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April 27, 2007, No. 43

23 students gear up for two-week, industry funded, exploration workshop

The first annual student-industry mineral exploration workshop will be held in Sudbury next month. This program has been organized by the PDAC’s student affairs committee as part of its mandate to attract more students into the mineral exploration industry. Twenty three senior geoscience students from universities across Canada have been sponsored to take part in the two-week workshop (May 5 to 19) which will cover exploration techniques, mineral deposits, geophysics, geochemistry, regulatory requirements, environmental, health and safety and corporate social responsibility issues. Field trips to Timmins, Rouyn-Noranda and Sudbury are also part of the program. Click here for the names and photographs of the students attending and the program.

Implications of diamond royalty in Ontario need examination before implementation

In a surprise move, the Government of Ontario announced in its March 22 budget that it would introduce a new diamond royalty on the value of a diamond mine’s output, up to a maximum of 14%. Hearings were held earlier this week on the Bill that will enact the budget measures, including this royalty. In a written submission, the PDAC points to the possible effect of the royalty on Ontario’s competitiveness within Canada and globally. The arbitrary way in which the government chose to announce the new royalty, with no prior consultation with industry and seemingly little research on its impact, is also a concern. “How these new costs will affect current and proposed projects…” it states, “should be a matter of detailed research and consultation by the provincial government prior to any change in the taxation regime.” Click here for the full text.

Board endorses move to make Qualified Environmental Trusts eligible for flow-through

A Qualified Environmental Trust (QET) provides for financial security for mine reclamation purposes. Under Canada’s Income Tax Act, contributions are deductible in the year of contribution. The program was introduced in the mid-1990s but has not been successful in promoting the funding of reclamation trusts. The PDAC is supporting an initiative that is seeking to have the Income Tax Act amended to make QET contributions eligible for flow-through share treatment. For more information, please contact us.

Submit your photographs for e3 photograph contest

Friday, May 18 is the deadline for submission of photographs for the second e3 Environmental Excellence in Exploration contest. Photographs depicting the principles of e3, i.e., community engagement and environmental practices during mineral exploration, are invited. There are a number of contest prizes, including a one-ounce, gold maple leaf coin for the best photograph submitted. Click here for contest details.

1st annual golf tournament to be hosted by PDAC Mining Matters

On Thursday, June 7, PDAC Mining Matters will host its first annual golf tournament in support of its charitable efforts to educate students about Canada’s geology and mineral resource endowment. The Diamond in the Rough Golf Classic will be held at the Glenway Country Club in Newmarket, Ontario, and offers companies an excellent opportunity to profile their businesses to stakeholders, clients and colleagues. Corporate teams will enjoy: golf, prizes, entertainment and contests; food and product samplings; live and silent auctions; outstanding prizes and giveaways; breakfast, lunch and dinner. More information here.

NRCan offers free digital topographic data over the Internet

From the beginning of April, Natural Resources Canada began offering free access to its electronic topographic mapping data. The department is also permitting the free redistribution of these data. Go to GeoGratis to access and download the data. This new no-fee access policy builds on an earlier national program called GeoBase which provides free access to various co-owned federal, provincial, and territorial topographic data sets.

Industry launches fund to clean up abandoned exploration sites in northern Quebec

Mining and exploration companies active in Quebec are behind a recently launched program to clean up abandoned mineral exploration sites in the Nunavik region of northern Quebec. The Fonds Restor-Action Nunavik has been set up to raise enough money to clean up at least 25 sites that have been identified as posing a major risk to the environment. The money will be spent on measures to return the environment to its original condition, e.g., hazardous materials will be removed, on-site burns of combustible and non-toxic debris will be carried out. This program, which also has government support, aims to demonstrate that today’s exploration and mining companies take their social and environmental responsibilities seriously. For further details about the program, click here.

Survey winner receives her gold wafer

As part of its strategic planning process, the association conducted a membership survey last year. The response was excellent, and again we thank those members who participated. Winner of the gold wafer was Merline Laure Djouka-Fonkwe, a post-doctoral student at Queen’s University at Kingston. She is seen receiving her gold wafer from PDAC director Michael Doggett.

Survey Winner

Nunavut offers fuel tax rebate for mineral exploration

We have been asked to remind our members that Nunavut has a fuel tax rebate program for mineral exploration. Anyone with a current prospecting licence is eligible for the rebate on fuel used in machinery, equipment, registered snowmobiles, ATVs, and aircraft used in exploration. The program took effect on April 1, 2006. For more details about the program and how to apply for the rebate, click here.

AME BC receives $100,000 to help fund First Nations community outreach

The British Columbia Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources has given the Association for Mineral Exploration BC (AME BC) $100,000 to help fund the association’s First Nations community engagement programs. The funding will be used principally to increase the First Nations’ awareness, knowledge and understanding of the mining industry. According to AME BC president & CEO Dan Jepsen, “This funding will play a key role in providing resources for First Nations to explore opportunities in mineral exploration and mining.”