The takeaways from the Mining Engineers Association of India open session 2016
Representatives of Members of CRIRSCO, CRIRSCO Representatives for India, China and Latin America and observers from future prospective members (China, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines) met at Jaipur, India for their annual general meeting.
The Jaipur Rajasthan chapter of the Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI) hosted the open session on 7th and 8th November 2016 at the inauguration of their new Mining Welfare Center (MWC). The Secretary of Ministry of Mines (Secy-MoM) Mr Balvinder Kumar was the Chief Guest at the inaugural function and the Controller General of Indian Bureau of Mines (CG-IBM) and the Director General of the Geological Survey of India (DG-GSI) were the guests of honour. The Secy-MoM and dignitaries recognized the importance of adopting modern reporting standards and expressed their willingness to support the efforts of the National Core Committee of the MEAI in preparing India to join CRIRSCO.
During seven technical sessions, more than 30 papers were presented by CRIRSCO member countries and professionals from the Indian mineral industry. The presenters discussed various critical issues related to the estimation and public reporting of mineral resources and reserves for the mining industry and also the proposed path forward to include India as a member of CRIRSCO. By joining CRIRSCO, the Indian mining industry can benefit by attracting foreign investment through implementing internationally accepted public reporting principles that reinforce transparency, materiality and competency in developing and public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves in the country.
The members of the National Core Committee (NCC-MEAI) who are responsible for developing the Indian Reporting Code (a CRIRSCO-aligned code) met with the executives and members of CRIRSCO to discuss the progress made so far and a roadmap for the actions necessary to have the Indian Code adopted in the country.
CRIRSCO representatives also met separately with the delegations from China, India, Indonesia and the Philippines to discuss their progress and the next steps for their journey towards membership of CRIRSCO. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) was signed with the Indonesian delegation.
In a special meeting, the delegates from China, who are also developing a CRIRSCO-aligned code, met with the members of NCC-MEAI to further cooperation between India and China in their efforts to develop their respective Codes.
What is CRIRSCO?
CRIRSCO is an international advisory body without legal authority, relying on its constituent members to ensure regulatory and disciplinary oversight at a national level. Formed under the Council of Mining and Metallurgical Institutes (CMMI) in 1994, CRIRSCO promotes international best practices in public reporting of Mineral Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. It has a strategic relationship with International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM), which shares similar objectives and which represents the international mining industry with regards to sustainable development.
Representatives from professional organizations of member countries of CRIRSCO are responsible for developing mineral reporting codes and guidelines. Currently there are 10 member countries viz. Australasia (JORC), Brazil (CBRR), Canada (CIM), Chile (Comision Minera), Europe (PERC), Kazakhstan (KAZRCA), Mongolia (MPIGM), Russia (NAEN), South Africa (SAMREC) and USA (SME). CRIRSCO has developed an International Reporting Template, the purpose of which is to assist with the development and promotion of effective, good practice for public reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves already widely adopted through national reporting codes and standards.
What is the Initiative of Mining Engineers Association of India (MEAI)?
MEAI is leading an initiative with CRIRSCO to develop an internationally recognized resources and reserves reporting code for India that can be adopted by the Indian mineral industry and the Government through its agencies viz. IBM, GSI, AMD, CMPDI, State DMGs and SEBI. MEAI, hither to, organized national level conferences in Dec 2014 and Nov 2015 at Hyderabad, which resulted in the formation of a National Core Committee (NCC) for the development of Indian Code for reporting Exploration results, Mineral Resources and Reserves.
What is the National Core Committee (NCC)?
National Core Committee (NCC) is comprised of experts from mining, mineral processing and geosciences with specialization in exploration, mining, processing, estimation, classification and reporting of mineral resources and reserves, covering all solid minerals including atomic minerals, gemstones and coal. MEAI is representing India as its proposed National Reporting Organization (NRO), and signed an MoU with CRIRSCO on 24-02-2016 in Phoenix, USA, to expedite the development of an Indian Reporting Code that will be aligned with CRIRSCO requirements and to meet other criteria for membership of CRIRSCO.
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Gerald Group resolves iron ore dispute with Sierra Leone
Gerald Group, the US commodity trader, will pay Sierra Leone $20mn and cede a 10% stake in an iron ore project as part of the resolution to a nearly two-year dispute that led to the shutdown of production, the two sides revealed.
Gerald's wholly-owned subsidiary SL Mining filed for arbitration in August 2019 over a royalty payment dispute and suspended the Marampa mine the following month. Sierra Leone's government responded by cancelling its mining licence.
As part of the agreement signed on Friday, Sierra Leone will take a non-dilutable 10% stake in a new company that will replace SL Mining and resume operations at Marampa by June 1, Gerald said in a statement.
Gerald will make two $10mn payments this year and will have the immediate right to ship its current stockpile of about 707,000 tonnes of iron ore, it said.
Both sides will withdraw their legal claims before the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the statement added.
Gerald’s chairman and CEO Craig Dean commented: "I am delighted that we have been able to resolve our differences and have a fresh start and new beginning with the government of Sierra Leone."
Sierra Leone's Mines Minister Timothy Kabba told a news conference on Tuesday that the agreement was a milestone for the country.
"Whatever the pain we may have borne or dreaded throughout these two years ... this outcome justifies our action," he said.
Gerald estimates that Marampa holds about 1 billion tonnes of iron ore with a potential lifespan of 30 years.
Back in 2019, Dean spoke with Mining about the development of Marampa and commented: "SL Mining offers a substantial opportunity for Gerald Group as our Marampa mine in Sierra Leone is set to deliver six million tonnes of high-grade iron ore during its operational life. If you analyse the iron ore market it has transformed, even from a couple of years ago when prices were very low. Now prices have stabilised we’re in a favourable position with our first shipments leaving for China.
"Our goal is to make ‘Marampa Blue’ an internationally recognised premium grade iron ore brand. We intend to expand the delivery of high-grade 65% iron ore concentrate to markets in Europe and Africa.”