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May 25, 2009 - No. 63

Corporate social responsibility in the mineral industry

  1. Federal government releases its CSR strategy for the international extractive sector
    Building the Canadian advantage: A CSR strategy for the international extractive sector was released by the federal government in March. The document is a response to the final report of the roundtable advisory group, National roundtables on corporate social responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian extractive industry in developing countries. Commitments in the new policy include: supporting initiatives to help developing countries manage the development of minerals and oil and gas and benefit from these resources to reduce poverty; promoting international CSR performance guidelines; establishing a CSR counsellor to assist stakeholders in the resolution of CSR issues; and supporting the development of a CSR Centre of Excellence. The full text of the policy is here.

  2. PDAC responds to government’s CSR strategy
    The PDAC responded to the federal government’s CSR policy on April 30 with eleven recommendations. The association emphasizes that it shares the same goal as the federal government and other stakeholders: “to encourage and enable performance improvements in CSR for Canadian companies operating both domestically and abroad, in a transparent and accountable manner.” However, the association states, CSR is only one part of the equation. “The other critical component is host-country governance capacity-building. Reducing the risk of conflict and optimizing the benefits of exploration and mining in developing countries will require attention to both areas if meaningful progress in this complex area is going to be achieved.” The full text is here

  3. Corporate accountability in developing countries bill moves to committee stage
    Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries Act was introduced by MP John McKay to the House of Commons on February 9. This Private Member’s Bill passed first and second readings and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development. The stated purpose of the proposed legislation is “to ensure that corporations engaged in mining, oil or gas activities and receiving support from the Government of Canada act in a manner consistent with international environmental best practices and with Canada’s commitments to international human rights standards.” A copy of the bill is here. For copies of the debate leading up to the vote, please contact us.

  4. PDAC writes to McKay about Bill C-300
    In a letter, dated April 21, to John McKay, the PDAC identifies two events that signaled how industry and government intend to move forward on CSR: the first was the launch in March of the e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration and the second was the federal government’s positive and constructive response contained in Building the Canadian Advantage: A CSR Strategy for the International Extractive Sector (described above). Moreover, the letter states, no mention is made of the important role that mineral exploration and mining play in social improvement and economic sustainability in Canada and internationally. The PDAC’s letter is here.

  5. PDAC’s e3 Plus attracts attention
    Following its launch at PDAC Convention 2009, e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration is attracting attention in Canada and overseas. In March, Bernarda Elizalde, program director, sustainable development, gave a presentation about CSR and the new program to a meeting in Ecuador organized by the Canadian embassy and the Canadian-Ecuadorian Chamber of Commerce. Elizalde’s presentation stimulated interest in developing a mining industry code of conduct for Ecuador, based on e3 Plus principles and guidance.

Third annual Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop was a resounding success

Twenty-four earth science students congregated in Sudbury during the first two weeks of May to gain some hands-on experience of mineral exploration and working in the field. This was the third workshop that the PDAC had hosted and, by all accounts, was very successful. Students attending are handpicked by a selection committee which reviews all applications and recommendations from respective university faculties. Click here to see who participated and their universities. For the second year, CTV covered the event. You can watch the CTV clips from both 2008 and 2009 here. Full coverage of the workshop, including thoughts and comments from the students, will be included in the upcoming issue of PDAC in Brief.

Nunavut land use planning legislation should be revised

The PDAC, together with the Mining Association of Canada and the NWT & Nunavut Chamber of Mines, has been developing a response to the draft Nunavut Land Use Planning and Impact Assessment Act. The proposed legislation fulfills a commitment made in the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement (NLCA) to enact federal legislation establishing the Nunavut Planning Commission and the Nunavut Impact Review Board in law. While these agencies have been in existence since 1996, they have operated entirely under the provisions of the NLCA since that time. The new legislation is expected to have significant longterm ramifications for mineral exploration, mine development and mining operations in Nunavut. In their submission of May 6, 2009, the three industry groups offer recommendations on the legislation prior to its introduction into Parliament. The submission is here.

NRCan minister announces accelerated funding for geomapping

Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt announced a number of initiatives recently during the annual conference of the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum. Among them were accelerated funding, from $22 million to $30 million, this year for the Geomapping for Energy and Minerals program and $250,000 in funding for the Canadian Mining Innovation Council. The minister also announced that the CIM will be hosting a new CSR Centre of Excellence. Full details.

Resources for Aboriginal communities and mineral industry employers

The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) has recently launched an awareness campaign to help this country’s Aboriginal communities and the mining industry work together. Supporting this initiative are two resources: Mastering Aboriginal Inclusion in Mining, a module series developed in partnership with the Aboriginal Human Resource Council, and the Mining Industry Human Resources Guide for Aboriginal Communities, developed by a number of organizations, including the PDAC. More details here.

Barbara Hendrickson to receive Women’s Law Association of Ontario 2009 President’s Award ? Toronto, June 3

PDAC director and co-chair of the association’s securities committee will be presented with the 2009 President’s Award by the Women’s Law Association of Ontario. The presentation will be made on Wednesday, June 3 at the Albany Club, 91 King Street East. Ms. Hendrickson is being recognized for her outstanding service within the profession and her leadership role in advancing the position of women lawyers. Click here to purchase tickets to the event.

Financing opportunities for mining ventures & going public with the TSX Venture CPC program ? Toronto, June 23 ? Vancouver, October 2

Two half-day seminars, offered by MineAfrica, feature presentations by private and public mining companies to an audience of TMX Group-listed Capital Pool Companies (CPCs) looking for qualifying transactions and senior representatives from the financial and mining industries. The program includes a networking lunch, keynote address by a senior representative from the TMX Group, mining company presentations, and one-on-one meetings between CPC managers. Full details here.