Samcodes Standards Committee chairperson Matt Mullins
Photo by: Creamer Media
JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – South Africa’s meticulous set of mineral reporting codes has succeeded in attracting a high-ranking Chinese delegation from the Mineral Resources and Reserves Evaluation Centre of the Ministry of Land and Natural Resources (MRREC) in Beijing.
South Africa’s Samcodes Standards Committee (SSC) will host the 18-strong Chinese group from October 15 to November 3, and provide ongoing simultaneous translation at all training events.
Training in the practical application and management of the reporting of exploration results, mineral resources and mineral reserves (Samrec), as well as exposure to the crucial role of the code in facilitating access to capital on stock exchanges, has been requested.
The visit is being undertaken ahead of China joining the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (Crirsco), a 13-country group that subscribes to a common standard for resource reporting, mainly for investment purposes. China is set to become the fourteenth member of Crirsco, which provides far-reaching investor safeguards through its insistence on materiality, transparency, competency and responsibility.
MRREC hopes to learn from South Africa’s 25 years of code experience and, in particular, to understand the crucial role of the code in accessing capital markets.
Accordingly, the SSC programme will cover the broad aspect of South African mining, from mining companies to consultancies, software providers, supporting organisations, Minerals Council South Africa, the Council for Geoscience, the Department of Mineral Resources, the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE) and investment houses.
“The industry has been superb at offering support for what is an excellent opportunity to showcase South African mining,” SSC chairperson Matt Mullins commented in a telephone interview with Mining Weekly Online.
As a founder member of Crirsco, South Africa has considerable influence on the direction and intent of global reporting standards. Roger Dixon and Ken Lomberg are South Africa’s current representatives on Crirsco, which last month held its annual meeting in London.
South Africa is at the forefront of providing standards for the public reporting of mineral-related issues, with governance effected through membership of professional bodies, statutory registration of earth scientists and engineers and the JSE reader’s panel.
In addition to the Samrec code are the Samval code, which deals with the reporting of mineral asset valuation, and the Samog code, which covers reporting on oil and gas resources.
Underpinning governance are the reports of competent persons and competent valuators, which form a bulwark against incorrect valuations and ensure that a resource and a reserve is the same in South Africa as it is in Australia, Canada or in any other Crirsco country.
Increasingly, investors insist on knowing whether the competent person who signs off is properly registered with the appropriate society and organisational regulatory body.
While the initial impetus for public reporting standards arose from Australia’s nickel boom of the 60s – leading to the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves – South Africa responded rapidly, with today’s single Crirsco international reporting template drawing heavily on South African input.
Although all the costs have been paid for by the Chinese, sponsorship from SRK, Datamine, Ukwazi and TECT, has enabled the volunteer-run SCC to provide additional hospitality to this senior delegation, which will receive the training in mainly Johannesburg and Cape Town.
The patrons of the Samcodes are the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Geological Society of South Africa.
The visit is expected to foster ongoing communication between key South African and Chinese mineral code custodians.