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June 6, 2006, No. 35

Scott Jobin-Bevans elected second vice president

Congratulations to Scott Jobin-Bevans who has been elected second vice president of the association. Scott is managing director of Caracle Creek International Consulting Inc., a Canadian based international geological and mining services company headquartered in Sudbury. He has been a PDAC director for three years, and is a director of the Ontario Prospectors Association. Currently he is co-chair of the Student Affairs Committee and a member of the International Affairs and Membership committees. Scott represents the PDAC on the Canadian Geoscience Council Liability Insurance Committee and also chairs the PDAC’s Ad Hoc Insurance Committee.

Professional liability insurance rates under investigation

The Ad Hoc Insurance Committee, chaired by Scott Jobin-Bevans, is spearheading an initiative that aims to reduce professional liability insurance rates for professionals working in mineral exploration. The group is hoping to implement a group insurance plan for the industry, including geoscientists and geological engineers, by this coming fall. The committee is also investigating Workers’ Safety and Insurance Board requirements across Canada to see whether the mineral exploration industry could have its own rate group. The group is also looking to have provincial rates, which are now widely disparate, harmonized. For more information, please contact Mr. Jobin-Bevans at [email protected].

Preparations under way for roundtables on corporate social responsibility

Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada is organizing four two-day roundtables over the next six months to discuss issues related to corporate social responsibility [CSR] and the extractive industries in developing countries. The roundtables, which will include all interested parties, will be held in Vancouver, Toronto, Calgary and Montreal. Holding the roundtables was one of the recommendations contained in the government's response to a 2005 report prepared by the federal Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade on CSR and the extractive sector [including mining and oil and gas] in developing countries. The PDAC will be represented at each of the roundtables, which will discuss the following topics: CSR standards and best practices; positive and negative incentives supporting the implementation of CSR standards and best practices; verification of CSR performance and a dispute resolution mechanism; support for implementing CSR standards [for government officials working in developing countries]; and building capacity for the governance of CSR issues in host countries. The PDAC considers these roundtables to be of great significance to mining and exploration companies working in developing countries and feels that it is important that the mining and exploration sector is well represented at the roundtables. For more information about how you or your company might participate, contact us.

PDAC presents to Standing Committee on Natural Resources

Executive Director Tony Andrews spoke on the opportunities and challenges facing Canada’s mineral exploration industry during his presentation to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Natural Resources on June 1. Pointing out that Canada is well positioned to benefit from the global commodity boom, Mr. Andrews said that on the other side of the equation is this country’s decline in commodity reserves. The discovery of new mineral deposits in Canada is, therefore, vital and requires a sustained and high level of investment in exploration. A strategy, aimed at achieving these two objectives, was developed by the PDAC in 2005 and endorsed by Canada’s mines ministers in the same year. The strategy is two-pronged and includes recommendations for exploration incentives and renewed attention to geoscience. Click here for a copy of the presentation.

Thank you to companies responding to our health and safety survey

Thanks to those companies responding to the health and safety survey which we recently conducted with the Association for Mineral Exploration BC. The response rate was 20%. The results are now being tabulated and will be incorporated into a health and safety publication to be released later this year. The winner of the draw will be announced shortly.

Mining in Society attracted large audience of youngsters

Vancouver was host recently to Mining in Society, an event designed to raise the public’s awareness about the mining industry and its contributions to our daily lives. There was a definite emphasis on attracting young people, and this it did very successfully. Over 800 elementary and high school students visited the show. It is no small feat to keep 800 energetic youngsters occupied and maintain their attention. Congratulations to Laura Clinton of PDAC Mining Matters and Sheila Stenzel of the Mineral Resources Education Program of British Columbia and their team of university and college helpers who accomplished this, offering a wide range of activities under the heading ‘the amazing mine challenge.’ The British Columbian education curriculum includes mineral resources and mining in its Grade 5 science and social studies program, and teachers attending remarked that the show reinforced much of what students had learned.

Mining in Society was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. The show was divided into six pavilions, each of which represented stages in the mining cycle from exploration, through production, to mineral products. The PDAC sponsored the exploration pavilion.

Powerpoint on careers in mining is a useful tool

A complete Powerpoint presentation on careers in the mining industry is available here. The presentation has been put together by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council. The file is large and will take some minutes to download. However, the wait is worthwhile. This presentation has been carefully and thoughtfully created. Instead of simply focusing on ‘jobs in the mining industry,’ the presentation identifies the range of jobs within each part of the industry. In the exploration sector, for example, jobs include: geologist, geological technician, diamond driller, prospector, geophysicist, GIS specialist, financial consultant, bush or helicopter pilot, government programs administrator, and more. There is also an attempt to match a person’s interests with the jobs available. Jobs in exploration, for example, will appeal to people who like adventure and travel, exploring the outdoors, investigating for clues, and geology and sciences and so on. If you are asked or volunteer to talk to high-school students about careers in the industry, then your work is done for you. This is an excellent tool.