JORC rethink looming

BY FEBRUARY, the Joint Ore Reserves Committee hopes to have completed a review into the reporting of inferred resources in order to provide a higher level of transparency for investors in public companies, following concerns from the committee.
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Michael Vaughan

JORC deputy chair Mark Adams said the review has been brewing since the middle of last year and the committee hopes to have a better set of guidelines in place for the reporting of inferred resources by February.

He highlighted the use of sampling in calculating inferred resources and the issues of extrapolation and intrapolation of results as two of the major issues looked at in the review.

Adams said the committee hopes to be in a position by February to know what needs to go into the code and the means by which it will be communicated to exploration companies, with additions to the JORC code or a market update the two most likely options.

A rewrite of the JORC code is expected in 2008.

The revision comes in the wake of Bendigo Mining’s embarrassing reserve miscalculation, which will force the closure of its mine from June for up to two years.

Adams declined to comment on Bendigo’s predicament, other than to say the JORC code centres on the reporting of mineral resources and reserves and not their actual calculation.

He said it would be difficult to devise a set of guidelines that would cater for the calculation of reserves of all ore bodies and that given the difficult nature of Bendigo’s mineralisation, it would be almost impossible to come up with such a standard to suit all situations.

Regardless, Adams said he did not believe it was necessary to have such a code for resource and reserve calculation and that the competent person provisions within the current JORC code catered for the calculation of estimates.

The JORC code states competent persons must have five years experience working in the particular style of mineralisation in order to estimate reserves and resources.