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May 15, 2012, No. 90

Up Front

PDAC Executive Director Attends CESCO Week 2012

PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger attended the Center for Copper and Mining Studies (CESCO) Week in Santiago, Chile, April 16 – 19, where he gave a presentation on Successes and Challenges of Responsible Exploration: A Canadian Perspective. “CESCO was a great opportunity to meet with a variety of stakeholders, including Canadian companies in Chile, as well as to understand the issues in the region,” says Mr. Gallinger. “It was also an occasion to discuss PDAC programs like Mining Matters and e3 Plus which could be of use for promoting good practice.”

During CESCO Week, Mr. Gallinger spoke with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who was in Santiago as part of a Latin American tour (view photo here). Mr. Gallinger took the opportunity to thank the Prime Minister for addressing regulatory efficiency in the natural resources sector in Canada, and invited him to next year's convention. In addition to speaking with the Prime Minister, Mr. Gallinger also met with Ed Fast, Canada’s Minister of International Trade, and had conversations with the Chilean ministers of mining and environment, and had meetings with two Chilean mining associations—Sonami and Consejo Minero.

PDAC Executive Director a Faculty Member for Osgoode’s Mining Law Certificate

PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger was a faculty member for Osgoode Hall Law School’s certificate in mining law program, which ran from January 23 – April 24. The program was designed to offer a comprehensive understanding of the challenges impacting today’s mining projects and how to manage them, and was delivered by a faculty of over 35 geologists, mining economists, regulators, financiers, business development executives and lawyers.

“This was a great opportunity to discuss CSR in the context of the legal profession,” says Mr. Gallinger. “We were able to address the issue of what lawyers and investment bankers need to know about CSR, and how they can contribute to this area.” Mr. Gallinger was one of four presenters who taught a section on international corporate responsibility guidance, covering high level guidance, on the ground standards, finance related requirements, and reporting guidance.

PDAC Educates Students at M4S

The PDAC’s participation in M4S, the educational public show on mining, minerals, metals and materials, was a great success—representatives from the PDAC had the opportunity to interact with and educate thousands of students. Each day, students crowded into the PDAC booth to learn about the different stages of exploration and have their questions answered about everything related to mineral exploration and development. Approximately 3,200 students ranging from grade one to high school attended the event during the first two days when M4S is open to schools only. On the third day, when the show is open to the public, approximately 500 people attended. M4S ran from May 3 – 5 in Edmonton, Alberta, dovetailing with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Conference. For more information about M4S, click here.

Mining Matters in Labrador

Students in Labrador learned about the diversity of the rocks and minerals found in Newfoundland and Labrador at a series of Mining Matters workshops at the end of April. The workshop series was a partnership between the Geological Survey of Newfoundland and Labrador, a division of the NL Department of Natural Resources, and Mining Matters. Mining Matters visited six schools along the coast of Labrador from April 20 – 27.

The workshops, developed to support established science learning outcomes for Grades 4 and 7, provided students with information about the importance of mining and geology, and the benefit of using products made from minerals mined in the province. “These workshops promote an awareness of our natural resources and environment through hands-on experience,” said NL Minister of Education Clyde Jackman. “They also highlight for students some of the potential career options in the mining industry—careers that they can pursue in their home communities or elsewhere in Newfoundland and Labrador.”

Aboriginal Affairs

Aboriginal Mining Education Forum Postponed

The Aboriginal Mining Education Forum (AMEF), scheduled for June 11 – 12 at Cambrian College in Sudbury, Ontario, has been postponed. The Mining Industry Human Resources Council (MiHR) intends to align the forum with another industry event held in a more centralized location, to minimize resources and to support national participation. Updates on the status of the event will be available on MiHR’s website and in subsequent editions of PDAC e-News.


PDAC Welcomes the Federal Government’s Plan for Responsible Resource Development

On April 17, the federal government announced its plan for Responsible Resource Development, part of Economic Action Plan 2012, aimed at streamlining the review process for major economic projects. The PDAC issued a press release on the same day stating its support for the plan. “We commend the federal government for its goal of a system that provides predictable and timely reviews, reduced duplication, strengthened environmental protection and enhanced Aboriginal consultation,” said PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger. 

The federal government’s Responsible Resource Development plan includes measures “to ensure that Aboriginal groups are more fully engaged in the environmental assessment and regulatory permitting process from beginning to end and that possible impacts on their potential or established Aboriginal or Treaty rights are given due consideration in decision-making.” As an advocate for greater clarity regarding the Crown’s consultation requirements, community engagement and project permitting, the PDAC welcomed this inclusion in the plan. “We look forward to hearing more about the series of measures aimed at enhancing consultations with Aboriginals, such as better integrating Aboriginal consultations into the review process and clarifying expectations and levels of consultation for project reviews,” said Mr. Gallinger.

PDAC to Appear Before Senate Committee for Pre-Study of Budget Implementation Bill

The PDAC is scheduled to appear before the Standing Senate Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources on May 17 for its pre-study of part 3 of the budget implementation bill, which contains the measures related to responsible resource development. The PDAC will be represented by Executive Director Ross Gallinger. For background on Bill C-38, An Act to Implement Certain Provisions of the Budget Tabled in Parliament on March 29, 2012 And Other Measures, click here. For information on the Senate hearings, click here.

Lands & Regulations

Joint Response to the Mackenzie Valley Land and Water Boards Draft Engagement Policy

In April, the PDAC and the Northwest Territories & Nunavut Chamber of Mines made a joint response to the draft engagement policy and draft engagement guidelines proposed by the Land and Water Boards of the Mackenzie Valley. While the PDAC and the Chamber recognize the critical role that engagement plays in achieving the objective of responsible mineral exploration and development, the joint response advises that the proposed policy and guidelines should not be implemented in their present form. The response makes recommendations in six areas: clarity on consultation; identification of affected parties; structuring the engagement process; building community capacity to engage; relationship to established procedures; and conformity with legislation. To read the response, click here. For more information, contact us.

PDAC Submits Response to the 2012 Ontario Mining Act Proposed Regulations

At the end of April, the PDAC submitted to the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines its comprehensive response to the regulatory proposals under Ontario's modernized Mining Act. The regulatory proposals were posted for public comment in March 2012 as part of phase II of the Mining Act Modernization (MAM) initiative. In its submission, the PDAC advocates for, among other points, clarification on Aboriginal consultation and the role of industry proponents. The PDAC has stated that substantial work remains to be done in order to clarify the focus of the proposed regulations to ensure that they are consistent with the applicable provisions of the Act, and submits that further consultation is critical to ensuring that the regulations ultimately reflect the needs of those parties who will be affected by them, namely, the mineral exploration industry, Aboriginal communities, and the Crown. The PDAC’s submission can be viewed here. For more information, contact us.


PDAC to Participate in International Finance Corporation’s 2012 Sustainability Exchange

PDAC Executive Director Ross Gallinger, and the PDAC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Coordinator, Emily Nunn, will be attending the 2012 Sustainability Exchange hosted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Washington, May 22 – 24. The event will bring together over 150 companies and practitioners to share experiences and lessons learned on how to enhance social, economic and environmental benefits in large footprint projects, with a focus on the extractive industry. Mr. Gallinger and Ms. Nunn will present a session on Preventing Conflict in Exploration: A Toolkit for Explorers and Developers—a resource developed by the PDAC in partnership with World Vision Canada and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects to help companies reduce the risk of conflict at their operation sites. Click here for more information on the toolkit.

Wilderness First Aid Training for Mineral Exploration Field Workers

The PDAC wilderness first aid course for field practitioners was successfully held at 6 locations on May 5 and 6. Toronto had 14 participants; Thunder Bay 30; Sudbury 15; Winnipeg 6; Val d’Or 11; and Yellowknife 10. The Gatineau location was cancelled due to low registration. Thank you to Sirius Wilderness Medicine who ran the courses in Toronto, Thunder Bay, Sudbury, Winnipeg and Val d’Or and to Arctic Response who ran the training in Yellowknife. 

The course covered the basic principles of wilderness first aid and was designed for people working in remote areas; the emphasis was on practical skills, assessment, decision-making and dealing with extreme environmental conditions. If you are interested in hearing about future training initiatives, please contact us.

Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) 2020 – Sustainability and Responsibility Challenges and Opportunities

The PDAC attended Global Exploration, Mining and Minerals (GEMM) 2020 – Sustainability and Responsibility Challenges and Opportunities, April 17 – 18 at Simon Fraser University. The aim of the conference was to bring together people and organizations from diverse perspectives and experiences to share insights and concepts, develop strategies and tools, and build networks and relationships for effective leadership and responsible management in the mineral sector. Preventing Conflict in Exploration: A Toolkit for Explorers and Developers—a resource developed by the PDAC in partnership with World Vision Canada and CDA Collaborative Learning Projects—was presented as part of a session on building resilient relationships and resolving conflict. For more information on GEMM, click here.

Student Affairs

S-IMEW 2012

The 6th Annual Student-Industry Mineral Exploration Workshop (S-IMEW) is underway and the word from Sudbury is that this year’s workshop is the best one yet. During the first week of S-IMEW, students spent a day grid mapping at the Scadding Gold Mine site; toured the Xstrata Nickel smelter and Victoria drill site; spent a day learning about mapping with the Ontario Geological Survey (OGS); toured the Sudbury Basin; and listened to a rich line-up of speakers. During Geochemistry Day, a highlight of the two-week workshop, students set out by boat to pull sediment samples from the bottom of Ramsey Lake, and participated in a series of lab demonstrations on geochemistry. 

S-IMEW participant Rachel Chouinard (Brock University) says the workshop is helping to crystallize her career goals: “The experience has definitely showed me this is the career I want to be in for the rest of my life.” Ms. Chouinard says the best part of S-IMEW is being in the field: “The workshop talks are extremely interesting but to get outside and apply what we’re learning is invaluable experience” (view photos here).

During the second week of S-IMEW, students will go on a four-day field trip to the Abitibi Greenstone Belt and will end the week with the closing dinner featuring Patrick Moore, Greenpeace co-founder and author of Confessions of a Greenpeace Dropout: the Making of a Sensible Environmentalist. The closing dinner is sponsored by Cliffs Natural Resources and Sprott Inc. (wine sponsor). Tickets are still available—click here to order.

Government News

B.C. Finalizes Amendments for Mineral Exploration

On April 22, the B.C. government announced it has finalized a Mineral Tenure Act regulation to promote mineral exploration and development in the province. The amendments revise exploration work requirements, eliminate 12 fees and increase nine others so that the overall fee structure remains revenue neutral. The changes are the result of a review and consultation with the exploration industry, which began in September 2010 with a discussion paper describing proposed changes, followed by a series of information sessions delivered throughout the province in late 2010. For more information, click here.

Ontario Government Touts Job Creation Through Ring of Fire Investment

On May 9, the Ontario government announced the creation of thousands of jobs and new infrastructure as a result of Cliffs Natural Resources’ $3.3 billion investment to build a chromite mine, transportation corridor and processing facility in Northern Ontario's Ring of Fire. Cliffs Natural Resources intends to build a $1.8 billion chromite processing facility in Capreol, near Sudbury. It is estimated that this would employ 450 people during construction, and as many as 450 people when the facility is in operation. Mine and mill development, as well as the construction and operation of transportation infrastructure, could create an additional 750 jobs, plus hundreds of indirect employment opportunities for Northern Ontarians and First Nations' communities. For more information, click here.

Mineral Incentive Program for Nova Scotia

On May 9, the Government of Nova Scotia provided an update about its new mineral incentive program. Implementation of the program, first announced in the 2012 Throne Speech, is progressing and final approval to proceed is expected later in the spring. The Mineral Resources Branch of the Department of Natural Resources is currently working with the Mining Association of Nova Scotia to design the program. For more information, click here.

Other News & Events

AME BC Mining Essentials Workshop in Vancouver and Toronto

AME BC is hosting its two-day Mining Essentials course in Vancouver, June 8 – 9, and Toronto, June 15 – 16. The course provides a complete overview of the mineral exploration and mining industry for those working or involved in the mining industry, but who do not have a technical background in geology or mining. It is suitable for business professionals, investment advisors, analysts, regulators, government employees, accountants, lawyers, community leaders and the general public. For more information and to register, click here.

100 Innovations in the Mining Industry

Minalliance recently launched the English version of a book on the 100 innovations that have marked the mineral industry over the past 10 years, particularly in Quebec. This study was conducted under the guidance of Michel Jébrak, a professor in the département des sciences de la terre et de l'atmosphère at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), and an expert in the field of mineral resources. Click here to download a copy.

Guide to Integrating Human Rights Due Diligence into Corporate Risk Management Launched

On April 19, the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) launched a comprehensive guide focused on integrating human rights due diligence into corporate risk management processes. The guide aims to assist mining companies with reviewing their existing risk management processes, identifying how they can build on them to ensure they are adequately addressing human rights, and determining if their existing processes are consistent with the UN Guiding Principles. For more information and to download the guide, click here.

Canadian Chamber of Commerce Rare Earth Elements Report

On April 26, the Canadian Chamber of Commerce released a report, Canada’s Rare Earth Deposits Can Offer A Substantial Competitive Advantage, which “sheds light on the opportunity for Canada to start punching above its weight in leveraging what is often referred to as the oil of the 21st century” (Chamber news release). To view the report, click here.

CFES April 2012 Newsletter

Click here to read the latest issue of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences’ (CFES) newsletter. CFES works to raise awareness of the importance of earth science in Canadians' daily lives, and to enhance the understanding and appreciation of the role of Earth Sciences in environmental, natural hazard and climate studies and in securing and responsibly developing Canada's energy, mineral and water resources.

Looking Ahead

9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage

The PDAC will be attending the 9th International Conference on Acid Rock Drainage (ICARD), May 20 – 26, in Ottawa. For more information on the conference, click here. The PDAC will attend the International Network for Acid Prevention (INAP) “Path Forward” symposium during the conference.

PDAC Mining Matters Diamond in the Rough Golf Classic

The 6th Annual PDAC Mining Matters Diamond in the Rough Golf Classic is coming up on June 7. The tournament, which takes place at the Woodington Lake Golf Club in Tottenham, Ontario, is known as a great day of golf and camaraderie. For more information, click here.