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May 23, 2008 - No. 54

Applications are invited for three new positions at the PDAC

The PDAC’s strategic plan, developed by the board of directors in consultation with association members, identified four priority areas for the association’s advocacy work. These include: attracting new people to the exploration sector; directing the future of the PDAC in a globalizing industry; formulating a PDAC corporate social responsibility framework; and maximizing the exploration land base and ensuring mineral tenure and land access. The board has also approved an expansion of staff resources, in part to undertake the implementation of the strategic plan. There are three positions now available at the PDAC: program director, community and resources development; communications manager; and accounting clerk. The description for the program director position is here. Details of the other two positions are here.

This year ’s health and safety survey is now underway

The PDAC and Association for Mineral Exploration BC are appealing to junior and major companies, government geological surveys, diamond drilling contractors, geophysical contractors, and any other companies or contractors carrying out exploration related activities in Canada to complete this year’s health and safety survey. The aim of undertaking this survey every year is to track health and safety trends nationwide, to promote health and safety awareness, and to encourage companies to institute accident prevention measures. Most exploration companies are small with few employees and tend not to have statistics which could pinpoint work hazards that cause accidents. A national survey enables companies to share this non-competitive information to the benefit of the whole industry. By sharing accident statistics, companies and individuals obtain a view of statistically more significant data. The greater the response to the survey, of course, the more statistically significant the data. The survey is online here.

Expert panel on securities regulation begins its cross-Canada consultations

In February, federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty announced the establishment of an expert panel on securities regulation. The panel’s mandate is to advise the country’s ministers responsible for securities regulation on the best way to improve securities regulation in Canada. The panel will take into account the recommendations put forward by other groups and will draw on the best regulatory practices of Canada’s international counterparts. A public consultation paper, Creating an advantage in global capital markets, has been released. This document has been developed to focus discussion on the key issues and questions relating directly to the mandate of the panel. 

The PDAC has been invited to take part in the panel’s first round of cross-Canada consultations on Wednesday, May 28, in Toronto. At that time, securities committee co-chair Greg Ho Yuen will be presenting the PDAC’s position calling for: a) a regulatory system administered by one regulator, applying one set of rules in a consistent manner across Canada; and b) securities laws that provide junior issuers with access to capital on a timely, effective and cost efficient basis; that restore and maintain public confidence in the capital markets; and that include disclosure and reporting obligations that strike a balance between protection of the investing public and ensuring that the maximum amount of a company’s financial and managerial resources are available for mineral exploration and development work. The securities committee will be making a detailed submission to the panel in July. To participate in the preparation of the submission or for further information, contact us.

New president of International Council on Mining & Metals (ICMM)

Anthony Hodge has been appointed president of the International Council on Mining & Metals and will take up his new post on October 1. Tony is Kinross Professor of Mining and Sustainability at Queen’s University at Kingston and is past president of the Mineral Economics and Management Society. He served on the National Roundtable on environment and Economy (1992-96) and led the North American component of the Mining Metals and Sustainable Development project (2001-02). Click here for the full announcement.

ICMM ’s position on indigenous peoples and report on free prior and informed consent

Executive director Tony Andrews attended an ICMM meeting in London, UK, at the beginning of May. He reports that, after much discussion over many months, the ICMM has finalized a position statement on indigenous peoples. Click here for a copy. Tony further reports that, as part of their commitment to the Dialogue Project, ICMM and the World Conservation Union (IUCN) convened the second Mining and Indigenous Peoples Roundtable in January 2008. The roundtable report, available here, includes some interesting discussion on free prior and informed consent, a major focus of the roundtable discussion. These are important documents which have direct implications for PDAC members whose projects are located within the sphere of influence of indigenous peoples.

Links with CIM

For the third year, the PDAC sponsored the exploration pavilion at the recent Mining in Society show in Edmonton. The show, which is organized by the CIM, is designed to inform the general public about the mining industry and its benefits and to highlight career opportunities in the sector. PDAC Mining Matters staff created a wide range of activities, including a scavenger hunt, for the many young people attending the show. In the technical sessions of the CIM proper, health and safety committee chair Bill Mercer gave a presentation entitled Health and safety in mineral exploration: The PDAC role.

Graduate students invited to apply for Geoffrey Bradshaw Memorial Scholarship

Geoffrey Bradshaw was working for the Yukon Geological Survey as a mineral assessment geologist when he was killed in a helicopter accident two years ago. A scholarship fund has been set up with the Yukon Foundation in Geoff’s name. The Geoffrey Bradshaw Memorial Scholarship awards $3000.00 to a graduate student in his/her first or second year of a geology program that includes a thesis with a Yukon field component. Applications are invited for the 2008 award. The deadline for submissions is May 31. More details about the award and application requirements are here.

NationTalk TV interviews PDAC president on mining and aboriginal people

PDAC president Jon Baird was interviewed on NationTalk TV on April 21. Topics covered in the interview included employment opportunities that exploration and mining can offer aboriginal people, programs that the PDAC has customized at PDAC conventions for aboriginal participants, and the potential for partnerships between the mineral industry and aboriginal communities. To hear the interview, click here.

Seminar on risk mitigation and corporate social responsibility in Africa – Toronto – June 2

A full-day seminar on risk mitigation and corporate social responsibility in Africa is being held at 77 Wellesley Street, Toronto, on Monday, June 2 from 9 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. Registration fee for the seminar, which is organized by the Canada-South Africa Chamber of Business, is $135 for Chamber members and $155 for non-members. The program is supported by the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, MineAfrica and the Ontario Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. Click here for the full program and here for the registration form. For more information, contact Bruce Shapiro, telephone 416 535 5665; email [email protected].

Geddes Webster’s book on the people of the Yellowknife gold boom, 1936-1951

The Prospectors’ Pick, The people of the Yellowknife gold boom, 1936-1951, by Geddes Webster is a newly published book, or rather a catalogue, about the individuals and events surrounding the building of Yellowknife and its eventual transformation into the capital of the Northwest Territories. The book begins with a description of the history and early developments of the NWT, including early mineral observations, the five booms that the territory has experienced, and the beginnings of the town of Yellowknife and its activities. Then the author gets down to the nitty-gritty with snapshots of the town residents and of non-residents who contributed to or participated in the gold boom. These, together with a section on ‘vignettes, observations, explanations and reflections,’ make for an entertaining and informative depiction of the social history of a mining town. Written in a direct, clear and engaging style and laid out in a pleasing format, this is the kind of book that can be dipped into or read for longer periods when time permits. The book, which costs $39, can be ordered online or by email.