The B.C.-based mineral exploration and development industry has a proud history of meeting challenges head-on, finding new ways to solve issues and working creatively to develop lasting solutions through teamwork. The people in our industry have many inherently natural qualities, including being realistic optimists, daring entrepreneurs, generous philanthropists and pragmatic problem-solvers. Innovation is in our DNA. It’s what members of AME BC do on a daily basis using creative thinking, sound science, technology and evidencebased approaches. I am very proud to be part of an industry that has always been resourceful and the fundamental explorer and developer of the most essential materials that our communities need to survive and prosper. The work you do to support mineral exploration and development is so vitally important because it contributes to our collectively noble and worthy cause, which is to ultimately improve the living conditions of our fellow citizens and the natural environs we so enjoy through the advanced understanding and respectful use of the dynamic Earth we share.
As such, it is appropriate that this 35th anniversary issue of Mineral Exploration takes a look at how the industry has evolved since 1981, when the magazine was launched. This special issue covers how mineral exploration projects have evolved and developed (see Libby Sharman’s article that suggests the top 10 discoveries on page 12), while also paying due respect to the mines of the past (see Camps of Fame on page 35). In addition, some themes continue to evolve, such as corporate social responsibility (see article on page 16). With the magazine as a guide, here are some highlights of late:
In January, AME BC issued its report on land access and use, Framing the Future of Mineral Exploration in British Columbia. The report, which was prepared by environmental consultant firm Hemmera, found what many in this industry have long known: access for mineral exploration has decreased in B.C. and is reaching a critical threshold that threatens the long-term survival of the industry – and, by extension, the jobs, families and communities that rely on it. Through 2016, AME BC is committed to working on land access and issues with government, as well as advocating on our membership’s behalf regarding permitting and environmental assessment; Aboriginal relations and engagement; taxation, securities and investment; and public geoscience policy issues. Government leadership on these issues is instrumental to successful exploration, enabling exciting discoveries and, ultimately, the development of future mines.
Aboriginal relations and engagement
For the past 14 years, Aboriginal relations and engagement has been vitally important to members of AME BC, and the Mineral Exploration Roundup 2016 conference was no exception. We were pleased to host the Gathering Place for the fourth consecutive year, and to host the inaugural Aboriginal Investment Reception as well. Through improved mutual understanding, we have opportunities to build and share trust, respect and benefits.
Public awareness and stakeholder education
AME BC ’s second annual Discovery Day, held on January 24, was a resounding success, and we continued to host Rockhound elementary and secondary school students at Roundup too. Patty Kiloh’s articles on both the elementary (page 28) and secondary (page 30) Roundup Rockhound programs give a vivid account of what makes these programs so valuable and important.
Socially responsible exploration
Socially responsible exploration was the theme of a short course and Show Case session at Roundup 2016, and AME BC’s Corporate Social Responsibility Committee will continue to develop Learning Series and Community of Practice sessions through 2016. See page 33 for a summary of the committee’s events to date. AME BC will also continue its tradition of annual safety workshops on April 1 and 2; visit amebc.ca for more information. As well, AME BC and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada are partners in the annual environment, health and safety survey for all exploration in Canada. I encourage you to visit explorationsurvey.ca to fill out the survey about your 2015 programs.
AME BC’s membership comprises nearly 5,000 members (including over 400 corporate members) who support mineral exploration and development in B.C. and well beyond. We are proud to recognize our members and industry leaders who have received AME BC’s annual awards (see page 18). Our profile is on longtime member Garth Kirkham (page 38). In keeping with the 35th anniversary issue of the magazine, we have also interviewed some members of the class of ’81 for their perspectives on the industry (page 10), and we also take a look at a group that shares much of its membership, and meets monthly at our offices – Vivian Danielson’s piece on The Mining Men is on page 32.
Mineral Exploration Roundup
AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup 2016 conference was a success thanks to the efforts of the volunteer Roundup Organizing Committee chaired by Kendra Johnston as well as AME BC staff and our sponsors (see page 7). More than 5,400 people from 33 countries participated, and the exhibit hall, technical sessions, Show Case sessions and networking events were all very well attended. Mark your calendars for Roundup 2017, to be held January 23 to 26, 2017, once again under the Canada Place sails at Vancouver Convention Centre East.
On behalf of the staff and board of AME BC, I thank you for your support of the Association as we strategically focus on key priority areas and advocacy work that builds a successful mineral exploration and development industry in B.C. I also wish you a safe day, every day, wherever this spring message finds you!