An important Chinese mining sector delegation visiting South Africa was this week able to gain valuable insights from specialist engineers and scientists from SRK Consulting (SA), 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 (MRREC) of the Ministry of Natural Resources in Beijing, who were hosted by South Africa’s Samcodes Standards Committee (SSC).
In a knowledge-sharing day at the Wanderers Club in Johannesburg, SRK specialists contributed 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 world-wide are in China – located in Beijing, Nanchang and Hong Kong.
The 20-member delegation comes to South Africa as China works towards becoming the 14th member of the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO); 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 Marcin Wertz, SRK partner and principal mining engineer: “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 said.
As a global, multidisciplinary consulting engineering firm, SRK generates and submits the largest number of competent persons’ reports in the sector. SRK corporate consultant and former chairman Roger Dixon was involved in initiating the Samcode process about 25 years ago, which led to the South African Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (Samrec) and the South African Code for the Reporting of Mineral Asset Valuation (Samval). South Africa was also a founder member of CRIRSCO, on which Dixon remains one of two country representatives.
SSC chairperson Matt Mullins said South Africa had much of value to share with China. During this visit, the SSC programme has given the Chinese delegation broad exposure to South African mineral reporting standards and its mining sector more generally – engaging with stakeholders such as mining companies, consultancies, the Minerals Council South Africa, the Council for Geoscience, the Department of Mineral Resources and the Johannesburg Securities Exchange (JSE).
Mullins said the visit would foster ongoing communication between key South African and Chinese mineral code custodians, including the patrons of the Samcodes – the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy and the Geological Society of South Africa.