02 March 2014
ERM: A PDAC 2013 Recap
Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC’s), International Convention, Trade Show, and Investors Exchange in Toronto, Canada from March 2 until March 6. PDAC is the world’s leading mineral exploration conference. Taking root in 1932, the convention now boasts over 30,000 attendees from 125 countries and over 1,000 exhibitors.
This year, ERM’s involvement included:
- Sponsoring a panel discussion: “Maximizing Environmental & Social Performance During Exploration”
ERM sponsored a panel discussion to a standing room only audience on “Maximizing Environmental & Social Performance During Exploration” as part of PDAC’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Event Series. Many thanks to our panelists who led a lively and informative discussion, including Vesta Filipchuk from Teck Resources, Froydis Cameron from AngloAmerican, and Signi Schneider from Export Development Canada. David McArthur (ERM’s Americas Region CEO), Caleb Wall (a Partner from ERM’s Calgary office), and Erin Prelypchan (social consultant from ERM’s Vancouver office) co-chaired the session, provided opening remarks, and facilitated an interactive discussion with the audience.
- Client Appreciation Cocktail Reception
ERM hosted a reception where over 80 clients joined ERM for an evening of socializing, reconnecting with friends and colleagues, and networking. Many thanks to everyone who joined us!
- PDAC Exhibition & Tradeshow
ERM exhibited at PDAC and used this as an opportunity to highlight the fact that Rescan is now part of ERM. Clients were impressed by our combined global capabilities, expanded geographies, and our strong presence in Canada. We had a lot of traffic at the ERM booth from industry experts and clients who had worked with one, or in many cases, both firms previously.
Highlights of PDAC – What We Heard
Some of ERM’s key takeaways from the PDAC conference included:
- Tight credit - Perhaps the overriding theme of PDAC was that a tight credit market may limit opportunities, especially for junior mining companies. As Signi Schneider from Export Development Canada said at the ERM CSR session, mining firms that can show they understand and can demonstrate a commitment to corporate social responsibility (CSR) will be at a competitive advantage in securing financing. ERM can help mining companies secure this advantage.
- Linking policies to performance - At the CEO session, the focus was clearly on linking corporate CSR policies with actual performance on the ground. NGO’s are clearly monitoring the industry’s track record in environmental and social performance.
- Fit for purpose sustainability programs – Mining companies need sustainability programs that reflect the nature of their work and the geographies they work in; ultimately these programs need to help them manage their business risks.
- Need for junior miners to embrace CSR – By a show of hands, the CSR sessions were primarily attended by representatives of the major mining companies, NGO’s and consultants. Junior mining companies were present in low numbers, perhaps because their attention was focused on securing credit/financing, but, as mentioned above, enhanced CSR programs may help them be more competitive in securing credit/financing.
- Need for a new approach– at the MineAfrica breakfast, the underlying theme was the need for companies to operate in a different way – transparent, equitable and optimal exploitation of mineral resources ,should be underpinned by broad-based sustainable growth and socio-economic development that will ensure that all share in the value.
See you next year at PDAC2014!