AME BC’s members in the B.C. mineral exploration community are leaders in project discovery, capitalization and development. This has always required a steady, positive resolve and a roll-up-the-sleeves-and-go willingness to work. Experienced explorers have the foresight to see beyond the cycles, persevering toward their goals in spite of resistance.
This last year in mineral exploration has presented a new type of challenge resulting from changes to typical capitalization models. The venture capital bridge is damaged and traffic is being redirected. The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada acknowledges the capital crisis. TMX Group, which owns and operates the TSX and TSX-V stock exchanges, recently released a white paper that stated, “Decisive action is required to meet industry challenges and preserve the efficiency and integrity of our markets,” further noting that “Canadian order flow is migrating to the United States,” that “technology-driven markets are not optimized to serve all” and that “market complexity is on the rise.”
While the effects of the venture capital crisis are evident, they are also driving our industry to new concepts and methodologies of both finance and the work itself. New, innovative methods of direct financing are emerging and may prove valuable models for mineral exploration and development – and these areas deserve our attention. Technological innovations that can improve exploration efficiency while reducing environmental, social and economic costs are being developed and implemented. Explorers don’t constrain themselves to innovating in the areas of geoscience, but are developing new collaborative management and financial systems as well.
As an association, AME BC continues to advocate for a safe, strong and responsible mineral exploration and development sector. We know that mineral exploration and development provides the economic benefit that B.C. needs for growing health, education and infrastructure demands. As British Columbians, we share a rich mineral endowment that represents real opportunities for real highpaying jobs and real economic growth.
We have further built our working relationship with government through participating in a B.C. delegation to the recent Alaska Miners Association 75th anniversary convention in Anchorage, and through regular meetings with our members and with government officials. We will continue to build these relationships at AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup 2015 conference, to be held under the sails at Canada Place.
Three types of government activity are important to growing the B.C. mineral industry and economy: an efficient, transparent and competitive regulatory environment; tax incentives for innovation and exploration; and geoscience infrastructure. AME BC continues to consult with government in response to proposed Mines Act permit application fees, maintaining that non-revenue-generating activities such as prospecting and exploration should not be charged permit application fees. Government has suggested that some activities within this proposed framework will be exempt. We advocate for the continuance of the tax incentives such as the B.C. Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (BC METC), which helps to keep B.C. a competitive jurisdiction for investment. Government geoscience infrastructure must rise to meet the demands of an increasingly technical society. This type of information forms the base for sound provincial, regional and projectscale environmental, social and industrial decision-making. Often viewed as a tool for industry, this is the same information required to assess potential hazards, model our roadways and transport corridors, plan municipal land use and more. Public, high-resolution geoscience data is the essential base layer of modern public mapping and it requires increased support. Budgets for public geoscience in B.C. have fallen and need to be not only restored, but increased, to meet current societal and economic requirements. We are hopeful that the provincial government will implement these recommendations in the new year through both policy as well as the budget when it is announced in February 2015.
This last year in mineral exploration has presented a new type of challenge resulting from changes to typical capitalization models. The venture capital bridge is damaged and traffic is being redirected.
AME BC will continue to work with our members and government to ensure the industry is poised for success once market conditions brighten, as well as ensure that B.C. is a favoured destination for the capital that does exist. On behalf of the board of AME BC, I wish to again express what a pleasure it is working with likeminded roll-up-the sleeves-and-go people, and I look forward to working with you as we make the best of these challenging times.