Dec 14, 2020

Industry urged to have say on JORC Code update

Industry urged to have say on JORC Code update

The code that regulates public reporting of Australia’s mineral discoveries and ore available to be mined is under review.

An online survey has been launched to gain comment ahead of a planned update in 2021 of the Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) Code – the professional code of practice that sets minimum standards for public reporting of minerals exploration results, resources and reserves.

Australian Institute of Geoscientists president Andrew Waltho encouraged all AIG members involved in mineral exploration, resource evaluation and mineral resource and ore reserves estimation, to contribute to the survey.

“Professional geoscientists are critically important stakeholders whose voices need to be heard during the JORC Code review and update process,” Mr Waltho said.

“There is unprecedented interest globally, particularly amongst business and securities regulators, in codes of practice for public reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves. Australia is no exception.”

Mr Waltho said the update provided exploration and mining professionals an opportunity to contribute to the continued development of the code and help to ensure that JORC and Australia retained a lead role in setting standards of professional practice in this field.

The last update of the JORC Code was eight years ago, and the AIG says the sector acknowledges there are a number of areas where industry, regulator and public expectations have evolved since then.

The JORC Code (aka Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves) provides a mandatory system for the classification of minerals exploration results, mineral resources and ore reserves according to the levels of confidence in geological knowledge and technical and economic considerations in public reports.

It is of particular relevance for explorers and miners listed on the ASX and investors and equity market commentators and regulators who follow or oversee those companies.

JORC chair Steve Hunt said the survey for the code review would be followed by a summary issues paper to be circulated at the end of April 2021.

Further industry feedback will then be sought before finalisation of the updated code.

“We would normally have started the periodic review of the JORC Code with public meetings of JORC stakeholders though, as with many things in 2020, this has not been possible due to the COVID pandemic impacts,” Mr Hunt said.

“The survey does allow the committee to start receiving feedback from various stakeholders and to plan for more direct engagement early in 2021 as COVID restrictions ease.

“Importantly, the key focus of the Code remains to provide principles-based disclosure and transparency for investors and potential investors in the mining and exploration markets.”

Submissions are open online at  http://www.jorc.org/code-update.asp until February 12, 2021.

The update survey is open to individuals, companies and other stakeholder groups to provide feedback on the JORC Code including their views on specific areas for review, improvement or alignment within the code.