Mining industry backlash over ASIC disclosure rule – by Tess Ingram (Sydney Morning Herald – May 30, 2016)

Financial institutions, legal firms and key mining industry groups are preparing a riposte to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s controversial changes to disclosure rules for resources projects.

The mining industry’s peak lobby group, Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), and other members of the world-renowned Australasian Joint Ore Reserves Committee (JORC) are seeking to engage with the corporate watchdog on an information note it released in April, which the industry claims restricts what resources companies can tell the market about the economic potential of their projects.

The guidelines have created uncertainty within the industry’s junior ranks, with executives concerned the changes raise legal risks and could impact a company’s ability to raise money, advance projects and keep retail investors properly informed.

ASIC has argued it has not changed the law and the information note only reiterated long-held standards that ensure companies have “reasonable grounds” for any projections.

The Association of Mining and Exploration Companies (AMEC), the industry body representing junior miners, will send a letter to ASIC early this week “expressing our concerns with the specific content of Information Sheet 214 and asking for an urgent round-table meeting of all stakeholders”, AMEC’s national policy ­manager Graham Short said.

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