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March 15, 2013, No. 100

Federal Budget – METC renewed
PDAC 2013 Convention tops 30,000 attendees…again!
PDAC launches new brand, visual identity and website 
Annual Report: Volume 1
Capital crisis in the junior sector 
Aboriginal Program at PDAC 2013 delivers great results  
CSR Series at convention a huge success
Mining Matters contest for kids

Federal Budget – METC Renewal 

The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada applauds the Harper Government’s budget announcement of renewed commitment to the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC), as well as key investments in skills training and Aboriginal communities. “We are pleased that the federal government has demonstrated their support for our sector by renewing the METC. This program has a proven track record of keeping jobs and investment in Canada, and will continue to encourage investment in Canadian exploration projects,” says Ross Gallinger, PDAC Executive Director.  

“This is a positive step on behalf of the government to ensure that Canadian companies have access to the financial instruments necessary to remain competitive, particularly given the capital-raising challenges many exploration companies are currently facing.” The PDAC also supports the Economic Action Plan 2013 commitments to provide support for skilled trades and post-secondary education. “The PDAC is very supportive of the investments in education and training that we believe will help provide all Canadians with greater opportunities, specifically the diverse range of career options within the exploration and mining sector,” says Gallinger.  

While not specifically referenced in the budget, the PDAC is also eager to continue dialogues with the federal government on the Geo-mapping for Energy and Minerals (GEM) program that provides critical geoscience knowledge necessary for exploration to guide investment decision, as well as for government to inform land-use decisions such as the creation of parks and other protected areas.

PDAC Convention tops 30,000…again!

With 30,147 investors, analysts, mining executives, geologists, government officials, students and international delegations, the PDAC Convention remains the world’s premier event for the mineral industry. "We are so proud of the tremendous success of the PDAC 2013 Convention,” says Ross Gallinger, PDAC Executive Director. “The level of excitement and interest in the mineral exploration and development industry continues to be strong, and the PDAC Convention has once again provided an outstanding program that attracts government, industry, financial institutions and Aboriginal communities to attend."  

"We are thrilled at this year's turnout,” adds Gallinger. “Despite challenging global financial conditions affecting our industry, once again the PDAC Convention is the biggest in the world. As PDAC 2013 comes to a close, we are already looking forward to continuing our advocacy work on behalf of Canada's mineral exploration and development industry, and planning for PDAC 2014." 

Now in its 81st year, the PDAC 2013 Convention is more diverse than ever before. A number of events including the CSR Event Series, Aboriginal Program and Investors Exchange garnered overwhelming support from the general public, reflecting the dynamic nature of our industry. Fifty-three Canadian Federal officials attended the Convention this year – more than ever! The role natural resource development plays in the economic sustainability for Aboriginal communities across Canada is evident by the increased interest from Aboriginal People; there were more than six hundred self-identified Aboriginal delegates at PDAC 2013. 

PDAC Launches new Brand, Visual Identity and Website 

After more than a quarter century with the same brand and visual identity, the PDAC launched an entirely new face on March 5. The association unveiled a new brand that included a dynamic new logo, website, and its first two publications. “This is a truly historic moment for the association,” says Steve Virtue, PDAC’s Senior Director, Public Affairs and Communications who led the project.  

After more than 18 months of work, which consisted of broad consultation with members, stakeholders and senior leaders from industry, the new brand and visual identity was approved in December of 2012, but kept under wraps until convention. “Convention provided us with a unique moment to launch the new brand, one which will act as a catalyst for all communications going forward,” adds Virtue.    

PDAC Annual Report – Volume 1

The PDAC is very proud to present its first Annual Report to members and stakeholders. The report provides readers with a tremendous insight into the activities and programs that the association offers. “We are extremely proud of this document and feel it is a great reflection of the PDAC’s work throughout the year,” said PDAC Chief Operations Officer, Lisa McDonald.  “This provides our members with a great overview of the hard work the association undertakes on their behalf throughout the year.” The PDAC is recognized by members and governments in Canada and around the world for the work we do.

Capital Crisis

The PDAC 2013 Convention was ground zero for some intense dialogue about the current state of the industry.  One of the main sources of discussion was the release of mining industry analyst John Kaiser’s report from late 2012 that highlights the capital crisis in the junior sector. In response, PDAC struck an ad-hoc Capital Crisis committee to investigate the issue and generate ideas for actions that could be taken to shore up grassroots exploration in 2013.  The committee gathered and analyzed data from a wide range of sources, confirming that companies focused on grassroots exploration were indeed facing serious financing challenges, notwithstanding fairly robust metals prices. The Capital Crisis committee also identified potential solutions in three areas: facilitating access to capital, maintaining highly qualified people, and shoring up the viability of companies.

One set of solutions was advanced in time for the PDAC 2013 Convention—the organization of a series of educational sessions for members designed to help them “weather the storm”.  These sessions, organized by the PDAC Securities committee, were well-attended and provided exploration companies with exposure to a range of tools and strategies for keeping themselves afloat during difficult times. 

During the PDAC 2013 Convention in Toronto, for example, the Capital Crisis committee presented its findings at the PDAC Annual General Meeting (available here), as well as to a meeting of the Intergovernmental Working Group on Minerals and Metals, and to government officials from across Canada (available here). The PDAC also provided a summary of the findings of the Capital Crisis committee to mining industry associations from across Canada at a meeting of the Canadian Mineral Industry Federation.

Aboriginal Program at PDAC 2013 Draws Large Crowds

The Aboriginal Program at this year’s convention once again proved to be a great success, drawing large crowds comprised of industry and Aboriginal community members. The Program provided a platform for discussion on fostering mutually cooperative, respectful and successful relationships between Aboriginal communities and the mineral industry. 

A highlight of the Program, the Aboriginal Forum, showcased models for partnerships and Aboriginal participation in the mineral industry. Following opening remarks from Bob MacLeod, Premier of the Northwest Territories, and Greg Rickford, Member of Parliament for Kenora, this year’s session featured a presentation by Steven Nitah from the Lutsel K’e Dene Nation who shared the community’s experience with building relationships with companies operating in its traditional territory. The Forum also featured a case history of the Denedeh Investments Corporation and a presentation on how to engage with Métis communities.

Continuing on the success of last year, both Tuesday sessions were standing-room only. Overall topics centred on engagement, the government’s duty to consult, and agreements between companies and Aboriginal communities. Speakers from across Canada, including Shawn Batise of the Wabun Tribal Council, Ginger Gibson representing the TliCho Government, and Todd Russell from the NunatuKavut Community Council, offered unique insights into the evolving engagement practices and enterprises that flow from company/community agreements, and some of the capacity challenges that communities face throughout the consultation process.

Other highlights of the Aboriginal Program included the presentation of the Skookum Jim Award to Windigo Catering in recognition of their involvement in the mineral industry, and the Aboriginal technical session that featured discussions on building capacity for economic independence, new community engagement practices, and negotiating impact and benefit agreements that lead to a positive legacy for communities. 

Hundreds attend Corporate Social Responsibility Event Series at PDAC 2013 Convention 

This year marked the fourth year of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Event Series at the PDAC Convention. With 11 sessions and more than 500 attendees, the CSR stream has become an important part of the PDAC Convention. The CSR Event Series aims to provide a forum for learning and discussion on a range of topics related to CSR that impact the mining industry, and the exploration sector in particular.  Topics ranged from using new media in the sustainability dialogue, maximizing environmental and social performance during exploration, and the business value of CSR for junior and mid-tier companies. 

More than 45 panelists participated in the CSR Event Series, representing government agencies, international associations, Canadian universities, mining and exploration companies, First Nation communities, and advocacy organizations. The final event in this year’s CSR Event Series was a panel organized by the International Council of Mining and Metals (ICMM) that brought together five CEOs and more than 300 attendees for a conversation on mining’s contribution to sustainable development.

Mining Matters contest for kids – $10,000 in prizes

The WHERE Challenge is a national contest sponsored by Kinross for students aged 9 to 14. Students can participate individually with the help of an adult, or with a school group or organization. To participate in the contest, students pick an object and identify the non-renewable Earth resources needed to make that object. They then identify WHERE these resources can be found. Students must submit their entries online at Entries must be submitted online but photographs may be submitted of a work that is not in digital format. Creative submissions are encouraged! 

The deadline to participate is April 15, 2013 at midnight MST/MDT.