NSPE Urges SEC to Strengthen Proposed Qualifications for Mining Registrants

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

NSPE President Kodi Verhalen, P.E., Esq., F.NSPE, submitted a public comment to the Securities and Exchange Commission on August 16 in response to its proposed rulemaking for Modernization of Property Disclosures for Mining Registrants. The proposed rule requires mining companies to disclose resources and reserves to investors. The SEC proposes to require a “qualified person” to classify a deposit as a reserve. The draft version defines a “qualified person” as “an eligible member or licensee in good standing of a recognized professional organization at the time the technical report is prepared.” The proposed rule then goes on to define a “recognized professional organization.”

Verhalen commends the agency’s recognition of the value professional organizations bring and the high standards associations such as NSPE hold themselves to. However, for the purposes of this rulemaking and to ensure the public health, safety, and welfare, NSPE strongly urges the SEC to revise the rule to define a “qualified person” as:

“A licensee in good standing with a board authorized by U.S. state statute to regulate professionals in the mining, geoscience, engineering, geology and/ or related field. Moreover, the qualified person must be licensed and in good standing with the duly authorized board in the state or territory in which the deposit is located.”

In her letter to the SEC, Verhalen explains the recommendation, stating that “The U.S. state or territorial licensing board is responsible for ensuring that licensees meet standards of education, experience and ethics and is also empowered to take action and even revoke a license when these standards are not met. To practice engineering, one must be licensed in the state. If, for example, a qualified person is completing a reserve evaluation in Montana, he or she will need to be licensed in Montana.”

» View the full letter.