President and CEO’s Message Winter 2019

January 30, 2020

AME Roundup 2020 is around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited! This will be my first Roundup as president and CEO, a much different role for me, when compared to my time as Roundup Organizing Committee chair in 2015, ’16 and ’17. Roundup truly is one of my favourite times of the year, and I look forward to sharing it with all of you as we connect to talk about projects, policy and promotion.
The winter issue features a preliminary schedule and programming information to get you started on your planning for Roundup. You can find the latest news and programming updates on the Roundup website at roundup.amebc.ca. We have a great conference planned and I look forward to welcoming you upon your arrival!

Connections and collaboration

In recent months, I have had the opportunity to meet with many of you  in your hometowns and had informative conversations about the industry, its challenges and possible paths forward. In late August, I joined the B.C. government and the Tahltan Nation for the Klappan land-use plan signing ceremony, an agreement that advances reconciliation and embraces the Klappan Valley’s significant social, cultural, environmental and economic values. In the fall, I visited with some of our KEG members for the Ab Ablett Memorial Charity Golf Tournament and a fantastic Women in Mining reception during the CIM MEMO conference. I have made trips to Nelson, Cranbrook, Terrace and Victoria to support our members as they highlighted some of the work that had been completed this season. Thank you for the warm welcome that you have all extended to me over the last few months and for sharing your stories with me. It’s been a pleasure getting to know many of you in this new capacity and I look forward to building on these visits. I also look forward to visiting Prince George and Smithers early in the new year.

Government relations highlights

We continue to participate in multiple meetings, engagement and consultation sessions on both provincial and federal legislative and regulatory changes. In  late September, we hosted a deputy ministers’ meeting. These meetings give us an opportunity to discuss the policy and regulatory issues with key ministries involved in our sector. We also continue to push the recommendations of the Mining Jobs Task Force forward, including advocating for additional tax incentives for mineral explorers, the formation of a new government-initiated investment fund and our participation in the B.C. Regional Mining Alliance (BCRMA) which promotes B.C. as Canada’s leading exploration and mining jurisdiction for investment. The BCRMA took part in the Precious Metal Summit in Colorado in September and the New Orleans Investment Conference in November, both of which were successful and significant steps in building awareness for B.C.

Our regulatory and policy staff continue to engage on the implementation of the new B.C. Environmental Assessment Act and the Environmental Assessment Office (EAO), updates on the Mines Act, the Mineral Tenure Act, consistency and transparency on permitting, and the way in which Canadian exploration expenditures (CEE) are evaluated. We were also actively engaged in the discussions leading up to the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIPA) legislation, introduced in late October. As we continue to work with government and Indigenous leaders, we will expect and strive for a thoughtful and balanced approach to the implementation of the legislation. Stay updated through AME’s policy updates on our website.

In addition, we continue to engage on regional topics including the South Okanagan-Similkameen proposed national park reserve, caribou habitat lands and transboundary concerns. You can see more policy updates and submissions on this page.

2019-2020 Work Planning

In early September, the AME Board approved the 2020 Annual Work Plan. There is a summary of the Work Plan here. In September, we received the results of a study on the economic impacts of mineral exploration to B.C., including communities and Indigenous nations across the province. The study looked at a baseline profile of current mineral exploration expenditures based on case studies of five exploration projects in different regions of the province in 2018. The aim of the case studies was to quantify and trace project expenditures and how they were distributed to service and supply industries in the province. Impressively, 97 percent of expenditures stay within the province, and 38 percent of expenditures are spent in the local community. The results are summarized in the infographic on AME’s website as well as on page 51. Although annual exploration spending in B.C. has fluctuated over the last 20 years, with a recent high of $680 million in 2012 and spending of $331 million in 2018, exploration continues to be a significant generator of employment and consumer of goods and services – particularly drilling – in all regions of B.C. We look forward to announcing the results of the fourth annual survey for 2019 in early 2020 in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources and EY.Once again, I am looking forward to seeing you at Roundup 2020 and throughout the new year – whether in the field or otherwise contributing to this dynamic community of explorers.