Kendra Johnston

It is an honour to address the AME membership through this, my first message as President and CEO. Many of you know me as long-time volunteer and supporter of the work that AME does and so it is a great pleasure to join the team at AME. This group of people work so hard every day to advocate on your behalf, to keep you informed on the many important issues facing our industry and to plan a wide range of events for you to meet and mingle with your fellow exploration colleagues.

This issue of the magazine is packed with an exclusive sneak peek for our members of everything you want to know about Roundup 2020. Roundup 2020: A Lens on Discovery will build on the success of Roundup 2019, which hosted a fantastic slate of Technical Session speakers, the largest and busiest Innovation Hub yet, a superb Core Shack, Gathering Place and Technical Poster Session. We also hosted exhibit booths for more than 300 of our dedicated corporate members and brought you an extremely influential slate of political leaders, all while maintaining the integral spirit of the conference: connecting with our industry friends and colleagues.

With the price of gold rising, many companies successfully securing financing and some great drill results from summer programs, Roundup 2020 is shaping up to be another exciting conference. We look forward to welcoming you from Monday, January 20, to Thursday, January 23, 2020 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Mark your calendars now, because I am looking forward to seeing you! The latest program details can be found online at roundup. Trade show and sponsorship opportunities are selling fast so reach out soon to sign up if you haven’t done so already.

Engaging with government

As we move into the fall, AME continues to work on the many active policy files. As members of the Mining Jobs Task Force, we are working with our partners and the provincial government to implement the 24 actions that the government committed to at Roundup 2019. We are ensuring alignment and monitoring the progress of the plan.

The key initiatives for AME include facilitating the B.C. Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA), which included the development of a three-year strategy and vision document and terms of reference for the participants, which was completed in July 2019. We now look forward to supporting the provincial and First Nations governments and the industry partners through the fall and winter conference season. Also under the Mining Jobs Task Force, we continue to lobby for an increase to 30 per cent for the B.C. Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (BC METC) and 35 per cent for the Mining Flow-Through Share Tax Credit, both of which were included in our submission to the Treasury Board in June for consideration in the upcoming B.C. budget to be announced in February 2020.

In addition, we are monitoring the progress of a report commissioned by the Province under the Mining Jobs Task Force to analyze the potential of a B.C. Mineral Exploration Investment Fund. We expect this report to be finalized this winter.

AME has also been actively engaged in the discussions on the implementation of the new Environmental Assessment Act, as well as changes coming to Mineral Tenure Act and the Forest and Range Practices Act, which includes a section on the use of resource roads. For more information on all of these files please see the policy section on the AME website.

Annual planning

This summer, the team at AME (including our invaluable volunteer committee chairs), worked to complete the 2019/2020 Annual Work Plan, which was recently approved by the Board of Directors in early September. This plan is based on AME’s 2018–2022 Strategic Plan, which is available online at Key components of the 2019/2020 Annual Work Plan include continuing to coordinate with the regional exploration groups on public outreach and education. We will also be completing phase 1 and moving into phase 2 of our Public Education and Awareness Program.

The Communications and Marketing staff will be developing an online communication strategy. In the policy and regulatory area, the staff will be continuing to advance the actions of the Mining Jobs Task Force, including advancing the BCRMA. The staff and committee leads will work on implementing and sharing the online tools and training modules for members in key areas, such as health and safety, Indigenous engagement, environment and permitting. Also watch for events and key networking opportunities beyond Roundup 2020, including the always popular annual golf tournament and AME MinEx talks, which were introduced last year and received rave reviews.

Make your voice heard

As we wrap up the field season for the year, I encourage you to participate in the annual British Columbia Mineral and Coal Exploration survey that we deliver in collaboration with EY and the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources. In 2018, we saw a 34 per cent increase in expenditures – the second consecutive increase – and we hope to continue the upward trend in 2019!

As always, I would like to thank all our incredible volunteers, including our new board chair, Rob McLeod, and vice-chairs Jill Tsolinas and Lana Eagle. Our work continues to support our nearly 5,000 members because of the dedication, expertise and commitment that all of you have to this incredible industry – thank you!

I wish you all a safe day, wherever your travels may take you.