Securities Law & Instruments

Headnote

Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System and National Policy 11-203 Process for Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions -- National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles, Auditing Standards and Reporting Currency, s. 9.1 -- An issuer wants relief from the requirement to prepare its financial statement in accordance with Canadian GAAP in order to use IFRS before the January 1, 2011 changeover date -- The issuer has assessed the readiness of its staff, board, audit committee, auditors and investors; the issuer will provide detailed disclosure regarding its early adoption of IFRS in its MD&A as set out in CSA Staff Notice 52-320; the issuer will restate any financial statements prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP for interim periods for the fiscal year in which they intend to adopt IFRS together with related interim MD&A and certificates required by NI 52-109.

Applicable Legislative Provisions

National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles, Auditing Standards and Reporting Currency, s. 9.1.

May 13, 2010

lign="center">IN THE MATTER OF

 

THE SECURITIES LEGISLATION OF

BRITISH COLUMBIA AND ONTARIO

(the Jurisdictions)

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

THE PROCESS FOR EXEMPTIVE RELIEF

APPLICATIONS IN MULTIPLE JURISDICTIONS

AND

IN THE MATTER OF

ALMADEN MINERALS LTD.

(the Filer)

DECISION

Background

1 The securities regulatory authority or regulator in each of the Jurisdictions (Decision Maker) has received an application from the Filer for a decision under the securities legislation of the Jurisdictions (the Legislation) exempting the Filer from the requirement of in section 3.1 of National Instrument 52-107 Acceptable Accounting Principles, Auditing Standards and Reporting Currency (NI 52-107) that financial statements be prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP (the Exemption Sought), in order that the Filer may prepare its financial statements for financial periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010 in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as issued by the International Accounting Standards Board (IFRS-IASB).

Under the Process for Exemptive Relief Applications in Multiple Jurisdictions (for a dual application):

(a) the British Columbia Securities Commission is the principal regulator for this application,

(b) the Filer has provided notice that section 4.7(1) of Multilateral Instrument 11-102 Passport System (MI 11-102) is intended to be relied upon in Alberta (the Passport Jurisdiction), and

(c) the decision is the decision of the principal regulator and evidences the decision of the securities regulatory authority or regulator in Ontario.

Interpretation

2 Terms defined in National Instrument 14-101 Definitions and MI 11-102 have the same meaning if used in this decision, unless otherwise defined.

Representations

3 This decision is based on the following facts represented by the Filer:

1. the Filer is a corporation under the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia) with head office located at Suite 1103 -- 750 West Pender Street, Vancouver, BC V6C 2T8;

2. the Filer is a reporting issuer in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario;

3. the Filer is not in default of its reporting issuer obligations under the Legislation or the securities legislation of the Passport Jurisdiction;

4. the Filer's common shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "AMM" and on the NYSE Alternext under the symbol "AAU";

5. the Filer is an exploration stage company engaged in the acquisition, exploration and development of mineral properties primarily in Canada, the United States and Mexico;

6. the Filer currently prepares its financial statements in accordance with Canadian generally accepted accounting principles (Canadian GAAP)and is required to reconcile its financial statements into generally accepted accounting principles in the United States (US GAAP) to comply with its American filing obligations;

7. the Filer has not previously prepared financial statements that contain an explicit and unreserved statement of compliance with IFRS;

8. the Canadian Accounting Standards Board has confirmed that publicly accountable enterprises will be required to prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS-IASB for financial statements relating to fiscal years beginning on or after January 1, 2011;

9. NI 52-107 sets out acceptable accounting principles for financial reporting under the Legislation by domestic issuers, foreign issuers, registrants and other market participants; under NI 52-107, a domestic issuer must use Canadian GAAP; under NI 52-107, only foreign issuers may use IFRS-IASB;

10. in CSA Staff Notice 52-321 Early Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards, Use of US GAAP and Reference to IFRS-IASB, staff of the Canadian Securities Administrators recognized that some issuers may wish to prepare their financial statements in accordance with IFRS-IASB for periods beginning prior to January 1, 2011 and indicated that staff were prepared to recommend exemptive relief on a case by case basis to permit a domestic issuer to do so, despite section 3.1 of NI 52-107;

11. subject to obtaining the Exemption Sought, the Filer intends to adopt IFRS-IASB for its financial statements for periods beginning on and after January 1, 2010;

12. the Filer believes that adoption of IFRS-IASB will eliminate complexity and cost from the Filer's financial statement preparation process because the Filer is not required to reconcile the financial statements to US GAAP to comply with its American filing obligations;

13. the Filer implemented a comprehensive IFRS-IASB conversion plan, including getting its staff to attend various trainings, engaging a consulting firm to document the internal control over financial reporting and disclosure controls and procedures surrounding the adoption of IFRS, and requesting the external auditors to review the related working papers and skeleton IFRS financial statements before January 1, 2010;

14. the board of directors of the Filer approved early adoption of IFRS-IASB on March 16, 2010;

15. the Filer has carefully assessed the readiness of its staff, board of directors, audit committee, auditors, investors and other market participants for the adoption of the Filer of IFRS-IASB for financial periods beginning on and after January 1, 2010 and has concluded that they are adequately prepared for the Filer's adoption of IFRS-IASB for periods beginning on January 1, 2010;

16. the Filer has considered the implication of adopting IFRS-IASB for financial periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010 on its obligations under securities legislation including, but not limited to, those relating to CEO and CFO certificates, business acquisition reports, offering documents, and previously released material forward looking information;

17. the Filer will disseminate a news release on or before May 14, 2010 and in advance of the filing of the Filer's first interim IFRS financial statements on or after May 15, 2010 disclosing relevant information about its conversion to IFRS-IASB as contemplated by CSA Staff Notice 52-320 Disclosure of Expected Changes in Accounting Policies Relating to Changeover to International Financial Reporting Standards, including:

(a) the key elements and timing of the Filer's changeover plan;

(b) the accounting policy and implementation decisions the Filer has made or will have to make;

(c) the exemptions available under IFRS 1 First-time Adoption of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS 1) that the Filer expects to apply in preparing financial statements in accordance with IFRS-IASB;

(d) major identified differences between the Filer's current accounting policies and those the Filer is required or expects to apply in preparing financial statements in accordance with IFRS-IASB; and

(e) the impact of adopting IFRS-IASB on the key line items in the Filer's financial statements for the year ending December 31, 2009.

Decision

4 Each of the Decision Makers is satisfied that the decision meets the test set out in the Legislation for the Decision Maker to make the decision.

The decision of the Decision Makers under the Legislation is that the Exemption Sought is granted, provided that:

(a) the Filer prepares prepare its annual financial statements for years beginning on or after January 1, 2010 in accordance with IFRS-IASB;

(b) the Filer prepares its interim financial statements for interim periods beginning on or after January 1, 2010 in accordance with IFRS-IASB, except that if the Filer files interim financial statements prepared in accordance with Canadian GAAP for one or more interim periods for the financial year in which it adopts IFRS-IASB, the Filer will restate and re-file those interim financial statements in accordance with IFRS-IASB together with the related restated interim management's discussion and analysis and the certificates required by National Instrument 52-109 Certification of Disclosure in Issuers' Annual and Interim Filings;

(c) the Filer provides the communication set out in paragraphs 17; and

(d) the Filer's first IFRS-IASB financial statements for an interim period include an opening statement of financial position as at the date of transition to IFRS-IASB that is presented with prominence equal to the other statements that comprise those interim financial statements.

"Martin Eady, CA"
Director, Corporate Finance
British Columbia Securities Commission