Australia: Proposed changes to reserves and resources disclosure rules

Resources and Energy Alert: 24 Sep 2012
Last Updated: 26 September 2012

By Michelle Eastwell,Partner;Jessica McKenzie,Associate and Karyn Silcock,Associate

The ASX has released a consultation paper that proposes amendments to its Listing Rules, designed to improve the reporting regime for reserves and resources for mining and oil and gas exploration and production companies.

The proposed amendments follow extensive consultation over the last two years and take into consideration the written submissions made to the ASX following its October 2011 consultation paper ASX Listing Rules Review Issues Paper: Reserves and Resources Disclosure Rules and Mining and Oil & Gas Companies.

The proposed changes will affect all mining and oil and gas companies listed on the ASX. Here, partner Michelle Eastwell and associates Jessica McKenzie and Karyn Silcock outline the ASX's proposals.

Key proposed changes

The proposed amendments, designed to provide investors with a more stringent and transparent reporting regime, include:

  • additional requirements for material disclosures in relation to resource assets for both mining and oil and gas companies, and, specifically for oil and gas companies, a requirement to report in accordance with the Society of Petroleum Engineers' Petroleum Resources Management System (SPE-PRMS);
  • additional reporting requirements for mining companies for material projects related to:
    • exploration results;
    • estimates of mineral resources and ore reserves;
    • historical and foreign estimates; and
    • production targets;
  • additional reporting requirements for oil and gas companies for:
    • exploration and drilling information;
    • petroleum reserves; and
    • contingent and prospective resources for material projects;
  • a requirement for mining and oil and gas companies to include an annual mineral resources and ore reserves statement, or an annual petroleum reserves statement (as applicable), in their annual report; and
  • changes to the minimum experience and qualifications that evaluators need to report on petroleum reserves and resources.

Companies will have a 12 month transition period to comply with the new reporting requirements.

The ASX is inviting comments on the both the transition timeframe and the draft Listing Rules and related Guidance Notes by 26 October 2012.

Estimating reserves and resources

The proposed changes aim to maximise the disclosure of information relating to exploration activities, and the material assumptions and technical parameters underpinning estimates of reserves and resources.

After obtaining the initial written consent for the required disclosures from a competent person or qualified petroleum reserves and resources evaluator, where the information is subsequently reported to the market (and provided there is no new information or data that materially affects the initial information), further consent will not be required.

Changes for mining companies

As well as the requirement for mining companies to report in accordance with the JORC Code (which is being revised in parallel with the ASX proposals), the ASX is proposing additional reporting requirements in relation to material projects for disclosure of:

  • Exploration results: Initial reporting must include disclosure of a report based on section 1 and section 2 of Table 1 of the JORC Code on an 'if not, why not' basis. For material drill-holes, the report must include a table setting out specific drill-hole and intercept information, or an explanation of why the company has determined that this information is not material to understanding the reported results.
  • Estimates of mineral resources: Initial market announcements (and announcements of a material change of estimates) of inferred, indicated or measured mineral resources will need to include a summary of, among other things:
    • sampling, sub-sampling and drilling techniques; and
    • the criteria used for classification, including drill and data spacing and distribution, sample analysis method and estimation methodology.
    • A report based on sections 1, 2 and 3 of Table 1 of the JORC Code will also need to be prepared on an 'if not, why not' basis.

  • Estimates of ore reserves: Initial market announcements (and announcements of a material change of estimates) of ore reserves will need to include a summary of:
    • the material assumptions and the outcomes from the preliminary feasibility study or the feasibility study;
    • the criteria used for classification;
    • the processing method selected and processing assumptions;
    • estimation methodology; and
    • material modifying factors, including the status of environmental and mining tenement approvals.
    • A report based on sections 1, 2 and 3 of Table 1 of the JORC Code will also be required to be prepared on an 'if not, why not' basis.

  • Historical and foreign estimates: The ASX proposes an exception from the JORC reporting requirement for companies seeking to report historical estimates or foreign estimates of mineralisation for a material project. Currently, companies need to apply for and be granted an ASX waiver to report such estimates. A company that reports historical or foreign estimates will be required to disclose specific supporting information, including:
    • relevance and reliability of estimates;
    • key work and key assumptions;
    • the work required to verify the estimates under the JORC Code; and
    • a proximate cautionary statement.
    • Where these estimates have not subsequently been verified and reported in accordance with the JORC Code, specific explanations must be given in the annual report.

  • Production targets: The ASX proposes additional reporting requirements for longer-term projections of future production and associated forecast financial information, together with a ban on the disclosure of production targets and associated forecast financial information based on historical and foreign estimates of mineralisation, and solely on an exploration target.

Changes for oil and gas companies

Oil and gas companies will need to report pursuant to the SPE-PRMS, which promotes the use of standardised terminology and a consistent classification framework. Additional requirements for disclosures are proposed in relation to:

  • Exploration and drilling information: Companies will no longer be expected to adopt a regime of regular and structured reporting for each drilling program. Instead, reporting will only be required under the Listing Rules when the company expects the information to have a material effect on the price or value of its securities. Companies may continue to voluntarily report on drilling progress provided these reports comply with the proposed updated requirements for reporting on exploration information and drilling progress.
  • Petroleum reserves for material projects: Additional reporting requirements for material projects are proposed for the initial disclosure of estimates of reserves, or on a material change of those estimates. These requirements include:
    • details of the material economic assumptions used to calculate the estimates;
    • whether the company has operator or non-operator interests;
    • a brief description of the basis for confirming commercial producibility; and
    • details of the estimated quantities to be recovered from existing wells and facilities, and those to be recovered through future investment.
  • Contingent resources for material projects: Additional reporting requirements for material projects are proposed for the initial disclosure of estimates of contingent resources, or on a material change of those estimates. These requirements include:
    • details of the types of permits or licences held related to the reported estimates;
    • a basis for confirming the existence of a significant quantity of potentially moveable hydrocarbons and the determination of a discovery; and
    • where the estimates relate to unconventional resources, the land area and number of wells for which the estimates are provided.
  • Prospective resources for material projects: Additional reporting requirements for material projects are proposed for the initial disclosure of estimates of prospective resources, or on a material change of those estimates. These requirements include:
    • a brief description of the basis on which the prospective resources are estimated and any further exploration activities, including exploration drilling, to be undertaken;
    • the expected timing of those activities;
    • the company's assessment of the chance of discovery and the chance of development associated with the reported estimates; and
    • where risked estimates are reported, an explanation of how the estimates were adjusted for risk.

Oil and gas companies will also need to appoint a qualified petroleum reserves and resources evaluator to prepare estimates and provide prior written consent as required. In line with this, the ASX proposes to update the minimum qualifications and experience to be recognised as a qualified petroleum reserves and resources evaluator.

Is your company affected?

The proposed changes will affect all mining and oil and gas companies listed on the ASX. Some larger listed mining and oil and gas companies may already be complying with most or some aspects of the proposed reforms, which are the culmination of industry consultation spanning two years, and are largely designed to ensure the Australian disclosure rules are in line with international industry standards.

However, a large proportion of mining and oil and gas companies will need to review their reporting systems and ensure greater transparency and satisfactory disclosure if these proposed amendments are adopted, which seems likely. For many junior mining and oil and gas companies, compliance will create an additional expense and put pressure on company resources in challenging economic times.

If you feel that your company may be disadvantaged by the proposed amendments or believe that the ASX's proposal should be altered or amended, we would be pleased to assist you in preparing a submission or coordinating a group submission. Submissions need to be provided to the ASX by 26 October 2012.

© HopgoodGanim Lawyers

Award-winning law firm HopgoodGanim offers commercially-focused advice, coupled with reliable and responsive service, to clients throughout Australia and across international borders.

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.

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”

Mondaq Advice Centre (MACs)
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
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

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.

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 by clicking here .

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.


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.