An important Chinese mining sector delegation visiting South Africa in October was able to gain valuable insights from specialist engineers and scientists of multidisciplinary consulting firm SRK Consulting South Africa, focusing on the range of factors that affect mineral resource and mineral reserve reporting and valuation.
The delegation comprised members of the Mineral Resources and Reserves Evaluation Centre of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Beijing, who were hosted by South Africa’s Samcodes Standards Committee.
In a knowledge-sharing day at the Wanderers Club, in Johannesburg, Gauteng, SRK specialists presented their extensive experience in conceptualising and quantifying the ‘modifying factors’ that must be considered when converting mineral resources to mineral reserves. Three of SRK Consulting’s more than 40 offices worldwide are in China – located in Beijing, Nanchang and Hong Kong.
The 20-member delegation came to South Africa in the course of China working towards becoming the fourteenth member of the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO). The CRIRSCO provides common standards for reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and mineral reserves – giving investors and other stakeholders greater confidence in the value of mineral assets and the viability of mining projects.
According to SRK partner and principal mining engineer Marcin Wertz: “In a series of presentations, SRK experts covered a range of disciplines including exploration, environmental management, social impact, geotechnical engineering, mine planning, mineral processing, tailings, water management, mine closure and mineral asset valuation.
“The presentations highlighted the importance of independent, high-quality technical studies in raising confidence in the information and data on which mining decisions are taken and, in particular, the role of ‘competent persons’ as defined in the international reporting standards and codes,” he says.
SRK claims that, as a global, multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm, it generates and submits the largest number of competent persons’ reports in the mining sector, with SRK corporate consultant and former chairperson Roger Dixon involved in initiating the Samcode process about 25 years ago. This led to the South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves and the South African Code for the Reporting of Mineral Asset Valuation. South Africa was also a founder member of the CRIRSCO, on which Dixon remains one of two country representatives.