There is increasing demand in the mining industry for raising the standard of NI43-101 reporting for mining projects. This is well-illustrated by the article “When is a Mineral Resource not a Resource” by Rod Webster (AMC Consultants), published in the October 2015 issue of CIM Magazine.
Following this, “CIM Definitions, Standards, Best Practices and NI43-101″ by Garth Kirkham (President, Canadian Institute of Mining (CIM) and Chair, CIM Best Practices Committee) was presented as a CIM Management and Economics Society Lecture in November 2015 in Vancouver.
“When is a Mineral Resource a Matchstick” presents letters to the editor of the December 2015 issue of CIM Magazine by Brian Buss (BWB Consulting) and Lindsay Bowker (Bowker Associates) in a similar vein.
The issues with NI43-101 reporting are many and diverse. Some of the more prevalent issues are concerned with unrealistic estimation of resources and reserves from available data, for example:
- Substantial tonnages of mineral resources and reserves being based on single drillhole intersections.
- Spreading of high grade drillhole intersections into areas of limited data by inexperienced resource modellers.
- Ignoring the influence of geology and mineral trends on classification of mineral resources and reserves.
Other issues are more concerned with unrealistic reporting of economically minable resources and reserves, for example:
- Inclusion of deep low-grade mineral resources that are unlikely ever to be mined economically.
- Making poor allowance for minimum mining width with respect to narrow veins, which would result in excessive dilution.
- Inclusion of resources and reserves adjacent to previously mined voids that are unlikely ever to be mined.
There are also issues with feasibility studies based on unrealistic engineering and economics that would result in mines that are likely to become environmental and economic disasters, such as inadequate site characterization, and unrealistic waste management and mine closure plans.
All of the above issues are unnecessary, unproductive and potentially unethical. For those who don’t know better there are online courses available by world class specialists that cover all of the issues raised above, and more. The following list is a selection from the comprehensive EduMine Library of Courses, all of which are highly relevant for anyone who has to prepare or understand or evaluate a 43-101 report.
- Mineral Project Reporting Under NI 43-101 (a CIM Course)
- Conventional Methods of Resource / Reserve Estimation
- Quality Control of Geochemical and Assay Samples
- Geostatistics 101 – A Practical Introduction
- Practical Geostatistics 2000 – 2: Spatial Statistics
- Estimating Costs for Mining Prefeasibility Studies
- Mine Closure: The Basics of Success
For those who have questions about the ethics of NI43-101 reporting there is also a course on Applied Ethics in Exploration and Mining.
These courses are all available online in self-directed study mode with full certification functionality, and all of them qualify as CPD (Continuing Professional Development).