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Edmund Sides - Using Table 1 from the CRIRSCO Reporting Codes & Standards to provide a framework...

Updated: Jun 16, 2020

Using Table 1 from the CRIRSCO Reporting Codes & Standards to provide a framework for risk/uncertainty assessment

When considering any mineral exploration or mining project, the over-riding concern is often one of managing risk and uncertainty.  The initial emphasis is on geological uncertainty (is there actually anything of interest ?). Once a project proceeds to development and operation, many more uncertainties come into play, including technical, commodity market, environmental and social impact uncertainties.  Informing potential investors about such risks and uncertainties in a consistent manner is difficult given the wide variety of aspects that need to be considered when assessing different technical areas.

It is proposed that an approach based on using standard checklists such as the Table 1 checklist of assessment and reporting criteria ([1] and Fig.1) could provide a framework for communicating a wide range of risks and uncertainties to potential investors and other interested parties.

Fig 1. Extract from the CRIRSCO International Reporting Template [1].

This approach has been used for assessing the risks and uncertainties associated with several different Mineral Resource estimates in the following manner:  

  • Table 1 is used as the starting point for preparing a register of risk issues 

  • The likelihood and consequence of each risk issue is assessed

  • Overall risk ratings are then calculated and ranked in terms of priority

  • Appropriate risk management strategies are then identified

The main benefit of using this approach is the application of a risk assessment framework that is understood by most managers and decision makers across a range of disciplines and on a variety of projects.  The main problem is to agree on a common shared context for the risk assessment, and standardised approaches to assigning the semi-qualitative likelihood and consequence values that are used, so as to facilitate comparisons of different technical areas or projects.



Edmund (Ed) Sides is a geologist with over 30 years’ experience in mineral exploration and resource estimation.  He spent the first fourteen years of his professional career working for the Rio Tinto group in a variety of roles in Ireland, Panama, UK, Spain and Portugal, during which time he progressed from grassroots mineral exploration through project evaluation to working on development projects and operating mines. Subsequently he spent a period working for a post-graduate training institute in the Netherlands, and a software company in England, where he was mainly involved in education and training.  

Since 2004 he has been working as a mining consultant, initially with Snowden and then AMEC, before forming his own company Orebody Risks Limited in 2016.  During this time he has gained additional experience on a variety of commodity and deposit types including orogenic gold, iron ore and rare earth elements. He became a member of the Pan-European Reserves and Resources Reporting Committee (PERC) in 2014 and currently serves as PERC secretary and one of PERC’s two representatives on the Committee for Mineral Reserves International Reporting Standards (CRIRSCO).

Orebody Risks Limited, Swansea, UK,

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