Resource Evaluation

(1)The 2004 Australasian Code for reporting of Mineral Resources & Ore Reserves (JORC CODE)

The Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the ‘JORC Code’ or ‘the Code’) sets out minimum standards, recommendations and guidelines for Public Reporting of exploration results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in Australasia.

It has been drawn up by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, the Australian Institute of Geoscientists and the Minerals Council of Australia. The Joint Ore Reserves Committee was established in 1971 and published a number of reports which made recommendations on the classification and Public Reporting of Ore Reserves prior to the first release of the JORC Code in 1989.

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(2) The JORC Code – its Operation and Application


The 1999 edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (the “JORC Code”) became effective in September 1999 and is the latest revision of a Code which was originally issued in 1989, but which has an ancestry dating back to the first JORC report released in 1972.The JORC Code has been operating successfully for over ten years and, together with complementary developments in stock exchange listing rules, has brought about substantially improved standards of public reporting by Australasian mining and exploration companies. The Code is now regarded as the world leader in this field, with other countries using it as a template for their own reporting standards, and Australia playing a leading role in the development of international reporting standards. The reasons for the success of the Code are varied, foremost amongst them being its adoption in full by the Australian and New Zealand Stock Exchanges, and the ability and willingness of mining industry organisations to bring Competent Persons to account when necessary.

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(3) Rio Tinto’s Adoption of the JORC Code as a World Reporting Standard

Rio Tinto is a global mining company, headquartered in the UK but with strong historical roots in Australia. It has operations in around 16 countries and interests through exploration, marketing or processing in many others. The estimation and reporting of mineral resources and ore reserves is of particular relevance given the geographical, cultural and product diversity of the Group.
Rio Tinto set out several years ago to standardise its approach to resource and reserve reporting, and to ensure that the numbers that it reported were backed by the highest quality estimation procedures. This was done against a background of developing international pressure for companies to conform to an ‘International System’ that provided clear and consistent definitions of terminology and increasing reporting.
In the longer term it is the quality of the estimates as well as the reporting style that matters. Good estimates and poor reporting will at worst bring confusion, criticism and some lack of credibility whereas a good report based on a poor estimate could mean the downfall of a company. Companies that achieve both (good estimating and good reporting) will be well placed to meet the demands of regulatory bodies and financiers.
This paper describes Rio Tinto experiences in the past few years in attempting to achieve both good estimation and good reporting, while responding to developments in international reporting Codes.

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