserve/Resource Committee. CIM has developed the definitions of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (CIM Definition Standards) and Industry Best Practice Standards. These CIM Definition Standards are incorporated by reference in NI 43-101 and the Best Practices are included in the Companion Policy, NI 43-101CP, as guidance. Best Practice Guidelines for the Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, Best Practices Guidelines for Mineral Exploration, and CIM Guidelines for Reporting of Diamond Exploration Results have been developed by CIM and posted on its website.

The CSA-CIM Committee meets annually at the CIM Conference and Exhibition, which is usually held in May. It is comprised of the executive director and president of CIM and representatives of the BCSC and OSC. The mandate of this committee is to update the CSA on any proposed changes to the CIM mineral resource and mineral reserve definitions and best practices, and to report on the international activities of CRIRSCO. CIM also advises the CSA if any technical issues arise in the application of NI 43-101.

If you have been working with NI 43-101 and would like to suggest some modifications or areas that require some clarification, now is your opportunity to advise the CSA.

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.

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