As we begin 2023, I reflect on the successful year that we leave behind and look forward to the many opportunities that lay ahead.

We closed 2022 on a very positive note with the announcement of Canada’s updated Critical Minerals Strategy – released in December – showing government’s strong commitment to creating a generational opportunity for the country to be a global leader in transitioning to a low carbon future. The Strategy follows the 2022 federal budget that dedicated $3.8 billion to the mineral exploration and mining industry, including PDAC’s top recommendation to enhance the flow-through share mechanism by doubling the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) to 30% for critical minerals exploration. We look forward to working with the government throughout implementation of the strategy.

In the area of environmental and social impact, PDAC released two extremely important reports in 2022. Early in the year saw the publication of the Economic Impacts of Exploration Projects on Indigenous Communities study, and in the fall the Social Impact of Mineral Development Projects in Indigenous Communities study was launched. PDAC has long advocated for the involvement of Indigenous communities in the opportunities generated by the mineral industry. We are constantly engaging in conversations and strive to make the policies and programs that our members use more reflective of the voice of Indigenous Peoples. PDAC is committed to offering meaningful programs that will help the industry foster equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
With more than 6,000 members, PDAC remains the trusted and leading voice of the Canadian exploration and development industry. In 2023, we will continue our commitment to advocating on your behalf to ensure access to the land, capital, and people needed to support a healthy and successful industry. These priorities are reflected in our updated Five-Year Strategic Plan, set for release later this year. 
This past year saw our annual Convention return to an in-person format in Toronto, which welcomed over 17,000 attendees from 120 countries. As we expand to use over 600,000 square feet of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, PDAC 2023 will prove to be one of the largest events in the association’s 91-year history. We have brought back our most popular programs and have a great line-up of engaging keynote speakers for this fully in-person showcase. 
Last year also marked the launch of an exciting Member Referral Program – currently running to great success – that is aimed at creating growth and engagement for the PDAC community. It offers complimentary convention experiences, prize draws, and even cash, for referring a new member to the association. Creating a more engaging space for PDAC members has always been a priority. We look forward to welcoming all new members and providing them with the programs, resources and information needed to excel in their operations. 
As we focus on attracting the next generation to the wealth of exciting careers that exist in our industry, we are thrilled for the re-launch of our Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW) in May of 2023. This celebrated program brings top geoscience students from across Canada together for hands-on learning and networking at a world-renowned mining region in Sudbury, Ontario. S-IMEW also offers a unique sponsorship opportunity for those wanting to give back.
Look for the launch of the Disturbance Study which PDAC has cooperatively developed with the Mining Association of Canada (MAC) to understand the actual aerial disturbance caused by different types of exploration and mining activities. Through the development and application of an evidence-based methodology, the Disturbance Study – launching later this year – will offer facts about the limited impacts mineral exploration projects have on the environment.
On a personal level I have been grateful for my tenure as PDAC’s 38th President. As this position’s two-year term comes to a close at the end of convention this year, I am honoured to pass the torch to our association’s incoming president, Raymond Goldie. Ray comes with a wealth of experience and passion for the industry, and even before his position becomes official, I would like to give a warm welcome to the role.
In the meantime, I hope to see as many of you as possible at the Convention this March. As the winter weather turns to spring, we’ll continue seeing the exciting growth, change, prosperity and advancements that the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry generates.
Wishing you all the best for 2023 and beyond,
Alex Christopher
President, PDAC