What are mineral resources and mineral reserves? What is the difference between them?


Mineral resources are generally discovered during the “exploration” phase in the mineral development process. During this phase, and the following “deposit appraisal” phase, increasingly detailed surveys and studies are carried out to identify the location, quantity, grade, geological characteristics and continuity of the mineral resource. Some or all of the mineral resources may be sub-divided into inferred, indicated and measured categories by a qualified person.

“A Mineral Reserve is the economically mineable part of a Measured and/or Indicated Mineral Resource. It includes diluting materials and allowances for losses, which may occur when the material is mined or extracted and is defined by studies at Pre-Feasibility or Feasibility level as appropriate that include application of Modifying Factors. Such studies demonstrate that, at the time of reporting, extraction could reasonably be justified.” A mineral reserve must be documented by at least one preliminary feasibility study, conducted during the “deposit appraisal” phase in the mineral development process.

Barbara Estor