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September 25, 2009 - No. 66

PDAC continues its campaign to stop Bill C-300

Over the summer, the association has taken every opportunity to voice its opposition to Bill C-300, An Act respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries. All MPs have received a copy of the PDAC’s position statement articulating the reasons for the mineral industry’s concern about the private member’s bill. Meetings have been held with John McKay (Lib., Scarborough-Guildwood), the sponsor of the bill; Bob Rae (Lib., Toronto Centre); John McCallum (Lib., Markham-Unionville); and NDP MPs Glenn Thibeault (Sudbury) and Claude Gravelle (Nickel Belt). The bill received two one-hour debates in the House of Commons and has been referred to the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Hearings will resume this fall, and the PDAC is on a list of potential witnesses to speak. For more information, contact us.

If you’re in Toronto on the evening of Thursday, October 15, and you’re interested in this topic, you might like to attend a debate on the bill. Among the debaters will be John McKay and PDAC President Jon Baird. The event is being organized by the Canadian International Council (CIC) Toronto Branch and McMillan LLP. The $25 registration fee for non-CIC members covers the debate and a reception. Full details are here.

Canadian Mineral Industry Federation submits brief to Canada’s mines ministers

Canada’s energy and mines ministers met for their annual meeting in St. John’s, NF & Lab. at the end of August and beginning of September. In keeping with the theme of the meeting, the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation, comprising national, provincial, and territorial associations in the mineral industry, urged ministers to take action to sustain the country’s exploration and mining sectors. The main points of the federation’s brief were 1) mines ministers must focus on their core functions of promoting and protecting the industry; 2) the industry is facing challenging times but has a bright future; 3) the development of infrastructure is key to the industry; 4) Governments must attend to aboriginal relations and economic development; and 5) The importance of a social licence for companies. Click here for a full copy of the submission.

PDAC president speaks to St. John’s Board of Trade

An audience of close to 70 was present at a St. John’s Board of Trade luncheon on Tuesday, September 1 to hear PDAC President Jon Baird talk about the importance of exploration and mining to Newfoundland and Labrador. He also spoke about the costs to the province of the uranium moratorium in Labrador and introduced the PDAC’s e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration to his audience. The event was well covered by local media. A full copy of Baird’s presentation is here.

We’re looking forward to meeting members at upcoming annual reviews

The PDAC will be represented at a number of annual reviews and regional meetings across the country this fall. First off will be the Newfoundland and Labrador Mineral Resources Review 2009, to be held at the Delta St. John’s Hotel, November 5-7.  By the way, if you are going to be in St. John’s, be sure to visit the Johnson GEO CENTRE which is located on the road leading to Signal Hill. This is a superb resource which offers something of interest for everyone in four exhibit areas: our planet; our province; our people; and our future. Equally magnificent is the building itself which is wedged in a natural rock basin excavated to create space for its construction.

At the Manitoba Mining & Minerals Convention, to be held at the Winnipeg Convention Centre November 19-21, Jason Wilson, program director, aboriginal affairs & resource development, will be speaking on the topic Mineral exploration benefits for aboriginal communities at an aboriginal mining workshop. And during the following week, President Jon Baird will be speaking to delegates at Québec Exploration 2009 (November 23-26, Château Frontenac, Québec City) about e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration.

Virtual PDAC gets better

Those delegates and exhibitors at PDAC conventions familiar with Virtual PDAC will be pleased to hear of enhancements being made to the system. These include a new facility to create multiple, sortable lists in My Plan (a personal area where users can manage their event diaries, view session information, build contact lists, and send secure private messages). The new functions will be available with the latest release of Virtual PDAC in January 2010 for delegates. Exhibitors will be able to preview the site towards the end of 2009. Virtual PDAC 2009 is still live at www.virtual-pdac.com and will remain so until the new site is activated in January 2010. For further information about the system or about sponsorship opportunities, contact Gareth Hector,[email protected].

Bill Pearson honoured for his leadership in geoscience

The Canadian Council of Professional Geoscientists (CCPG) has announced that Bill Pearson is the recipient of this year’s Canadian Professional Geoscientist Award. Eligibility for the award includes a solid career as a professional geoscientist, an outstanding record of voluntary service to the community, and service to one of the provincial or territorial professional associations regulating geoscience in Canada or to CCPG. Bill was the founding president of the Association of Professional Geoscientists of Ontario from 2000 to 2003. He was also instrumental in the formation of the CCPG. The press release about Bill’s award is here.

Federal government launches CSR e-bulletin

The Trade Commissioner Service Support Division of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (DFAIT) has launched a corporate social responsibility e-bulletin. The intent of the new publication is to provide relevant, up-to-date information about DFAIT and the federal government’s CSR initiatives at home and abroad. To be added to the distribution list, send an email to [email protected]. The first issue of the bulletin is here.

Reports on diamonds and gold reserves published by Metals Economics Group

Halifax-based Metals Economics Group released two reports on its research this summer. The first, reporting on a gold reserves replacement study, concludes that between 1999 and 2008 the world’s largest gold producers replaced almost twice their reserves lost through production. The average cost of replacing reserves was $83/oz. The report is here.

The second study, available here,  reported on a 73% drop in the value of diamond transactions in 2008-2009 from the previous year.

Aeromagnetic surveying book for the non-specialist

Aeromagnetic Surveys: Principles, Practice and Interpretation is a new publication recently published by Geosoft and available as a free download. A paragraph from the advertising states: “Author Colin Reeves pulls together 25 years of research and knowledge to provide an authoritative guide that describes the way the earth’s magnetic field interacts with crustal rocks to produce anomalies, introduces the principles of airborne magnetometers, and explains how survey data are processed to generate maps and images.” The book, which was written in 2005, contains 151 pages and four pages of references. Some images are in colour. The target audiences are students planning a career in the resource sector and geoscientists wishing to learn more about potential field geophysics. Click here for the link.

Women In Mining seeks sponsors to help fund research

Women make up close to 50 percent of the Canadian labour force but only 13 percent of that of the mineral industry. Women In Mining (WIM) Canada, in partnership with MiHR, MAC, NRCan, PDAC, CIM, the Native Women’s Association of Canada, Cameco Corp., and Deloitte, is conducting RAMP-UP, a study on the status of women in the mineral industry. The research will target employers; current and past female workers; students in minerals- and metals-related post secondary education; and educators. This brochure provides more information about the project and invites sponsorship for the research.

Mining Indonesia : Unlocking mineral potential ? Conference ? October 14-17

The 14th Bi-annual Indonesian Mining Conference and Exhibition will be held in Jakarta from October 14-17, 2009. The first day of the conference will include a ‘national mining forum’ that will focus on the changed relationships between central and regional governments under the country’s new mining legislation. Part of the ‘mining village’ will be devoted exclusively to booths and meeting space for investors, prospectors, and junior companies. Full details here.

China Partnering Forum ? October 16 ? Toronto Board of Trade

A one-day conference, the China Partnering Forum, will be held in Toronto on Friday, October 16. Of special interest to our members will be a series of presentations on the resources sector. Topics in this part of the conference include investment and purchasing of North American projects from a Chinese perspective; cultural, political, and logistical issues; and a discussion on the capital markets and China’s growing influence. The cost to register is US$399. A full program and registration details are here.

International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits Symposium 2010

The 13th quadrennial symposium of the International Association on the Genesis of Ore Deposits (IAGOD) will be held in Adelaide, South Australia, from April 6-9, 2010. Theme of the symposium is Giant ore deposits down under. Click here for more information or contact Ian Graham, [email protected]