Development of the JORC Code, 2012 Edition

JORC and ASX commenced updating the 2004 JORC Code in 2004 with the issue of a number of jointly prepared ASX Companies Updates issued between 2004 and 2008. The formal review process commenced in 2011. In October 2011 the JORC Committee released a 55 page Issues Paper to stimulate discussion and comment on how the JORC Code could be improved. The Issues Paper attracted significant input, with 114 written submissions received as well as significant further feedback received through public forums and meetings.

The extensive comments on the Issues Paper confirmed strong support for the JORC Code to remain a principles-based professional Code. Comments also highlighted the need for improved disclosure standards and a greater balance between the application of the principles of Transparency, Materiality and Competence in public reporting.

There were, of course, diverse views on many issues, but there was a clear majority consensus about the overall direction of the Code and the need to improve the level and transparency of disclosure in reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.

The clear messages about the future direction of the Code enabled the JORC Committee to prepare an Exposure Draft of the JORC Code which was released for public comment in September 2012. In addition to many comments made in consultation forums and meetings, JORC received 82 written submissions in response to the Exposure Draft.

The comments received were overwhelmingly supportive of the direction of the changes to the JORC Code as proposed in the Exposure Draft. Comments also provided many valuable suggestions that enabled the JORC Committee to further refine the final text of the JORC Code 2012 Edition to remove ambiguity and reduce the potential for misinterpretation of the Code, ensuring that its intent and requirements are as clear as possible.

Our international counterparts through CRIRSCO (the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards) also provided a number of very valuable comments that assisted in ensuring the best possible alignment of the JORC Code 2012 Edition with its international counterparts particularly in the adoption in the 2012 JORC Code of the current CRIRSCO standard definitions (for Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves and their classifications, Public Report, Competent Person, Modifying Factors, Exploration Target and Scoping, Pre-Feasibility and Feasibility Studies).

The JORC Committee is very grateful to everyone who took the time to attend consultation sessions and provide comments throughout the review process.

A document summarising the comments received on the September 2012 Exposure Draft, and the changes made in the final JORC Code, 2012 Edition is available here.

During the JORC Code review process, JORC worked in collaboration with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Companies that are listed on ASX are required to comply with the relevant listing rules which include the JORC Code when reporting Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. ASX released parallel discussion paper and exposure draft documents alongside the JORC consultation documents in 2011 and 2012. ASX published updated listing rules and an associated guidance note on 8 November 2012. The publication of the ASX listing rules was possible because approval had been received from the federal minister for Finance of a series of amendments to the listing rules including an expanded chapter 5 which deals with mining and oil and gas company reporting. The new chapter 5 rules specifically include the 2012 JORC Code as appendix 5A. To access the ASX listing rules, click here.

The JORC Code 2012 Edition is the current version of the Code. It commenced operation when it was published on 20 December 2012. During the period 20 December 2012 to 30 November 2013 a transition occurred during which either the 2004 or 2012 Editions of the JORC Code could be used. From 1 December 2013, the 2012 Edition became mandatory, replacing all past editions of the JORC Code.

JORC Code, 2004 Edition

The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code, 2004 edition) was incorporated in the Listing Rules of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) on Friday, 17 December 2004, replacing the 1999 edition.

The 2004 JORC Code is available here. The 2004 Edition must not be used for current reporting as it has been superseded by the 2012 Edition.

The above link to the 2004 Edition of the Code includes as appendices four Companies Updates issued by the ASX to assist in interpretation of the JORC Code and its use in Public Reporting. These ASX Companies Updates no longer apply, having been superseded by the 2012 Edition of the Code but may be of interest to people interested in exploring the history of the JORC Code. The updates were:

Early history of the JORC Code

In Australia in the late 1960s there was considerable concern about unacceptable reporting practices associated with the so-called Poseidon nickel boom and bust in Western Australia. Responding to the resulting challenge and opportunity to self-regulate, the Australian Mining Industry Council, now the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), established a committee to examine the issue. It was promptly joined by The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy ( The AusIMM), resulting in the formation of the Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC). The Australian Institute of Geoscientists (AIG) became JORC's third parent body in 1992. Other organisations represented on JORC are the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) and the Securities Institute of Australia (SIA). JORC was established as a permanent committee, and has been in continuous existence since 1971.

Between 1972 and 1989, a number of reports were issued by JORC which made recommendations on public reporting and Ore Reserve classification and which gradually developed the principles now incorporated in the JORC Code. The recommendations had the status of guidelines only, but were over time gradually adopted by most Australasian mining and exploration companies. The core concept on which the Code is built, the Competent Person, was introduced in JORC's first publication in 1972.

In February 1989, JORC released the first version of the JORC Code. Apart from updating and improving on previous documents and formally introducing into Australasia the concept of Mineral Resources as the pre-cursor to Ore Reserves, the 1989 publication differed from those preceding in two critical ways. It was immediately incorporated into Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) listing rules, thereby becoming binding on companies listed on the ASX and it was also immediately adopted by The AusIMM as an Institute Code, and therefore became binding on members of The AusIMM. Through these processes, it became mandatory for both individuals and companies to conform with the Code and this has been the dominant factor underpinning its success. It was adopted as an AIG Code in 1992 and, in the same year, was incorporated into New Zealand Stock Exchange (NZX) listing rules.

Guidelines to the JORC Code were published in 1990 and the combined Code and Guidelines were revised in 1992, 1993, 1996, 1999, and 2004. The current version of the JORC Code was published on 20 December 2012.

The early reports and all previous editions of the Code and guidelines are available on the Library page of the website.

The JORC Code is now well accepted in Australasia, and in recent years it has been used both as an internal reporting standard by a number of major international mining companies, and as a template for countries in the process of developing or revising their own reporting documents, including the United States of America, Canada, South Africa, and the United Kingdom/Europe, Chile and Peru.

The purpose of the JORC Code is to provide a minimum standard for reporting of exploration results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in Australasia, and to ensure that public reports on these matters contain all the information which investors and their advisers would reasonably require for the purpose of making a balanced judgement regarding the results and estimates being reported. It achieves this by:

  • establishing and prescribing the minimum standards for public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves in Australasia

  • setting out a system for the classification of tonnage (or volume) and grade (or quality) estimates as either Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves and for the subdivision of each into categories which reflect different levels of certainty or confidence

  • specifying the qualifications and experience required for a Competent Person

  • setting out the responsibilities of the Competent Person and companies' Boards of Directors with regard to reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves

  • providing a list of the main criteria which Competent Person(s) and others should consider in the course of preparing Public Reports on Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.