As the mining sector continues on an upward trajectory, miners and explorers have an important imperative to assure investors and stakeholders that their Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates can be trusted.
Since we cannot totally escape the risk and uncertainty related to minerals projects, more transparent, consistent and balanced views of technical confidence will better inform both internal and external stakeholders, particularly investors, about the expected risk in the project.
The JORC Code sets out the minimum standards, recommendations and guidelines for Public Reporting in Australasia of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. The JORC Code is fundamental to the way capital markets work in respect to reporting mineral projects. These reports should provide investors with a level of confidence that appropriate consideration has been taken when assessing the viability of a project.
Here are three ways that a Public Report written in accordance with the JORC Code helps manage risk for both investors and mining companies, based on the Code's three governing principles "Transparency, Materiality and Competence":
- Transparency - means that the reader of the Public Report is provided with sufficient information and the presentation is clear and unambiguous. A reader should be able to understand the report and not be misled by the information or by omission of material information.
- Materiality - requires that a Public Report contains all the relevant information that investors and their professional advisers would reasonably require, and reasonably expect to find in the report, for the purpose of making a reasoned and balanced judgement on the project.
- Competence requires that the Public Report be based on work that is the responsibility of suitably qualified and experienced persons who are subject to an enforceable professional code of ethics (the Competent Person).
Given that only about 2% of financial investment globally finds its way into the mineral and mining sector, the industry needs to preserve and improve its risk perception in the eyes of investors.
Competent Persons should strive to better present the technical risk and uncertainty associated with minerals projects in the context of project maturity to provide more consistent, and balanced views of confidence, risk and opportunities for both internal and external stakeholders relying on this reported information.
This article is an excerpt from "Reporting and converting resources to reserves - how confident are we?" by Mark Noppe, found in Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve Estimation - a Guide to Good Practice, Monograph 30 by the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (AusIMM). Mark is also a facilitator in the AusIMM Online Professional Certificate in JORC Code Reporting, an interactive eight-week course delivered online for mining professionals responsible for public reporting, particularly aspiring and current Competent Persons. For more information on the course, and other AusIMM courses available on JORC Code Reporting, visit www.ausimm.com/courses.