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February 20, 2006 No. 32

Convention 2006 – two weeks to show time!

In a recent interview with Vancouver-based GoldRadio.FM, Rod Thomas, chairman of this year’s convention planning committee, talks about his expectations for this year’s convention, which promises to be very exciting indeed. A record 430 companies have signed up for the Investors Exchange, the mining investment part of the convention which focuses on exploration companies and their projects. In the Trade Show, there are 280 exhibiting companies. Admission to Trade Show is included with delegate registration. Admission to the Investors Exchange is free but registration is a must. To save time, you should pre-register here. New information about the convention is going online every day. Check it out at www.pdac.ca. By the way, Rod’s interview can be heard here.

Tony Barresi wins second Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award

Tony Barresi, a doctoral student at Dalhousie University who is specializing in earth sciences, has won this year’s Mary-Claire Ward Geoscience Award. His award-winning thesis is entitledTectonic and petrogenetic evolution of Early to Middle Jurassic Hazelton Group volcanic rocks, northwestern British Columbia: Physical and geochemical anatomy of an arc to rift transition. Tony will be presented with his prize, $3,000 and a certificate, at the PDAC’s awards evening on Monday, March 6 at the Fairmount Royal York Hotel, Toronto. Full details here.

PDAC reminds Tories of their pre-election promise to re-instate ‘super’ flow-through

In a congratulatory letter to Canada’s new finance minister, Jim Flaherty, PDAC president Peter Dimmell urges him to resurrect the super flow-through program in the upcoming parliamentary session. “We were pleased by your government’s 2006 election platform,” Dimmell says, which would “retain tax incentives such as the super flow-through share program. These measures are critical to Canada’s vibrant and effective financial market for mining.” The association has developed a communications strategy to convey industry messages – re-instatement of ‘super’ flow-through; federal funding for the Cooperative Geological Mapping Strategy; and inclusion of community consultation costs and baseline environmental studies in Canadian Exploration Expense - to the new government and MPs. Click here for a full copy of the letter.

New NRCan minister will open PDAC Convention 2006

Gary Lunn, Canada’s new minister of natural resources, will be opening this year’s convention and will also be a head table guest at the Mineral Outlook luncheon later that day. The ceremonies to mark the official opening of this, the 74th annual convention, will begin at 8.45 a.m. at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. Mr. Lunn represents Saanich–Gulf Islands (British Columbia) and is a lawyer. He has worked as a construction superintendent in mines in British Columbia and the Northwest Territories and as a safety officer in the forestry industry. Full details.

Members encouraged to come and meet students

Students are receiving special attention at this year’s convention and are being encouraged to make the most of the opportunities that the meeting can offer. On Tuesday, March 7, a Student-Industry Networking Luncheon will allow them to meet industry members and to talk to them about the industry and its prospects. We’ve got many students; now we need industry people to meet them. If you’re available, why not come to this luncheon? It’s free but we are asking you to register by contacting us. Interested students should also contact Teresa. Deadline for sign-up is February 24. Here’s hoping for a great networking lunch!

Want to learn more about uranium? Take your pick of courses

Giant uranium deposits: Exploration guidelines, models, and discovery techniques, March 4 and 5, Toronto. This is a one-and-a-half-day course offered by the PDAC and the Society of Economic Geologists immediately preceding PDAC Convention 2006. Course fee includes notes, lunch and refreshments: $525 [Can.] Program.

Uranium exploration and development, April 27 and 28, Denver. This two-day program is being organized by the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation. Fee is $695 [US] for registrations submitted before March 29 and an additional $100 for registrations sent in after that date. Program.

Plans are also underway for a conference in Saskatoon in September. Uranium: Athabasca deposits and analogues will be held from September 10-12. This is a two-day conference being organized by the CIM Geological Society, Saskatoon Section. The conference will consist of two days of technical presentations and three to four days of post-conference field trips. Preliminary details are here and here.

East vs. West hockey game is a go again this year

Jim Priest, organizer of the annual PDAC hockey game, is out of commission at the moment due to surgery. However, he’s handed the organizing reins over to Bruce Reid who informs us that the Fugro Challenge Cup game will be played on Tuesday, March 7 at George Bell Arena from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. The arena is on Ryder Avenue near St. Clair West and Keele. Members interested in playing are asked to contact Bruce at [email protected]. Our best to Jim for a speedy recovery.

Greenpeace co-founder on the new face of mining

Longtime members of the PDAC will remember the address that Patrick Moore made during the PDAC annual convention some ? years ago. His comments at that time created quite a stir, and the PDAC received many requests for a copy of his paper. Moore, a co-founder of Greenpeace, is chairman and chief scientist of Greenspirit Strategies Ltd., his consulting group in Vancouver. Recently he visited Newmont’s operations in the U.S., Peru and Ghana at the invitation of the company and had this to say, “Since my entry into the global environmental movement in 1971 – and especially in the last decade – mining has contributed significantly to a more sustainable world economy, and key beneficiaries of this progress are mining workers, families and communities. How unfortunate the media is missing such an important part of the sustainability discussion.” Click here for full article.

A field guide for identifying pebbles

Eileen Van der Flier-Keller, a geologist in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, has developed this field guide on how to identify pebbles. The guide is in full colour, is laminated, and contains over 80 photographs of pebbles from beaches and rivers. The photographs can be used to identify 28 different types of rocks and minerals. This is a great resource for children or teachers in your lives or for visits to schools. The text deals with how rocks form and how to tell if a rock is igneous, sedimentary or metamorphic. It also provides some fun facts about minerals in our daily lives. Prices vary from $10 for one copy to $750 for 100 copies. To order or for more information, contact Eileen Van der Flier-Keller,[email protected].