EDIE THOME | President & CEO

My first six months with AME have been exhilarating! This community has been so welcoming and generous to me; I have been fortunate enough to travel to Smithers, Campbell River, Stewart, Terrace, Nanaimo, Kamloops, Cranbrook, Nelson, St. Andrews, New Brunswick and, of course, Victoria. From the finance community to the prospectors, from the suppliers and contractors to the geologists, from the junior companies to the large companies, from the staff to the brilliant and passionate volunteers, the generosity of time, knowledge and advice has been very much appreciated.

As with any transition, some days are longer than others. I know most of you experience even longer hours in extreme conditions, often for prolonged periods. Recalling my previous work with the airline industry, I am reminded that fatigue can affect the safety of our work as well as impact our performance. In fact, research has shown that prolonged “awake” hours can produce similar impacts as blood alcohol levels. One study suggests that 21 hours awake is equivalent to a blood alcohol content of 0.08, the legal limit in Canada. Some of you may have formal fatigue management plans that include tools like limiting the number of consecutive workdays in a row, a minimum number of hours available for rest between shifts, or daily distance limits to travel to and from site. As field season winds down and conference season is upon us, I encourage everyone to consider their work and travel hours and how they are managed; for some tips, visit http://www.ccohs.ca/ oshanswers/psychosocial/fatigue.html.

Goals for the year

On September 19, 2017, the Board of Directors approved AME’s 2017/2018 Annual Work Plan, which was derived from elements of the Strategic Plan. This Annual Work Plan is based on a balanced budget and includes a robust communications plan. The highlights of the Annual Work Plan can be found at http:// amebc.ca/what-we-do/annual work-plan/.

This focused plan includes goals such as:

  • tangible improvements to the provincial Notice of Work process, including recommendations to the government on staffing;
  • adding new financial mechanisms to enable exploration and development without compromising existing tools such as the B.C. mining exploration tax credit or the flow-through shares incentive;
  • integrating AME’s The Gathering Place further into Roundup;
  • supporting regional exploration groups through funding, advocacy and workshops; and
  • increasing public awareness and support for the industry.

Your association, your voice

We will begin collecting input to update AME’s guiding document, the Strategic Plan, at Roundup 2018. First, we will be expanding the annual Roundup survey to include soliciting your views on issues that affect your work and what AME can do to continue supporting you, our members. Following that broad survey, committee chairs and staff will review responses and talk with regional exploration groups, committee members, government and other industry partners. By late spring, a draft document outlining the areas of focus will be provided to the Executive Committee for review and further refinement. The Board will participate in a workshop to finalize the focus areas and priorities for the 2018/2019 Annual Work Plan. By the end of September 2018, our goal is to have our second Annual Work Plan approved, with implementation starting shortly thereafter.

Your input is critical to a robust and meaningful plan. To support increased feedback from our membership and the mineral exploration community at large, we will be focusing our efforts to gather feedback in three surveys, spread throughout the year.

  1. General Membership Survey – winter: This survey includes feedback on Roundup, AME’s accomplishments for the year, and issues you would like to see AME work on in the year ahead in support of furthering the industry. This feedback will serve as the beginning of the strategic and annual planning processes.
  2. Environment, Health and Safety Survey – spring/summer: This survey, conducted annually in conjunction with the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, tracks trends in the national exploration industry.
  3. Expenditures Survey – fall: This annual survey is wrapping up its second year, and preliminary results will be released beginning at Roundup 2018. The Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and EY (Ernst & Young LLP) partner with AME to produce this comprehensive report that captures and compares investment in the exploration industry in B.C. on an annual basis.

Looking ahead

With AME Roundup 2018 just ahead, we are looking forward to welcoming you to another diverse and productive conference. The dedicated and smart team of volunteers and staff have been working hard through late summer and fall to ensure the high-quality conference continues to maintain the critical technical components, but also to evolve the conference to help support our membership with current challenges and opportunities while progressing relationships. Some new components to look forward to this year include the “Prospect Generators Hub” and the “Innovation Hub,” as well as the Think Zinc! Technical session; see pages 19 through 34 of this issue of Mineral Exploration for details.

I look forward to connecting with you at AME Roundup and throughout the winter season as we get ready for 2018 – whether in the field, or otherwise contributing to this dynamic community of explorers. Have a safe day, every day.