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August 26, 2008 - No. 57

Federal government commits $100 million to northern geoscience mapping

Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced today (August 26, 2008) that the federal government will invest $100 million over the next five years in its new Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals program. This funding is an extension of the $34 million geo-mapping program announced by the government earlier this year. The Prime Minister is quoted as saying, “We know from over a century of northern resource exploration that there is gas in the Beaufort, oil in the Eastern Arctic, and gold in the Yukon. There are diamonds in Nunavut and the Northwest Territories, and countless other precious resources buried under the ice, sea and tundra. But what we’ve found so far is merely the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Managed properly,Canada’s share of this incredible endowment will fuel the prosperity of our country for generations. And geo-mapping will pave the way for the resource development of the future.” Click here for the full release and backgrounder.

Ontario government starts review of mining act

Having announced its intention to modernize the province’s mining act on July 14, the Ontario government released details of its planned consultation program on August 5. A discussion paper to help guide the consultation process was published on August 11. The government also announced a 65-day public review and comment period starting on that day. As of August 25, consultation sessions have been held in Timmins, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay. Further sessions will be held in Kingston on August 28 and in Toronto on September 8. The PDAC is acting on behalf of its members and working in support of the Ontario Prospectors Association and the Ontario Mining Association. The deadline for comments, which can be made online or by mail, is October 15. The discussion paper and instructions on how to submit comments are here.

PDAC submits recommendations in federal government’s pre-budget consultations

The PDAC has submitted a series of recommendations to the federal Standing Committee on Finance during its pre-budget consultations and has formally requested an opportunity to appear before the committee. Key recommendations in the association’s submission include: making the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (super flow-through) permanent; clarification of CEE to include exploration around former mine sites; the qualification of Qualified Environmental Trusts for flow-through share financing; and the commitment to longterm funding for geoscience mapping. The full submission is here.

PDAC advocates for labour mobility agreement to include professional geoscientists

The PDAC has responded to an agreement made earlier this summer by provincial premiers and territorial leaders to take steps to remove labour mobility barriers across Canada. In an open letter, the association congratulates the leaders on the agreement and urges them to include professional geoscientists in it. The letter reads, in part, “It is our association’s hope that your agreement will be an important step towards full mobility (interpreted to mean that a geoscientist who is registered in a Canadian jurisdiction, held accountable to a common code of ethics and subject to a disciplinary body following a common set of standards, would have the right to work in another Canadian jurisdiction without further application or notice). The full text of the letter is here.

Online courses offer opportunities for continuing education in variety of subjects

EduMine offers online continuing education courses on a wide range of topics, including one dedicated to the concepts, principles and applications of the community engagement component of the PDAC’s e3 environmental excellence in exploration. Other topics include: environmental health and safety - emergency preparedness and emergency response planning; surface reclamation techniques; and the evolving image of mining. EduMine also offers a series of blended courses, which include a mix of online learning and a two or three day workshop. Upcoming courses include practical geostatistics and understanding corporate financial statements. All courses qualify for the UBC Mining Certificate Program. Click here for the full curriculum.

Economic guidelines for mineral exploration ? Queen’s University ? Nov 30-Dec 6

The Department of Geological Sciences and Geological Engineering, Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario, offers an annual professional development seminar on economic guidelines for mineral exploration. This year the seminar takes place from November 30 to December 6. The seminar helps develop those evaluation skills which enable explorationists to translate geological knowledge and expertise into economic criteria. The registration fee of $4,400 plus GST covers tuition, accommodation and meals, and seminar materials. Full seminar and registration details are here.

Diamond exhibition at Royal Ontario Museum opens on October 25

A new diamond exhibition opens at the Royal Ontario Museum on October 25. The Nature of Diamonds traces diamonds from their geologic origins, through mining, to grading, cutting, marketing and distribution. The exhibition also tracks the history of mining, including the discovery and mining of diamonds in Canada, and identifies the uses of diamonds in science, technology, industry, and medicine. A gem vault houses an array of jewels from around the world, including Princess Mathilde’s 200-carat diamond corsage ornament containing over 2,600 diamonds. The exhibition runs to March 22, 2009. Full details.

$250,000 research grant available from USGS ? Application deadline Sept 29

Funding of $250,000 is available from the Mineral Resources Program of the US Geological Survey for research in topics on non-fuel mineral resources, including uranium. Individuals from universities and the private sector are among those invited to apply. The funding is for 2009, and applicants need not be U.S. citizens. Deadline for applications is September 29, 2008. Click here for a full details.

Sander Geophysics founder dies

George Sander, founder and chairman of Sander Geophysics Ltd. (SGL), died on August 23. Friends are invited to a celebration of George's life on Thursday, August 28, at 7 pm at the SGL head office, 260 Hunt Club Rd, Ottawa. Donations may be made in George’s memory to the Canadian Geophysical Exploration Society (KEGS) Pioneer Scholarship Fund www.kegsonline.org A full announcement is here.