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February 15, 2012, No. 87

Up Front

PDAC Election of Directors – VOTING REMINDER

Candidate statement booklets and ballots have been sent to all members along with the AGM notice. Ballots are due no later than 9:00 am (eastern), February 29, 2012. Please support the PDAC and exercise your right to vote. If you have any questions please contact us.

The PDAC Welcomes Report on Progress on CSR in Developing Countries

On January 19th, the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) released a report on the status of recommendations arising from the National Roundtables on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and the Canadian Extractive Industry in Developing Countries. The report found that progress is being made on the Roundtable’s 27 recommendations: 18 out of the 27 have been fully or partially implemented

“As an organization that has been involved in the roundtable process, the PDAC is very pleased to see the release of this report,” says executive director Ross Gallinger. “It shows progress is being made and there is a commitment to improving the practices of Canadian exploration companies.” The report is a result of a research project commissioned by MAC's International Social Responsibility Committee, on which the PDAC sits. For information on the PDAC’s involvement in the roundtable process click here. To view the report, click here.

PDAC Executive Director’s Letter to the Editor Gives Industry’s Side of the Story

A letter to the editor by PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger was published in the Ottawa Citizen on January 25th. The letter took to task assertions made in a Citizen op ed written by Elizabeth Payne, a member of the newspaper’s editorial board. Payne’s article criticized the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and included several references to development projects involving three-way partnerships between CIDA, NGOs and mining companies.

“Many critics of mineral exploration and development are quick to judge and quick to brandish those judgments on their websites and in the media. Industry's side of the story rarely gets told, but we have a side and it deserves more airtime than it gets. Private-sector companies are often at the centre of development projects. Together with NGOs and governments, these companies generate long-term economic benefits to yield individual well-being in impoverished communities,” wrote Mr. Gallinger. To read the full letter click here. To read the original Citizen op ed click here.

Mining Matters in Attawapiskat

Mining Matters visited Attawapiskat during the last week of January. The three-day program, sponsored by DeBeers Canada, reached out to a total of 296 students and 62 teachers through sessions and workshops. Mining Matters interacted with the community beyond the classroom as well. Over 200 people attended an evening event with interactive, educational games related to the mineral industry, a buffet dinner provided by DeBeers, and a stone carving session following dinner.

The Toronto Star covered Mining Matters’ visit to Attawapiskat. The reporter and photographer from the Star stayed at the same hotel as Mining Matters staff, and took them on an excursion to see the Aurora Borealis on what happened to be the evening of the greatest solar storm activity in six years. Barbara Green Parker, Aboriginal Education Specialist at Mining Matters, says it was an exciting and very successful program. “The experience was a great one—watching the learning and enjoyment that occurred during the community night, engaging with the teachers during the workshops, and seeing the northern lights, all made it an incredibly worthwhile experience.”

Membership Is Up!

PDAC membership is 17% higher compared to this time last year. Two growth trends of note are: student membership increased by 50% and junior corporate membership increased by 13%. These growth figures reflect the increased relevance and awareness of the PDAC, the popularity of the convention, as well as membership strategies, particularly those directed at students. If you have not yet renewed your membership, please contact PDAC Membership Coordinator Florence MacLeod at [email protected].

A Revitalized PDAC Sponsored Insurance Program

The PDAC has established and sponsored an exclusive insurance program designed specifically for its membership. The program, originally established in 2007, has undergone a revitalization to reflect changing market conditions and to ensure members have access to appropriate and cost-effective insurance with a high level of service. “Five years ago, the PDAC recognized there was an urgent need to provide insurance that addresses the distinct risk characteristics for consulting geoscientists as well as exploration and mining companies. Partners Indemnity and Integro have designed packages to meet these needs while offering excellent value and outstanding service. We are proud to offer these programs as an ongoing benefit to PDAC members,” says Lisa McDonald, Chief Operations Officer at the PDAC. Click here for more details about the insurance program.

Aboriginal Affairs

Crown – First Nations Gathering

The PDAC issued a letter of support for the Crown – First Nations Gathering that took place on January 24th. “The success and prosperity of Canada, Aboriginal people and the mineral industry are intrinsically linked. We need to share and recognize our responsibilities as partners. We are highly encouraged at the steps taken by both the Prime Minister and the National Chief in working towards creating a better quality of life, including economic opportunity, improved education and health,” said PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans in the letter.

The Gathering, which brought together approximately 250 people including 170 First Nation Chiefs and Prime Minister Stephen Harper, looked at the importance of renewing the relationship between the Crown and First Nations. PDAC Director of Aboriginal Affairs Scott Cavan attended the gathering as a delegate. “We’re highly encouraged by the positive atmosphere at the Gathering and by the clear commitment all around to continue the dialogue and move forward,” says Mr. Cavan. To view the Crown – First Nations Gathering Outcome Statement click here.

Mining Industry Has a Role to PLAY in Creating Opportunities for Aboriginal Youth

On February 9th, PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger attended an information session on Promoting Life-Skills in Aboriginal Youth (PLAY), a program that helps Aboriginal Youth improve their health, self-esteem and leadership skills. Developed by Right to Play, PLAY uses sport as a means of fostering leadership in youth and engaging the community in ensuring that youth succeed.

“There is a definite opportunity for mineral and exploration companies to get involved in this admirable program. Mining companies are a natural fit for PLAY since exploration and development occurs in many of the communities PLAY is in, and can provide jobs and help build capacity for the future,” says Mr. Gallinger. The PLAY program is expanding into 39 First Nation communities in Ontario. Goldcorp is one of PLAY’s newest corporate sponsors.

Advocacy

The PDAC Welcomes Government of Canada’s Agreement with China on Canadian Uranium Exports

On February 10th, the PDAC issued a statement applauding the Government of Canada’s February 9th announcement on the successful completion of negotiations between Canada and China on an agreement that will facilitate increased exports of Canadian uranium to China. “The signing of this agreement is very good news for the mineral exploration and development sector in Canada. The PDAC supports the Canadian government’s continued work toward a finalized Protocol,” says PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger. Click here to read the full statement.

The PDAC States Support for Federal Government Initiatives on Regulatory Reform

The PDAC issued a statement of support following Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver’s January 9th open letter “on Canada's commitment to diversify our energy markets and the need to further streamline the regulatory process in order to advance Canada's national economic interest.” In his statement, the minister said taking a look at Canada’s “broken” regulatory system is an urgent matter of Canada’s national interest and that “reviews for major projects can be accomplished in a quicker and more streamlined fashion.”

“An effective regulatory system is a key factor in a company’s decision about where to invest,” says PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger. “Mineral exploration is a high-risk venture and companies want to know that the permitting and regulatory process is consistent and timely. We are confident that improvements can be made that continue to satisfy social and environmental objectives while allowing for new projects and jobs.”

2012 Federal Budget and the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

The Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) program is due to expire on March 31, 2012. The METC is a significant factor in the success of the mineral industry in Canada, helping to increase exploration financing by providing an incentive for Canadians to invest in exploration. Through pre-budget consultations, the PDAC is advocating for the METC to be extended and to be made a permanent feature of the tax system. The PDAC is encouraging members to contact the Canadian government to state the importance of the METC. Click here for contact and background information to support correspondence. For further information, please see the PDAC’s submission to the Standing Committee on Finance and contact us.

CSA Public Consultation on NI 45-106 Prospectus and Registration Exemptions

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) is conducting a review of the minimum amount prospectus exemption and the accredited investor prospectus exemption contained in National Instrument 45-106 Prospectus and Registration Exemptions. At the conclusion of the review, CSA staff may recommend either retaining the exemptions in their current form or may propose changes. The consultation period is open until February 29, 2012. Please click here for more information on making a submission to the CSA. PDAC contact us.

Northern Lights 2012

The PDAC attended the Northern Lights Business and Cultural Showcase in Ottawa, February 1 - 4. The event, a joint venture of the Labrador North Chamber of Commerce and the Baffin Regional Chamber of Commerce, attracts over 1,000 attendees and 140 exhibitors, and strives to strengthen partnerships between Canada's northern and southern key business and government stakeholders. As part of the PDAC’s ongoing involvement in the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s policy research, the PDAC participated in a policy roundtable discussion convened by the Chamber during the conference.

Lands & Regulations

The PDAC’s Response to the Proposed National Recovery Strategy for Boreal Caribou

The PDAC will be providing a formal submission to the SARA Public Registry outlining our concerns about the proposed national recovery strategy for boreal caribou. The PDAC will recommend that the federal government fully examine the socio-economic impacts of the strategy and consider alternative approaches to achieve conservation measures for boreal caribou. The PDAC is calling on the federal government to extend this essential public dialogue so that key unresolved issues can be fully explored and resolved in the best interests of Canadians.

The PDAC commends the federal government for seeking public input on this important biodiversity conservation initiative, and supports in principle biodiversity conservation and the need to conserve caribou in Canada. However, the proposed caribou recovery strategy focuses on habitat protection, rather than on feasible population management approaches. If implemented in its current form, the strategy will severely impede mineral exploration and development activities, and will have far-reaching socio-economic consequences for the Canadian north, and in particular, for those communities and industries that are dependent on the boreal forest.

For more information, contact us, or send your comments directly to the public registry by February 22, 2012. The PDAC’s submission and technical analysis will be available on the PDAC website following its submission to the registry.

Student Affairs

Virtual Career Fair a Big Hit!

The Mineral Exploration and Mining Virtual Career Fair hosted by the Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) and the PDAC went live on February 8th and 9th and was a huge success. Over 1,200 career seekers visited the fair over the course of the two days, and over 1,000 jobs were applied for! The fair was sponsored by Barrick Gold, IAMGOLD, SGS Canada, Teck Resources, and Vale and featured 23 exhibitors. The fair will remain open until February 17th—career seekers can still visit the exhibitor booths, view job postings, apply for jobs, and upload their resumes.

2012 Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW)

Twenty-six lucky geoscience students from post-secondary institutions across Canada have been chosen to participate in the PDAC’s 6th Annual Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW). Barrick Gold, the patron sponsor, will also send a young geologist from one of their operations to join the group.

The two-week, all expenses-paid gathering, which runs from May 4th – 19th, will give the students an opportunity to experience the many facets of the mineral exploration industry, and to polish their networking skills. The PDAC relies on industry support to help continue to host this important educational workshop. For more information about S-IMEW 2012 click here.

New Webinar : A Student’s Guide to PDAC 2012 Convention

“A Student’s Guide to the 2012 PDAC Convention” is a webinar designed to help students plan their convention experience. The webinar, sponsored by Vale, provides an overview of the convention, and student events and opportunities at the convention. Students can get tips on how to network, make a good impression, write an impressive resume and more. The webinar is free and can be accessed on the PDAC student page.

PDAC Student Outreach at Roundup 2012

On January 22nd, PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans addressed a group of over 70 students during AME BC’s Roundup 2012. Students from across Canada and a large contingent from Leeds University listened to Dr. Jobin-Bevans speak about careers and opportunities in the industry. The event was sponsored by Caracle Creek and MinePros Personnel Inc. PDAC staff, members and directors, including incoming President Glenn Nolan, mingled with students and answered questions following the presentation.

CSR

PDAC Field Safety Pocket Guide Now Available

The PDAC’s new Field Safety Pocket Guide is a valuable and handy information resource for field workers in the mineral exploration industry. Waterproof, tear-resistant and designed to fit easily in your high vis jacket, the guide provides useful information on safe fieldwork practices. The goal of the Field Safety Pocket Guide is to increase safety awareness in the field by providing useful information on the risks, hazards and dangerous situations inherent in exploration work. Order your copy of the guide today—the first five copies are free. Click here to order.

Wilderness First Aid Training for Mineral Exploration Field Workers, May 5th and 6th 2012

Wilderness first aid extends beyond urban-based first aid courses and is specifically designed to deal with hazards and illnesses encountered in the backcountry and remote work sites. If you are preparing to work in the field or on a remote work site, this is a great opportunity to obtain your Wilderness First Aid certification. The course will be offered in 7 locations: Toronto, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Gatineau, Val d’Or and Yellowknife. Course registration costs will be subsidized by the PDAC. More information will be available on the PDAC website in the coming weeks. To pre-book your space, contact Karen Mulchinock, PDAC Manager of Corporate Social Responsibility, at [email protected].

Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Annual Report 2010/2011

The PDAC and AME BC are pleased to present the 6th annual Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Annual Report. The report tracks health and safety trends and lays the foundation for increasing health and safety awareness and improving standards of practice in the mineral exploration industry. The report is based on information submitted by organizations through a voluntary questionnaire.

The PDAC and AME BC congratulate the 61 companies who reported “lost workday free” records. Congratulations goes to Quadra FNX Mining Ltd. for recording 185,234 hours of exploration work without a lost workday incident, up from their record of 99,792 hours of exploration work without a lost workday incident in 2009. The report is available here.

Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Survey 2011/2012

The PDAC and AME BC are conducting the 7th annual Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Survey for exploration work conducted in 2011. The survey is strictly confidential and will be used by the PDAC and AME BC to develop our 7th annual Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Report. This report provides facts and figures about the causes of incidents, the nature of the injuries, trends, and also safety statistics by province. It also acknowledges companies for the Safe Day Everyday Award—awarded to a company that has operated without a lost workday. Complete the survey here.

Hazard Alert : Drilling on Ice

As a result of the mild temperatures this winter, ice thicknesses are less than expected in many areas and may vary considerably from place to place. Extra caution should be used when travelling over and working on ice on lakes and other water bodies. Extensive information on safe drilling operations on ice is available in the PDAC e3 Plus Health and Safety Toolkit.

Convention

Mobile Convention Guide - Mobi - Launched!

Registered delegates for PDAC Convention 2012 can start using the new mobile convention guide (Mobi) today. Search for exhibitors, technical sessions and speakers. Find attendees through the use of integrated social media links. Plan onsite meetings and build your schedule on your smartphone. To access Mobi click here. Don`t forget to fill in your Attendee profile.

International Panel Luncheon : A Discussion on Royalties

A distinguished guest panel will share their experiences and knowledge about the value of royalties, how best to benefit from them, and the inherent risks and obstacles at the International Panel Luncheon on Tuesday, March 6th. The luncheon will take place from 12 noon – 2:00 pm at the MTCC, South Building. Tickets are $70 each. To purchase tickets click here.

World Renowned Geologist Dr. David Groves to Speak at Innovation Luncheon

World renowned geologist Dr. David Groves will speak on geologic real estate value and the business of assessing the best investment at the Innovation Luncheon on Wednesday, March 7th. The luncheon will take place from 12 noon – 2:00 pm at the MTCC, South Building. Tickets are $70 each. To purchase tickets click here.

New Short Course : A Practical Guide to Land Management in Canada

“A practical guide to land management in Canada” is a new short course that focuses on grassroots to late stage exploration, and will provide practical guidance on land and mineral tenure regulatory regimes within Canada. Land tenure and regulatory experts from each jurisdiction will be on hand to answer questions. The course will be useful for participants both new to or experienced in land management issues. Lunch and refreshments are included in the price of registration. The course takes place Saturday, March 3rd, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. For more information, click here.

Government

B.C. Mineral Exploration Week Announcements

B.C. proclaimed January 22 - 28, 2012, Mineral Exploration Week, and made several announcements touting the health of B.C.’s mineral exploration industry. Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Coleman announced that in 2011, B.C. experienced its second consecutive year of rising mineral exploration expenditures with preliminary regional estimates for exploration expenditures at $463 million, up 35% from 2010. During her speech at Roundup 2012, Premier Christy Clark announced that significant progress is being made on processing the backlog of mining notice of work applications, and that a major land use agreement has been signed with the Kaska Dena First Nations.

Minister of Natural Resources Continues to Talk About Regulatory Reform

Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver continued to talk about streamlining the approvals process for major projects at several industry events in January. During his speech at Roundup 2012, the minister said that “regulatory reform is a must.” At the Canada Mining Innovation Council’s (CMIC) Signature Event in Toronto, the minister continued with this theme saying, “The current system remains a patchwork of overlap, duplication and needless complexity. Together, it leads to unnecessary and unpredictable delays, tarnishing Canada's reputation as an attractive place to do business.” Minister Oliver is scheduled to speak at the Opening Ceremonies at the PDAC convention on Monday, March 5th.

Industry

CDDA to Launch New Drilling Excellence Certification

The Canadian Diamond Drilling Association (CDDA) is launching a Drilling Excellence Certification (DEC) program which will establish new, higher standards of quality in the diamond drilling industry. DEC will launch this spring with a workshop at the CDDA’s annual convention in Quebec City in mid-May. For more information, visit www.cdda.ca. Information will also be available at the PDAC convention in the e3 Plus booth on Level 800 and at the Health and Safety workshop on March 3rd.

New MEG Study Names Canada as Top Exploration Country for 10 Years

A study published in late January by the Metals Economics Group’s (MEG) Corporate Exploration Strategies (CES) names Canada as the world’s top country for exploration for the last ten years, since overtaking Australia in 2002. Canada’s allocation for 2011 represents 18% of worldwide spending. For more information, click here.

Looking Ahead

PDAC e3 Plus Presentation at SME

The PDAC’s CSR Coordinator, Emily Nunn, and AME BC’s Communications Director, Jonathan Buchanan, will be presenting at the Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME) Annual Meeting in Seattle on February 20th. Their presentation will introduce e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration to the SME community, and highlight the PDAC and AME BC’s joint initiatives to promote excellence in health & safety. For information on the SME Annual Meeting, click here.

PDAC Incoming President to Speak at Business Lunch Series

On February 23rd, PDAC incoming president Glenn Nolan will be speaking at the Montreal Council on Foreign Relations’ Business Lunch Series. Mr. Nolan will be speaking on the topic of “The global challenges for the Canadian mineral exploration industry.” For more information, click here.