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June 23, 2008 - No. 55

Private member ’s bill on CSR and mining companies operating outside Canada 

On June 16, Alexa McDonough, MP for Halifax, Nova Scotia, introduced Bill C-565, An Act respecting Corporate Social Responsibility for the Activities of Canadian Mining Corporations in Developing Countries in the House of Commons. This is a private member’s bill that, if passed, would “require Canadian companies to report on their mining activities to an impartial, independent ombudsperson responsible to develop guidelines on best practices. The ombudsperson would submit an annual report to the House of Parliament on the provisions and operations of this act.” Its intent is “to ensure that Canadian companies involved in mining operations abroad conduct themselves in compliance with the International Bill of Rights and international law.” A full copy of the bill is here.

PDAC represented at federal government’s Expert Panel on Securities Regulation 

Securities committee chair Gregory Ho Yuen and Philip Bousquet, director, regulatory affairs, represented the PDAC at a meeting on May 28 of the Expert Panel on Securities Regulation. The panel was established by the federal government in February 2008 to make recommendations on improvements to securities regulation in Canada. Ho Yuen spoke on regulatory features affecting mineral exploration and answered panelists’ questions. The securities committee will be following up with a formal written submission to the panel.  

Panel discusses reputation, success and profitability of mining companies 

Executive director Tony Andrews attended the World Mining Congress in London, UK, June 2-4 and participated in a keynote advisory panel that discussed the main issues influencing the reputation, success and profitability of mining companies worldwide. His presentation focused on corporate social responsibility.  

Ottawa Life features exploration and mining 

The PDAC is running monthly features in Ottawa Life, a magazine with an extensive general readership across our nation’s capital. A full-page advertisement appeared in the May-June issue. Two stories, one on aboriginal involvement in the mineral industry and the other about the importance of mining and PDAC programs, are to be included in subsequent issues.

PricewaterhouseCoopers mining industry report show that profits up but so are costs

PricewaterhouseCoopers has published its fifth annual review of global trends in the mining industry. Mine-As good as it gets? provides an aggregated view of the industry in 2007. Data from 40 of the world’s largest mining companies were used to compile the report, which reveals the following: the industry’s market capitalization grew by 54%; revenues increased by 32% but costs rose by 38%; for the first time since the analysis was conducted, cash flows from operations were insufficient to cover increased investment levels, requiring external financing; total shareholder returns rose from 55% in 2006 to 119% in 2007. A section entitled ‘Top Guns’ notes an influx of younger CEOs and a swing towards skill sets that are different from their predecessors’. Of the top ten company CEOs this year, more than half of them have a commercial background. The full report is here.

Study shows that mining industry paid $10.65 billion to Canadian governments in 2006

A study released earlier this month by the Mining Association of Canada shows that in 2006 the mining industry paid to governments in Canada a total of $3.96 billion in corporate income taxes and $2.33 billion in royalty fees. Another $1.86 billion was paid in personal income taxes. An additional $2.5 billion paid by the fabricated metals industry brought the total sum paid to $10.65 billion. This figure represents a 50% increase over the previous year. The study also highlights the industry’s contributions to specific regions, demonstrating that the revenues from the industry have added significantly to the revenue base of seven provinces and territories. The full report is here.

Copenhagen Consensus results have been released 

Members who heard Bjorn Lomborg’s presentation on the Copenhagen Consensus at the 2008 PDAC Convention may be interested to learn that the results are in. In the number one spot is the provision of micronutrients in the form of vitamin A capsules and zinc supplements to 80% of the world’s 140 million undernourished children at a cost of $60 million per year. This action would hold yearly benefits of more than $1 billion. The Copenhagen Consensus analyzes the world's greatest challenges and identifies cost efficient solutions to meeting these challenges. Solutions to problems are prioritized according to efficiency based upon economic and scientific analysis of distinct subjects. Full details and results are here.

Seminar on sustainable mining ? Chongqing, China ?  November 17-18 

The Canadian Consulate in Chongqing, China, is co-hosting a seminar on sustainable mining with provincial departments of land and resources in southwest China on November 17 and 18. Among the participants at last year’s event were representatives of six Canadian companies and 120 local decision makers in the Yunnan mining industry. Plans are to expand the event to include mining industry officials from Yunnan, Sichuan, Guizhou and Chongqing in the southwestern territories. The objective of the forum is to promote Canadian excellence and technologies in sustainable mining and to assist Canadian companies enter or increase their market in China. The cost will be shared by the consulate and participating Canadian organizations. Participants will be able to make presentations, participate in a roundtable discussion, and to have face-to-face meetings with interested parties. More details and registration information are here.