Dear AME Members,
As summer gets underway, we want to take this opportunity to acknowledge how difficult this time has been for many of you, both personally and professionally.
The timing of the COVID-19 pandemic in BC could not have been worse for our sector as it resulted in volatile and uncertain markets as many of you were working to close financings. With some positivity now peeking through in the markets and the Province easing restrictions, we know that many of you are planning projects and heading to the field in the coming weeks, which is welcome news.
At AME, we have continued to advocate for you, our members, during this important time. We were in the fortunate position to pivot quickly and, as a result, have been successful in achieving significant relief measures for our industry, as well as facilitating workshops and events to continue our usual suite of learning and networking opportunities offered at this time of year.
AME has made sure that government knows and understands the impact that the pandemic is having on our sector. COVID-19 is changing the way we work and live, and the resulting market volatility and smaller than usual field season will mean that the impacts will be felt in mineral exploration for years to come.
Due to our advocacy work, the BC Government has extended mineral claim expiry dates to December 31, 2021 and is moving forward to extend the expiry dates of existing mineral exploration Notice of Work (NoW) permits to the end of next year as well. These two efforts give our members time and space to complete field activities through to the end of 2021 without having to renew claims or permits.
We also worked with government to develop and clarify guidance for you to be able to complete your field season safely in this COVID-19 environment. The guidance includes measures for creating physical distance in camp, improved hygiene and other best practices. A
template for a COVID-19 health and safety plan can be found on the AME website along with many other tools that may help as you plan your field season.
We continue to meet with provincial and federal government representatives on a regular basis to discuss our other recommendations, including:
- Extending the deadline for completing flow-through expenditures,
- Expanding the Canadian Exploration Expenditures definition to include desktop geological work as an eligible expense, and
- Prioritizing Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) audits and the return of BC METC funds to you as quickly as possible.
There are also a number of recovery measures that we continue to discuss with government including increasing the rate for Flow-Through and METC, establishing a mineral exploration investment fund and increasing resources for the BC Geological survey.
AME Member Events
The AME team has been busy thinking about what the Roundup conference might look like in the context of COVID-19. As health and safety is a top priority for AME and our members, it will be no surprise that Roundup will look different in 2021. As we work to solidify a plan, we are considering our options and prioritizing safety, high quality content and – as much as possible – the Roundup experience we all know and love. Stay tuned for further Roundup 2021 announcements in the weeks to come.
In the meantime, AME events have gone virtual. In the last three weeks, we held a very well attended and informative Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) webinar and an engaging and interactive Health and Safety workshop. We’re looking forward to hosting a “State of Mineral Exploration Finance” Webinar on June 23rd and will continue to offer online sessions moving forward. A big thank you to all of our presenters for their time and effort to make these virtual events a success for AME members.
At the end of March, AME members responded to a “call to action” to offer camp supplies and services to those in need during the worst weeks of the pandemic. We are proud of how you stepped up and answered the call; you made the whole industry shine. Thank you.
We’re now looking for your help again as we announce the launch of the #MiningFeedsBC Food Bank Challenge presented by AME and sponsored by Integra Resources. This initiative raises awareness for communities – many of which are remote, rural or Indigenous – that are challenged by food scarcity during these times. As a province-wide industry, it is important to help and support one another when we have the opportunity to do so. Please consider supporting #MiningFeedsBC, by donating to the campaign or spreading the word. #MiningFeedsBC supports Food Banks BC and therefore all of mining and exploration communities across the province.
AME is a member-based organization, run by explorers, for explorers. We exist to support you by advocating for the mineral exploration industry, providing learning and networking opportunities and keeping you updated on rules and regulations that affect your business. Without your membership, we would not be able to do this important work. Thank you for trusting AME to speak on your behalf, because of you we have a single powerful voice.
We wish you a safe, healthy and successful field season and look forward to hearing about your field stories, new ideas or challenges you may have faced when you return. Our door at AME is always open to you.
AME President and CEO