Australia: ASX considers new prescribed reporting requirements for reserves and resources

Last Updated: 5 November 2011
Article by Liz Allnutt, Andrew Godfrey and Jehann Mendis

On 5 October 2011, the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) released an issues paper on the ASX Listing Rules reporting requirements applicable to reserves and resources reported by listed mining and oil and gas companies. It is of particular importance for those operating in the mining industry as it could result in a regime change towards a more prescriptive form of disclosure for mineral projects, similar to the Canadian standards currently in operation.

Initially, the ASX was working alongside the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia, which are the sponsors of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code) in the development of the issues paper, with the intention of producing joint proposals as between the ASX and JORC. The issues paper that was released, however, were proposals of the ASX alone. In fact, JORC has publicly stated it does not support the proposals and has called on the Australia mining industry to support an issues paper it released separately on 17 October 2011 to counter the proposals of the ASX.

Peter Stoker, Chairman of JORC, has raised concerns surrounding the prescriptive nature of the ASX proposals. Given that the JORC Code is used in other jurisdictions, Stoker's concern is that changes made in Australia could create a stand-alone domestic regulatory framework. Stoker also raised concerns surrounding the materiality standard used in the Canadian standards of disclosure which, he claims, could actually reduce the level of disclosure by Australian mining companies under the ASX proposals.

National Instrument 43-101: Canadian Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects

In Canada, the standards for disclosure for mineral projects are governed by the following:

  • National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"), which sets out the mineral project disclosure and filing rules
  • Companion Policy 43-101CP ("Companion Policy") to NI 43-101, which sets out how certain provisions of NI 43-101 will be interpreted and applied, and
  • Form 43-101 Technical Report ("Technical Report"), which sets out specific requirements for the preparation and content of a Technical Report that must be filed with the securities regulators.

NI 43-101 and its related policies have recently been amended by Canadian regulators, after a lengthy consultation process, with amendments in force effective June 30, 2011. The new NI 43-101 is considered a more flexible rule for mining issuers but is still prescriptive when compared to the current JORC Code.

NI 43-101 applies to all companies listed in Canada with an interest in a mineral property. It requires such companies to file a Technical Report (prepared and filed in accordance with prescribed standards in respect of all properties "material to the Company" which include all material scientific and technical information). Materiality is a subjective standard used in Canadian securities laws to direct companies to disclose information publicly that is reasonably expected to have a significant effect on the market price or value of such companies' securities. Companies are required to file Technical Reports, approved by a "Qualified Person" (broadly similar to a "Competent Person" under the JORC Code) upon becoming a reporting issuer on all material properties, to support other formal disclosure documentation in specific circumstances, including significant transactions, capital raises, acquisitions and other prescribed circumstances with Canadian regulators to support any disclosure of resource estimates.

Through the prescribed Technical Report, and through the standards set out in NI 43-101 and its Companion Policy, Canadian issuers are required to:

  • disclose such specific information as drill-hole and intercept information in exploration disclosure
  • disclose specific exploration targets with prescribed cautionary statements for investors
  • provide key assumptions and methods used in the estimation of mineral resources and mineral reserves
  • conduct a pre-feasibility study prior to the conversion of mineral resources to mineral reserves, which includes an economic analysis of the potential viability of mineral resources as well as the technical viability of a mineral project, and
  • produce estimates of mineral resources and mineral reserves to support its annual information form, which is required under the Toronto Stock Exchange rules to be filed annually by TSX issuers and completed on a voluntary basis by some TSX Venture issuers.

ASX Listing Rules Review Issues Paper Proposals

The ASX's stated intention to move towards standards similar to that of the Canadian standards described above is an attempt to reduce the potential for investors to receive misleading information on which to base investment decisions. The ASX has stated that its proposals will make it easier for mining companies to secure funding for future projects.

The key issues the ASX Listing Rules Review Issues Paper for Reserves and Resources Disclosure is considering are as follows:

  • Disclosure of exploration results – the disclosure of specific drill-hole and intercept information when an issuer is reporting exploration results.
  • Disclosure of exploration targets – a stricter application of the current requirement for proximate cautionary statements.
  • Disclosure of key assumptions underpinning Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates – a requirement for the key assumptions made and a summary of information relating to a prescribed subset of criteria to be disclosed to support the disclosure of initial, or materially changed, Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimates. Consideration is given to the introduction of a minimum reporting requirement for the disclosure of information relating to: geology, sampling techniques, quality of assay data and laboratory tests, drilling techniques, logging, data spacing and distribution, estimation and modelling techniques, cut-off parameters, mining factors or assumptions, metallurgical factors or assumptions, and cost and revenue factors.
  • Defining the level of study underpinning an initial Ore Reserve estimate – the completion of a preliminary feasibility study, as a minimum, to support an initial Ore Reserve determination.
  • Disclosure of production targets – when reporting a production target or forecast financial information derived from a production target, an issuer may be required to:
    • disclose the key assumptions underpinning the production target
    • disclose the key contingencies and risks in converting any Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources into an Ore Reserve or putting any Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources into production in order for the issuer to achieve the production target, and
    • disclose the proportion of the production target based on Inferred Mineral Resources and/or an exploration target and include a proximate cautionary statement highlighting the low level of geological confidence of these estimates and the implications for realising the production target.
  • Annual reporting and Reconciliation of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves – issuers may be required to report the results of their annual review of their Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves and their aggregated Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves holdings, together with a reconciliation with the estimates from the previous year, in their annual report or a separate document released concurrently with, and cross-referenced in, the annual report.

The above proposals are similar to Canada's NI 43-101. The Australian Financial Review reported on October 12, 2011 that the aligning of the JORC Code with that of NI 43-101 has "...renewed speculation that the two exchanges could be pursuing a fresh tie-up" but, as of the date of this update, there has been no substantiation of such speculation.

ORC Code Review Issues Paper

The 2011 JORC Code review issues paper examines and provides background information on 10 key issues concerning the reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves, and seeks submissions and comments from stakeholders and interested parties on the issues JORC identifies, as follows:

  • Disclosure of exploration results – whether greater detail when reporting exploration results should be supplied to improve the ability of potential investors to assess the significance of those results.
  • Disclosure of exploration targets – whether stricter guidance is required to ensure investors are fully informed as to exploration results.
  • 'Reasonable prospects for eventual extraction' for the purpose of estimating Mineral Resources – whether a stricter application of this test would provide greater consistency in its interpretation and application by competent persons for the purpose of classifying and estimating mineral resources.
  • Disclosure of key assumptions underpinning mineral resource and ore reserve estimates – whether additional disclosure requirements should be imposed when a company reports an initial, or materially upgraded, mineral resource or ore reserve to facilitate due diligence assessments by investors and their advisors.
  • Minimal level of study required to support and initial ore reserve estimate and reporting – whether at least a pre-feasibility study should be completed to support an initial ore reserve determination to provide greater transparency with respect to the level of study required in converting a mineral resource to an ore reserve.
  • Disclosure of production targets – whether key assumptions underpinning production targets and key contingencies and risks involved in achieving production targets should be included when reporting a production target or forecasting financial information derived from a production target.
  • Annual reporting and reconciliation of mineral resources and ore reserves – whether an annual statement and reconciliation with estimates from previous years should be included, or cross-referenced in the company annual report.
  • Accountability of Competent Persons – whether disclosure of a competent person's equity interests or options to acquire equity interests in the company should be required in the competent person statement (to show the full nature of a competent persons interests in the company) when a company discloses exploration results, mineral resources or ore reserves.
  • Inclusion of relevant material from ASX companies updates issued in collaboration with JORC since the release of the 2004 JORC code – whether draft amendments to the 2004 JORC Code in the 2012 draft JORC Code reflecting the relevant material from ASX companies' updates and minor housekeeping issues should be included in the JORC Code.
  • Adoption of proposed committee for mineral reserves international reporting standards (CRIRSCO) concise standard definitions – whether the proposed core standard definitions developed by CRIRSCO should be adopted in the JORC Code to provide greater international harmonisation in reporting standards.

There are similarities between the two issues papers. However the regime proposed in the ASX paper is more prescriptive than that proposed by JORC in the JORC paper. The JORC proposal also focuses more on accountability of competent persons, the 'reasonable prospects for eventual extraction' test and international reporting standards as key issues for stakeholders to consider.

Invitation to Comment

The ASX consultation paper includes an invitation to comment on the reporting issues and options presented for overhauling the public reporting of exploration information, resources and reserves, and production targets by listed mining and oil and gas companies by 27 January 2012. Following the receipt of responses, ASX will analyse feedback received and discuss with JORC and other professional bodies how to integrate revised JORC Code provisions into the ASX Listing Rules so as to produce a new disclosure framework. The proposed amendments will then be submitted for another round of stakeholder consultation before being submitted to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission ("ASIC") for its review and implementation.

The JORC issues paper invites comment on any matter related to the JORC Code and its operation, including in relation to the 10 issues outlined above. JORC will consider the feedback received and then draft proposed amendments to the JORC code. These amendments will then be subject to further public consultation. Submissions are due on the JORC issues paper by 16 December 2011.

Given the consultation process for the revised JORC Code will now occur in parallel with the ASX consultation on its issues paper, interested parties seeking to comment should submit comments to both the ASX and JORC.

We will provide further updates as developments occur. In the meantime, should you require any further information in relation to the proposed imposition of reporting requirements applicable to reserves and resources reported by listed mining companies, please contact us.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Liz Allnutt
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions