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April 3, 2007, No. 42

Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) report released

The report of the advisory group for the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries was released on March 29. The report comes after ten months of deliberations and a series of open and closed roundtables held in Vancouver, Toronto, Montreal and Calgary in 2006. The advisory group included representation from civil society, industry, academia, labour, and socially responsible investors and by communities affected by Canadian mining, oil and gas operations in the developing world. The report urges the federal government, in cooperation with key stakeholders, to adopt a CSR framework for Canadian extractive companies operating abroad. The framework would include performance standards, reporting guidelines, the establishment of an ombudsman’s office and a compliance review committee. A major section of the report recommends strengthening governance and capacity building in countries where Canadian companies operate. Click here for the full report and here for a media advisory which provides the report’s highlights. Members having questions about the report please contact us.

‘Super’ flow-through extended in federal budget but geoscience excluded yet again

In his government’s budget of March 26, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the extension of the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) or the ‘super’ flow-through. The budget has since passed. The METC, which was due to expire at the end of March 2007, is now extended to March 31 next year. Funds raised up until that time can be spent on eligible exploration activity up until the end of 2009. Disappointingly and despite intense lobbying from the PDAC, the Mining Association of Canada and others, the federal government again did not fund the Cooperative Geological Mapping Strategies. This has been on the books since 2000 when all of Canada’s mines ministers made a commitment to this federal-provincial-territorial initiative and agreed that funding from the federal government ($25 million/year over ten years) would automatically kick in a further $25/year over ten years from the provinces. Other budget items likely to have a direct or indirect effect on Canada’s mineral exploration and development industry are listed here.

PDAC members offered substantial discount for world encyclopaedia of ore deposits

AMIRA International has been building the foundations for a community world encyclopaedia of ore deposits through its project, Data Metallogenica (DM) over the past seven years. The nucleus of this ambitious project is the world’s most comprehensive and representative sample collection of ores, alteration, host rocks and regolith from over 3,000 deposits in more than 70 countries. This core of material is being increasingly supported by other deposit information including maps, sections, and field photographs. New features are added frequently. Recent additions include commodity galleries containing global commodity reviews; the inclusion of full text digital university Ph.D. theses; and new contributions on diamonds from BHP Billiton and Mineral Services Canada on several Ekati pipes, including Panda, Misery and Koala. The subscription rate for PDAC members for their personal use is US$75/annum, a very substantial 50% discount on the regular subscription rate. Click as appropriate: brochurenewsletter, and subscription form. Please note that all material can be downloaded from the website, which has been designed for good access, even by local dial-up. A very useful feature is the powerful and fast search and select capability, allowing searching by deposit name, geological province, country, state, commodity and deposit type.

Second national health and safety survey underway

This year’s health and safety survey has been sent to Canadian companies with exploration projects in Canada. The PDAC is again partnering with the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia to conduct this survey and to produce a report based on its findings. We urge companies to participate in the survey, the objectives of which are: to track health and safety trends nationwide; to promote health and safety awareness; and to encourage companies to institute accident prevention measures. There are a number of ways to complete the survey: electronically by clicking here; by downloading this form, completing it and mailing or faxing it in; or by using this spreadsheet (or a similar internal form) and emailing it as an attachment to Jonathan Buchanan, [email protected] (please make sure you include your company name). All responses are kept confidential. The aggregate data will be published in a report later this year. Last year’s report is here.

Mining mission to India

The Canada-India Business Council is organizing a mining business mission to India in September (dates to be confirmed). The mission’s objective is to take a small group of Canadian companies engaged in mineral exploration, mining equipment, engineering services, and mine development and introduce them to their Indian counterparts to facilitate deal-making. Contact Hemant M. Shah, [email protected] or [email protected], telephone 204 291 4248, or Arun J. Basu, [email protected], telephone 905 812 3120, ext. 104.

Call for volunteers for CSA Mining Technical Advisory & Monitoring Committee

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is expanding its mining technical advisory and monitoring committee from 10 to 15 members and is inviting new applications for committee membership. The committee, which advises the CSA on mining related regulatory issues and serves as a forum for communication between the CSA and the mining industry, meets about four times a year, mostly by teleconference. Members serve two-year terms and are expected to have extensive technical expertise and a strong interest in securities regulatory policy relating to the mining industry. Deadline for application is April 12. Click here for more details.

New leadership appointments at Natural Resources Canada

NRCan Deputy Minister Cassie Doyle has announced two new appointments over the past few months. At the end of November 2006, Mark Corey assumed the position of assistant deputy minister in the Earth Sciences Sector, and this month Stephen Lucas becomes assistant deputy minister in the Minerals and Metals Sector. Click here for the full announcement.

East wins 18th Norman B. Keevil memorial hockey game

Long-time organizer of the convention hockey game, Jim Priest, reports that this year’s match up between East and West was spirited, well played, fast, and with some skilled plays. Jim called only three penalities. The game was held on Sunday, March 4 at the Varsity Arena and was sponsored by Fugro Airborne Services. The final score was 5 to 4 for the East. After the game, coaches, managers and players were treated to refreshments at the Duke of York pub.

Exploration 2007 to be held in Toronto, September 9-12

Exploration 2007 is the fifth in a series of decennial conferences on exploration technology held in Toronto since Canada’s centennial year in 1967. This year’s conference, to be held from September 9 to 12 at the Royal York, features oral presentations, workshops, posters, and a 3D visualization theatre. Full details here.