Important reminder about the 2016 BC Mineral and Coal Expenditures Survey. AME is collaborating with the BC Government and Ernst & Young to help ensure that industry members receive and complete this important official survey about the annual exploration expenditures in British Columbia. I urge you to take 20 minutes today to complete the survey at http://bit.ly/2dPJb5D.  

Successful Exploration:

Many AME members (but certainly not all) have experienced renewed investor confidence and interest in the mineral exploration and development industry. We are naturally cautiously optimistic that the continued price increase trend for precious metals, as well as a recovery of steel-making coal and some base metal prices, will lead to a steady return of investment into BC’s locally and globally active industry. Notably, the steadily upward increase in zinc prices this year has seen it outperform other metals. And the proportion of BC-based public mineral exploration and mining companies listed on the TSX and TSX-V exchanges has remained steady at just under 60 per cent since 2012 although the absolute number has declined from 962 in December 2012 to 705 as of September 2016. There are also an estimated 100 private mineral exploration and mining companies based in BC.

Given the very challenging and prolonged investment climate members have been facing, AME’s Taxation, Securities and Investment (TSI) Committee assisted with submissions to BC’s Commission on Tax Competitiveness (click here to read more) and BC’s Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services (click here to read more) for the 2017 provincial budget. AME’s TSI Committee has also been working with the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) on submissions to Finance Canada about the importance of flow-through share financings and the federal 15% Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) to the industry in BC and across Canada. AME is strongly advocating that the METC be renewed in the 2017 federal budget and that the flow-through share system be maintained. More recently, on behalf of AME, I presented to the House of Commons Committee on Natural Resources in Ottawa on October 20 (click here to read submission). 

Aboriginal Relations and Stakeholder Engagement:

AME’s Aboriginal Relations Committee has formed a sub-committee specifically tasked with the planning and coordination of the fifth annual Gathering Place at Roundup 2017. As in previous years, AME’s Gathering Place will provide a welcoming space for respectful dialogue where delegates will have the opportunity to learn from each other’s experiences and continue building mutual understanding, respect and trust. Discussions between the Tsilhqot’in National Government and the BC Government are now underway and negotiations will begin soon following the signing of the Nenqay Deni Accord in February 2016. Accordingly, AME has been engaging with the Government of BC about the Accord, which covers a very large area of central BC, in regards to the rights of existing and future mineral tenure holders and investors in sub-surface mineral resources in this area. See AME’s June 2016 letter to Premier Clark (click here to read) and the reply from Minister John Rustad in September 2016 (click here to read reply letter).   

Public Awareness, Stakeholder Education and Socially Responsible Exploration:

As advocates for mineral exploration and development, AME attended the Pacific Northwest Economic Region summit from July 16-19 in Calgary and the annual UBCM convention from September 26-29 in Victoria. Both conferences provided AME with opportunities to connect with leaders from provincial and local governments regarding important issues such as land access for exploration in BC and transboundary relations with Alaska. AME was also involved in the annual BC Mine Reclamation Symposium in Penticton from September 19-22. Later this fall, AME representatives will be attending the Minerals South conference in Nelson and the American Exploration & Mining Association convention in Reno, Nevada. And with our partners from the Mining Association of BC and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC, we will be launching the Vote Mining campaign to raise awareness of mineral exploration and mining related issues with both MLA candidates and voters in advance of the May 9, 2017 provincial election (see http://www.votemining.ca/). Socially responsible exploration is important to AME and we were pleased to receive 91 responses to the 11th annual AME/PDAC Canadian Mineral Exploration Environment, Health and Safety Survey, a respectable number considering the industry downturn. The recipients of the Safe Day Everyday Gold Award will be honoured during AME’s Environment, Health & Safety Awards Breakfast at Roundup.

Membership Engagement: 

AME was pleased to host the Summer Old-Timers’ Luncheon on July 27 at the Terminal City Club, and is making preparations for the next Old-Timers’ Luncheon at AME Roundup. And on October 3, we welcomed Diana Walls to AME’s staff team as Senior Director, Strategic Policy. Diana will be responsible for understanding, evaluating and influencing public policy as it relates to mineral exploration and development, particularly in strategic areas of aboriginal relations and land access & use. We are also making preparations for AME’s 105th annual general meeting takes place during Roundup 2017. This is when new elected directors are publicly announced. I encourage you to consider nominating a candidate for a position on AME’s Board – click here to submit a nomination.

Mineral Exploration Roundup:

Registration is now open to AME’s Roundup 2017 conference, “Gearing Up for Discovery”. With a return of investor confidence and increasing activity, this is the one event of the year not to miss! For more details, please visit the Roundup website. Roundup 2017 will be held under the sails of Canada Place in Vancouver from January 22 – 26, 2017 and will focus on sharing new ideas, generating business connections and creating collaborative solutions. Here are some of the exceptional speakers that we have lined up at Roundup 2017:

  • David Garofalo, President & CEO, Goldcorp Inc.; 
  • Don Lindsay, President & CEO, Teck Resources Limited; 
  • Terry MacGibbon, Executive Chairman, TMAC Resources Inc.; 
  • Vaughn Palmer, Journalist, Vancouver Sun; and
  • Gwen Preston, Founder, Resource Maven

And to see Roundup 2017 sponsorship opportunities that are still available, please visit our sponsorship opportunities website. When you sponsor Roundup 2017, your funds help support AME’s advocacy work and the development of industry best practices and tools for success. To confirm your sponsorship or for additional information, please contact Simone Hill, Director Events & Membership at 604.630.3921 or email shill@amebc.ca.

On behalf of the staff and the Board of AME, I thank the hundreds of dedicated volunteers and thousands of members of the Association for their valuable support and contributions. I wish you the very best and that you have a safe day, every day, wherever this quarterly message finds you!

Gavin C. Dirom, M.Sc., P. Ag.
President & CEO

Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia
www.amebc.ca
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