Sunday, June 13, 2010

Being a "Qualified Person" in Arizona

We got a call the other day from a mining geologist, based out of state, who wanted to know what he needed to do to sign off on company reports as a "Qualified Person" in Arizona and whether any of the national professional or Canadian certifications were sufficient.

Before responding, I checked with Erick Weiland who is the geologist appointed to the Arizona Board of Technical Registration (AzBTR), which licences geologists, and Nyal Niemuth, Chief Engineer at the Arizona Dept. of Mines & Mineral Resources. [right, sample professional seal from AzBTR]

Erick noted that prior to about 1980, the AIPG Certified Professional Geologist designation would have been accepted, but now a geologist acting as a Qualified Person must be registered through AzBTR.

Nyal pointed out that there are non-Arizona professionals writing NI 43-101 reports on Arizona mining properties who don't stamp the reports and provided a recent example.

Unless someone files a complaint with AzBTR, such omissions may go unchallenged. AzBTR does not have the staff (and has even less ability these days because of budget cuts) to actively seek out violations. They start an investigation only when a complaint is filed.

Bottom line - if you are a geologist acting as a Qualified Person on mining projects in Arizona, you should be registered here. If you are an investor considering Arizona properties, make sure the people selling the deal are qualified and registered.

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