As an advocacy organization, an important role for AME is to protect and promote the mineral exploration and development industry. As such, on behalf of AME, I presented to the House of Commons Committee on Natural Resources in Ottawa on October 20 to drive home the need for fiscal policies that will help to keep BC’s and Canada’s mineral exploration and development industry globally competitive (click here to read submission). Further to this advocacy, AME presented to the federal government’s expert panel about environmental assessment processes on December 12 and followed up this presentation with a written submission on December 21 (click here to read AME’s submission).
Provincially, on October 28, AME’s Land Access and Use Committee held a productive meeting with mid-level BC government officials on land access policy issues. To complement this meeting, a broader policy issues meeting was held on November 16 with senior level government officials from six different agencies. Additionally, understanding how the proposed administrative monetary penalties (AMP) regulatory program in BC will be designed and implemented is critical to the efficacy of this proposed program. AME welcomes transparency regarding compliance and enforcement and protecting the environment and health and safety are very important to AME members active in mineral exploration and development in British Columbia. On December 9, AME provided a submission to the BC government about proposed AMPs (click here to read more).
And on December 21, AME was pleased to announce that the BC Government provided an extension to the Water Sustainability Act (WSA) exemption for exploration activities to December 31, 2017. See AME’s update about the WSA exemption by clicking here.
Aboriginal Relations and Engagement:
Discussions between the Tsilhqot’in National Government and the BC Government got underway in the fall of 2016 following the signing of the Nenqay Deni Accord in February 2016. Accordingly, AME has been engaging with the Government of BC about the Accord, which covers a very large area of central BC, in regard to the rights of existing and future mineral tenure holders and investors in sub-surface mineral resources in the prospective Cariboo-Chilcotin region.
As in previous years, AME’s Gathering Place at Roundup 2017 will provide a welcoming place to learn from each other’s experiences and continue building mutual understanding, respect and trust with First Nations. Click here to review the expected speakers at AME’s Gathering Place.
Public Awareness, Stakeholder Education and Socially Responsible Exploration:
British Columbia’s 41st general election is scheduled for May 9, 2017. AME has partnered again with the Mining Association of BC and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC on a non-partisan Vote Mining campaign to raise public awareness and support for mineral exploration and mining among all MLA candidates and voters, regardless of political affiliation. You can get involved and stay informed at votemining.ca.
On January 22, we will host Vaughn Palmer as a keynote speaker during the Chair’s Welcome Dinner at AME Roundup. An award-winning journalist, Palmer is the Vancouver Sun’s provincial political columnist, based in Victoria. He also hosts the weekly program Voice of BC on Shaw TV. Also note that the 8th annual BC Government and Industry Session at Roundup will feature BC political leaders offering their mineral exploration and mining policy positions during a facilitated question and answer period with delegates when AME hosts Minister Bill Bennett (BC Liberal Party), MLA Doug Donaldson (BC NDP Party) and MLA Andrew Weaver (BC Green Party) for an interactive panel discussion on January 25. For more event details, click here.
On October 21, a number of AME Past Presidents and Chairs gathered for their annual luncheon in Vancouver to discuss Frank Woodside award candidates. And on October 26, AME hosted a productive inter-committee meeting to improve communications between AME committee chairs and vice-chairs and staff committee leads. From November 1-4, AME representatives attended the Minerals South conference in Nelson to demonstrate continued support of regional exploration and mining group members in BC. Later that month, AME’s Christmas Open House was held on November 24 at Moose’s Down Under. More than 300 people attended, and AME members generously filled many boxes of food and raised hundreds of dollars for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. AME staff also attended the American Exploration & Mining Association convention held in Reno from December 6-9 to collaborate on transboundary policy issues of mutual interest to members and to promote AME’s Mineral Exploration Roundup 2017 conference.
Note that AME’s 105th annual general meeting takes place on January 25 during AME’s Roundup. In advance of the AGM, AME members will be electing six Directors to serve on the Board. Listed alphabetically, there are eleven Director candidate nominees & incumbents as follows:
1. Neil Adshead
4. James Buskard
7. Kendra Johnston
10. Andy Randell
2. ‘Lyn Anglin
5. Chris Doornbos
8. Dale Mah
11. Jason Sutherland
3. Don Bragg
6. Lana Eagle
9. Diane Nicolson
Election candidate profiles can be reviewed by visiting http://bit.ly/2iwjAov. Online voting will open on January 16, 2017 and will close on January 20, 2017 at 12 noon. It is quick and easy. Please vote and encourage other AME members to vote too. Many thanks to Dr. Darcy Baker who has agreed to be scrutineer of the election results.
Mineral Exploration Roundup:
AME’s Mineral Exploration Roundup 2017 conference, “Gearing Up for Discovery”, will be held January 22 to 26 under the Canada Place sails in Vancouver. With a return of investor confidence and increasing activity, this is the one event of the year not to miss! To see the list of exceptional speakers and event details, please visit the Roundup website.
AME was pleased to announce its 2016 award recipients on December 7. AME will salute its leaders at the AME Awards Celebration of Excellence Gala on January 25 during AME Roundup. Click here to see award recipients, background and ticket details.
On behalf of the staff and the Board of AME, I thank the hundreds of dedicated volunteers and thousands of members of the Association for their valuable support and contributions in 2016. I wish you a happy new year and the very best in 2017. Have a safe day, every day, wherever this quarterly message finds you, and I look forward to seeing you at AME’s Roundup 2017 conference during BC’s Mineral Exploration Week!
Gavin C. Dirom, M.Sc., P.Ag.
President & CEO