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Exploration Management and Reserve Estimations

Publicly traded mining companies classify reserves based on the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission, Industry Guides Section 7 (IG7) according to:


(1) Reserve.  That part of a mineral deposit which could be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time of the reserve determination. Note: Reserves are customarily stated in terms of “ore” when dealing with metalliferous minerals; when other materials such as coal, oil, shale, tar, sands, limestone, etc. are involved; an appropriate term such as “recoverable coal” may be substituted.

(2) Proven (Measured) Reserves.  Reserves for which (a) quantity is computed from dimensions revealed in outcrops, trenches, workings or drill holes; grades and/or quality are computed from the results of detailed sampling and (b) the sites for inspection, sampling and measurement are spaced so closely and the geologic character is so well defined that size, shape, depth and mineral content of reserves are well-established.

(3) Probable (Indicated) Reserves.  Reserves for which quantity and grade and/or quality are computed from information similar to that used for proven (measure) reserves, but the sites for inspection, sampling, and measurement are farther apart or are otherwise less adequately spaced. The degree of assurance, although lower than that for proven (measured) reserves, is high enough to assume continuity between points of observation.

(4) Exploration Stage—includes all issuers engaged in the search for mineral deposits (reserves) which are not in either the development or production stage. (ii) Development Stage—includes all issuers engaged in the preparation of an established commercially mineable deposit (reserves) for its extraction which are not in the production stage. (iii) Production Stage—includes all issuers engaged in the exploitation of a mineral deposit (reserve).


North American Reserve services to achieve SEC definitions consist of:


  • Development of reserve models in basic and complex geological deposits

  • Detailed geological maps and cross section graphics

  • Comprehensive resource and reserve analysis

  • Determination of economic reserves

  • Detailed basin-wide comparison studies

  • Geological due diligence investigations

  • Detailed drill hole analysis and preparation development

  • Implementation of detailed mining and geological databases

  • Analysis of mining and geological data

  • GIS services to the mining and energy industries 

  • Project site assessment

  • Sampling of reserve

  • Geologic interpretation and modeling

  • Resource and reserve classification

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