If you are a mining company in the early stages of project evaluation, and planning to release an announcement relating to scoping studies, production targets or associated information (NPVs, Capex, Opex), now may be a good time to pause. The ASX Listing Rules are currently in a transitional phase which requires very careful consideration before releasing any announcements.

The new regime consists of JORC 2012, the new Chapter 5 of the ASX Listing Rules and the new ASX Guidance Note 31 (New Regime). It is possible to be subject to the New Regime prior to the formal commencement date of 1 December 2013 simply by making an announcement that adopts JORC 2012 and the associated Table 1 disclosure.

The New Regime requires careful consideration as the rules relating to disclosure for mining companies have now become very prescriptive. If you get it wrong, the company may be required to issue a retraction statement.

A retraction statement? A retraction statement is an ASX announcement where a company attempts to “revoke” (usually due to ASIC’s intervention) a previous announcement because that announcement which ASIC may judge to be misleading or deceptive because in ASIC’s view it was not made with a “reasonable basis” (ASIC RG 170).

Issuing a retraction statement is not without legal risk. We recommend you only issue a retraction statement once the legal risks have been fully considered.