Happy New Year! Now is an exciting time at PDAC. We are just weeks away from hosting the world’s mineral exploration and mining industry at our 2024 Convention. In 2023, we had welcomed almost 24,000 attendees from 133 countries. This year’s showcase will be one of the largest in the association’s 92-year history, with more world-renowned programming, networking events and investment opportunities than ever. We also recognize the importance of fun in our professional lives, so we plan to have more fun than ever at the Convention! Come see what we have planned.

As a PDAC member, you can also benefit from special pricing on Convention passes. And for additional savings, register before February 9. We can’t wait to see you.

Last year’s Convention was particularly memorable for me because I was appointed president of PDAC. It is an honour to serve with our dedicated volunteers and PDAC’s staff, who all tirelessly contribute to the betterment of our industry.

As president, I stepped into the big shoes of past-president Alex Christopher, who had led the Board of Directors and senior staff in developing our Strategic Plan for 2023-28. We realized that, despite significant changes across the mineral industry – including a pandemic – the strategic plan we had put together five years earlier had served us well. Accordingly, the new plan reaffirms that PDAC’s purpose is “to work with its stakeholders to access the land, capital and skills required to responsibly discover and develop minerals and metals.”

The Strategic Plan’s foundational strategy is to connect with hearts and minds of the public, highlighting the vital role of the minerals industry in daily life, and the transition towards a sustainable, low-carbon future. We are encouraged that people around the world and their governments are increasingly recognizing these critical connections.

In access to land, sustainability remains a cornerstone of PDAC’s work. At PDAC 2024, we will introduce the revamped e3 Plus program with new branding: Driving Responsible Exploration (DRE). Established 20 years ago, the e3 Plus program has provided environmental stewardship, social responsibility, and health and safety resources to industry members, free of charge. Now, these vital toolkits are being updated for enhanced accessibility. And even more resources are coming this year – including an interactive, online greenhouse gas calculator. We look forward to sharing more information about DRE at PDAC 2024.

In access to capital, we continue to work with government and regulatory bodies to maintain the strong financial ecosystem that surrounds Canada’s mineral sector. This includes incentives such as the flow-through share regime, the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and the newer critical minerals credit, which attracts a significant amount of capital to Canadian mineral exploration – even when investment is sparse. We also recognize that debt financing, private equity, royalty and streaming companies and governments’ commitments to critical minerals may all be signs of new sources of capital for mineral exploration and development.

In access to skills, the Strategic Plan emphasizes the importance of developing an inclusive, diverse, and skilled workforce. On this front, we were thrilled to re-launch the Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW) last year, following a pandemic hiatus. From May 4 to 16, 2023, PDAC and our wonderful sponsors provided geoscience students from across Canada with a hands-on, two-week experience in some of the best-known mining regions of Ontario. S-IMEW’s purpose is to help students lay the foundation for a successful career in the mineral exploration industry, and we look forward to hosting 2024’s workshop between May 1 to 16, in Sudbury, Ontario.

Also launching this year is our new pdac.ca website. The new site will have an upgraded platform that will make our content more accessible, more modular for flexibility, and feature a more streamlined navigation, so our members – and the industry at large – can find all the information and resources they need.

These endeavours are all made possible only through the support of PDAC’s 7,000 members. Thank you for being part of the PDAC community. We are looking forward to meeting you at PDAC 2024 in Toronto, March 3-6.

Raymond Goldie
President, PDAC