Traditionally, summer is the most active exploration time for our members, whether they are drilling targets at advanced projects, taking rock samples or flying airborne geophysics. Since AME BC’s successful Mineral Exploration Roundup in January, we witnessed an emerging sense of cautious optimism at many industry events this spring, particularly at the PDAC convention in Toronto and the Kamloops Exploration Group conference. However, as has been true for our association’s 102-year history, we must remain alert to both the opportunities and challenges in the globally active, B.C.-based mineral exploration and development sector. Sluggish coal prices have resulted in challenging times for many of our members in developing coal mines. Overall, however, in the first half of the year, Canadian mining equities showed modest signs of improvement, underpinned by improved commodity prices and continued cost management. According to many analysts, market activity shows majors remain focused on rigorous cost-control measures and disciplined merger and acquisition activity, while junior companies continue to pursue fundraising opportunities. And depressed share and asset prices are creating opportunities for companies to acquire assets at lower prices.
Sluggish coal prices have resulted in challenging times for many of our members in developing coal mines. Overall, however, in the first half of the year, Canadian mining equities showed modest signs of improvement, underpinned by improved commodity prices and continued cost management.
For many members, access to capital is an omnipresent challenge. Juniors continue to be creative in their approach to raising money, and those with good-quality assets, advanced projects and strong management teams are best positioned. Uncertainty over metal prices persists and will continue to drive some members to opt for hedging their future production. In terms of recent and ongoing advocacy efforts, AME BC continued to work on issues such as exploration tax credits for aboriginal engagement, proposed permit application fees, land access and use, and health and safety. We pursued the latter in part through our annual exploration safety workshops, which attracted over 80 participants in addition to 17 volunteer presenters and facilitators. AME BC will continue to advocate for mineral exploration and development through the summer so that our members can focus on raising financing and exploring on the ground – ultimately making discoveries that can lead to the development of new mines in B.C. or elsewhere.
With much excitement, AME BC continues to prepare for its annual Mineral Exploration Roundup conference, the first one to be held under the Canada Place sails at the Vancouver Convention Centre East, from January 26 to 29, 2015. The new conference venue not only provides the opportunity to expand AME BC’s public outreach, technical sessions and trade show, but also offer new sessions on health and safety, government relations and hotoff-the-press topics as well as enhanced CSR and aboriginal relations programs. Do keep an eye on the conference website at amebc.ca/roundup for updates.
This summer issue of Mineral Exploration contains AME BC’s 47th annual buyer’s guide. The Association’s corporate members are the core of this annual listing that connects our members with each other. Our profile features AME BC’s chair, David McLelland, and his perspective on the importance of mineral exploration and development in B.C. On behalf of the staff and board of AME BC , I thank the many hundreds of dedicated volunteers of AME BC, and wish all our members a successful summer and a safe day, every day, wherever this message finds you!