What is a mineral reporting code?
The mining industry depends on financial investment, but investors need to understand the risks involved in estimating mineral resources or ore reserves. Professional organisations in several different countries have published codes that set minimum standards for public reporting of mineral resources and ore reserves. A common characteristic of a mineral reporting code is a requirement for technical reports to be signed off by ‘Competent’ or ‘Qualified’ Persons. The Competent Person must meet criteria relating to experience and competence and be a member of a relevant professional organisation.
The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the JORC Code) was first published in 1989 by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC). The JORC Code sets the minimum standards, recommendations and guidelines for Public Reporting in Australasia of mineral resources and ore reserves.
In 1994 the Combined Reserves International Reporting Standards Committee (CRIRSCO) was formed, initially as a working group of the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutes (CMMI), to create a set of standard international definitions for reporting mineral resources and ore reserves, modeled on those of the JORC Code. The five participating countries of CRIRSCO (Australia, Canada, South Africa and UK) reached agreement on standard definitions in 1997 and in 1999 the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe incorporated the CRIRSCO/CMMI definitions into the International Framework Classification for Reserves and Resources.
Since 1999 an updated version of the JORC Code has been published and similar codes have been published by professional bodies in South Africa, USA, Canada, Chile and Peru. In 2001 the Geological Society, European Federation of Geologists, Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Institute of Geologists of Ireland jointly published the Reporting Code for the UK, Ireland and Europe. The Code is binding for Fellows of the Geological Society and members of the other bodies.
Recognition of the Geological Society by International Stock Exchanges
In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada the Codes for these countries have been adopted by and included in the listing rules of their respective Stock Exchanges. To meet the criteria for ‘Competent Person’ under these Codes, the individual must be a member of a recognised professional organisation. The Geological Society is a recognised overseas professional body in all four countries. Fellows of the Geological Society can qualify as Competent Persons in Australia, New Zealand and South Africa; and Chartered Geologists are eligible to be Qualified Persons in Canada. In each country, to qualify as a Competent/Qualified Person the experience and competence criteria must also be met.