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November 24, 2010 - No. 75

Executive Director Tony Andrews to leave PDAC

After 24 years at the helm of the association, the PDAC’s executive director, Tony Andrews, has announced his departure next spring. During his tenure, he has seen many changes in the mineral exploration sector, not least of which are its awareness of and attention to corporate social responsibility and its global reach. The association too has changed from a small organization whose annual convention drew a few thousand attendees to a mature, globally recognized organization whose convention draws upwards of 20,000 people from around the world each March and whose advocacy work on behalf of the industry has grown in clout and credibility. In a profile appearing in the next issue of In Brief, Andrews will reflect on some of these changes.

PDAC invites applications for the position of executive director

With the resignation of Tony Andrews, the PDAC is seeking a new executive director and is inviting applications for the position. Click here for details.

PDAC Executive director extends thanks to all involved in fending off Bill C-300 

Following the defeat of Bill C-300 in the House of Commons on October 27, Tony Andrews, PDAC executive director, thanked directors and members for their efforts to inform MPs about the bill’s potential dangers to the industry. The bill’s sponsor claimed its intent was to impose additional accountability on mining companies working in developing countries. But it was so naively constructed that, if it had become law, it would not have contributed to accountability and it could have led to frivolous, obstructionist or defamatory complaints from anti-mining agitators, or even foreign competitors. Andrews’ message said, even though it is history, “Bill C-300 marks the beginning, not the end, of our challenge. Let’s celebrate for about five minutes and then get on with the work of providing leadership and continuous improvement in CSR.” The bill was defeated by a vote of 140 to 134.

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Annual Dinner ? January 13 ? Toronto

The 23rd annual Canadian Hall of Fame Induction dinner will be held at the Fairmont Royal York Hotel in Toronto on Thursday, January 13, 2011. For sponsorship opportunities and information, please contact Becky Bays at 647.726.3185 or click here.

Chile’s trapped miners receive message of support from the PDAC

The 33 miners trapped for 69 days in the San José copper-gold mine in Chile’s Atacama desert  received a letter of encouragement from PDAC President Scott Jobin Bevans. In the letter, Jobin-Bevans notes the special connection that people in the mining industry had with the then trapped miners. The letter was delivered through the auspices of the Chilean Ministry of Mining in Santiago, and it was later confirmed that the miners had received the letter. The last miners were freed on October 13.

2010-2011 flow-through share brochure now available

The latest update of the popular and information-packed flow-through share brochure for investors is now available. Investors may invest in qualifying super flow-through shares in the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit program that has been extended to March 31, 2011. For issuers, funds raised with the credit by March 31, 2011 can be spent on eligible exploration until the end of 2012. The brochures are available in English and French. To order hard copies, please contact Wendy Merowitz Gray at [email protected] and indicate the number you need and the name and address to which they should be delivered.

Britannia Mine steps up with $15-million renovation

British Columbia’s famous Britannia Mine, once the largest copper producer in the British Empire and now site of the B.C. Museum of Mining, has reopened after a $15-million renovation. Latest additions include the new Beaty Lundin Visitor Centre, which will soon feature a satellite branch of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. One of the goals of the renovation is to increase visits to 80,000 a year from about 60,000. Britannia is located on the Sea-to-Sky Highway between Vancouver and Whistler. Click here for a news report published in The Province.

So you think you know . . . videography!

The Ontario Mining Association's student film-making challenge is getting bigger and better as it enters its third year. So You Think You Know Mining is an opportunity for Ontario high school students to produce a video showcasing the benefits of mining. Young people are encouraged to be creative, to apply a variety of skills and to explore mining topics. Top videos will be awarded a cash prize of as much as $5,000 and, for the first year, any school that produces three or more eligible entries will be entered into a random draw for $2,000. Full contest details, as well as an array of resources for prospective entrants and teachers, can be found here (make sure your speakers are turned to low volume). Please forward this ecard to teachers and students who might be interested.

Help improve government policies by taking part in the annual Fraser Institute survey

The Fraser Institute is urging exploration and mining companies to complete its annual mineral industry survey. The survey ranks countries and certain states and provinces according to the predictability and transparency of their mining policies and taxation structure. "Mining ministries around the world, particularly in Canada, pay close attention to the survey," said Miguel Cervantes, an economist with the Institute. "This interest has helped put most Canadian provinces near the top of the policy heap but more work needs to be done. Sometimes government officials do not fully understand the impact of policy decisions and the survey helps bring those weaknesses to their attention." The survey, which will take a few minutes to complete, is here. The results of last year’s survey are here.

CSR coordinator at PDAC

The PDAC is inviting applications for the position of CSR coordinator. The incumbent of this new full-time position will assist in the administration of e3 Plus: A framework for responsible exploration. More details here.

MIRARCO seeks a president & CEO

The Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO), based at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, is looking for a new president and CEO. The organization is currently active in five areas of research, including geohazard assessment and risk mitigation; ventilation and production optimization; environmental monitoring and rehabilitation; energy, renewables and economy; and climate adaptation and sustainable communities. Full details of this position, which was posted on November 5, are here.

Canada Day – A Mining Investor Seminar  ?  December 2  ?  London, England

PDAC President Scott Jobin-Bevans will be one of the speakers at Canada Day, an event being held in London, England, to showcase mining investment opportunities in this country. The day is being hosted by the Canadian government, Northern Miner and Mining Journal. There is no fee to attend but registration is required. Full details, including on-line registration, are here.

Mining Business Risks Summit ? December 5-7 ? Vancouver

A conference on business risks in the mining industry, to be held in Vancouver from December 5-7, will examine and discuss how companies in the mineral industry can navigate the range of risks to which they can be exposed. Organized by the Fraser Institute, the conference includes topics such as the political risk associated with corporate social responsibility (to be given by Tony Andrews); commodity price volatility as a business risk; the impact of resource taxation developments in Australia; availability of finance for projects in emerging markets and higher risk countries; and a highlight presentation on ‘weighing risks in a risky world.’ A 10 percent discount off the registration fee is offered to PDAC members. Full details are here.

British woman wins fight to become ‘free miner’

A British single mother who has worked for years as an underground miner has become the first woman to hold the traditional title of ‘free miner of the Forest of Dean.’ But her attempts to claim the title did not come without a fight. Her application to become a free miner was initially refused because of an 1838 law that specifies, among other things, that to register as a free miner, a ‘man’ must be 21. Her claim was eventually taken up by the House of Commons, and her registration was accepted. Mormon mines ochre, an iron oxide used in artists’ paints and in the cosmetics industry. A news story on this subject is here.