Propsed ASX changes give industry the jitters

Sarah Gafforini
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Several industry bodies have expressed concerns over the release of an ASX issues paper proposing tighter rules on how mining companies report assets to the market. 

The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy said it was concerned the ASX could introduce standards that weaken rather than strengthen ASX reports.

In a statement yesterday AusIMM president Alice Clark said the proposed changes could widen rather than clamp-down on potential misinformation.

“The ASX clearly believes that breaches of the JORC Code will be easier to identify if there is a mandatory list of minimum reportable items that sit outside the JORC Code,” she said.

“The AusIMM believes that any list of minimum reportable items will not be able to cover all of the material information required for each and every circumstance.

“The unintended consequence of this approach is the potential to provide companies with an easy option to omit potentially important material information ‘because it is not in the minimum list’.”

In a letter outlining concerns with the ASX paper Joint Ore Reserves Committee chairman Peter Stoker said the proposed reforms were not favoured by the JORC.

“None of the preferred positions in the ASX paper would be JORC’s preferred position,” he said.

The JORC guidelines are currently the Australian standard followed by companies in reporting mineral resources.

Yesterday the ASX said it was considering changing regulations to the 2007 international standards drawn up by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

The ASX said it had concerns announcements were too full of jargon and some companies were taking advantage of it.

Stoker said the JORC, which had initially worked with the ASX on the paper, believed it was too early for the ASX to name its preferred solutions.

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