17 CFR § 229.1300 - (Item 1300) Definitions.
As used in this subpart, these terms have the following meanings:
Adequate geological evidence, when used in the context of mineral resource determination, means evidence that is sufficient to establish geological and grade or quality continuity with reasonable certainty.
Cut-off grade is the grade (i.e., the concentration of metal or mineral in rock) that determines the destination of the material during mining. For purposes of establishing “prospects of economic extraction,” the cut-off grade is the grade that distinguishes material deemed to have no economic value (it will not be mined in underground mining or if mined in surface mining, its destination will be the waste dump) from material deemed to have economic value (its ultimate destination during mining will be a processing facility). Other terms used in similar fashion as cut-off grade include net smelter return, pay limit, and break-even stripping ratio.
Economically viable, when used in the context of mineral reserve determination, means that the qualified person has determined, using a discounted cash flow analysis, or has otherwise analytically determined, that extraction of the mineral reserve is economically viable under reasonable investment and market assumptions.
Exploration results are data and information generated by mineral exploration programs (i.e., programs consisting of sampling, drilling, trenching, analytical testing, assaying, and other similar activities undertaken to locate, investigate, define or delineate a mineral prospect or mineral deposit) that are not part of a disclosure of mineral resources or reserves. A registrant must not use exploration results alone to derive estimates of tonnage, grade, and production rates, or in an assessment of economic viability.
Exploration stage property is a property that has no mineral reserves disclosed.
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 tonnage and a range of grade (or quality), relates to mineralization for which there has been insufficient exploration to estimate a mineral resource.
Feasibility study is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project, which includes detailed assessments of all applicable modifying factors, as defined by this section, together with any other relevant operational factors, and detailed financial analysis that are necessary to demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that extraction is economically viable. The results of the study may serve as the basis for a final decision by a proponent or financial institution to proceed with, or finance, the development of the project.
(1) A feasibility study is more comprehensive, and with a higher degree of accuracy, than a pre-feasibility study. It must contain mining, infrastructure, and process designs completed with sufficient rigor to serve as the basis for an investment decision or to support project financing.
(2) The confidence level in the results of a feasibility study is higher than the confidence level in the results of a pre-feasibility study. Terms such as full, final, comprehensive, bankable, or definitive feasibility study are equivalent to a feasibility study.
Final market study is a comprehensive study to determine and support the existence of a readily accessible market for the mineral. It must, at a minimum, include product specifications based on final geologic and metallurgical testing, supply and demand forecasts, historical prices for the preceding five or more years, estimated long term prices, evaluation of competitors (including products and estimates of production volumes, sales, and prices), customer evaluation of product specifications, and market entry strategies or sales contracts. The study must provide justification for all assumptions, which must include assumptions concerning the material contracts required to develop and sell the mineral reserves.
Indicated mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of adequate geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with an indicated mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person to apply modifying factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because an indicated mineral resource has a lower level of confidence than the level of confidence of a measured mineral resource, an indicated mineral resource may only be converted to a probable mineral reserve.
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. The level of geological uncertainty associated with an inferred mineral resource is too high to apply relevant technical and economic factors likely to influence the prospects of economic extraction in a manner useful for evaluation of economic viability. Because an inferred mineral resource has the lowest level of geological confidence of all mineral resources, which prevents the application of the modifying factors in a manner useful for evaluation of economic viability, an inferred mineral resource may not be considered when assessing the economic viability of a mining project, and may not be converted to a mineral reserve.
Initial assessment is a preliminary technical and economic study of the economic potential of all or parts of mineralization to support the disclosure of mineral resources. The initial assessment must be prepared by a qualified person and must include appropriate assessments of reasonably assumed technical and economic factors, together with any other relevant operational factors, that are necessary to demonstrate at the time of reporting that there are reasonable prospects for economic extraction. An initial assessment is required for disclosure of mineral resources but cannot be used as the basis for disclosure of mineral reserves.
Investment and market assumptions, when used in the context of mineral reserve determination, includes all assumptions made about the prices, exchange rates, interest and discount rates, sales volumes, and costs that are necessary to determine the economic viability of the mineral reserves. The qualified person must use a price for each commodity that provides a reasonable basis for establishing that the project is economically viable.
Limited geological evidence, when used in the context of mineral resource determination, means evidence that is only sufficient to establish that geological and grade or quality continuity are more likely than not.
Material of economic interest, when used in the context of mineral resource determination, includes mineralization, including dumps and tailings, mineral brines, and other resources extracted on or within the earth's crust. It does not include oil and gas resources resulting from oil and gas producing activities, as defined in § 210.4-10(a)(16)(i) of this chapter, gases (e.g., helium and carbon dioxide), geothermal fields, and water.
Measured mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of conclusive geological evidence and sampling. The level of geological certainty associated with a measured mineral resource is sufficient to allow a qualified person to apply modifying factors, as defined in this section, in sufficient detail to support detailed mine planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Because a measured mineral resource has a higher level of confidence than the level of confidence of either an indicated mineral resource or an inferred mineral resource, a measured mineral resource may be converted to a proven mineral reserve or to a probable mineral reserve.
Mineral reserve is an estimate of tonnage and grade or quality of indicated and measured mineral resources that, in the opinion of the qualified person, can be the basis of an economically viable project. More specifically, it is the economically mineable part of a measured or indicated mineral resource, which includes diluting materials and allowances for losses that may occur when the material is mined or extracted.
Mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form, grade or quality, and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for economic extraction. A mineral resource is a reasonable estimate of mineralization, taking into account relevant factors such as cut-off grade, likely mining dimensions, location or continuity, that, with the assumed and justifiable technical and economic conditions, is likely to, in whole or in part, become economically extractable. It is not merely an inventory of all mineralization drilled or sampled.
Modifying factors are the factors that a qualified person must apply to indicated and measured mineral resources and then evaluate in order to establish the economic viability of mineral reserves. A qualified person must apply and evaluate modifying factors to convert measured and indicated mineral resources to proven and probable mineral reserves. These factors include, but are not restricted to: Mining; processing; metallurgical; infrastructure; economic; marketing; legal; environmental compliance; plans, negotiations, or agreements with local individuals or groups; and governmental factors. The number, type and specific characteristics of the modifying factors applied will necessarily be a function of and depend upon the mineral, mine, property, or project.
Preliminary feasibility study (or pre-feasibility study) is a comprehensive study of a range of options for the technical and economic viability of a mineral project that has advanced to a stage where a qualified person has determined (in the case of underground mining) a preferred mining method, or (in the case of surface mining) a pit configuration, and in all cases has determined an effective method of mineral processing and an effective plan to sell the product.
(1) A pre-feasibility study includes a financial analysis based on reasonable assumptions, based on appropriate testing, about the modifying factors and the evaluation of any other relevant factors that are sufficient for a qualified person to determine if all or part of the indicated and measured mineral resources may be converted to mineral reserves at the time of reporting. The financial analysis must have the level of detail necessary to demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that extraction is economically viable.
(2) A pre-feasibility study is less comprehensive and results in a lower confidence level than a feasibility study. A pre-feasibility study is more comprehensive and results in a higher confidence level than an initial assessment.
Preliminary market study is a study that is sufficiently rigorous and comprehensive to determine and support the existence of a readily accessible market for the mineral. It must, at a minimum, include product specifications based on preliminary geologic and metallurgical testing, supply and demand forecasts, historical prices for the preceding five or more years, estimated long term prices, evaluation of competitors (including products and estimates of production volumes, sales, and prices), customer evaluation of product specifications, and market entry strategies. The study must provide justification for all assumptions. It can, however, be less rigorous and comprehensive than a final market study, which is required for a full feasibility study.
Probable mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of an indicated and, in some cases, a measured mineral resource.
Production stage property is a property with material extraction of mineral reserves.
Qualified person is an individual who is:
(1) A mineral industry professional with at least five years of relevant experience in the type of mineralization and type of deposit under consideration and in the specific type of activity that person is undertaking on behalf of the registrant; and
(2) An eligible member or licensee in good standing of a recognized professional organization at the time the technical report is prepared. For an organization to be a recognized professional organization, it must:
(i) Be either:
(A) An organization recognized within the mining industry as a reputable professional association; or
(B) A board authorized by U.S. federal, state or foreign statute to regulate professionals in the mining, geoscience or related field;
(ii) Admit eligible members primarily on the basis of their academic qualifications and experience;
(iii) Establish and require compliance with professional standards of competence and ethics;
(iv) Require or encourage continuing professional development;
(v) Have and apply disciplinary powers, including the power to suspend or expel a member regardless of where the member practices or resides; and
(vi) Provide a public list of members in good standing.
Relevant experience means, for purposes of determining whether a party is a qualified person, that the party has experience in the specific type of activity that the person is undertaking on behalf of the registrant. If the qualified person is preparing or supervising the preparation of a technical report concerning exploration results, the relevant experience must be in exploration. If the qualified person is estimating, or supervising the estimation of mineral resources, the relevant experience must be in the estimation, assessment and evaluation of mineral resources and associated technical and economic factors likely to influence the prospect of economic extraction. If the qualified person is estimating, or supervising the estimation of mineral reserves, the relevant experience must be in engineering and other disciplines required for the estimation, assessment, evaluation and economic extraction of mineral reserves.
(1) Relevant experience also means, for purposes of determining whether a party is a qualified person, that the party has experience evaluating the specific type of mineral deposit under consideration (e.g., coal, metal, base metal, industrial mineral, or mineral brine). The type of experience necessary to qualify as relevant is a facts and circumstances determination. For example, experience in a high-nugget, vein-type mineralization such as tin or tungsten would likely be relevant experience for estimating mineral resources for vein-gold mineralization, whereas experience in a low grade disseminated gold deposit likely would not be relevant.
Note 1 to paragraph (1) of the definition of relevant experience: It is not always necessary for a person to have five years' experience in each and every type of deposit in order to be an eligible qualified person if that person has relevant experience in similar deposit types. For example, a person with 20 years' experience in estimating mineral resources for a variety of metalliferous hard-rock deposit types may not require as much as five years of specific experience in porphyry-copper deposits to act as a qualified person. Relevant experience in the other deposit types could count towards the experience in relation to porphyry-copper deposits.
(2) For a qualified person providing a technical report for exploration results or mineral resource estimates, relevant experience also requires, in addition to experience in the type of mineralization, sufficient experience with the sampling and analytical techniques, as well as extraction and processing techniques, relevant to the mineral deposit under consideration. Sufficient experience means that level of experience necessary to be able to identify, with substantial confidence, problems that could affect the reliability of data and issues associated with processing.
(i) Sufficient knowledge and experience in the application of these factors to the mineral deposit under consideration; and
(ii) Experience with the geology, geostatistics, mining, extraction and processing that is applicable to the type of mineral and mining under consideration.