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February 6, 2008 - No. 51

Please return your ballot for the election of directors by February 27

Scott Jobin-Bevans, chair of the Nominating Committee, wishes to remind all members that their election ballots for the sixteen places on the board of directors must be returned to the scrutineer by Wednesday, February 27. Ballots were mailed out on February 1. If you have already returned your ballot, thank you. If you have not, we urge you to make your selection and to return the ballot as quickly as possible. The board of directors is responsible for setting the association’s position and policy on all major issues affecting the industry and is responsible for the overall stewardship of the association’s affairs. For more information, contact Scott.

Safety alert urges caution when working or traveling on ice

The PDAC and Association for Mineral Exploration BC have jointly issued a safety alert about the dangers of working or traveling on ice, indicating that ice thickness is not necessarily a guarantee of safety and pointing out precautions that can be taken. The alert also advises that tents should be equipped with smoke and CO detectors in good working order. Click here for the full alert.

Final draft of proposed Memorandum of Understanding with the Assembly of First Nations is available for member feedback

In 2004, PDAC formed an Aboriginal Affairs Committee with a mission to promote greater participation by aboriginal peoples in the mineral industry, and greater understanding and cooperation between aboriginal communities and mineral exploration and mining companies. The association has since undertaken a number of initiatives to achieve this goal including promoting dialogue, advocating for more rapid resolution of land claims and government resource revenue sharing with aboriginal peoples.

In 2007, the National Chief of the AFN announced the Corporate Challenge, an initiative designed to challenge companies to increase business activities with First Nations and encourage partnerships between companies and communities. Both PDAC and the AFN agree that First Nations and the mineral industry are natural partners, and in much of northern Canada mineral exploration and development is one of the few business activities capable of generating the wealth necessary for remote aboriginal communities to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Accordingly, PDAC and AFN propose under this MOU to work together to promote greater participation by First Nations people in the mineral industry, encourage partnerships between companies and communities and to cooperate on public policy issues of mutual interest. This MOU was drafted in collaboration with AFN representatives following models used by other industry associations and companies. We invite feedback from members on this important initiative prior to its formal signing, which is scheduled to take place during the 2008 PDAC convention. The MOU is available here. Please send us any comments you have.

Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative

An open forum on the Northern Regulatory Improvement Initiative was held for members of the industry during Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver. Approximately 40 individuals, most of whom are directly involved in mineral exploration and mine development, attended the event on Monday, January 28. The progress of the working group set up by the three industry associations (NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines; PDAC; and the Mining Association of Canada) to respond to this initiative was reviewed. This was followed by a presentation by Neil McCrank, the special representative whom the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs has appointed to conduct this initiative. Mr. McCrank’s mandate is to deliver his final report to the Minister by mid-April, and he is asking for written submissions no later than the end of February. During his presentation, Mr. McCrank posed several questions. We urge members with an interest in this topic to consider these questions and to offer recommendations for improving the regulatory regime in the North. Case studies to demonstrate a point are particularly valuable. Please contact us with your comments by Monday, February 11. The questions and a list of topics distributed in preparation for the open forum are here.

International Mining Café – Wednesday, March 5 – Toronto – no registration fee

The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, in collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, is organizing an International Mining Café to brief Canadian companies on global business opportunities in the mining sector. The day-long event (8 a.m. to 4.30 p.m.) will be held in Ballrooms A & B, Hotel Intercontinental, 225 Front Street West, Toronto, and will include presentations on countries in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe. Pre-scheduled, individual meetings will also be arranged to give participants a chance to meet Canadian trade commissioners who cover the mining sector and who are posted at Canadian embassies and consulates around the world. This is an excellent and efficient way for companies and individuals to obtain information about overseas mining prospects and investment climates of particular jurisdictions. There is no registration fee and participants do not have to be registered for PDAC Convention 2008. However, registration for the café is required before February 25. To register or to obtain more information, send an email to [email protected].