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March 21, 2012, No. 88

Up Front

The PDAC Welcomes its New President, Glenn Nolan

The PDAC welcomes Glenn Nolan to the role of President of the association. Glenn officially assumed the role on March 8th. Before becoming President, Glenn served on a number of committees, including Aboriginal Affairs and Convention Planning.

Over the course of his career, Glenn, who is currently Vice President, Aboriginal Affairs, at Noront Resources Ltd., has become an advisor to Aboriginal communities and companies on the importance of consultation between industry and communities.

Glenn says one of his goals as President is to strengthen the relationship between the mineral industry and Aboriginal communities. He says communication is key. “Communicating is the most challenging part of any relationship, whether it’s a husband and wife partnership or industry and community. Companies have to listen, learn and leverage what they’ve learned from the communities to form effective partnerships.”

Convention Breaks Attendance Record & More

The numbers are in! The final attendance figure for the 2012 convention is 30,369. In the words of Past-President Scott Jobin-Bevans, “The convention has really hit its stride in terms of its place in the global mineral industry—this year’s attendance attests to that.”

The convention was a huge success in terms of overall attendance, as well as in the increased interest in three key areas—the Aboriginal Program, the CSR Event Series, and the Student Program. This year’s convention also drew significant participation by federal ministers and MPs, and received increased attention from the media. The convention’s new-this-year Media Reception, which brought together media, politicians and industry on the convention’s opening night, was well-attended and received high praise. See the sections below for more.


Aboriginal Program

The Aboriginal Program at this year’s convention exceeded all expectations and continues to be a great success. The Aboriginal Forum was twice the size as last year, attracting over 400 people. Panelists from Webequie First Nation, the Ontario government, Noront Resources Ltd., and Cliffs Natural Resources provided the audience with unique insights into the activity around the Ring of Fire, including the community engagement efforts being undertaken. The event also featured a Letter of Intent signing between Webequie First Nation and Cliffs Natural Resources, and a signing ceremony among four First Nations.

The two new sessions that were added to the program this year had standing room only. The session titled “The consultation conundrum: The roles of government, companies and communities in practice” featured a panel discussion on the topic of consultation with Aboriginal communities and the delegation of aspects of the duty to consult. The second session showcased Kasabonika Lake First Nation and the community’s experience working with mineral companies. It also featured presentations about Aboriginal businesses involved in the mineral industry such as Nuna Logistics, Auyuittuq Aviation and the Naicatchewenin Development Corporation.

Other highlights of the Aboriginal Program included a short course on Aboriginal awareness and relationship building, a technical session on human resources and training, and the presentation of the Skookum Jim Award to the Nuna Group of Companies in recognition of their involvement in the mineral industry.

CSR Event Series

It was standing room only for the 6 sessions that made up the CSR Event Series as attendance tripled from last year. Some of the highlights of the CSR Event Series were: a lively debate on business and human rights at the session hosted by Control Risks—the panel featured government, NGO, and industry representatives; an engaging session on FPIC with a frank discussion driven by audience questions; and the popular CEO Panel featuring leaders of some of the most influential companies in the industry discussing the role of sustainability in corporate strategy. See photos of the CEO Panel on Facebook here

Organizers say the CSR Event Series, in its third year in 2012, is seeing increased interest because exploration and mining companies have recognized that CSR plays a central role in all their business operations. Companies are keen to learn from people who are engaged in CSR on a daily basis and who speak from direct experience. Further, the sessions offer a range of perspectives—industry, government, academia, NGO, community groups, Aboriginal groups, and service providers.

Student Program

A total of 1680 students attended the convention this year, up 53% from last year’s record of 1100! A new addition to the Student Program this year, the Student-Industry Networking Forum, was a huge success. Over 150 students filled the room to hear various industry professionals, including the keynote speaker, ICMM President Dr. Anthony Hodge, share their personal experiences and advice to those embarking on careers in the geosciences.

The Student-Industry Networking Luncheon, sponsored by Newmont, saw an increase in both student and industry attendance, with over 900 people in the room. The luncheon is the biggest student event at the convention and allows students and recent graduates the opportunity to network with industry professionals. Check out photos on Facebook here.

At this year’s convention, industry became more involved in the Student Program. 2012 was the first year the program had an overall sponsor—Vale—and Newmont returned as the sponsor of the Student-Industry Networking Luncheon. Industry representatives also showed greater interest in participating in student events such as the guided tours of the Investors Exchange and Trade Show.

With the increased number of students attending the convention this year, the PDAC provided more funding to offset the cost of travel to Toronto—for a total of 564 students. To read a report on the convention experience of a group of students from the University of Regina, click here.

Media Relations

Media coverage reached new heights at this year’s convention—early numbers indicate a 30% increase in domestic and international media attendance. Some of the major outlets that included PDAC-focused content in their coverage of the convention were: CBC’s The National, CBC Radio National, CBC Radio Toronto, CBC Radio Sudbury, BNN, the National Post, APTN, Xinhua News Agency, The Wall Street Journal, Indian Country Today, Bloomberg, Reuters, The Canadian Business Journal, Stockhouse, The Globe and Mail, Sun News, Mining Weekly, and iPolitics. Media focused on the convention’s CSR Event Series and Aboriginal Program in particular, and on the PDAC’s new president, Glenn Nolan and new Executive Director, Ross Gallinger.

Media relations were enhanced this year by the very successful Media Reception, at which Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda spoke to a crowd of approximately 200 people, and by the PDAC-produced media kit, which included a brochure featuring profiles and stories on the PDAC.

AEMQ – PDAC Breakfast

This year was the first time the Association de l’exploration minière du Québec (AEMQ) and the PDAC held a breakfast together during the convention. The PDAC was represented by Scott Jobin-Bevans, André Gaumond, newly-elected director Guy Gosselin, Jon Baird, and PDAC staff. Among the topics discussed were Bill 14, An Act respecting the development of mineral resources in keeping with the principles of sustainable development, Plan Nord, communication strategies, Minalliance’s role in improving the image of the industry, and the importance of programs such as Mining Matters.

Convention Contributes $72 Million to Local Economy

According to a report generated by the Ontario Ministry of Tourism and Culture, the PDAC convention contributed nearly $72 million to Toronto’s economy in 2011. The increase in attendance at this year’s convention means the economic impact on the city likely increased in 2012. The report provides an estimate of the economic impact of the 2011 convention on the local economy in terms of GDP, employment and taxes generated. The analysis is based on information the PDAC provided to the Ministry’s Tourism Regional Economic Impact Model.


Increase in Attendance of Government Representatives at PDAC Convention

This year’s convention saw an increase in attendance of federal, provincial and territorial government representatives. The PDAC hosted more than two dozen government representatives during the convention. Interest in the convention and the mineral exploration industry has grown in response to the PDAC’s ongoing efforts to engage the federal government, including appearances before House of Commons committees.

In addition to meeting with the PDAC Board of Directors and senior management, ministers, senators, MPs and MPPs toured the convention floor and engaged with delegates at a number of events. Minister of Natural Resources Joe Oliver addressed delegates at the official opening of the convention and Minister of International Cooperation Bev Oda delivered a presentation to guests at the media reception. Ministers John Duncan, Edward Fast and Peter Kent each offered their time to listen to PDAC representatives and convention delegates. Quebec Premier Jean Charest toured the convention and was interviewed on BNN. Many of the provincial and territorial delegations were led by ministers of mines, energy and natural resources. See the photos on Facebook here. For further information, please contact us.

2012 Federal Budget and the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit

The federal budget (Economic Action Plan 2012) will be tabled on March 29th. As reported in previous editions of e-News, the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) program is due to expire on March 31, 2012. The METC is a significant factor in the success of the mineral industry in Canada, helping to increase exploration financing by providing an incentive for Canadians to invest in exploration. Through its pre-budget submission and consultations, the PDAC is advocating for the METC to be extended and to be made a permanent feature of the tax system. The PDAC thanks those members who have contacted the Canadian government directly to state the importance of the METC. Please click here for background and here for a recent letter the PDAC sent to Minister James Flaherty and Minister Joe Oliver. Please also see the PDAC’s August 2011 submission to the Standing Committee on Finance or contact us.

Lands & Regulations

The PDAC’s Response to the Proposed National Recovery Strategy for Boreal Caribou

On February 22nd, the PDAC made a written submission to the Species at Risk Act (SARA) Public Registry outlining our concerns regarding the proposed national recovery strategy for boreal caribou. The PDAC submits that the socio-economic impacts of the proposed recovery strategy have not been adequately addressed and that full and balanced consideration should be given to alternative conservation measures that would not require excluding public access to such expansive areas. The PDAC’s submission asks that the government extend the public dialogue so that key unresolved issues can be fully explored before a final decision is made on the recovery strategy.

The PDAC commends the federal government for seeking public input on this important biodiversity conservation initiative as the recovery strategy has far-reaching consequences for the Canadian north and in particular, for those communities and industries that are socio-economically dependent on the boreal forest. For more information, contact us. The PDAC submission is available here.

Proposed Regulations under Ontario’s 2009 Mining Act Open for Public Comment

On March 12, 2012, the Ontario government posted regulatory proposals for the second phase of new regulations under the Mining Act on Ontario’s Regulatory and Environmental Registries. The public can comment on the proposals on these registries before the postings close on May 1, 2012. For more information and to submit your comments, click here.

Bill 173, An Act to Amend the Mining Act received Royal Assent on October 28, 2009. The legislation attempts to modernize the mineral development process in Ontario through amendments to the Mining Act, related regulations and policies. Much of the proposed Act enables processes that are detailed in the proposed regulations.

For background and more information on the PDAC’s activities related to the Ontario government’s review of the Mining Act, click here.


Wilderness First Aid Training for Mineral Exploration Field Workers, May 5th and 6th 2012

Wilderness first aid extends beyond urban-based first aid courses and is specifically designed to deal with hazards and illnesses encountered in the backcountry and remote work sites. If you are preparing to work in the field or on a remote work site, this is a great opportunity to obtain your Wilderness First Aid certification. The course will be offered in 7 locations: Toronto, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Gatineau, Val d’Or and Yellowknife. Sirius Med will be the trainers in Ontario, Manitoba and Quebec. Arctic Response will provide training in the Northwest Territories. The 2 day course is $150 for PDAC members and $295 for non-members. The cost includes CPR training and certification. Course spots will be allocated on a first come, first served basis, so book now! To download the registration form, please click here.

PDAC Field Safety Pocket Guide Now Available in English, French and Spanish

The PDAC’s new Field Safety Pocket Guide is a valuable and handy information resource for field workers in the mineral exploration industry. Waterproof, tear-resistant and designed to fit easily in your high vis jacket, the guide provides useful information on safe fieldwork practices. The goal of the Field Safety Pocket Guide is to increase safety awareness in the field by providing useful information on the risks, hazards and dangerous situations inherent in exploration work. Order your copy of the guide today—the first five copies are free. Click here to order. You can also download the Pocket Guide in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Survey 2011/2012

The PDAC and AME BC are conducting the 7th annual Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Survey for exploration work conducted in 2011. The survey is strictly confidential and will be used by the PDAC and AME BC to develop our 7th annual Canadian Mineral Exploration Health & Safety Report. This report provides facts and figures about the causes of incidents, the nature of the injuries, trends, and safety statistics by province. It also acknowledges companies for the Safe Day Everyday Award—awarded to a company that has operated without a lost workday. Complete the survey here.

AME BC Exploration Courses

Register now for AME BC’s Exploration Safety for Project Managers Workshop, Friday, March 30th, and Introduction to Exploration Field Safety Workshop, Saturday, March 31st. For more information and to register, click here.


Minister of Natural Resources Expresses Government’s Commitment to Industry

During his speech at the PDAC convention’s opening ceremonies, Minister of Natural Resource Joe Oliver reiterated the Government of Canada’s commitment to promoting growth in the mineral exploration and mining sector. Minister Oliver spoke about the federal government’s efforts to improve the regulatory system in Canada and its goal of one project, one review, in a clearly defined time period. He said the government must keep a steady focus on that goal so that Canada can continue to attract investment.

“The exploration and mining industry has been a cornerstone of the Canadian economy for generations, shaping our national identity with benefits in all regions,” said Minister Oliver. “The stage is set for success. Canada has stable, predictable economic conditions, a favourable tax regime, and is a leader in geoscience and technological innovation. Now we are taking the next steps to modernize our regulatory system.”

In a news release issued by the PDAC following the minister’s speech, PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger said, “An effective regulatory system is a key factor in a company’s decision about where to invest. Mineral exploration is a high-risk venture and companies want to know that the permitting and regulatory process is consistent and timely. We are confident that improvements can be made that continue to satisfy social and environmental objectives while allowing for new projects and jobs.”

The full text of Minister Oliver’s speech is available here.

Saskatchewan’s Mining Recruitment Drive

Saskatchewan is on a major recruitment drive for its mining industry and has identified that 15,000 new workers will be needed over the next decade to replace retiring workers and to keep up with the demands of a growing industry. The Saskatchewan Mining Association and Enterprise Saskatchewan hosted a recruitment event at the PDAC convention; representatives from BHP Billiton, ameco, Mosaic and PotashCorp were on hand to discuss specific opportunities.

More than $1 Billion Spent on Exploration in Ontario in 2011

Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci opened the Ontario pavilion at the PDAC convention with the announcement that more than $1 Billion was spent on exploration in Ontario in 2011, a record for the province. Ontario's mining sector accounted for 21% of the country's mineral production in 2011 with a value of about $10.7 billion while sustaining 27,000 well-paying jobs. Ontario's market share of exploration investments within Canada has climbed from 20% in 2007 to 26% in 2011.

Other News & Events

Conference Board of Canada’s Territorial Outlook-Winter 2012

The Conference Board of Canada released its Territorial Outlook-Winter 2012 on March 14th. The report says that a global commodities boom will help make Canada’s three northern territories leaders in economic growth over the next two years. Report highlights include: 1) Canada’s North is benefiting greatly from the strength in commodity prices. Real GDP growth in the territories will far outpace the national average over the next two years, and 2) The need for skilled trade workers in the territories will be a major challenge for mining companies over the next decade as several large projects are expected to go ahead.

2012 CSEG Symposium

The 2012 Canadian Society of Exploration Geophysicists (CSEG) Symposium is the first of what will be an annual event, held each year in March following the AGM meeting. It will showcase the CSEG's best speakers, with talks featuring the application of value-adding technologies in a case study format. This year’s symposium will be held on March 22nd. For more information, click here.

2012 Northeastern Ontario Mines & Minerals Symposium

The Ontario Prospectors Association in conjunction with the Northern Prospectors Association are hosting the 2012 Northeastern Ontario Mines & Minerals Symposium “ABITIBI GOLD 2012,” April 17th to 19th, in Kirkland Lake, Ontario. For more information, click here

Gold: Vision, Value and Values Conference

Initiatives in Art and Culture is holding a conference, “Gold: Vision, Value and Values” in New York on April 12th & 13th, 2012. The conference will explore gold’s unique place in cultures and economies, and has an impressive list of speakers including geologists, CSR practitioners, museum curators, goldsmiths, mining executives, and authorities on jewels and gems. For more information click here or contact [email protected].

Looking Ahead

PDAC to Attend ICMM Bi-Annual Meeting

PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger will attend the International Council on Mining and Metals’ (ICMM) bi-annual meeting in London at the end of March. Examples of topics to be discussed are: “Human rights disclosures and extractives companies: emerging investor expectation” and “Social and economic development task force – human rights, indigenous peoples and community.” 

PDAC President to Speak at Canada-Peru Chamber of Commerce Event

On April 20th, PDAC President Glenn Nolan will be speaking at the Canada-Peru Chamber of Commerce event in Lima, Peru. Mr. Nolan will be speaking on the topic of the Canadian experience in relation to Aboriginal engagement in Canada.