Terms and Standards used for Mineral Deposits Classification
Terms and Standards used for Mineral Deposits Classification
The terms and standards used for the classifications of mineral deposits are described below.
Aligned system – It is a classification system which has been aligned with UNFC as demonstrated by the existence of a ‘bridging document, which has been endorsed by the ‘Expert Group on Resource Management’.
Anthropogenic material – An Anthropogenic material is physical matter without any attribution from an economic, legislative, social, or environmental perspective, and without a specification of the aggregate state (solid, liquid, gaseous). Anthropogenic materials include, for example, mineral materials, sewage sludge, biomass, and off-gas.
Anthropogenic resource – An Anthropogenic resource is a concentration or occurrence of Anthropogenic material of intrinsic economic interest, in such form, quality, and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic exploitation. It is recognized that in traditional resource classification systems, the quantity is subdivided into resources and reserves with elaborate definitions of the two. UNFC does not use these terms but refers to ‘Classes’ instead. The term ‘Anthropogenic resource’ has been adapted from the term ‘Mineral resource’ as defined in CRIRSCO.
Anthropogenic material product – Anthropogenic material product is a quantity which is saleable in markets. The cumulative quantities are equivalent to ‘Sales production’ as per UNFC. It is to be noted that the term Anthropogenic material product does not necessarily correlate with legal product declarations.
Anthropogenic specifications – The Anthropogenic specifications provides supplementary specifications for UNFC to classify secondary resource Projects in line with the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), notably objective.
Anthropogenic sources – Anthropogenic sources are material quantities from anthropogenic materials sources, such as mining tailings, buildings, infrastructure, consumer durable goods, and all material life cycle stages, including recovery, production, use and end-of-life.
Approved for Development – Approved for Development needs that all approvals / permits / contracts be in place, and capital funds have been committed.
Bridging document – It is a document which explains the relationship between UNFC and another classification system, including instructions and guidelines on how to classify estimates generated by application of that system using the ‘UNFC Numerical Codes’.
Category – Category is the primary basis for classification using each of the three fundamental criteria of environmental-socio-economic viability (related categories being E1, E2, and E3), technical feasibility (related categories being F1, F2, F3 and F4), and degree of confidence (related categories being G1, G2, G3 and G4) as shown in Fig 1.
Class – Class is the primary level of resource classification resulting from the combination of a category from each of the three criteria (axes). A Class is uniquely defined by selecting from each of the three criteria a particular combination of a Category or a Sub-category (or groups of Categories/Sub-categories). Since the codes are always quoted in the same sequence (i.e., E, F, G), the letters can be dropped and just the numbers retained. The numerical code defining a Class is then identical in all languages using Hindu-Arabic numerals as shown in Fig 1.
Fig 1 UNFC categories and examples of classes
Competence – Competence is the power of a person, business, court, or government to deal with something or take legal decisions. It is required that the ‘public report’ is based on work which is the responsibility of suitably qualified and experienced persons who are subject to an enforceable professional code of ethics (the Competent person).
Competent person – A Competent person is a mineral industry professional, defined as a corporate member, registrant, or licensee of a recognized professional body (including mutually recognized international professional organizations) with enforceable disciplinary processes including the powers to suspend or expel a member.
A competent person is required to have a minimum of five years relevant experience in the style of mineralization or type of deposit under consideration and in the activity which that person is undertaking.
If the Competent person is preparing documentation on Exploration results, the relevant experience is to be in exploration. If the Competent person is estimating, or supervising the estimation of Mineral resources, the relevant experience must be in estimation, assessment, and evaluation of Mineral resources. If the Competent person is estimating or supervising the estimation of Ore reserves, the relevant experience is to be in the estimation, assessment, evaluation and economic extraction of Ore reserves.
Complementary texts – These are additional texts to provide mandatory requirements (i.e., specifications) and further guidance regarding the application of UNFC.
Critical raw materials – Critical raw materials are materials or substances used in the primary production or manufacturing of goods. Critical raw materials are raw materials which are economically and strategically important for the economy but have a high-risk associated with their supply.
CRIRSCO – CRIRSCO (Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards) provides an international forum which enables countries to ensure consistency of their reporting standards. It is an international advisory body without legal authority and relies on its constituent members to ensure regulatory and disciplinary actions at a National level. It was formed in 1994 under the auspices of the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutes (CMMI). It was established as grouping of representatives of organizations that are responsible for developing mineral reporting codes and guidelines in Australasia (JORC), Canada (CIM), Chile (National Committee, from 2004), Europe (PERC), Russia (NAEN/OERN, from 2011), South Africa (SAMREC), and the USA (SME).
In 2002 CMMI was disbanded. CRIRSCO is now a partner of, and partly funded by, ICMM, the International Council of Mining and Metals, which is a world-wide consortium of mineral companies and mining industry associations whose purpose is promoting high environmental and ethical standards in the industry.
CRIRSCO template – The CRIRSCO template is the system developed by CRIRSCO for solid minerals and, includes the reporting codes and standards which are aligned with it. Fig 2 shows simplified mapping of CRIRSCO template.
Fig 2 Simplified mapping of CRIRSCO template to UNFC-2009 classes and categories
Criteria – UNFC utilizes three fundamental criteria for reserve and resource classification namely (i) favourability of environmental-socio-economic conditions in establishing the viability of the project (E axis), (ii) maturity of technology, studies and commitments necessary to implement the project (F axis), and (iii) degree of confidence in the estimate of quantities of products from the project (G axis) (shown in Fig 1). These Criteria are each subdivided into categories and sub-categories, which are then combined in the form of classes or sub-classes.
Detailed exploration – Detailed exploration involves the detailed three-dimensional delineation of a known deposit achieved through sampling, such as from outcrops, trenches, boreholes, shafts, and tunnels. Sampling grids are closely spaced such that size, shape, structure, grade, and other relevant characteristics of the deposit are established with a high degree of accuracy. Processing tests involving bulk sampling can be needed. A decision whether to conduct a Feasibility study can be made from the information provided by Detailed exploration.
Development on hold – This term is used where a Project is considered to have at least a reasonable chance of achieving viability (i.e., there are Reasonable prospects for eventual social, environmental, and economically viable production), but where there are currently major non-technical contingencies (e.g., environmental, or social issues) which need to be resolved before the Project can move towards development.
Development pending – This term is limited to Projects which are actively subject to technical activities, such as the acquisition of additional data (e.g., appraisal drilling) or the completion of feasibility studies and associated social, environmental, and economic analyses designed to confirm the viability including the determination of optimum development scenarios or mine plans. Also, the status can include Projects which have non-technical contingencies, provided these contingencies are being actively pursued by the developers and are expected to be resolved positively within a reasonable period.
Economic – Quantities, reported in tons/volume with grade / quality, demonstrated by means of a Pre-feasibility study, Feasibility study or Mining report, in order of increasing accuracy, which justify extraction under the technological, economic, environmental and other relevant conditions, realistically assumed at the time of the determination. The term economic comprises both normal economic and exceptional economic. These two subcategories are for optional use on a national level.
Economic demonstrated resources – Economic demonstrated resources (EDR) are the resources judged to be economically extractable and for which the quantity and quality are computed partly from specific measurements, and partly from extrapolation for a reasonable distance on geological evidence. EDR provides longer perspectives of what is likely to be available for mining. This is a key national reporting category in which several categories of the standard are aggregated (Proved reserves + Probable reserves + Measured resources + Indicated resources). EDR provides a reasonable and objective indication of what is likely to be available for mining in the long term.
Economic to Potentially economic (intrinsically economic) – Quantities, reported in tons/volume with grade / quality, estimated by means of a Geological study to be of intrinsic economic interest. Since the Geological study includes only a preliminary evaluation of Economic viability, no distinction can be made between economic and potentially economic. These Resources are therefore said to lie in the range of economic to potentially economic.
Effective date – It is the date for which assessments are valid.
Evaluator – Evaluator is a person (or persons), performing estimation and / or classification.
Exceptional (conditional) economic – Exceptional (conditional) economic reserves are reserves which at present are not economic under competitive market conditions. Their exploitation is made possible through government subsidies and / or other supportive measures.
Exploration project – It is a project which is associated with one or more Potential deposits.
Exploration results – Exploration results include data and information generated by mineral exploration programmes which can be of use to investors but which do not form part of a declaration of Mineral resources or Ore reserves.
Exploration target – An Exploration target is a statement or estimate of the exploration potential of a mineral deposit in a defined geological setting where the statement or estimate, quoted as a range of tons and a range of grade (or quality), relates to mineralization for which there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a Mineral resource.
Feasibility mineral resource – Feasibility mineral resource is that part of measured mineral resource, which after feasibility study has been found to be economically not mineable.
Feasibility study – A Feasibility study is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project which includes appropriately detailed assessment of applicable Modifying factors together with any other relevant operational factors and detailed financial analysis which are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that extraction is reasonably justified (economically mineable). The results of the study can reasonably serve as the basis for a final decision by a proponent or financial institution to proceed with, or finance, the development of the project. The confidence level of the study is higher than that of a Pre-Feasibility Study.
Foreseeable future – It is the period of time that a Project can make a reasonable projection of the occurrence of future conditions, events, or other factors which determine the environmental-socio-economic viability or technical feasibility of a Project.
General exploration – General exploration involves the initial delineation of an identified deposit. Methods used include surface mapping, widely spaced sampling, trenching, and drilling for preliminary evaluation of mineral quantity and quality (including mineralogical tests on laboratory scale if needed), and limited interpolation based on indirect methods of investigation. The objective is to establish the main geological features of a deposit, giving a reasonable indication of continuity and providing an initial estimate of size, shape, structure and grade. The degree of accuracy is to be sufficient for deciding whether a Pre-feasibility study and Detailed exploration are warranted.
Generic specifications – These are specifications which apply to the classification of products of a resource project using UNFC.
Geological study – A Geological study is an initial evaluation of Economic viability. This is obtained by applying meaningful cut-off values for grade, thickness, depth and costs, estimated from comparable mining operations. Economic viability categories, however, cannot in general be defined from the Geological study because of the lack of detail necessary for an Economic viability evaluation. The resource quantities estimated can indicate that the deposit is of intrinsic economic interest, i.e., in the range of economic to potentially economic. A Geological study is normally carried out in the four main stages namely (i) Reconnaissance, (ii) Prospecting, (iii) General exploration, and (iv) Detailed exploration. The purpose of the Geological study is to identify mineralization, to establish continuity, quantity, and quality of a mineral deposit, and thereby define an investment opportunity.
Historic estimates – Historic resource quantities frequently possess high uncertainty in respect to geological knowledge regarding quantities and qualities (G-axis), technical feasibility (F-axis), and the environmental-socio-economic axis categories (E-axis). The estimates can be based on an Identified Project but until a commercial operator is engaged and has verified or updated the estimates of the quantities, it is probably to be mapped under the Non-Viable Project class.
Hypothetical Resources – These are undiscovered Resources which are similar to known mineral bodies and which can be reasonably expected to exist in the same producing district or region under analogous geological conditions. If exploration confirms their existence and reveals enough information about their quality, grade, and quantity, they get reclassified as Identified resources.
Identified project – An identified project is a project associated with a known source.
Identified resource – It is the Resource whose location, grade, quality, and quantity are known or estimated from specific geological evidence. Identified resources include economic, marginally economic, and sub-economic components. To reflect varying degrees of geological certainty, these economic divisions can be sub-divided into measured, indicated, and inferred.
Indicated Mineral resource – An ‘Indicated Mineral resource’ is that part of a Mineral resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape, and physical characteristics are estimated with sufficient confidence to allow the application of Modifying factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.
Geological evidence is derived from adequately detailed and reliable exploration, sampling, and testing gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes, and is sufficient to assume geological and grade (quality) continuity between points of observation where data and samples are gathered.
An Indicated Mineral resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to a Measured Mineral resource and can only be converted to a Probable Ore reserve.
Inferred Mineral resource – An ‘Inferred Mineral resource’ is that part of a Mineral resource for which quantity and grade (or quality) are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade (or quality) continuity. It is based on exploration, sampling and testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.
An Inferred Mineral resource has a lower level of confidence than that applying to an Indicated Mineral resource and is not to be converted to an Ore reserve. It is reasonably expected that the majority of Inferred Mineral resources can be upgraded to Indicated Mineral resources with continued exploration.
Justified for development – Justified for development needs that the Project has been demonstrated to be technically feasible and Viable, and there is a reasonable expectation that all necessary approvals / contracts for the Project to proceed to development is forthcoming.
Known deposit or Known source – It is a deposit or source which has been demonstrated to exist by direct evidence. More detailed specifications can be found in relevant source-specific Aligned systems.
Mapping document – It is the output of a comparison between another resource classification system and UNFC, or between that system and existing ‘Aligned systems’, which highlights the similarities and differences between the systems. A Mapping document can provide the basis for assessing the potential for the other system to become an Aligned system through the development of a Bridging document.
Marginal economic resources – Marginal economic resources are resources which at the time of determination are not economic, but border on being so. They can become economic in the near future as a result of changes in technological, economic, environmental and / or other relevant conditions.
Materiality – It requires that a public report contains all the relevant information which investors and their professional advisers reasonably need, and reasonably expect to find in the report, for the purpose of making a reasoned and balanced judgement regarding the Exploration results, Mineral resources or Ore reserves being reported. Where relevant information is not supplied an explanation is to be provided to justify its exclusion. A general relationship between Exploration results, Mineral resources or Ore (Mineral) reserves is shown in Fig 3.
Fig 3 General relationship between Exploration results, Mineral resources or Ore reserves
Measured Mineral resource – A ‘Measured Mineral resource’ is that part of a Mineral resource for which quantity, grade (or quality), densities, shape, and physical characteristics are estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the application of Modifying factors to support detailed mining planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit.
Geological evidence is derived from detailed and reliable exploration, sampling, and testing gathered through appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes, and is sufficient to confirm geological and grade (or quality) continuity between points of observation where data and samples are gathered.
A Measured Mineral resource has a higher level of confidence than that applying to either an Indicated Mineral resource or an Inferred Mineral resource. It can be converted to a Proved Ore reserve or under certain circumstances to a Probable Ore reserve.
Mineral occurrence – A Mineral occurrence is an indication of mineralization, that is worthy of further investigation. The term Mineral occurrence does not imply any measure of volume / tonnage or grade / quality and hence is not part of a Mineral resource.
Mineral products – Products of a mineral project can be foreseeably bought, sold or used, and can include (i) mined or produced ores, (ii) co-products, (iii) beneficiated ores, (iv) processed ore concentrates, and (v) by-products.
Minerals project – A minerals project produces mineral products from a mineral source with defined frame conditions, which provide the basis for environmental-socio-economic evaluation and decision-making. A mineral project is comprised of a defined activity or set of activities, which provide the basis for estimating environmental-socio-economic viability including costs and potential revenues associated with its implementation.
Minerals cycle – The minerals cycle starts with the exploration and subsequent primary mineral production, such as excavation, beneficiation, processing and value-addition in a mineral project(s), as well as site decommissioning and remediation. Mineral products reflect the primary entrance of raw materials into the stock available for economic value chains. During the length of stay within value-added chains, the mineral products and compositions can be altered in linear and cyclic processes. Regardless of any sharp definition boundaries, there is an overlapping field with the Specifications for the Application of UNFC to Anthropogenic resources.
The Anthropogenic resource specifications provide rules of application of UNFC to sources, including mine tailings, buildings, infrastructure, consumer goods, and from all the material life cycle stages, including production, use and end-of-life. Secondary minerals (including recycled material) can be used to blend primary minerals to optimize the combined value. Exploration methods used to define primary mineral sources can be utilized to classify secondary sources like mine tailings, waste rock dumps and so on. In overlapping project conditions, the choice of which document to prefer is to be based on common sense. A combination of documents can be used as well for describing the different sub-projects.
Minerals reference point – The minerals reference point is a defined physical location within the scope of a mineral project at which a reported estimate is made. The minerals reference point can be the sales, transfer, or use point of a material from the project. It can be an intermediate stage, in which case the reported quantities account for losses prior to but not subsequent to the delivery point.
Mineral reserve – It is economically mineable part of measured and / or indicated mineral resource. It includes (i) Proved Mineral reserves, which include ‘Economically mineable part of Measured Mineral resource’, and (ii) Probable Mineral reserves which include ‘Economically mineable part of indicated or in some cases a Measured Mineral resource’.
Mineral resource – A Mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth’s crust in such form, grade (or quality) that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade (or quality), continuity and other geological characteristics of a Mineral resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge, including sampling. Mineral resources are sub divided, in order of increasing geological confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured categories.
Mineral sources – The term ‘source’ as used in UNFC is equivalent to the term deposit for minerals projects. The Glossary of Geology defines minerals as ‘a naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties’. Mineral sources are a potentially economically recoverable accumulation of a specific or a group of minerals.
Minerals specifications – The Minerals specifications provide supplementary specifications for UNFC to classify mineral Projects, including metal ores, technical minerals, evaporates, aggregates and solid energy minerals such as coal and others in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Mining projects – A mining project produces mineral Products from a mineral source with defined frame conditions, which provide the basis for environmental-socio-economic evaluation and in decision-making. The Project is comprised of a defined activity or set of activities, which provide the basis for estimating technical viability on the one hand (F-axis issues) and environmental-socio-economic viability, on the other (E-axis issues).
In UNFC, a Project can have quantities in several Classes (i.e., reflecting Products which are to be sold or used, Products which are to be consumed by the Project or not used (e.g., fuel and mine tailings) and quantities which are not to be associated with any Project (e.g., unrecoverable quantities remaining in situ). In addition, a Project can produce multiple Products, defined as the quantities crossing the reference points through Sub-Projects which may or may not have the same categories.
Mining report – A Mining report is understood as the current documentation of the state of development and exploitation of a deposit during its economic life including current mining plans. It is normally made by the operator of the mine. The study takes into consideration the quantity and quality of the minerals extracted during the reporting time, changes in the Economic Viability categories because of changes in prices and costs, development of relevant technology, newly imposed environmental or other regulations, and data on exploration conducted concurrently with mining. It presents the current status of the deposits, providing a detailed and accurate, up-to-date statement on the reserves and the remaining resources.
Modifying factors – These are considerations used to convert Mineral resources to Ore reserves. These include, but are not restricted to, mining, processing, metallurgical, infrastructure, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental factors.
National Reporting Organizations – National Reporting Organizations (NRO) are bodies which develop and are responsible for mineral reporting codes, standards, and guidelines for a country or a group of countries.
Non-Viable projects – Non-Viable projects are potential future recovery by mining operations, but where development is uncertain, or development is currently assessed as not Viable.
Normal economic – Normal economic reserves are reserves which justify extraction under competitive market conditions. Hence, the average value of the commodity mined per year is to be such as to satisfy the required return on investment.
Numerical code – It is the numerical designation of each class or sub-class of resource quantity as defined by UNFC. Numerical codes are always quoted in the same sequence (i.e., E, F, and G).
Ore reserve – An Ore reserve is the economically mineable part of a Measured and / or Indicated Mineral resource. It includes diluting materials and allowances for losses, which can occur when the material is mined or extracted and is defined by studies at Pre- Feasibility or Feasibility level as appropriate that include application of the Modifying factors. Such studies demonstrate that, at the time of reporting, extraction can reasonably be justified.
Original resource – It is the amount of a resource before production.
Potential deposit – It is a deposit which has not yet been demonstrated to exist by direct evidence (e.g., drilling and / or sampling), but is assessed as potentially existing based primarily on indirect evidence (e.g. surface or airborne geophysical measurements).
Potentially economic – The reference point at which Reserves are defined, normally the point where the ore is delivered to the processing plant, is to be stated. It is important that, in all situations where the reference point is different, such as for a saleable product, a clarifying statement is included to ensure that the reader is fully informed as to what is being reported.
Quantities, reported in tons/volume with grade / quality, demonstrated by means of a Pre-feasibility study, Feasibility study or Mining report, in order of increasing accuracy, not justifying extraction under the technological economic, environmental, and other relevant conditions, realistically assumed at the time of the determination, but possibly so in the future. The term potentially economic comprises both marginal and sub-marginal. These two sub-categories are for optional use on a national level
Potential source – It is a source which has not yet been demonstrated to exist by direct evidence, but is assessed as potentially existing based primarily on indirect evidence.
Potentially Viable projects – Potentially Viable projects are potential future recovery by mining operations, where development is pending or on-hold.
Pre-feasibility mineral resource – Pre-feasibility mineral resource is that part of an indicated and in some circumstances measured mineral resource which has been shown by pre-feasibility study as not economically mineable or can become economically viable subject to changes in technological, economic, environmental and / or other relevant conditions.
Preliminary Feasibility study – A Preliminary Feasibility study (Pre-Feasibility study) is a comprehensive study of a range of options for the technical and economic viability of a mineral project which has advanced to a stage where a preferred mining method, in the case of underground mining, or the pit configuration, in the case of an open pit, is established and an effective method of mineral processing is determined. It includes a financial analysis based on reasonable assumptions on the Modifying factors and the evaluation of any other relevant factors which are sufficient for a Competent person, acting reasonably, to determine if all or part of the Mineral resources can be converted to an Ore reserve at the time of reporting. A Pre- Feasibility study is at a lower confidence level than a Feasibility study.
PRMS – PRMS is Petroleum Resources Management System (PRMS), which was approved by the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Board and endorsed by the World Petroleum Council (WPC), the American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG), the Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE), and the Society of Exploration Geophysicists (SEG).
Probable Mineral reserves – Probable Mineral reserves are economically mineable part of indicated or in some cases, a Measured Mineral resource.
Probable Ore reserve – A Probable Ore reserve is the economically mineable part of an Indicated, and in some circumstances, a Measured Mineral resource. The confidence in the Modifying factors applying to a Probable Ore reserve is lower than that applying to a Proved Ore reserve.
Product – Products of the project can be bought, sold, or used, including electricity, heat, hydrocarbons, hydrogen, minerals, and water. It is noted that with some projects, such as for renewables, the products (electricity, heat etc.) are different from the sources (wind, solar irradiation etc.). In other projects, the products and sources can be similar e.g., in petroleum projects both the sources and products are oil and / or gas, although the fluid state and properties can change from reservoir to surface conditions. Project – A project is a defined development or operation which provides the basis for environmental, social, economic and technical evaluation and decision-making. In the early stages of evaluation, including verification, the project can be defined only in conceptual terms, whereas more mature projects are to be defined in significant detail. Where no development or operation can currently be defined for all or part of a source, based on existing technology or technology currently under development, all quantities associated with that source (or part thereof) are classified in category F4. These are quantities which, if produced, can be bought, sold, or used.
Prospecting – Prospecting is the systematic process of searching for a mineral deposit by narrowing down areas of promising enhanced mineral potential. The methods utilized are outcrop identification, geological mapping, and indirect methods such as geophysical and geochemical studies. Limited trenching, drilling, and sampling can be carried out. The objective is to identify a deposit which is to be the target for further exploration. Estimates of quantities are inferred, based on interpretation of geological, geophysical, and geochemical results.
Prospective projects – Prospective projects are potential future recovery by successful exploration activities. An Exploration project is associated with one or more major occurrences, i.e., a deposit that has not yet been demonstrated to exist by direct evidence (e.g., drilling and / or sampling), but has been assessed primarily on indirect evidence (e.g., surface, or airborne geophysical measurements).
Proved Mineral reserves – Proved Mineral reserves is the Economically mineable part of Measured Mineral resource.
Proved Ore reserve – A Proved Ore reserve is the economically mineable part of a Measured Mineral resource. A Proved ore reserve implies a high degree of confidence in the Modifying factors.
Public reports – These are reports prepared for the purpose of informing investors or potential investors and their advisers on Exploration results, Mineral resources or Ore reserves. They include, but are not limited to, annual and quarterly company reports, press releases, information memoranda, technical papers, website postings, and public presentations.
Qualified expert – Qualified expert is an independent person with education, training, and relevant professional experience in a discipline pertinent to a Project, acting in compliance with the professional standards of competence and ethics established by his / her professional organization. This person is responsible for the standards and methodologies used for collecting, analyzing, and verifying information used in qualified assessments.
Reasonable expectations – It is based on high level of confidence. This term is used within the E1 classification and concerns the likelihood that all necessary conditions will be met. It is also used in the F1.3 Sub-category and concerns the likelihood that all necessary approvals / contracts for the project to proceed to development will be forthcoming.
Reasonable prospects – It is based on moderate level of confidence. This term is used within the E2 and E3 classification and concerns the likelihood that all necessary conditions will be met.
Reasonable Time frame – It is the Time frame within which all approvals, permits and contracts necessary to implement the project are to be obtained. This is to be the time normally accepted as the typical period required to complete the task or activity under normal or typical circumstances.
Reconnaissance – A Reconnaissance study identifies areas of enhanced mineral potential on a regional scale based primarily on results of regional geological studies, regional geological mapping, airborne and indirect methods, preliminary field inspection, as well as geological inference and extrapolation. The objective is to identify mineralized areas worthy of further investigation towards deposit identification. Estimates of quantities are only to be made if sufficient data are available and when an analogy with known deposits of similar geological character is possible, and then only within an order of magnitude.
Reconnaissance Mineral resource – It is the estimates based on regional geological studies and mapping, airborne and indirect methods, preliminary field inspections as well as geological inference and extrapolation.
Remediation (or Reclamation) – Remediation (or Reclamation) is the restoration of a Project site conditions which are required by regulatory or other provisions.
Restricted Resources / Reserve – Restricted Resources / Reserve is that part of any resource / reserve category which is restricted from extraction by laws or regulations. For example, restricted reserves meet all the requirements of reserves except that they are restricted from extraction by laws or regulations.
Reserves – Reserves are that part of the reserve base which can be economically extracted or produced at the time of determination. The term reserves need not signify that extraction facilities are in place and operative. Reserves include only recoverable materials. Hence, terms such as ‘extractable reserves’ and ‘recoverable reserves’ are redundant and are not a part of the classification system.
Reserve base – Reserve base is that part of an identified resource which meets specified minimum physical and chemical criteria related to current mining and production practices, including those for grade, quality, thickness, and depth. The reserve base is the in-place demonstrated (measured plus indicated) resource from which reserves are estimated. It can encompass those parts of the resources which have a reasonable potential for becoming economically available within planning horizons beyond those that assume proven technology and current economics. The reserve base includes those resources which are currently economic (reserves), marginally economic (marginal reserves), and some of those that are currently subeconomic (subeconomic resources). The term Geological reserve has been applied by others normally to the reserve-base category, but it also can include the inferred-reserve base category. Fig 4 shows diagrammatic representation of Reserve and Resource.
Fig 4 Diagrammatic representation of Reserve and Resource
Resource – Resource is a concentration of naturally occurring solid, liquid, or gaseous material in or on the Earth’s crust in such form and amount that economic extraction of a commodity from the concentration is currently or potentially feasible.
Scoping study – A Scoping study is an order of magnitude technical and economic study of the potential viability of Mineral resources. It includes appropriate assessments of realistically assumed Modifying factors together with any other relevant operational factors which are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that progress to a Pre Feasibility study can be reasonably justified.
Sources – Sources, such as bioenergy, geothermal, hydro-marine, solar, wind, injection for storage, hydrocarbons, minerals, nuclear fuels and water, are the feedstock for resource projects from which products can be developed. The sources can be in their natural or secondary (anthropogenic sources, tailings, etc.) state.
Specifications – These are additional details (mandatory rules) as to how a resource classification system is to be applied, supplementing the framework definitions of that system. Generic specifications provided for the UNFC ensure clarity and comparability and are complementary to the source-specific requirements included in Aligned systems, as set out in the relevant Bridging document.
Specifications document – It is the specifications for the application of the United Nations Framework Classification for Resources (UNFC).
Speculative resources – These are undiscovered Resources which can occur either in known types of deposits in favourable geological settings where mineral discoveries have not been made, or in types of deposits as yet unrecognized for their economic potential. If exploration confirms their existence and reveals enough information about their quantity, grade, and quality, they are reclassified as Identified resources.
Sub-categories – These are criteria of environmental, social and economic viability, technical feasibility, and degree of confidence.
Sub-classes – These are optional subdivision of resource classification based on project maturity principles resulting from the combination of sub-categories.
Sub-marginal Economic resources – Sub-marginal Economic resources are resources which require a substantially higher commodity price or a major cost-reducing advance in technology to render them economic.
Sub-economic Demonstrated resources – Sub-economic Demonstrated resources are similar to Economic Demonstrated resources in terms of certainty of occurrence and, although considered to be potentially economic in the foreseeable future, these resources are judged to be Sub-economic at present. These resources are also at a proved and probable level of certainty.
Système International d’Unités – It is internationally recognized system of measurement and the modern form of the metric system. Prefixes and units are created and unit definitions are modified through international agreement as the technology of measurement progresses, and as the precision of measurements improves. It is abbreviated to SI.
Total mineral resource – It include (i) a concentration (or occurrence) of material of intrinsic economic interest, (ii) reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction, and (iii) location, grade, quantity, geological characteristic known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge.
Transparency – It requires that the reader of a Public report is provided with sufficient information, the presentation of which is clear and unambiguous, to understand the report and not be misled by this information or by omission on material information that is known to the Competent person.
Uneconomic occurrence – It is the materials of estimated quantity, which are too low in grade or for other reasons are not considered potentially economic. Hence, Uneconomic occurrence is not a part of a Mineral resource. If quantity and quality are considered worthy of reporting, it is to be recognized that an Uneconomic occurrence cannot be exploited without major technological and / or economic changes, which are not currently predictable.
United Nations Framework Classification – The principal objective of the United Nations Framework Classification (UNFC) is a principles-based system in which the products of a resource project are classified on the basis of the three fundamental criteria of environmental-socio-economic viability (E), technical feasibility (F), and degree of confidence in the estimate (G), using a numerical coding system. Combinations of these criteria create a three-dimensional system (Fig 1). Categories (e.g., E1, E2, E3) and, in some cases, sub-categories (e.g., E1.1) are defined for each of the three criteria.
UNFC is to provide a method of standardization for regulatory and statistical purposes, both governmental and inter-governmental. Its development was begun in the 1990s by UNECE and proceeds under a global mandate from the UN Economic and Social Council. UNFC classification is more complex and more extensive than CRIRSCO’s. It covers oil and gas resources as well as solid minerals. UNFC has a very different purpose from the codes and standards which are aligned with CRIRSCO. Key definitions and terminology used for reporting solid mineral reserves and resources (and exploration results) within these two classification systems have been aligned through extensive co-operative efforts between CRIRSCO and UNECE since 1999.
UNFC is a generic classification framework for solid minerals and oil and gas. It is an important tool for global and governmental communication. It is not a public reporting standard. There are no underlying principles as there are in a reporting standard. It has no recognition by market regulators. It is a classification and carries no concept of any certification of competency. It does not define a Competent person who takes personal responsibility.
Viable – A Project is viable when it has been confirmed to be economically, socially, technically, and environmentally feasible and satisfies all the relevant Criteria of the E, F, and G Axes which are needed for it to proceed.
Viable projects – Viable projects are current or future recovery by actual mining operations. Viable projects have been confirmed to be technically, social, environmentally, and economically acceptable to society with a likelihood under current conditions for success.