General Statements

  1. The Principles and Guidance Notes address issues that are specific to mineral exploration and represent the first part of the PDAC's e3 Plus: A Framework for Responsible Exploration. They are intended to complement established guidelines for corporate behaviour, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises, the United Nations Global Compact, the International Finance Corporation's Performance Standards, the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights, the Equator Principles, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, among others1

  2. Explorers are responsible for carrying out the due diligence necessary to be informed of the laws, regulations, treaties and standards that are relevant at any time or place with respect to their activities.

  3. Explorers should understand that they have a legal requirement to conduct their activities in conformity with applicable laws and regulations, including international treaties ratified by the country in which they are operating. Explorers are encouraged to go beyond legal requirements and apply the highest standard of care through the good practice outlined in e3 Plus.

  4. The eight principles of e3 Plus are not hierarchical. They have equal weight and value and have been given numbers in this document solely to facilitate easy reference. Explorers should have the principles in mind at all times.

  5. The guidance notes describe, in general terms, how exploration companies can convert the principles into practice in their normal course of business.

  6. While the principles and guidance notes are relevant to all exploration contexts, companies should manage each project in response to the specific characteristics encountered on the ground (legal regime, social and cultural characteristics, physical and biological environment, stage of exploration, area of impact, etc.). Such project-specific characteristics will determine the relative intensity with which the practices encouraged in e3 Plus should be applied.

  7. For the principles and guidance notes to be fully effective, explorers are strongly advised to require that contractors and subcontractors working on their behalf accept and adhere to them, where relevant and practical.

  8. The principles and guidance notes are intended for use by exploration companies, contractors and subcontractors, and may also be useful to communities and indigenous peoples affected by exploration projects, civil society groups interested in exploration projects, governments at all levels, and other stakeholders.

  9. Though strongly encouraged for all exploration companies, adherence to the principles of e3 Plus is voluntary and not a condition of membership to the PDAC.

  10. e3 Plus was designed to support explorers in responding to calls from shareholders and stakeholders for greater transparency2, accountability, and improved practices in CSR. By practising responsible exploration, explorers can reduce risks, minimize adverse impacts, optimize benefits to all those connected to their operations, and add value to the project.

1 For a list of relevant instruments see Sustainable development and corporate social responsibility: Tools, codes and standards for the mineral exploration industry, published by PDAC and available at: CSR Sustainable Development

2 Transparency requires the disclosure of material information, as defined as any information relating to the business and affairs of the company that would result in or would reasonably be expected to result in a significant change in the market price or value of the company's shares: