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Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy

On-line version ISSN 2411-9717

J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. vol.114 n.5 Johannesburg May. 2014

 

SPECIAL ARTICLES

 

South African Mineral Resource Committee (SAMREC)

 

 

Re-write of the SAMREC Code (2014)

The mining industry is a vital contributor to national and global economies; never more so than at present with soaring demand for the commodities that it produces. It is a truly international business that depends on the trust and confidence of investors and other stakeholders for its financial and operational well-being. Unlike many other industries, it is based on depleting mineral assets, the knowledge of which is imperfect prior to the commencement of extraction. It is therefore essential that the industry communicates the risks associated with investment effectively and transparently in order to earn the level of trust necessary to underpin its activities. (CRIRSCO website)

The SAMREC Code, which sets out minimum standards, recommendations, and guidelines for Public Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves in South Africa, is being reviewed and improved to ensure that it remains relevant to the minerals industry and keeps abreast with recent developments. This revision is considered necessary because as the guidelines of the Code are used, various issues and practical realities have become apparent that require further guidance from the Code. This rewrite is designed to improve the Code and eliminate possible contradictory reporting practices, and align SAMREC with recent changes to international codes in keeping with international best practice.

The SAMREC Code is one of seven codes that are affiliated under the CRIRSCO family of reporting codes. As a result of the CRIRSCO/CMMI initiative, considerable progress has been made towards widespread adoption of globally consistent reporting standards. These are embodied in similar Codes, guidelines, and standards published and adopted by the relevant professional bodies around the world. The definitions in this edition of the SAMREC Code are either identical to, or not materially different from, existing international definitions. In recent years the Russian Code (NAEN) (2011) was added to the original Codes. Various Codes have been revised and reissued - CIM of Canada (2010), PERC representing Europe (2013), JORC representing Australia and New Zealand (2012), and SME representing the USA (under review for issuing in 2014).

Various aspects of the Code remain unchanged. Because SAMREC is part of the CRIRSCO family, there are 15 core definitions e.g. Mineral Resource, Mineral Reserve etc. that are common between the international codes. These are not being changed. Rather, the guidance and interpretation is being improved so that the Code is relevant. The Code remains a guideline for minimum public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources, and Mineral Reserves. The desire of the SAMREC Working Group is that the Code is used for all forms of reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources, and Mineral Reserves, both public and private. The principles that underpin the code remain Transparency, Materiality, and Competence. The Code requires that anyone who uses the Code and asserts themselves as a Competent Person (CP) in accordance with the Code needs to have five years' relevant experience and be registered with SACNASP or ECSA or be a member of GSSA, SAIMM, or PLATO or a recognized professional organization (RPO).

A body whose members put themselves forward as CPs is required to have a code of ethics and a disciplinary code. Scientists working in South Africa are required to comply with the Natural Scientific Professions Act of 2003. However, where the SAMREC Code is used as the basis for a mineral resource or reserve declaration that falls outside of the jurisdiction of South Africa laws and the CP declares his/her membership of GSSA or SAIMM in support of the declaration, then these organizations require the CP to follow the newly instituted procedure.

Because the GSSA and SAIMM are not statutory bodies and represent broader interests than just minerals reporting, the GSSA and SAIMM have introduced by-laws that require individuals who utilize their membership as a credential for reporting purposes to notify the societies and subject themselves to a peer review prior to the publication of the work. This peer review entails confirming that they are members of the societies in the category they claim and have the necessary qualification and experience to undertake this assignment as a CP. However, this does not militate against the individual producing work that is substandard. Should the individual complete substandard work and a complaint is laid, they will be subject to the disciplinary process.

Issues regarding the rewrite are discussed at a monthly meeting of the SAMREC Working Group (WG) chaired by Ken Lomberg (ken.lomberg@coffey.com) and held on the last Thursday of each month at the Military Museum in Saxonwold. All interested parties are invited to participate. These meetings also provide an opportunity for industry to highlight aspects that may need to be reviewed or improved. We would like to encourage all interested parties to submit any issues relevant to the rewrite of the SAMREC Code via the SAIMM (sam@saimm.co.za) by 30 June 2014. The intention is to complete a draft for public comment by the end of Q3 2014.

Once a draft has been finalized it will be issued for comment prior to being ratified by the SAMREC/SAMVAL Committee (SSC). It is also the intention of the SAMREC WG to prepare a companion volume that would include the practical application of the Code and assist in providing a benchmark for all industry practices. This volume is likely to be produced after the launch of the Code as the proceedings of a SAMREC conference.

 

K. Lomberg

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