March 04, 2014
The largest mining conference in the world is underway in Toronto. More than a few stories concern the north and the prospects north of 56.
The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) represents the interests of the Canadian mineral exploration and development industry. Its annual conference held each March in Toronto is big: with over 1,000 exhibitors, 30,147 attendees from 126 countries. Prime Minister Harper showed up. Various organizations vie for exposure and press the flesh for potential clients.
A few stories of note:
- Goldcorp also announced at PDAC, in association with the Quebec government, that they had secured a bond, totaling $40.1 million to cover 100% of the closure obligation related to its Éléonore mine site in northern Québec.
- According to the Fraser Institute’s annual global survey of mining executives, Québec was no longer in the top 20 jurisdictions. There were 112 jurisdictions in the survey. Three Canadian jurisdictions-Alberta (3), New Brunswick (7), and Newfoundland and Labrador (9) ranked in the top 10 worldwide, followed by Saskatchewan (12), Yukon (19), Manitoba (26), Ontario (28), Nova Scotia (29), British Columbia (32), Nunavut (44), and the Northwest Territories (47).
- The Fraser Institute also shows the Yukon has dropped to 19th place from 8th in a year. The Ross River Dena Council court case was cited as a reason by one mining executive—increased exploration uncertainty. The exploration budgets reported by companies participating in the survey totalled US$4.6 billion in 2012 and US$3.4 billion in 2013. The complete survey is available in English as a free PDF download at www.fraserinstitute.org.
- Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver told mining executives Monday morning that the federal government is upholding its G8 commitment to ensure mining companies disclose payments made to governments both at home and abroad. He stated that if if the provinces don’t implement adequate standards, the federal government will step in to enact legislation by April 1, 2015. He stated theat the disclosure threshold would be $100K.
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper, discussing the Prosperity mine project in BC that has been turned down twice, said the environmental assessment was “extremely negative, particularly with the hydrographics system in the region” and “the project as previously and presently conceived would not address essentially the long-term destruction of that system.”
The news from Mr.Oliver on mining and oil and gas disclosure requirements is a bold move to increase transparency. The devil is in the details and we will have to await to see the level of detail required to be disclosed.
- b)Chuck Tobin, "Territory still an attractive place to invest", Whitehorse Star, 4-Mar-2014, p.2