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January 19, 2009 - No. 60

PDAC urges federal government to adopt measures to help exploration sector

Representatives of the PDAC met with federal Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt on December 17, presenting her with a series of policy recommendations and proposals to reduce the impact of the current financial crisis on the mineral industry and to help companies survive the current economic downturn. The recommendations are here.

The association was subsequently invited by NRCan to submit further proposals for infrastructure projects that would improve the economics of projects in remote areas and encourage new exploration investment. The association recommended that the federal government invest in transportation infrastructure such as all-weather roads, bridges, road upgrades, and improvements to airports and sea ports. Also recommended was a “Roads to Resources” cost-sharing program that would improve road access to minerals. For further information, please contact us, senior program director, regulatory affairs.

PDAC convention – the place to be in good times and bad

If you’re hesitating about coming to this year’s PDAC convention, you may be interested to hear Joe Hinzer’s thoughts on the matter. Joe is the chairman of this year’s convention planning committee; his view is that attendance at the PDAC convention is even more imperative in difficult times. “In tough times, people have tended to come in large numbers to the convention,” he says. “The reason is simple: they want the exposure, they want to network and they want to be able to have an opportunity to market themselves and their products at the best venue possible.” President Jon Baird sees attendance at the convention as a way to prepare for the recovery. Both men agree that this current economic downturn has not altered the fundamentals that underpin the global mining industry and that current market conditions do not reflect the underlying global need and demand for metals and mineral products. As past president Ed Thompson has said, “The world will always need metals.” Early bird registration for the convention closes on February 6. You can register online here.

Winners of the 2009 PDAC awards lauded for excellence and accomplishment

The board of directors is delighted to announce this year’s winners of the 2009 PDAC awards. Presentation of the awards will be made at an awards banquet, sponsored by Barrick Gold Corporation, on Monday, March 2, at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel, Toronto. A summary of the awards recipients follows. Click here for fuller details.

  •  Thayer Lindsley Award for an international mineral discovery: Richard Garnett and NovaGold Resources Inc. for their respective roles in the discovery and further exploration of the Donlin Creek, Alaska, gold deposit.
  •  Bill Dennis Award for a Canadian discovery or prospecting success: HudBay Minerals Inc. for its discovery of the Lalor zinc deposit near Snow Lake, Manitoba.
  •  Viola R. MacMillan Award for company or mine development: Goldcorp Inc. for building one of the world’s lowest cost and fastest growing multi-million ounce gold producers.
  •  Skookum Jim Award for Aboriginal achievement in the mineral industry: Tli Cho Logistics of Yellowknife, NWT, for supplying a range of high quality services to diamond mines in the Northwest Territories.
  •  Distinguished Service Award for a significant contribution to the mineral industry: David A. Barr for his commitment to improving health and safety in mineral exploration.
  •  Environmental and Social Responsibility Award for excellence in environmental protection: BioteQ Environmental Technologies Inc. for developing a technology that removes contaminants from mine waste water.
  •  Special Achievement Award for exceptional accomplishment in the mineral industry: Britannia Beach Historical Society for its involvement in the Britannia Remediation Project, including the refurbishment of the historic concentrator building of the former Britannia Mine and the establishment of the B.C. Museum of Mining.

Expert Panel on Securities Regulation releases its final report: How will we benefit?

The need for a common securities regulator and regulation based on size of issuer are key recommendations of the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation which released its final report on January 12. Greg Ho Yuen, chair of the PDAC’s securities committee, has put together a summary of the benefits that could come out of the panel’s recommendations if they are implemented. His summary is here.

Course on financial reporting for mineral companies ? Vancouver ? January 29

Rick Whiler, senior accountant with the Corporate Finance Branch of the Ontario Securities Commission, will be presenting an overview of financial reporting at a PDAC session to be held at the Bentall 5 Conference Centre, 550 Burrard Street, Vancouver, 2-4 p.m., on Thursday, January 29. The session will focus on issues of relevance to mining companies and will examine the impact of the current economic crisis on MD&A and financial reporting. The session is offered free of charge, but pre-registration is required. More details including registration information are here.

Indigenous economic development summit ? Toronto ? March 9-11

The Assembly of First Nations will be hosting an indigenous economic development conference in Toronto March 9-11. The Inter-Nation Trade and Economic Summit (INTES), to be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, will bring together First Nations, indigenous leaders, members of the business community; international stakeholders; federal and provincial ministers; and economic development expert to examine and promote economic growth and wellbeing in key economic regions. Guest speakers will include former UN ambassador Stephen Lewis who will present his views on “igniting change;” economist Thomas Homer-Dixon; CBC Dragon's Den advisor Sean Wise; Eric Sprott; and CAW economist Jim Stanford. Full details are here.

WHERE Challenge offers over $17,000 in cash prizes for students and schools

The WHERE Challenge is a national contest that asks Canadian children aged 10-14 years to answer these questions: What on Earth is in your stuff and WHERE on Earth does it come from? The contest is sponsored by EnCana Corporation and Teck and has been organized to celebrate the International Year of Planet Earth. The contest is designed to foster curiosity and ingenuity through innovative story-telling. Students are asked to create a story around the composition of a favourite object in their home, school or playground. They must identify one or more non-renewable resources used to make that object and where those resources come from. The story can be told through an essay, a poem, a song or a play, a painting or a poster, an audio, video or multimedia presentation or anything else kids can dream up!  The contest closes on February 28. More than $17,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to regional and national winners and to schools. Full contest details are here.

The top ten global mining issues

Members may be interested to read a publication put out recently by Deloitte that examines the top ten issues facing industry executives during the coming year. Included in the list are: commodity prices; higher costs vs. lower prices; tight credit markets; shortages of talent and equipment; political and other risks; difficulty in finding quality assets; consolidation; environmental concerns; compliance costs and complexity; and electricity shortages. The full report is here.