Part of the motivation was that compliance was increasingly complex and companies were having a challenging time keeping abreast of all the regulatory requirements.
So, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission confirmed it was intending to run the ruler over a host of corporate documents lodged by companies, including prospectuses.
The announcement was indicative of a growing concern in the mining industry over the increasing complexities of ever-changing regulatory compliance.
Now a Perth-founded company is looking to help mining companies navigate the challenge and by launching an initiative to uphold proper governance practises.
Resource Governance International (RGI) is focussing initially on the most fundamental aspect of any mining or exploration company; the reporting of reserves and resource information – effectively the mineral inventory of a company.
It is leveraging the sophistication of technology to bring the public reporting of such information into the modern era.
Its software product R-Cubed incorporates compliance requirements from multiple regulatory or governance bodies from statutory regulations, global reporting codes and stock exchanges meaning Competent Persons lodging the information can rely on the software to ensure best practice and all the correct boxes are ticked – a monumental change from the system of spreadsheets and inputting manual data currently relied on without any auditability.
The software was developed originally for AngloGold Ashanti in response to Sarbanes Oxley (SOX) requirements in the US. It was then subsequently picked up by Anglo American Plc and is now in use across approximately 200 sites globally.
Backed by a range of experts in the field of governance, including JORC representatives and former ASX advisers, Resource Governance International is led by Nic Pollock – an expert himself in the field of mining software.
“There is too much at stake than to risk reporting incorrectly to the market,” Mr Pollock said.
“The Resources and Reserves are fundamental to the value of your company and your business plan. If you get those wrong you are risking your company reputation.
“There’s a much better way to ensure you’re compliant with regulation than manually inputting data into spreadsheets – why not take advantage of technology which can automate a lot of that process for you and provide you with all the transparency and governance that your shareholders and the regulators expect?”
Resource Governance International is aiming to set industry standards with its new technology and is in discussions with the major mining exchanges, the investment community and other key stakeholders about setting such standards.