As the mineral exploration and mining sector continue to grow and expand, AME’s Board of Directors conducted a strategic review of how the association can provide the best possible support to the sector and its members. In 2012 an online survey was held for AME members and Roundup 2012 attendees during the last two weeks of January and one-on-one telephone interviews were conducted with key industry influencers.
Each year, AME staff will develop and implement an operating plan to focus the association on the priorities in the 5-Year Strategic Plan.
Components of the Strategy
1. Facilitating Successful Exploration
The mineral exploration and development industry in British Columbia is facing increased competition and restrictions on land use and access, onerous and untimely permitting, unfavorable regulatory and environmental policies, labour shortages and additional need for strategic infrastructure. AME has a leadership role to play in advocating government regarding policy development and regulatory decisions and working with aboriginal communities and industry partners and stakeholders to address members’ challenges to help facilitate successful mineral exploration and development work.
- Advocate and work with government, aboriginal communities and industry stakeholders to protect or improve access to land for mineral exploration and development.
- Advocate government to create a more coordinated, efficient, effective, streamlined and transparent project permitting and environmental review process.
- Advocate and work with government to obtain adequate resources and develop policies and solutions that will advance mineral exploration and development.
- Advocate government for favourable economic incentives that encourage mineral exploration and development.
- Raise awareness of the importance of geoscience and grassroots exploration and advocate government for stable, long-term funding of geoscience.
- Work with government, aboriginal communities and industry stakeholders to develop joint solutions and ensure funding to help address skilled labour shortages.
2. Aboriginal Relations and Engagement
Understanding and meeting the requirements of Aboriginal consultation and accommodation, as well as rights and title, represents a significant challenge for the mineral exploration and development industry in B.C.
AME will play a leadership role by providing its membership with clarity about how to engage with First Nations and by defining what constitutes appropriate engagement by industry and consultation and accommodation by government.To minimize uncertainty, AME will advocate the provincial and federal governments to clarify and improve the Aboriginal consultation process and associated timelines. As well, AME will seek clarity from government about how outstanding land claims and treaty negotiations will be addressed in B.C. Concurrently, AME will provide First Nations with information to better understand the mineral exploration and development industry to ensure they can reasonably participate in the mineral exploration permitting process and ultimately achieve social and economic benefits from mineral development.
- Advocate government to clarify and simplify their consultation and engagement requirements and responsibilities.
- Facilitate education and awareness among aboriginal communities about how the mineral exploration and development industry works and communicate the opportunities for achieving lasting economic and social benefits from mineral development.
- Support the increased engagement, training and participation of aboriginal peoples in the mineral exploration and development industry.
- Support and educate AME members to enhance their work and relationships with aboriginal communities and business leaders.
- Foster ongoing relationships with key aboriginal communities and associations to open dialogue about the impact and benefits of mineral exploration and development.
- Advocate government to encourage the settlement of land claims and treaty negotiations with aboriginal communities.
3. Public Awareness and Stakeholder Education
Members of AME are challenged by the public’s lack of understanding about the mineral exploration and development industry and the importance of coal, minerals and metals to everyone’s daily lives and the socio-economic benefits to regional and provincial economies and local communities.AME will play a leadership role, working with government, aboriginal communities and industry stakeholders where relevant, to address these public misunderstandings and communicate about environmental stewardship, health and safety and the broader social and economic benefits derived from the industry.
- Raise public awareness of the importance of minerals and metals to people’s daily lives and the socio-economic benefits the industry brings to society.
- Educate the public about the need for mineral exploration and development and industry’s leadership in environmental stewardship and health and safety.
- Promote the success stories of the industry and be transparent about the challenges.
- Raise awareness of the different employment opportunities that exist for youth, adults, women and aboriginal peoples.
- Position AME as the respected and leading voice for the B.C.-based mineral exploration and development industry
- Develop positive and supportive relationships with all levels of government and bureaucrats.
4. Socially Responsible Exploration
The public expectation for socially responsible mineral exploration and development and the need to earn the social acceptance to operate is increasing. As the voice for mineral exploration and development in B.C., AME will take a leadership role in promoting and advocating for socially responsible mineral exploration and development practices among its members by providing education about the value and importance of socially responsible exploration.
- Promote a culture of leadership in health and safety and industry’s commitment to achieve zero harm.
- Lead the development, and encourage the adoption, of practical and effective practices and standards of responsible mineral exploration and development.
- Earn the public’s acceptance and support to operate by showcasing examples of socially responsible stewardship and community engagement.
- Raise awareness among AME members of the socio-economic benefits and value of responsible mineral exploration and development.
- Foster positive relationships with special interest groups and environmental organizations to create awareness of responsible mineral exploration and development practices.
- Increase AME’s role and profile in initiatives that support responsible mineral exploration and development.
- Support and educate members in the adoption of best practices in community engagement.
5. Membership Engagement
A thriving, growing and engaged membership is imperative to AME’s success and operations. AME needs to ensure members are kept informed about industry updates, government regulatory and policy changes and the Association’s advocacy work on their behalf.AME will engage members in support of its work and foster mutually beneficial relationships among members.
- Understand, serve and protect the interests of AME’s members.
- Inform and engage members about AME’s advocacy work, priority areas and government regulatory and policy changes.
- Increase corporate membership of junior exploration companies and individual explorers.
- Support the professional development, education and work of AME and regional exploration group members.
- Foster mutually beneficial relationships between members and other industry stakeholders.
- Encourage members to support AME’s work and facilitate relationships among members.
- Increase engagement and explore collaboration opportunities with regional exploration groups.
6. Mineral Exploration Roundup
Mineral Exploration Roundup is AME’s signature outreach event and primary source of revenue. The conference is recognized by members and the industry for both the technical and educational content as well as the networking opportunities it provides.AME needs to maintain the reputation of the conference, increase awareness of the Association’s ownership of the event, and use publicity generated by the annual conference to showcase the industry and advance the Association’s strategic priorities.
- Plan and promote Roundup as a premier technical mineral exploration conference that informs and educates attendees.
- Promote the B.C.-based mineral exploration and development sector and AME’s members.
- Showcase British Columbia as the world’s centre of excellence in mineral exploration and development.
- Bring awareness and educate members and industry stakeholders about AME’s strategic priorities.
- Provide AME members and conference attendees opportunities to network and foster relationships.
- Sustain a high quality and valued conference for attendees, members, corporate sponsors and volunteers.
- Profile and celebrate B.C.’s Mineral Exploration Week.
- Communicate the benefits of mineral exploration and development to the general public.