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In This Issue:

Canada Moves One Step Closer to Making Mining Transparency a Reality 

 
Following over a year of collaboration, civil society organizations and the Canadian mining industry have taken a united stand for transparency in the mining sector. On January 16th, the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group published recommendations that call on Canadian governments (federal and provincial) to implement strong standards requiring that mining companies report the payments they make to governments both at home and abroad. The release of the recommendations comes seven months after Prime Minister Harper’s commitment to enhance extractive sector payment transparency in the June 2013 run-up to the G8 Summit.

For the members of this group – MAC, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada, Publish What You Pay Canada and the Revenue Watch Institute –these recommendations provide a blueprint for the creation of a new transparency standard for the mining sector. The recommendations conclude that provincial governments and securities regulators are best placed to create laws and regulations that require all publicly-traded mining companies in Canada to make public the payments they make to governments. The recommendations detail a transparency standard that is aligned with those already passed into law in the European Union and the United States. 

The Working Group has been praised for its unique collaboration and the mining industry commended not only for its participation in pushing for increased transparency regulations, but for being a driving force behind it. Other organizations have also come out in support of the Working Group’s efforts, including Oxfam America, which in the Wall Street Journal stated, “This constitutes the biggest endorsement on mandatory payment disclosure by the industry in the history of the transparency movement.” The full text of recommendations can be accessed on www.mining.ca.

Facts & Figures:  Mining Industry’s Top Needs for 2014 

 
MAC’s Facts & Figures 2013 report reveals the Canadian mining industry contributes greatly to the Canadian economy as both a significant economic driver and major employer. However, for the mining industry to continue its contributory role, the report highlights the sector’s top needs to be able to continue to thrive, including:
  • An effective regulatory process: In the face of recent and significant changes to the Canadian mining regulatory regime, every effort must be made to ensure a smooth transition to the new regulatory model, and avoid unnecessary and costly regulatory delays.
  • Skilled workers: The Canadian mining sector forecasts the need to hire more than 145,000 people over the next decade. Ensuring the industry has the skilled workers it needs to operate is crucial for industry growth.
  • Improved infrastructure: Operating mines are often in remote areas and require roads, marine access and power grids.  A long-term strategic approach to infrastructure investment will be required to fully capitalize on opportunities, particularly in Canada’s North.
  • Competitive trade and investment environment: Canadian mining companies are facing increasing competition from other mining jurisdictions. The federal government needs to continue its robust trade agenda by establishing trade, investment and double taxation agreements, and by providing programmatic support to help companies compete.
 
“Canada’s ability to attract highly-mobile global mining investment is contingent on several factors aside from commodity prices set by the global market. Industry and Canadian governments need to work together to address key domestic challenges in order to support new mining growth and ensure the country remains an attractive place to mine or list.” 
 
- Pierre Gratton, President and CEO, MAC
 

Canadian Mining Hall of Fame Honours Mining Legends 

 
The Canadian Mining Hall of Fame celebrated its 26th annual induction ceremony in Toronto on January 16th by honouring four new members for their outstanding lifetime achievements in the industry. The 2014 inductees are: 

Kathleen (Kate) Rice (1882-1963). Rice is celebrated as Canada’s first female prospector at a time when a woman was not considered a person under the law. Rice gave up the comforts of Edwardian-era Ontario for the wilderness of northern Manitoba where she learned to live off the land from local First Nations and studied the prospecting trade from her male counterparts. She staked the first nickel properties in Manitoba, resulting in a high-grade discovery valued at $5 million in 1925 – a holding still owned by Vale Canada today. 

John (Jack) F. McOuat (1933-2013). Geological engineer and one of the founding partners of Watts, Griffis and McOuat (WGM), McOuat helped advance hundreds of mines and mineral projects. His mining career took him around the world, providing consulting services that helped develop mines in Saudi Arabia and Canada’s Far North. McOuat was an active supporter of the Royal Ontario Museum, which is home to a state-of-the-art Canadian Mining Hall of Fame exhibit within Teck’s Suite of Galleries. 

David S. Roberston (b. 1924). Accomplished geologist and founder of David S. Robertson & Associates, Robertson is well known for his successes in discovering uranium deposits in Elliott Lake, Ontario, as well as his contributions to the understanding of uranium geology. Also experienced in potash, Robertson served as Chief Evaluator for the Government of Saskatchewan at the time when the Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan was established as a Crown Corporation.

C. Mark Rebagliati (b. 1943). Geoscientist and mine finder with an impressive track record of major discoveries in both Canada and abroad. Several of his discoveries became mines in his home province of British Columbia, including Mount Milligan and Kemess. His willingness to share his experiences and scientific knowledge, as well as his expertise in porphyry deposits has inspired others to find the next generation of these deposits. 

The Mining Association of Canada is a major sponsor of the Canadian Mining Hall of Fame. For more information about the 2014 inductees, visit www.mininghalloffame.ca.
 

MAC Releases its 2013 TSM Progress Report 

 
The 2013 Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) Progress Report takes a detailed look at MAC members’ 2012 performance in the initiative’s three focus areas – communities and people, environmental stewardship, and energy efficiency. The report shows steady improvement in company results, including such highlights as: 
  • An average increase of 10% year-over-year in the number of facilities reporting a Level A or higher across the indicators for Aboriginal and community outreach, crisis management planning, energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management, and tailings management. Level A represents good performance in the mining industry, and is the goal of all MAC members. 
  • In the area of tailings management, 92% of facilities reported implementation of an operation, maintenance and surveillance manual that adheres to industry best practices. This is an increase of 18% from 2011.
  • The number of facilities assessed at a Level A or higher for demonstrating best practices in communicating and engaging with communities of interest, including Aboriginal communities, increased by 19% to 88% from 2011 to 2012.
“From an investor’s perspective, TSM has great value as a very transparent risk management indicator encapsulating best mining practices.” 
 
– Stephen Kibsey, Vice President, Risk Management,
La Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec
                    
Participation in the TSM initiative is mandatory for all MAC members. TSM is a performance-based program that was developed by MAC and its members to help mining companies evaluate and manage their environmental and social responsibilities. To download the 2013 TSM Progress Report, or to learn more about the initiative, please visit www.mining.ca.
 

Teck’s Elkview Operations Recognized with TSM Leadership Award

 
For its outstanding performance in the Towards Sustainable Mining (TSM) initiative’s three focus areas—environmental footprint, communities and people, and energy efficiency—Teck’s  Elkview Operations was awarded with a special TSM Leadership Award in November 2013 at a reception event in Sparwood, British Columbia. Teck joins just two other companies with a mine site that has achieved this distinction in the TSM program’s 10-year history. 

This award is granted only when a facility meets or exceeds a Level “A” ranking in their results across all of following TSM performance categories (known as “protocols”):  tailings management, Aboriginal and community outreach, energy use and crisis management planning. While Elkview’s scores reflect leadership across all TSM categories, the facility stands out for its best practices in Aboriginal and community outreach. In this category, Elkview achieved the highest possible ranking—Level “AAA”—across all of the indicators that make up this protocol. This includes, but is not limited to, establishing processes to communicate with a facility’s communities of interest, understanding the viewpoints of the communities, and ensuring that those communities are informed of the mine’s activities and performance.

“This award is recognition that Teck has achieved the highest standards on the ground in a range of important areas and shown real leadership in doing so. This kind of commitment deserves recognition and sends an important message about ‘walking the talk’ in the mining sector.”
 
– Alan Young, Director of Corporate Programs, Canadian Boreal Initiative and a member of MAC’s Community of Interest Advisory Panel
 

Diavik Mine puts Energy into Renewable Power with Award-Winning Wind Farm 

 
Since becoming operational in September 2012, the Diavik Diamond Mine’s wind farm has generated much attention for harnessing wind energy to reduce the mine’s environmental footprint.  It is now award-winning after being recognized with the Canadian Wind Energy (CanWEA) 2013 Group Leadership Award for contributing significantly to the advancement of wind energy in Canada and the 2013 Northwest Territories and Nunavut Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists environmental award. 

The Diavik mine, a joint venture of Rio Tinto and Dominion Diamond Corporation, is located in Lac de Gras, Northwest Territories. Diavik Diamond Mines (2012) Inc., a Rio Tinto company, operates the mine.

The driving force behind the wind farm was the off-grid mine’s reliance on diesel fuel to power its operations, amounting to over 50 million litres needed per year at an annual cost of approximately $70 million. The fuel must also be transported by ice road, exposing the remote mine’s vulnerability to varying climate conditions.  The 9.2 megawatt four turbine wind farm has made Diavik the site of the world’s largest wind-diesel hybrid power facility and represents the first large-scale wind farm constructed in the Northwest Territories.  Diavik’s $31 million investment has reduced the mine’s 2013 diesel fuel consumption by 3.8 million litres. For the year, the wind farm has supplied 8.4% of the mine’s power, peaking at 58%. 

Fun Facts
  • The 33-metre turbine blades were the largest loads ever transported on the winter road. 
  • Each tower foundation required 20 kilometres of reinforcing steel and 306 cubic metres of concrete. 
  • The turbines, equipped with blade de-icing technology and gearbox free, are operational up to -40 Celsius.
About the Mining Association of Canada (MAC)
 
MAC is the national organization for the Canadian mining industry.  Its members account for most of Canada’s production of base and precious metals, uranium, diamonds, steel making coal, mined oil sands and industrial minerals and are actively engaged in mineral exploration, mining, smelting, refining and semi-fabrication.
 
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