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Introduction

e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration was developed by the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) to help exploration companies continuously improve their social, environmental, and health and safety performance. Companies are encouraged to integrate these three aspects into all of their exploration programs around the world.

e3 Plus is an information resource on which explorers are encouraged to base their corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and programs. The content of e3 Plus has been assembled to guide the actions of exploration companies and should not be construed as standards of performance. Rather, the intention is to provide companies with the information they need to improve their social, environmental, and health and safety performance while enhancing shareholder value. 

e3 Plus includes eight principles for responsible exploration, guidance notes on implementing the principles, and three internet-based toolkits in the areas of social responsibility, environmental stewardship, and health and safety. The eight principles are relevant to all exploration contexts. The guidance notes are offered to assist practitioners in converting the principles into action.

e3 Plus is designed to be scalable to the size of the company, the location of the project, and the stage of exploration. Acknowledging the varying circumstances in which exploration takes place, e3 Plus is designed to be more flexible than prescriptive. This allows for the application of information to be tailored to the circumstances in which the explorer is operating.

e3 Plus encourages explorers to go beyond legal requirements and apply best practice as it pertains to social, environmental, and health and safety issues. The language used in this document is intended to distinguish between what are legal requirements ('must'), what is considered to be good practice in the industry ('should', 'advised to') and what is considered to be best practice ('encouraged to'). While legal requirements will differ between operating environments and explorers retain the responsibility to know the laws in the area where they are operating, the good and best practices discussed in this document are relevant in all operating environments.

e3 Plus is presented as a 'living document,' subject to modification and improvement as experience is gained and circumstances change. Accordingly, the PDAC will continue to review, revise and update the content of e3 Plus regularly.