Sunday 23rd October 2016

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Posts tagged ‘Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia’

Miners, explorers respond to federal Liberals’ budget 2016

March 24th, 2016

by Greg Klein | March 24, 2016

As Canada’s new government unveiled its first of a series of deficit budgets, juniors applauded the one-year extension to the 15% mineral exploration tax credit. When harmonized with British Columbia’s flow-through, for example, a B.C. resident qualifies for a combined credit of about 32%, the Association for Mineral Exploration B.C. pointed out.

Along with the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, AME B.C. also supported the feds’ proposal to allow expenses relating to environmental studies and community consultation to qualify for credits. “Engagement with project stakeholders and environmental planning and management are key components of mineral exploration and development programs,” said president/CEO Gavin Dirom.

Miners, explorers respond to federal Liberals’ first budget

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau congratulates Finance
Minister Bill Morneau after he put Canada deeper in debt.
(Photo: Government of Canada)

The association also welcomed $87.2 million for Natural Resources Canada projects supporting research in forestry, mining and minerals, earth sciences and mapping, and innovative energy technology.

“This investment will extend the useful life of aging laboratories and reduce the impact of antiquated work spaces on the delivery of Natural Resources Canada’s science priorities,” the budget stated. That money was “long overdue,” according to the Mining Association of Canada.

MAC also noted investments in the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada, “that will help ensure sufficient capacity exists to carry out efficient regulatory reviews of major mining projects.”

Among other improvements, the budget resolves “a tax irritant of double taxation of GHG emission allowances,” MAC added. Other features embraced by the association include up to $800 million to “support innovation networks and clusters” and a proposed four-year, $1-billion commitment for clean technology and innovation in natural resources. MAC expressed hope that infrastructure funding—more than $120 billion over 10 years—will improve transportation and northern development.

But the NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines called for “direct spending on new nation-building northern infrastructure in roads, power and ports,” something the organization didn’t see specified in the budget. The chamber welcomed the increase in the northern cost-of-living deduction, pilot funding for the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy, continued funding for the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency “to improve the timeliness, predictability and transparency” of regulatory reviews, ongoing support for northern geoscience projects and money for research and traditional knowledge of the arctic environment.

What the chamber recommended but didn’t get was a higher exploration credit for northerners “given the competitive disadvantage we face due to higher costs.” Other neglected requests included support for settlement of northern aboriginal land claims and “curbing the increased alienation of lands and waters in conservation areas.”

PDAC expressed overall satisfaction with the Liberals’ first effort. “The budget adopts a holistic approach to resource development with support for innovation, financing, aboriginal and community consultation, and northern economic development,” said president Bob Schafer.

AME BC comments on Nenqay Deni Accord between B.C. and the Tsilhqot’in Nation

February 17th, 2016

A statement from the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia | February 17, 2016

The Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia (AME BC) has undertaken a preliminary review of the Nenqay Deni Accord as announced between the B.C. government and the Tsilhqot’in Nation on February 12, 2016.

“While AME BC supports the important and complex work of reconciling, respecting and balancing interests between the Tsilhqot’in Nation and the government of British Columbia, as well as with all the other First Nations in B.C., our initial assessment of the Nenqay Deni Accord raises significant concerns for the mineral exploration industry, especially in regard to mineral tenures on public land,” says Gavin C. Dirom, president and CEO of AME BC. “Security of tenure is critical to our industry, and uncertainty in this regard acts as a deterrent to investment and comes at a time when B.C.’s mineral resource industry is facing serious economic challenges.”

The Nenqay Deni Accord affects a very large area of central B.C. (see accord and map), within which the Tsilhqot’in bands will be provided ownership, management and control of substantial lands. These specific lands have yet to be identified within this larger area, but they will be in addition to the lands that are included in the Supreme Court of Canada’s 2014 title declaration. Furthermore, the agreement provides a timeframe of up to five years for the Tsilhqot’in bands and the B.C. government to determine precisely which lands will be subject to Tsilhqot’in management and control. Notably, the accord states that land selection will not be limited to historic use or strength of claim.

“AME BC was not consulted during the development of this agreement,” says Dirom. “So we will be taking some time to carefully review the accord in order to better understand what it may mean for the B.C. mineral exploration and development industry, especially in terms of the rights of existing and future mineral tenure holders and investors in the province of British Columbia’s sub-surface mineral resources.”

In principle, AME BC believes that acknowledging and working within the relevant law and respecting First Nations’ as well as third-party interests are preconditions to achieving success through mutual understanding, trust and respect.

Mineral exploration and development provide real and significant socio-economic opportunities and benefits to First Nations, local communities, B.C. and Canada. The mineral development potential of the lands outlined under the accord could well be an important aspect in assisting the Tsilhqot’in and B.C. government attain their socio-economic and reconciliation goals.

“AME BC fully supports reconciliation between aboriginal and non-aboriginal groups but believes this must be achieved in a manner that respects all interests and which enhances investor confidence in B.C.,” concludes Dirom.

AME BC is the lead association for the mineral exploration and development industry based in British Columbia. Established in 1912, AME BC represents, advocates, protects and promotes the interests of thousands of members who are engaged in mineral exploration and development in B.C. and throughout the world. AME BC encourages a safe, economically strong and environmentally responsible industry by providing clear initiatives, policies, events and tools to support its membership.

Glen Wonders discusses the Gathering Place at AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup

February 17th, 2016

…Read more

Caught on camera: AME BC’s Roundup 2016

February 2nd, 2016

by Greg Klein | February 2, 2016

Mineral Exploration Roundup wrapped up January 27 after hosting over 5,400 people from 33 countries. Presented by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, this year’s event featured the theme of Innovation in Exploration, focusing on stakeholder engagement as well as creative approaches to the industry in a challenging market.

Some news highlights included B.C. Premier Christy Clark’s pledge to extend the mining exploration tax credit and flow-through share program, and to allow mines to defer electricity bills while waiting for commodity markets to recover.

The Yukon government, meanwhile, signed what it called a milestone agreement with the Kaska First Nations, creating a framework for negotiations about development in the territory’s southeast.

Geoscience B.C. released its latest airborne electromagnetic survey to help the industry as well as land use planners and local communities benefit from the data.

Five post-secondary schools signed a memorandum of understanding with the B.C. Centre of Training Excellence in Mining.

“Despite the challenging market, the collaborative ideas, new connections and innovative solutions coming out of this year’s Roundup conference will help shape the future of the industry as it continues to work through the current downturn, ” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom.

Next year’s event takes place January 23 to 26, 2017. The following photo feature captures some aspects of Roundup’s most recent conference.

Caught on camera AME BC’s Roundup 2016

Non-profit puts British Columbia geological data into the public domain

January 26th, 2016

by Greg Klein | January 26, 2016

A deeper understanding—literally—of some 6,700 square kilometres of northwestern British Columbia has come available not only to professionals but also to the public. Land use planners and local communities, as well as geologists and geophysicists, can benefit from a newly released Geoscience B.C. airborne magnetic survey, the non-profit announced January 26 at Mineral Exploration Roundup. The data’s on display via the organization’s proprietary online viewer.

The website combines new data with previously compiled info concerning geology, geochemistry, tenure and known mineral occurrences.

Once completed this survey will contribute to a mosaic of geophysics, geochemistry and geology with few equals in the world in terms of scale and free public accessibility.—Bruce Madu, VP of minerals and mining for Geoscience B.C.

The first survey of its type since the 1960s, the mag was flown last autumn at 250-metre line spacing for a total of 30,000 line kilometres, the equivalent of about three-quarters of the earth’s circumference. By comparison, the 1960s effort used two-kilometre spacing.

The mag comprises part of a $2.41-million project that will complement a 2014 survey and include a planned 2016 survey that will be potentially the largest in the organization’s 10-year history.

“Once completed this survey will contribute to a mosaic of geophysics, geochemistry and geology with few equals in the world in terms of scale and free public accessibility,” said Bruce Madu, Geoscience B.C.’s VP of minerals and mining.

But the info provides more of a path than a destination. “Many interpretations of this data are possible and will be made for many, many years to come,” he added. “This is a contribution that’s multi-generational.”

In an accompanying statement, Nanwakolas Council president Dallas Smith said, “It is very important for First Nations communities to include reliable geoscience data when considering investment and land use decisions in their territories. This survey data will contribute to the decision-making process in a meaningful way.”

Funded by the province and industry, Geoscience B.C. gathers earth science info in partnership with natives, other communities, the resource sector, universities and governments.

Combining trade and talk

January 22nd, 2016

Business mixes with community engagement at AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup

by Greg Klein

The New Year barely gets started before miners and explorers converge on Vancouver. The attractions are events for investors and industry—first the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference from January 24 to 25 and, located next door and overlapping in dates, Mineral Exploration Roundup from January 25 to 28. Although the latter constitutes one of the industry’s largest trade shows, the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia event also serves as a forum for ideas, discussion and debate.

Such is the world of exploration that essential knowledge now goes far beyond geological excellence. Human resources, aboriginal relations, environmental issues, workplace safety, corporate social responsibility and land access will come under scrutiny. As usual, the event features the Core Shack and Prospectors’ Tent along with courses, technical sessions, showcase events, keynote speeches, community dialogue and awards. That’s not to mention the usual deal-making, networking, gossiping, rumour-mongering, schmoozing and boozing.

AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup mixes business with community dialogue

Convivial scenes from last year show just some
of the diversity of Roundup’s participation.

Over 300 exhibitors and an estimated 6,600 attendees from maybe 36 countries are expected.

Their goal, ultimately, is to provide commodities crucial to our way of life. Although AME BC members search the world for these necessities, the province’s geological abundance makes many of them available at home. Yet extracting them has left a surprisingly tiny footprint. Since the industry began here in the 1850s, mining has impacted only about 0.05% of B.C.’s 95 million hectares. Over 40% of that turf is now under reclamation.

Those are among the details in a land use report released by AME BC on January 20. Anticipating dialogue with B.C.’s mines minister and other government reps at Roundup, the group argues that a “shrinking” land base effectively closes over half of B.C.’s territory to mineral exploration. While government policy implies that 88% of the province’s land remains open to the sector, the study finds over 18% is off limits entirely and another 32.9% has restricted access.

What’s at stake is the well-being of an industry that supports 30,000 B.C. jobs and spent $2 billion since 2010 on exploration, says Scott Weston, chairperson of AME BC’s Land Access and Use Committee. “Any time a dollar is invested in our economy, that has a spinoff for society, helping fund hospitals, schools, roads, all the things we need,” he adds.

“What we are seeing now is subtle restrictions applied to the land base that are cumulatively impacting the ability of mineral explorers to get on the land.” They can include old growth management plans, wildlife management restrictions, hunting restrictions or local rules by other levels of government. In some cases it means “you’re not allowed to explore for minerals except in the dead of winter, when it’s not possible to do mineral exploration.”

What the conference really does is create a forum for dialogue on issues facing mineral exploration and development, largely in British Columbia but increasingly across Canada and around the world.—Scott Weston, chairperson of AME BC’s Land Access
and Use Committee

The group calls on the province to consider the hidden economic potential of a region’s geology in land use planning, conduct risk assessments and socio-economic evaluations on the loss of potential economic activity, and streamline or clarify contradictory land use plans and designations.

The report notes that most of B.C.’s resource development takes place where aboriginal rights and title haven’t been settled. To Weston, that’s not so much a problem as an opportunity.

A geomorphologist whose career has spanned forestry, hydro, mining and exploration, he says, “Explorers don’t normally have revenue but what they can offer people is capacity-building, training, employment, community-building infrastructure…. There’s lots of stories of win-win benefits for explorers and the people in the areas they’re working in. It takes time and a positive attitude to find out how to make this a positive opportunity for everybody. I think business in British Columbia has changed its view and First Nations have too, and I’m seeing a very positive entrepreneurial spirit now.”

Community discussion holds an important role at Roundup, Weston emphasizes. “What the conference really does is create a forum for dialogue on issues facing mineral exploration and development, largely in British Columbia but increasingly across Canada and around the world.”

To that end, Roundup’s Gathering Place devotes two full days to aboriginal engagement. As VP of technical and government affairs for AME BC, Glen Wonders says, “We have myriad speakers, both First Nations and industrial leaders who will detail what their interests are, how they have achieved success, their future goals. So it’s a very good venue for putting across ideas and hearing different perspectives.” As last year’s event showed, attendees get plenty of opportunity to speak up. Some, natives anyway, did so with candour.

Among the biggest challenges in consultation is the number of native bands, something like 220 in B.C. “They can have similar interests but also specific needs from a particular project,” says Wonders. “You have to take your time and build a relationship to understand their perspective on any particular opportunity. Companies are now engaging early and often to ensure First Nations are involved in projects in a meaningful way.”

We have myriad speakers, both First Nations and industrial leaders who will detail what their interests are, how they have achieved success, their future goals. So it’s a very good venue for putting across ideas and hearing different perspectives.—Glen Wonders, VP of technical and government affairs
for AME BC

Having taken part in native consultation for Mount Milligan, Wonders credits the B.C. government for negotiating aboriginal economic development agreements and supporting training programs.

As for the feds, they’re considering a request from a coalition of B.C. bands to provide loan guarantees for native investment in resource stocks, according to a January 19 Vancouver Sun report. Wonders likes the idea “not only from the standpoint that they’re directly involved in the development and operation of a resource opportunity but also from the standpoint that they’ll have a long-lasting stake that’s going to be of value to them.”

Even with commodities markets down in the dumps, Wonders expresses the optimism that prevails at Roundup. “The B.C. advantages are still there with great minerology and great people who can develop those resources. We’re extremely well-positioned to capture the expansion in markets when they do come back.”

Preceded by a weekend of short courses, AME BC’s Mineral Exploration Roundup takes place January 25 to 28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre East. Click here for more info and registration. This year Roundup overlaps the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference next door at the Vancouver Convention Centre West on January 24 and 25.

A revitalized VRIC

January 19th, 2016

Junior mining gets an all-new showcase at the Vancouver Resource Investment Conference

by Greg Klein

There are times when Vancouver exudes a sense of optimism, as bustling crowds go about their business amid stunning scenery. Other times spirits are dampened by dark, dismal clouds and incessant drizzle. As the world capital of mineral exploration, the city’s two extremes might serve as metaphors for the industry’s bipolarity. But these are the times when enduring companies stand out, and from January 24 to 25 this year’s Vancouver Resource Investment Conference takes a new approach to present their stories.

“It’s never been tougher to navigate this sector and the companies that can still do so are very, very promising,” says Cambridge House International president Jay Martin. “It will be very exciting to see what they do over the coming years and very opportune to meet them now.”

The all-new Vancouver Resource Investment Conference showcases junior mining

A new format brings new perspectives when Vancouver hosts the world’s
largest investment conference focused on junior mining and exploration.

Co-producing the event with Marin Katusa of Katusa Research, Martin says attendees will see an all-new approach to the world’s largest investment conference focused on exploration.

“You’ll see a lot of people you’ve seen before, but there’ll be almost no keynote speakers,” he explains. “We’ve re-thought how we want to approach our content and everybody you see on our speaker page will be featured in a one-on-one Q&A, if not a panel discussion. It provides a different experience for the attendees because when you have people asking speakers the right questions, you get intimate stories, real heart-felt advice. You hear about how these people got where they are, about the good decisions they made and the bad decisions too. It’s really much more of a character profile than just a presentation.”

The format underwent a trial run in November at the San Francisco Silver Summit and Resource Expo. “It was the best agenda we’ve ever put together,” Martin enthuses. “That feedback came from our attendees, our exhibiting companies and even the speakers.”

Taking the same strategy in Vancouver, Martin says, “both days look fantastic. I think without a doubt it’ll be the best Cambridge House conference you’ll have been to yet.”

Another new feature will be the 5:00 p.m. recap closing each day. “All the people featured in the Speaker Hall over the course of the day, anyone who said anything striking during a workshop, comes back to the stage,” Martin says. “There could be 15 people on stage and one moderator. What’s really cool about this is you get organic, spontaneous conversations or debates happening amongst the group. So not only do you get to see all the stars from the day at once, but you see them breaking out in sporadic arguments, debates and conversations while they expand on topics. It’s a lot of fun.”

I think without a doubt it’ll be the best Cambridge House conference you’ll have been to yet.—Jay Martin, president of
Cambridge House International

That sounds like a potentially volatile mix, with a cast that includes Rick Rule, John Kaiser, Rob McEwen, Frank Holmes, Brent Cook, Gianni Kovacevic and John McCoach, among other investors, analysts, CEOs and sector stalwarts. (See the complete list.) Whether they form a love-in or a rumble remains to be seen. But if the latter prevails, moderator Katusa will be on hand to enforce Queensberry rules.

Topics run a wide-ranging gamut of perspectives, but most talks will address your choice of three themes: money, money, money—and how to make it. Exhibitor booths and corporate presentations, meanwhile, will offer investors a chance to scrutinize potential money-making opportunities.

Martin estimates about 150 exhibitors and 5,000 attendees will show up. The numbers obviously pale compared to peak years but “those 5,000 attendees are the people who still invest in this sector despite the downturn. They’re well-educated resource investors and they recognize an opportunity to buy.”

If the law of cyclicality holds, better times are coming. As for the present, “there’s every force working against the junior mining sector,” Martin says. “But there’s still 150 companies at the show pushing projects forward, raising money, demonstrating strong management teams. If you want to know which companies will be setting the bar for the next bull market, I think it’s the companies that can still do business in this market.”

The Vancouver Resource Investment Conference 2016 takes place January 24 and 25 at the Vancouver Convention Centre West. Attendees can avoid the $20 door charge by pre-registering for free. This year’s event overlaps Mineral Exploration Roundup 2016, presented by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia next door at the Vancouver Convention Centre East from January 25 to 28.

AME BC opens TSX, prepares for Roundup 2016

January 13th, 2016

by Greg Klein | January 13, 2016


This time the morning ritual celebrated the “resilience of B.C.-based mineral explorers and developers,” as the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia sounded the Toronto Stock Exchange’s opening siren. B.C. mines minister Bill Bennett joined the group on its annual investment mission to Toronto, which gives companies “an opportunity to increase awareness of British Columbia as we get prepared for an eventual upswing in the markets,” said AME BC president/CEO Gavin Dirom.

The association quoted TSX figures showing 59% of TSX-listed mineral exploration and mining companies (785 of 1,334) keep head offices in B.C.

Among upcoming Toronto events will be the January 14 Canadian Mining Hall of Fame dinner, this year honouring diamond pioneer Stewart Blusson and Ivanhoe founder Robert Friedland.

The Toronto events precede AME BC’s annual Mineral Exploration Roundup in Vancouver from January 25 to 28, which overlaps the Vancouver Resource Investor Conference from January 24 to 25.

The centre cannot hold

December 9th, 2015

Those who realize it are best able to adapt, says Michael Campbell

by Greg Klein

Maybe it’s a sense of the absurd that drives his humour. Michael Campbell says we live in a time of momentous change that few people, let alone governments, really understand. Not only has Chinese economic growth slowed but the West staggers under high unemployment, migrants threaten to swamp Europe and terrorists slaughtered over 32,600 people last year alone, he says. Then there’s the demographic conundrum. But how does Campbell illustrate it? By relaying comments from Dave Barry.

“Nowdays there’s more money being spent on breast implants and Viagra than on Alzheimer’s research. This means that by 2030 there should be a large elderly population with perky boobs, huge erections and absolutely no recollection about what to do with them.”

Those who realize this can adapt best to change, says Michael Campbell

Michael Campbell: “The status quo
in government cannot be maintained.”

Campbell’s funny but he’s an analyst to be reckoned with, judging by a bio that claims credit for “advocating picking up blue-chip dividend-paying stocks in every major dip since 2011, getting out of gold in September of 2012, recommending U.S. dollar-denominated assets in December of 2013 and getting out of oil stocks in January of 2014.” The man behind Money Talks regaled a December 8 lunchtime audience by interspersing grim news with humour and hope for the future. Hosted by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia, the 100-strong crowd heard less about their own industry than about wider economic issues affecting everyone.

“We’re living in the demise of the welfare state,” Campbell maintains. “Governments have made promises they’re never going to keep.” In Canada, all three levels of government persist with tax increases while cutting services.

Getting back to demographics, the problem wasn’t acknowledged during our recent federal election. Yet Campbell says we’re stuck with an unfunded $244-billion liability for public sector pensions. “Twelve hundred Canadians turn 65 every day, 10,000 every day in the States. We’ve got more people over the age of 65 than under 15…. Health care costs are growing faster than government revenues.”

France, an especial bête noir of the Campbell worldview, hasn’t balanced its budget since 1974, he says. Its socialist government raised taxes 87 times in its first two years. Tax-and-spend governments ultimately face financial collapse, as is already happening in some countries and municipalities. “The status quo in government cannot be maintained.” The demise will last a few more decades but is already underway, he says.

Campbell says taxaholic governments act on “the Willie Sutton mandate.”

According to the story, the serial thief once answered simply when asked why he robbed banks: “Because that’s where the money is.” Hence governments go after successful businesses and individuals.

That policy won’t go down without a fight, Campbell says. “And the impact on economic growth and personal finances will be huge.”

[Governments show] no sign that they understand it’s not business as usual…. They don’t get it.

Yet governments show “no sign that they understand it’s not business as usual…. They don’t get it.”

They’re not the only ones. Campbell quotes investment analyst John Mauldin as saying, “We believe what we want to believe because to do otherwise would upset our world. The potential emotional stress of a contrary opinion is too much for us to deal with. So we go along with the least stressful emotional choice.”

Campbell says in September 2012 he advised a few major gold miner CEOs to hedge some production. “But they didn’t do it.” He thinks they found the warning “too emotionally painful.”

“Oil is even more blatant,” he says. “I don’t know how they could miss this incredible supply increase coming out of fracking, coming out of the oilsands. Those numbers were really readily available. You couldn’t think that oil would be able to withstand that, then you add two more components,” a rising U.S. dollar and dropping demand.

Looking at currencies, he says the key to comprehension is that “confidence moves money” and the U.S. dollar still maintains confidence. Of its closest competitors, Japan suffers severe demographic and debt-to-GDP problems. “I personally think the euro is going to go much lower.” Canadian, Australian and New Zealand dollars will continue to fall.

[The Canadian dollar’s] next number’s 66, the next number’s 62, the next number’s 55.

Having predicted a 70-cent Canuck buck for three and a half years, he says, “the next number’s 66, the next number’s 62, the next number’s 55.” Against that, he foresees a spike in the U.S. dollar.

As for commodities, he thinks they’re still headed toward a bottom in U.S. dollars. But there’s good news. “In Canadian dollar terms, we may have already been there.”

The resemblance to his brother, former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell, helps prompt the question of how he’d fare in politics. As he moves back and forth across the stage, irreverently castigating the status quo, one can’t help thinking he’d bring a refreshing change to public discourse. But eventually it becomes clear that our chattering classes would have no place for him.

Anyway, the ideological outsider evidently sees himself on the winning side. Pointing out that people are increasingly turning to business for education, security and health care, among other services long associated with government, Campbell says, “As government goes down, recovery will come from the private sector.”

Why the global mineral exploration sector is attending Roundup 2016

December 9th, 2015

by Jeff Desjardins | posted with permission of Visual Capitalist | December 9, 2015

Why the global mineral exploration sector is attending Roundup 2016

Each year, the world’s mining exploration sector descends on AME BC’s Roundup conference.

Last year’s registrants included more than 6,000 people from 36 countries, including 54% from the exploration and mining sector, 27% from government, education and associations, and 19% from First Nations groups.

Vancouver, the location of the conference, is home to over 850 exploration and mining companies, as well as some of the world’s top exploration experts. This year’s upcoming show focuses on something that is vital for the success of the industry: innovation in exploration.

For those interested in attending, early-bird pricing lasts until December 18th. Click here to learn more.

Posted with permission of Visual Capitalist.