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August 23, 2010 - No. 73

Have you mailed in the Bill C-300 postcards?

In your July issue of PDAC in Brief, you should have found an envelope with instructions to mail in the four postcards it contained to key MPs urging them to vote against Bill C-300. The bill will be up for debate when the House of Commons resumes sitting on Sept. 20, with a vote expected in October. We have extra postcards here. If you’d like more, please contact Florence McLeod

Financial regulatory reform bill in US contains disclosure obligations for mining companies

The Dodd-Frank Bill, signed into law on July 21, 2010, and encompassing a wide swath of financial reforms, contains new disclosure obligations for extraction issuers and users of conflict minerals. Under the new legislation, issuers must indicate in their annual reports payments made to foreign governments and to the US federal government for the commercial development of oil, natural gas, or minerals. Issuers must also make a disclosure when they are using minerals originating in the DRC or in contiguous countries and the due diligence taken to identify the source and chain of the minerals. Regulations must be drawn up and published within 270 days of the passage of the bill. Comments on the regulations are invited. Fasken Martineau has created and published a summary of the new disclosure obligations.

Fraser Institute says attitudes more hostile as Quebec, Nevada, Chile and Australia slip in its annual rankings

According to the Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies: 2010 Mid-Year Update, mining executives, representing 429 mineral exploration and development companies, sense a shift in mood in the investment climate for mining around the world. The latest survey covered 51 jurisdictions. Earlier this month, the Fraser Institute brought out an update following the global recovery in commodity prices and the introduction of new regulatory hurdles and taxation in many jurisdictions. Download the full report here.

CSR draft rules of procedure for dispute resolution and the PDAC

Earlier this year, CSR Counsellor Marketa Evans released for comment draft rules of procedure her office will plans to use to resolve CSR disputes related to the overseas operations of Canadian extractive companies. The rules include five steps of a possible dispute resolution mechanism. In a detailed response submitted in mid-August, the PDAC, the Mining Association of Canada and 10 mining companies note that, to be successful, the office of the counsellor must be regarded as “a fair, impartial and viable resource to resolve issues that may arise when all other avenues of redress have been exhausted.”  The office should also conduct its work in such a way that host country governments see it as constructive and respectful of their sovereignty. The full response is here.

The PDAC ’s pre-budget submission seeks support for mineral exploration

Citing the economic slowdown and drop in exploration finance, the PDAC’s recommendations to the House of Commons standing committee on finance includes five key ‘asks’: temporarily increasing the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC); making the METC permanent; adding costs related to issuance, compliance and duty to consult as expenses eligible for the METC; clarifying the Canadian Exploration Expense definition to include costs related to exploration at former mines sites that have not operated for at least five years; and providing flow-through share treatment for Qualified Environmental Trusts (QETs).

The full submission is here.

PDAC director Michael Bourassa named Mining Lawyer of 2010

Who’s Who Legal has named Michael Bourassa as the Mining Lawyer of 2010. This award recognizes Michael's leadership role in the global mining industry as the top “dirt lawyer.” Michael is a partner in the Toronto office of Fasken Martineau LLP and is the coordinator of the firm’s Global Mining Group. He has been a PDAC director since 2003. Michael is also a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation, a member of the Mining Law Committee of the International Bar Association, and member of the Mining, Metals and Energy Financing Working Group of the Toronto Stock Exchange.

In memoriam - George Podolsky

George Podolsky died earlier this year in Oakville, Ontario. An obituary prepared and supplied to us by Ken Witherly states that Mr. Podolsky, a geophysicist and longtime employee of Texas Gulf, had considerable professional success and “as a result of circumstances few would ever wish upon themselves or others earned the title of ‘hero.’” A Special Achievement Award given to Mr. Podolsky by the PDAC in 1991 recognized his heroism following an airplane crash on Baffin Island in May 1958. Mr. Podolsky managed to keep his three fellow travellers, a colleague and the plane's pilot and co-pilot, alive for four days until their rescue. Despite dislocated ankles and the loss of his spectacles, Mr. Podolsky struggled to keep his badly injured companions warm, nourished and comfortable during the ordeal.  A mountain where the crash occurred is now known officially as Mount Podolsky. The full obituary is here.

Students ’ mining videos show humour and creativity

If number of responses is an indicator of success, the Ontario Mining Association’s So you think you know mining is very successful. The contest, which runs annually, invites high school students to produce and submit short videos on mining and its benefits. Prizes, most of which are $2,500 each, are given for best writing, best music, best directing, etc. The videos are on this website. Some are of exceptional quality and demonstrate how videography can be used to great effect. The winners are listed here. Well worth a look!

Noront Resources sponsors PDAC Mining Matters aboriginal youth mining camps

Noront Resources Ltd. is partnering with two Ontario government ministries to sponsor two aboriginal youth outreach summer camps being organized by PDAC Mining Matters in northern Ontario. Sixty students will participate in the camps, each two weeks in length, in Webequie and Marten Falls. Camps for aboriginal young people are taking place in Nunavut, Manitoba, and Ontario this year. Here’s a news release, issued by Noront, about its involvement.

Exploration tips from one of the best

The former head of Newcrest Mining’s exploration team at the time it was considered the world’s most successful gold explorer, Dan Wood, provides some thoughts on what’s needed for exploration success in a document picked up by the Mining Explorer blog. Read Dan Wood’s ideas here.

Canada India Mining and Metals Forum 2010 ? Sept 27-29 ? Toronto

Canada and India are working together to organize this forum, which will be held at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel, 90 Bloor Street East, from Sept. 27 to 29. Prominent government and industry officials from both countries, including former Indian President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam and PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans, are scheduled to speak. The registration fee for PDAC members is $650 before September 6 and $800 after that date. Members should quote ‘pdaccif10’ when registering to receive this discount. Program details are here, and registration is open at www.canadaindia.org. The contact person for this event is Kalyan Sundaram, telephone 416 779 5237.

Colombia Mining Show ? Oct. 6-8 ? Medellin, Colombia

The Government of Antioquia and Colombia’s Ministry of Mines and National Entrepreneurs Association (ANDI) will host the VI International Mining Show–Colombia Minera 2010 from October 6-8, 2010, in Medellin, Colombia. The show is targeted at mining companies, capital goods and services providers and the mining sector value chain in general. This year’s event has the active participation of the Canadian Embassy, which is organizing a national pavilion with the participation of Canadian companies and organizations. More information or contact the Canadian Embassy.

Job openings available here

MinePros Personnel has a variety of geosciences job openings available. The list is here.