A committee of the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutions (CMMI) was established in 1994 comprising representatives from mining and metallurgical institutions from the United States (SME), Australia (AusIMM), Canada (CIM), the United Kingdom (IMM, now the IMMM) and South Africa (SAIMM). This committee worked towards the creation of a set of standard international definitions for the public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, modelled on the existing JORC Code (the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves) and reached provisional agreement on standard reporting definitions in 1997 (the Denver Accord). This was followed by an agreement on 9 November 1999, in Geneva to incorporate the CMMI definitions into the United Nations Framework Classification of Reserves and Resources – Solid Fuels and Mineral Commodities (UNFC-1997), developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
The CMMI initiative made considerable progress towards widespread adoption of consistent reporting standards throughout the world. These standards are now embodied in the similar codes and guidelines published and adopted by the members of CRIRSCO. CRIRSCO members are National Reporting Organisations (NROs) who are responsible for developing and administrating of reporting codes and standards in their jurisdiction. A further meeting in Cairns (2002) saw the establishment of what is now the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO) comprising the same core group of representatives. Subsequently, at Reston VA in October 2003, CRIRSCO agreed to produce the International Reporting Template and to communicate with, and relate to other committees involved in standards concerning Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources. The Template has been updated a number of times with the latest version being published in November 2019.
CRIRSCO currently comprises 14 members, representing Australasia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Europe, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Russia, South Africa, Turkey, USA, with the prospect of other regions and countries joining in future. These countries/regions all have national reporting codes with common definitions and the reporting framework of which are identical making reporting in these codes equivalent.
CRIRSCO has maintained strategic engagement with various organisations:
- In 1999 CRIRSCO representing solid fuels and minerals commodities became part of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Expert Group on Resource Classification (EGRC), which had developed the United Nations Framework Classification System for solid fuels and Mineral Commodities(UNFC-1997);
- In 2004 the UNFC was extended to apply to petroleum (oil and natural gas). CRIRSCO worked with the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) World Petroleum Council (WPC) American Association of Petroleum Geologists (AAPG) Society of Petroleum Evaluation Engineers (SPEE) and other EGRC representatives to develop the UNFC for Fossil Energy and Mineral Resources (UNFC-2004);
- The International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has as part of their project agenda to develop financial standards for reporting of Mineral assets;
- The Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in the mapping and bridging of the “Red Book” to the UNFC-2009;
- A member of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and EGRC Bureau;
- Continues to liaise with the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to develop reporting standards for sea bed mining;
- CRIRSCO has a strategic alliance with the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM). Responsible resource management is seen as the foundation of sustainable development of Mineral Resources; and
- Participation in the INTRAW project, launched in February 2015, which has the aim of fostering the international cooperation on raw materials. This is a European Union funded project.
The International Reporting Template
The International Reporting Template for the public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. The Template integrates the minimum standards being adopted in national reporting codes worldwide with recommendations and interpretive guidelines for the Public Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. The definitions in the Template are either identical to, or not materially different from those definitions used in the countries represented on the CRIRSCO committee. A trend towards tighter corporate governance and regulation demands the application of good practice in mineral resource management as well as high standards of public reporting by responsible, competent persons. The purpose of the Template is to assist with the dissemination and promotion of effective, well-tried, good practice for public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves already widely adopted through national reporting codes.
The Template is advisory only and where a national or regional code exists, it will take precedence. The Template is intended to assist countries that either do not have a reporting code or whose code is outdated, to produce a new code consistent with international best practice. It also provides a consolidated version of national codes that reflects compatible international components and may thus be used in comparisons with other international reporting systems. The word ‘Template’ is used advisedly to indicate that this document is a model for code development and does not in itself constitute a ‘code’ which implies that it has legal or other regulatory status. The original Template was published in July 2006 followed by an update in November 2013. The Template is reviewed on a 5-year cycle and considers best practice from updates or original versions of codes and standards published by NROs in the preceding 5 years. The latest updated was published in November 2019.
The CRIRSCO Executive for 2022 is:
- Chairperson Edson Ribeiro (CBRR))
- Deputy Chairperson – Gareth Kirkam (Canada)
- Secretary – Wilfredo Lopez (CCRR)
- Treasurer – Peter Stoker (JORC)
- Immediate Past Chairperson – Ken Lomberg (SAMREC)
Background to CRIRSCO
CRIRSCO, which was formed in 1994 under the auspices of the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutes (CMMI), is a grouping of representatives of organisations that are responsible for developing mineral reporting codes and guidelines in Australia (JORC), Chile (National Committee), Canada (CIM), South Africa (SAMREC), the USA (SME), UK (National Committee) and Western Europe (IGI and EFG). The combined value of mining companies listed on the stock exchanges of these countries accounts for more than 80% of the listed capital of the mining industry.
The international initiative to standardise market-related reporting definitions for mineral resources and mineral reserves had its start at the 15th CMMI Congress at Sun City, South Africa in 1994. The mineral definitions working group (later called CRIRSCO) was formed after a meeting at that Congress, and was made up of representatives from the countries listed above (except for Chile, which joined later), with the primary objective of developing a set of international standard definitions for the reporting of mineral resources and mineral reserves.
In 1997, the five participants reached agreement (the Denver Accord) for the definitions of the two major categories, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, and their respective sub-categories Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources, and Proved and Probable Mineral Reserves.
In 1999, agreement was reached with the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN-ECE), which had, since 1992, been developing an International Framework Classification for Mineral Reserves and Resources (UNFC), to incorporate into the UNFC the CMMI-CRIRSCO resource / reserve definitions for those categories that were common to both systems. This agreement gave true international status to the CMMI-CRIRSCO definitions.
Following these agreements, an updated version of the JORC Code was released in Australia in 1999 (and more recently, in 2012), followed by similar codes and guidelines in South Africa, USA, Canada, UK / Ireland / W Europe and Chile.
The similarity of the various national reporting codes and guidelines has enabled CRIRSCO to develop an International Minerals Reporting Code Template, which is available on this web site. This can act as a "core code and guidelines" for any country wishing to adopt its own CRIRSCO-style reporting standard, after including provisions for country-specific requirements such as those of a legal and investment regulatory nature. The professional bodies supporting the National Reporting Organisation (NRO) for each country or regional has a Code of Ethics and a Disciplinary Code.