Gregory J. Gosson, AMEC Americas Limited, Suite 400 - 111 Dunsmuir Street,Vancouver, B.C., Canada, V6B 5W3
Proposed Changes to Canadian NI 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (NI 43-101) first became law in Canada on February 1, 2001, and was subsequently revised December 30, 2005. On January 20, 2009, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) launched a new project to revise NI 43-101 in response to a number of industry and regulatory concerns on the practicality and benefit of certain requirements. These included:
- The frequency of requests for consents from the qualified persons that authored technical reports to meet filing requirements under Canadian and US securities law. Issuers were having difficulty tracking down and obtaining consents from qualified persons that may have prepared reports years earlier.
- The impracticality of the technical report form for mineral projects that had progressed beyond Preliminary Feasibility level of study. For example, detailed information on exploration results may be relevant and useful content for a technical report on an early stage exploration property, but were generally considered unnecessary detail in a technical report on an operating mine.
- The impression that qualified persons were inappropriately being made responsible, and taking on the liability, for an issuer’s disclosure.
- The inflexibility for disclosure of previous resource and reserve estimates in situations where issuers have acquired a mineral property with an existing resource or reserve prepared a by a previous operator. In such cases, the previous estimates do not qualify for the exemption for historical estimates – as they post-date February 1, 2001. The issuers have not yet verified these estimates as current mineral resources or reserves because they do not have access to the underlying data or do not have a qualified person available on short notice. In some cases, there is a technical report on SEDAR for a previous operator.
- Reassessing technical report triggers to make sure they are the right ones
- The need for clarity on the interpretation and application of certain disclosure requirements.
- The need to update accepted foreign professional associations under NI 43-101.
The CSA initiated a three-month consultation period that ended April 30, 2009, that included focus groups, by invitation, with various stakeholders to discuss areas of concern and potential revisions.
The tentative schedule for revisions is to publish the proposed revisions for public comment by April 2010. Analyze the comments received and make any additional revisions during July – October 2010. Submit the changes to a legislative review process from October 2010 to February 2011, and have the revised NI 43-101 take effect by June 2011.
The author is a member of the Mining Technical Advisory and Monitoring Committee which is a group of mining industry professionals that advise the Canadian Securities Administrators on securities regulatory issues that affect the mining industry. The presentation will provide an overview of the proposed changes to NI 43-101 and the significance of those changes to mining companies that are subject to NI 43-101.