On October 31, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) adopted new property disclosure requirements for mining company registrants. The new rules, codified in Subpart 1300 of Regulation S-K, aim to replace the SEC’s thirty-year-old Industry Guide 7 by providing investors with a more comprehensive disclosure of a public company’s mining properties. Changes include: closer alignment with the Committee for Reserves International Reporting Standards (“CRIRSCO”), disclosure of mineral resources using technical report summary, disclosure of exploration results and responsibilities and potential liabilities for “qualified persons.” Additionally, the new rules adopted a two-year transition period during which a mining registrant is not required to comply with the new rules until its first fiscal year beginning on or after January 1, 2021.
While the EDGAR reprogramming changes are being completed, the SEC stated in a notice dated May 7, 2019, that a mining registrant may elect to voluntarily comply with the new rules as long as it satisfies all of Subpart 1300’s provisions and existing EDGAR requirements. Before EDGAR reprogramming is completed, registrants electing early compliance should file a technical report summary under Item 601(b)(99) of Regulation S-K or Exhibit No. 15 of Form 20-F; and once EDGAR reprogramming is completed, such report should be filed under Item 601(b)(96) of Regulation S-K. On the other hand, registrants not electing early compliance should continue their compliance with Industry Guide 7 until they are required to comply with the new rules.