Harmonizing Russian reserves

As the international mining industry gets more involved in projects in Russia, a working group has been set up by the Pan-European Reserves & Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) – the European counterpart to JORC in Australasia (www.percreserves.com) on behalf of the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO – see www.crirsco.com). This working group, consisting of both Russian and international specialists in resource and reserve estimation and reporting, will operate under the chairmanship of Dr Mike Armitage, Managing Director of SRK Consulting (UK), and will include representatives of both the Russian State Commission on Reserves (GKZ) and of the international reserves reporting community as represented by CRIRSCO, including the Australasian JORC committee and the PERC committee in Europe.

The purpose will be to establish procedures for conversion in either direction between resource and reserve estimates classified and reported according to the Russian and international Codes, as well as to identify mutually acceptable criteria for international recognition of Russian professionals as ‘Competent Persons’ according to the Codes which follow the CRIRSCO template.

Hitherto, conversion between Russian and international reserves reporting systems has required a separate Competent Person’s report, and has been both time consuming and expensive. By defining objective procedures and criteria it is intended that resources and reserves which are reported under the Russian Code will become more generally acceptable to western markets and stock exchange listing authorities. It is hoped that the committee will publish its final recommendations by October 2007.

Peter Hambro Mining (PHM) has welcomed this news. All of PHM’s gold mining assets are located in the Russian Federation, and it has always reported under the Russian system since that is what it is required of it by the Russian State Commission on Reserves, whilst giving JORC updates on its key assets.

The company notes that an agreed conversion method will make it easier for analysts and investors to compare PHM’s exceptional portfolio of growth assets with those of mining companies operating in other localities.

Peter Hambro, Executive Chairman of PHM said: “I am delighted that this important step towards harmonization has now been taken. It is excellent news that representatives, including those from of the Russian system and JORC, are meeting under the auspices of PERC and CRIRSCO and that Dr. Mike Armitage and Dr. Steven Henley have agreed to take on this important task. This is something that we have always hoped would happen and I fully expect that it will lead to a far greater acceptance by investors and by stock exchanges in other countries of the Russian system that we use because we are Russian producers and explorers.”