The UNFC is an internationally applicable scheme for the classification of fossil energy and mineral projects as well as renewable energy projects. As with extractive activities, UNFC reflects conditions in the economic and social domain,including markets and government framework conditions, technological and industrial maturity and the ever-present uncertainties. It provides a single framework on which to build international energy and mineral studies, analyse government resource management policies, plan industrial processes and allocate capital efficiently. It allows a direct comparison of projects that extract primary energy fuels, such as oil, gas, coal, or uranium, or renewable projects. UNFC meets the needs of:
- Governments when managing their natural resources with a sustainable long-term view;
- Industry for information while deploying technology, management and finance to secure energy supplies and capture value efficiently to serve host countries, shareholders and other stakeholders;
- International organizations developing energy and mineral studies for reliable and coherent information to formulate robust and long-sighted policies; and
- The financial community for information to allocate capital efficiently.
UNFC is a generic principle‐based system in which quantities are classified on the basis of the three fundamental criteria using a numerical and language independent coding scheme:
E – Socio-Economic Viability
F – Field project status and feasibility, and
G – Geological knowledge,
Combinations of these criteria create a three‐dimensional system, which can either be applied directly or used as a harmonizing tool.
UNFC-2009 Categories and Examples of Classes
The main objective of UNFC is to enhance international cooperation in sustainable development by providing a generic classification framework for management all energy and mineral resources on land, continental shelf and seabed worldwide. With energy and mineral sectors facing a myriad of challenges related to economics, environmental and social aspects, including the commitments of the Paris Accord and aspirations of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), UNFC is capable of being a robust tool for all stakeholders, which has got the core concepts of sustainability as its foundation. UNFC has been developed to meet, to the extent possible, the needs of applications pertaining to global energy and mineral studies, government resource management functions, corporate business processes and financial reporting standards. A key benefit of UNFC is the potential to provide a common basis for management minerals and energy sectors, including renewables.
Development started in the 1990s by UNECE and proceeds under a global mandate from the UN Economic and Social Council and was intended as a classification for resources of fossil energy and mineral resources. A Generic Classification Framework for solid minerals and oil and gas; also, renewable energy sources, it was developed as an important tool for global and governmental communication.
UNFC is not a Public Reporting Standard-no underlying principles as a reporting standard, no securities recognition. There is no Certification of Competency–does not define a Competent Person who takes personal responsibility for estimates. Includes “Undiscovered” & “Uneconomic” material
Through the active participation of CRIRSCO from 1998, bridging documents provide neutral frameworks for mapping from/to complete reporting systems(CRIRSCO/PRMS). The CRIRSCO Template is the set of commodity-specific definitions in UNFC for all solid minerals
It is not a question of “competition” or “choice” between the CRIRSCO reporting system and the UN Framework Classification. UNFC provides a big umbrella within which consistent and comparable public reporting can be carried out at a range of scales and for a range of purposes and national mineral inventories can be developed and maintained. UNFC provides a method for governments and NGOs to incorporate published industry data (using the CRIRSCO classification) into databases, mineral inventories, etc. It provides a mechanism for companies to use a standardised internal classification beyond the publicly reported CRIRSCO categories.
African Resource Classification System (AMREC)
An initiative to set up an African Mineral Resource Classification (AMREC) system based on the United Nations Frameworks Classification for Fossil Energy and Mineral Reserves and Resources (UNFC) is underway. Spearheaded by the African Minerals Development Centre (AMDC) in Addis Ababa (an arm of the UNECA (United Nations Commission for Africa), AMREC is seen as a continental framework that will harmonize, adapt, and develop the UNFC according to the principles of the Africa Mining Vision (AMV).
The African-based framework, which is grounded on the UNFC and AMV, is proposed to enhance regional cooperation in sustainable development by providing a classification framework for management all energy and mineral resources on land, continental shelf and seabed. With energy and mineral sectors facing a myriad of challenges related to economics, environmental and social aspects, including the commitments of the Paris Accord and aspirations of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the AMREC, like UNFC, will be a system that will serve as an important tool to standardise project description and classification. The classification system for the region could add value to implement the AMV by supporting decision-making for investment and governance along the mining value chain in African countries. Additionally, the facilitation and harmonization of international best practices to generate and interpret geological information consistently across African countries is hoped to lead to the emergence of Pan-African commodity exchanges.
Pan African Resource/Reserve Estimation Code (PARC)
The PARC is intended to be a Code for the public reporting of Exploration Results, Reserves and Resources. It is proposed to be designed as a unified stock exchange and financial reporting standard to spur growth in mining, petroleum and renewable energy investments in Africa.
Working Groups are being populated to develop a first draft for consideration.