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April 16, 2010 - No. 70

Progress of Bill C-300

If delegates didn’t know about Bill C-300 before PDAC Convention 2010, they soon became aware of it upon their arrival. The PDAC organized a campaign aimed at raising awareness about the negative consequences of the proposed legislation, An Act Respecting Corporate Accountability for the Activities of Mining, Oil or Gas in Developing Countries, and to encourage industry members to write to parliamentarians voicing their objections to the bill. Please check our Bill C-300 website for details, including a template letter, arguments against the bill, and names and contact information of MPs who should be receiving letters.

After the House of Commons resumed sitting in early March following prorogation, the standing committee on foreign affairs and international development was reformed with two new Conservative members, Chair Dean Allison and Dave Van Kesternen. Observers say the Bill has moved lower on the committee’s agenda and probably will not be voted on by the committee until the fall. The PDAC has formed a committee to work with the Mining Association of Canada and other industry leaders and will continue to communicate with MPs about the risks posed to the industry if the bill were passed.

Fraser Institute's Survey of Mining Companies reflects optimism about investment

The Fraser Institute’s Survey of Mining Companies 2009/2010 ranked Quebec at the top of the mining jurisdictions for the third straight year. The annual report represents the opinions of 670 mining executives and managers worldwide on the policy and mineral endowment of 72 jurisdictions on all continents except Antarctica.

Companies participating in the survey reported exploration spending of US$2.9 billion in 2009, down from US$3.6 billion in 2008. The latest survey shows strong optimism about new mining investment. Free PDF download.

Metals Economics Group reports 42% ($5.5 billion) drop in worldwide exploration

In its report on world exploration trends, a special publication for PDAC Convention 2010, Metals Economics Group reports that the boom times leading to a 2008 record high of $13.2 billion in world exploration spending “came to a screeching halt in September 2008 . . . the world fell into the worst economic and financial downturn in decades.” As a result, many mine developments were postponed or cancelled, contributing to a 42% or $5.5 billion drop in global exploration. MEG also reports on the rising costs of exploration, noting that exploration dollars were not going as far as they did a decade ago. The full report is here.

Ontario Mining Act Workbook on the Development of Regulations: April 30 deadline for EBR submissions

The last day to make submissions to Ontario’s Environmental Bill of Rights registry on the government’s workbook on mining regulations (enter EBR registry # 010-8656) is April 30. The ministry’s consultations continue beyond this date however, it is important to make submissions to the EBR as well as to the mines ministry. Click Here. The contact at the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry is Robert Merwin, Director – Mining Act Modernization, [email protected], 705-670-5627.

The PDAC is working in support of the Ontario Prospectors Association and its regional affiliates. We are developing written submissions on the subject of regulations. If you are making a submission to the EBR, or directly to the mines ministry, please send a copy to us as this will help the PDAC to represent you. Further information on the Mining Amendment Act and the Far North Act (Bill 191) click here.

Conflict sensitivity toolkit now available: Feedback deadline April 30

A new toolkit for exploration and mining companies operating in emerging markets has been developed over the past year through a unique partnership between World Vision, PDAC and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects. It was launched at the 2010 PDAC convention last month to an enthusiastic audience and now its developers are seeking feedback from those with  experience or projects in conflict zones. Eventually this document will be added to e3 Plus. Deadline for feedback is April 30, 2010.

Government consultations on seabed / marine exploration and mining regulations

The PDAC has been contacted by the Canadian government in advance of a meeting of the International Seabed Authority at which draft regulations on exploration will be discussed. Topics include draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for polymetallic sulphides and draft regulations on prospecting and exploration for cobalt-rich ferromanganese crusts. If you would like to see a copy of the draft document, please contact Lesley Williams [email protected]. If you would like to have your comments submitted to the federal government through the PDAC, please send them by email to Philip Bousquet by Wednesday April 21.

Upcoming events

The ABC ’s of Quantum Magic April 22  Ottawa

If you’re in Ottawa on Thursday, April 22, you might want to hear a presentation on the magic of quantum mechanics being given on Parliament Hill over breakfast from 7.30 to 9 a.m. Gilles Brassard of the University of Montreal will describe in simple terms how quantum mechanics is being harnessed to spark a revolution in information processing. For instance, a quantum computer could theoretically perform more computation than would be possible for an ordinary computer the size of the universe. The registration fee for breakfast and lecture is $20. Full details here.

CMIC Innovation Workshop May 9  Vancouver

The Canada Mining Innovation Council (CMIC) is presenting  an interactive workshop, at the CIM conference, on what is innovation, what barriers to innovation are encountered in organizations, and the challenges of technology transfer. Leaders from industry (3M, Teck Resources, Barrick Gold) will present case studies and discuss how their companies overcome barriers to innovation, followed by a dialogue with the audience.

For more information and to register.

Canadian Mining Law and Finance ? May 13-14, Toronto ? May 17-18, Vancouver

Cambridge Forums is hosting two conferences on Canadian mining law and finance: the first in Toronto, May 13-14, and the second in Vancouver, May 17-18. Both conferences will focus on how Canadian mining companies are accessing debt and equity capital markets; the effect of recent court decisions and changes in the law; and how companies are working in new markets and with new sovereign investors. For full information, go to or contact Doreen Nixon, [email protected], telephone 416 778 8883.

Canadian Embassy mission to Lao People’s Democratic Republic ? May 17-18 ? Vientiane

We have been asked to pass on information to our members about a trade mission being organized by the Canadian Embassy and the Thai-Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Thailand. The mission, to be held on May 17 and 18, is being undertaken in collaboration with the Lao Ministry of Industry and Commerce and the Lao National Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Click here for further details.

Mekong Mining Policy Forum 2010 ? May 20-21 ? Bangkok

The Mekong Mining Policy Forum, to be held May 20-21 in Bangkok, is being hosted in cooperation with the Canadian, Australian, and Thai embassies. This meeting will appeal to people with interests in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. More information is here.

Fraser Institute to honour Peter Munk ? June 3 ? Toronto

Peter Munk, founder and chairman, Barrick Gold, will receive the Fraser Institute’s T. Patrick Boyle Founder’s Award during a gala evening to be held at the Fairmont Royal York, Toronto, on Thursday, June 3, 2010. Mr. Munk is being honoured for his “unwavering commitment to free and open markets around the globe and his support for enhancing and encouraging democratic values and the importance of responsible citizenship.” Tickets for the event start at $350. Full details with ticket information are here.