Mining jargon and phrasing can be confusing, especially when it comes to Mineral Resources and Reserves. Here we distinguish the two types.
What is the National Instrument (NI) 43-101?
When you look into mining companies out of interest or for investment, you will come across references to the NI 43-101 technical report, but what is it?
Little do people know that the Hollywood movie "Gold" starring Mathew McConaughey was based on a real world event that inspired one of the biggest efforts to regulate the entire mining industry and lead to the creation of a report that all publicly-listed mining companies use to this day and form the back bone of mining analysis.
When you start looking into mining companies out of interest or as an investment strategy, you’re likely to come across references to the NI 43-101 technical report. This is because approximately 43% of the world’s public mining companies are listed on the TSX and TSX Venture exchanges, which require this document.
So what exactly is this document, and why is it important and how do I use it on Prospector?
Creating a Standard for Disclosing Data
The National Instrument 43-101 is a document for the Standards and Disclosure for Mineral Projects within Canada. The mineral projects can be anywhere in the world, but if the company is listed on a Canadian stock exchange they are required to prepare this technical report of publicly disclosed information. In Australia, a similar report is the Joint Ore Reserves Committee Code (JORC Code), which regulates the publication of mineral exploration on the Australian stock exchange.
The NI 43-101 document can be very important when it comes to investing, however it only recently came into effect in 2001. A major push for this disclosure document came in the 1990’s, after a company called Bre-X Minerals Ltd. purchased a gold deposit in Indonesia.
In 1995 the Company had reported a significant gold discovery, and the stock, which had started as a penny stock, reached a peak price of CAD$286.50 in 1996. Bre-X then collapsed in 1997, after the project was found to be a massive fraud, which became the biggest mining scandal of all time. You may have heard of this scandal from the 2016 movie it inspired, Gold.
This scandal pushed the TSE and Ontario Securities Commission to take action and establish the Mining Standards Task Force, which recommended stricter disclosure of drill results to ensure that misleading, erroneous or fraudulent information relating to mineral properties is not published and promoted to investors on stock exchanges. This later created the National Instrument 43-101 Standards for disclosure of mineral projects (NI 43-101).
Find Your Answers
The NI 43-101 is generally a pretty large document, with a lot of publicly disclosed information. This information ranges from basic property description and location, up to very technical aspects of exploration, sampling, and testing. The document is made to answer questions you may have as an investor. Below are some of the most visited parts of the report!
These sections detail the property and its location, as well as its climate, accessibility, resources, infrastructure, and history. If you have any questions about the mine property itself, this is where you will find the information!
Geology is a large part of the NI 43-101, and a few sections detail the geologic setting, mineralization, and deposit type, as well as the exploration that has been done and the sampling methods used.
Mineral Resources and Reserves
Mineral deposits are often classified based on their mineral resources and reserves. Sections of the report detail the type of resource or reserve, as well as the grade of the metals. This is one of the most important sections for investors.
Mining and Recovery Methods
If you’re wanting to know what this mine will look like, you’ll also find that information in the reports! They will tell you the preferred mining method for the deposit, and what the company is going to do to recover the minerals. In these sections you will also find the required equipment, expected mine life, and even a flow sheet of the processing plant.
Environmental, Permitting, and Social Impact
In this section you will find the details of the environmental studies and issues, waste and tailings disposal plans, site monitoring, reclamation bonds, and any community agreements. There will also be a discussion of mine closure requirements and costs.
Is the deposit economic to mine? Three sections of the report detail the market analysis done for the project, contracts required for project development and their terms, and also a summary of the capital and operating costs estimates. You can also find cash flow forecasts, NPV & IRR values, and a sensitivity analysis.
Prospector Makes it Easy
The NI 43-101 reports are important documents, and they can get extremely detailed and lengthy. Many are more than 200 pages long. Sifting through reports can take time, energy, and a lot of highlighting. Luckily, Prospector has made it easy for users to sift through the data quickly and efficiently.
We have a team of mining industry experts sort through the reports for you and pull out the main data you may be interested in, and then put it into a searchable and navigable database.
Prospector digitizes these technical reports so you can search the report quickly to find valuable information, figures and data with a simple query.
Each company has a page with its technical reports and all the sections you would need to do a deep investigation into a company.
View projects on a map, use the advanced filter to find exactly what you are interested in, and deep dive into projects using our new Analyst product where you can find "Life of Mine" data and an NPV calculator.
Prospector is data mining the mining industry, and putting it directly into your hands.