Revenue Sharing is Only Fair, but Not All First Nations are Treated Fairly – by David Hill

David Hill is director and senior advisor of GMG Consulting Services. Reach him at david@gmgconsulting.ca. He has over 18 years of experience as a manager, senior policy advisor, project manager, program developer, communications coordinator and issues management advisor to the provincial government, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and private sector clients across British Columbia. He is a highly skilled and experienced facilitator, trainer, supervisor, planner, public speaker and writer and has professional training in project management and public speaking.

In addition to his direct experience with Aboriginal communities, Hill has also worked as a senior advisor and manager for Aboriginal relations for the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, during which time he facilitated engagement between Aboriginal communities and the mining and petroleum development industries, and negotiated consultation, accommodation and benefit sharing agreements between Aboriginal communities and the provincial government.

Commentary

British Columbia’s first agreements to share mining revenue with three First Nations are being hailed as “game changers” and “the new standard for participation.”

These are indeed important agreements to be celebrated, and the leaders of the Stk’emlupsemc and Tk’emlups First Nations and the McLeod Lake Indian Band who negotiated the Economic Development Agreements should be commended for their efforts and the benefits they are bringing to their communities.  First Nations communities and their members deserve to benefit from an industry that generates more than $300 million a year in tax revenues and royalties in British Columbia.

However, the agreements touted by the Government as “historic”, should not necessarily represent the new standard.

In fact, there is a serious flaw in the system.

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Mining Projects and Aboriginal Communities – Respect and Consultation Must be Part of the Environmental Process – by David Hill

This commentary is from the digital version of the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication.

David Hill is director and senior advisor of GMG Consulting Services. Reach him at david@gmgconsulting.ca. He has over 18 years of experience as a manager, senior policy advisor, project manager, program developer, communications coordinator and issues management advisor to the provincial government, Aboriginal communities and organizations, and private sector clients across British Columbia. He is a highly skilled and experienced facilitator, trainer, supervisor, planner, public speaker and writer and has professional training in project management and public speaking.

In addition to his direct experience with Aboriginal communities, Hill has also worked as a senior advisor and manager for Aboriginal relations for the BC Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, during which time he facilitated engagement between Aboriginal communities and the mining and petroleum development industries, and negotiated consultation, accommodation and benefit sharing agreements between Aboriginal communities and the provincial government.

Commentary

Recently I heard Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen Skiing Co. in Colorado, say “Progressive companies aren’t thinking in terms of ‘or’, but of ‘and’: short-term financial performance and long-term growth, being environmentally and socially sound, and fiscally successful.”

Kaplan’s idea reminded me of the current controversy surrounding the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)’s deliberation over the fate of the Prosperity mine, a multi-billion dollar project proposed by Taseko Mines. The most controversial aspect of the project is the destruction of Teztan Biny, more commonly known as Fish Lake, which includes a significant rainbow trout habitat, and which is considered sacred by the Tsilquot’in people. The BC environmental assessment (EA) office approved Taseko’s application, and the BC government hopes the CEAA will rubber stamp the project as well.

Perhaps not surprising, the Tsilquot’in Nation are among the loudest opponents of the project as it’s being proposed. The Tsilquot’in have expressed significant concerns over the long-term effects of the project on the environment, and the resulting infringement on their inherent rights, and feel they have been shut out of the review process so far.

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The Teck-Cominco Sullivan Mine Legacy in Kimberly, British Columbia – by Douglas Horswill

This commentary was originally published in the Northern Miner on November 05, 2001

Sustainable development in the mining industry means the creation of lasting benefits after an orebody is exhausted. People often ask how the exploitation of a non-renewable natural resource can be compatible with the concept of sustainable development. The soon-to-be-decommissioned Sullivan mine in Kimberley, B.C., provides the answer.

The mine began production in 1909, about 12 years after the ore body was discovered. Already profitable, the mine became even more so when, in 1916, Cominco developed the processes necessary to separate lead and zinc ores in the milling process. Since that time, the mine has produced ore containing some 17 million tonnes of zinc and lead metal and more than 285 million oz. of silver for a total value, to the British Columbia economy, of more than $20 billion in today’s prices.

The 9 million tonnes of lead produced by the Sullivan mine from 1909 to 1999 translate into enough lead to produce 500 million lead-acid batteries for automobiles, or five years of North American production. The mine also produced enough zinc — 8 million tonnes — to supply the zinc content in 160 million cars.

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The Renaissance of Mining in British Columbia – by Pierre Gratton

This speech was given by Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia at the Vancouver Board of Trade Lunch on May 12, 2010.

 Good afternoon.

Before I begin, I would like to acknowledge the Coast Salish First Nations whose traditional territory we are on today, and to thank the Vancouver Board of Trade for providing the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) with this opportunity to discuss the state of our province’s mining industry.

I wish to also thank my colleagues on the executive committee, board of directors and staff at MABC, who work tirelessly on behalf of the mining industry, along with friends and colleagues at AME BC and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC. Special thanks go to members of the Mining Week Committee for their hard work planning and organizing this week’s events.

Mining Week, a tradition for the past 103 years, celebrates the role this industry plays in making British Columbia a great place to live, work and play. This year we’ve partnered with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum and its annual conference to reach out to a broader industry and public audience. We’ve also expanded our activities, with events taking place in many communities across the province.

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Big Brains and Why Mining in British Columbia Needs Them – by Pierre Gratton

Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of The Mining Association of British ColumbiaThis speech was given by Pierre Gratton – President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia – on May 4, 2009 at the Vancouver Board of Trade in Vancouver, British Columbia.

This is a must read speech!

Globe and Mail columnist Patrick Brethour wrote about this speech in the May 15, 2009 edition of the paper: After the election, a quiet revolution.

Introduction

Good afternoon.

Before I begin, I would first like to thank the Vancouver Board of Trade for the opportunity to speak to you today. This is an annual address on the state of the mining industry by the Mining Association of British Columbia (MABC) and we appreciate the opportunity the board provides
us to do this.

I would like to thank my colleagues on the executive committee and board of directors and the staff at the MABC who work tirelessly on behalf of the mining industry, along with friends and colleagues at AME BC and the Mining Suppliers Association of BC. I especially would like to
thank all the members of the Mining Week Committee who have worked hard to plan and organize this week’s events. In particular, I’d like to thank one of my staff, Claire Thomson, who has worked unstintingly but cheerfully pulling so much of this together.

Mining week, a venerable tradition for the past 102 years, celebrates the role this industry plays in making British Columbia a great place to live, work and play.

This week events take place in Vancouver, Kamloops, Elk Valley and in many other communities across the province.

Here in Vancouver, Mining Week celebrations started with a well-attended gala awards reception last evening at the Terminal City Club. The Mining & Sustainability Award 2008 – a tie this year – was presented to Absorbent Products and the Upper Similkameen Indian Band in
recognition of their respective contributions to sustainability in the mining industry.

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Teck – The Last Diversified Canadian Mining Giant

BHP Billiton chairman Don Argus stated last summer that Canada’s commanding role in global mining had been reduced to “branch office” status. This criticism reflects the fact that Canada`s major mining companies like Falconbridge, Inco and Alcan have fallen under foreign control.

Vancouver-based Teck, however, withstood this wave of industry consolidation and stands today as the last, diversified Canadian mining giant.

So I am both wary of and troubled by the intense negative media speculation over the immediate future of Teck. Due to the emotional “herd” mentality of current stock market investors, if you repeat something often enough it seems to become a fact even though it’s not.

Much of this negative coverage focuses on the company’s ability to handle the US$9.8 billion debt it incurred to fund its acquisition of the assets of Fording Canadian Coal Trust. There is concern over the $5.8 billion in bridge financing that is due at the end of October, 2009. The remaining US$4 billion is term debt and repayable over three years.

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Teck Digs in to Prosper – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

Teck Cominco incurred huge loans ($10 billion) at the worst possible time (October 2008) for the acquisition of Fording Coal. Hit with the double whammy of plummeting commodity prices and a huge debt load, management in Vancouver is digging in to ensure that the company not only survives, but prospers.

Teck told investors at the recent BMO Capital Markets that it will cut sustaining capital needs by $330 million and capital projects by $400 million this year from 2008 levels. It has slowed the development of the Fort Hills oil sands project and withdrawn from the Petaquilla copper project. Zinc production at the Trail metallurgical complex has been reduced by 20%, and the Pend Oreille zinc mine has been temporarily closed.

Teck is selling its 50% share in the Williams and David Bell gold mines at Hemlo, Ont., to Barrick Gold, its joint venture partner. The deal is worth $US65 million.

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British Columbia’s Bob Quartermain is this year’s Murray Pezim Award Winner – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

If Murray Pezim were around today, the larger-than-life character would approve of giving the award that bears his name to Bob Quartermain, president of Vancouver’s Silver Standard Resources. The two men met amidst the diamond drill rigs at the famous Hemlo gold find in the early 1980s. Pezim was overseeing the work of his company, International Corona Resources, and Quartermain was there on behalf of Teck. Interesting that the two companies later became partners in developing and operating the David Bell gold mine.

Quartermain is this year’s winner of the Murray Pezim Award, presented by the Association for Mineral Exploration British Columbia. It is given to an individual for “perseverance and success in financing mineral exploration.” With over 20 years at the helm of Silver Standard, Quartermain qualifies by the “perseverance” criteria.

As for financing, Quartermain excels at that, too.

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Mining, Sustainable Development and First Nations, Our New Frontier – by Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British Columbia

Pierre Gratton, President & CEO, Mining Association of British ColumbiaThis speech was given to the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) – North Central Branch, Prince George, British Columbia on June 26, 2008 by Pierre Gratton, President and CEO of the Mining Association of British Columbia.

Thank you for that kind introduction. It is a pleasure to be here to give what is, in fact, my maiden speech as President and CEO of The Mining Association of British Columbia. Actually, it’s a pre-maiden speech, because I don’t officially take the helm until next Monday.

I am also pleased that Prince George has reconstituted its CIM branch after a few years of dormancy – congratulations on this initiative. This is a trend we are seeing across the country and it reflects the strong period of growth we are in. But your resurgence is not just a good indicator of our good times. CIM and its many branches have a unique role to play across our country in getting the message out about our industry. You help to demonstrate to society that ours is a safe, dynamic, progressive sector committed to excellence, the sharing of best practices, technology and innovation.

I urge you to reach out and grow this branch and to look to play an active role in this community. One clear example of this is the leadership that our sector demonstrates in health and safety, with mining now the safest heavy industry in British Columbia – a tremendous accomplishment built on strong and respectful relationships between mine management, labour and government that we can all be very proud of.

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Mine Games – The Current State of Mining in British Columbia

BCBusiness, is British Columbia’s foremost business authority and the most widely read business publication in the province. This article was originally published January 01, 2009.

BCBusiness interviewed the following three key players about the current state of mining in British Columbia:

Terry Lyons-Chair Northgate Mineral Corp.

“In Canada there is no urgency to move projects to a “yes” or a “no.” And I will tell you over and over again, the industry doesn’t mind “no.” Say “no” and let us move on with our lives and our shareholders’ capital. But to waste five, six, seven, eight years because the bureaucrats in the government cannot make a decision or don’t want to make a decision doesn’t do anybody any good.”

Ken Boggio-PricewaterhousCooper LLP

“You look at China, for example: almost 7,000 privately held coal mines and reports that 250 or more people die each week in these coal mines. Do you want your steel being made from coal mined in China or would you prefer to have it come from the Fording properties in southeastern B.C.?”

Byng Giraud-Vice-President of Policy and Communications Mining Association of British Columbia

“We estimate between 25 and 30 projects in this province that could become mines are somewhere in the environmental testing or permitting process. And when I talk about political will or societal will to open a few extra mines in this province, that could mean the difference between recession and not. It’s that significant. We’re talking billions of dollars of capital investment and construction. Thousands of jobs. Building communities. The upside is huge.”

Mine Games

Sitting in a room with a group of high-profile insiders in the B.C. mining industry, the one thing that stands out is a sense of rejection, of an industry that built cities and towns across the province asking, “Do you want us here or not?”

Vancouver is a centre for mining in the world, with hundreds of companies engaged in raising money and spending it on far-flung geological studies, exploration missions, mine developments and extraction efforts. But when it comes to digging mines in B.C. itself, the picture is bleak. Mines across the province are reaching retirement age, and no promising young mines have come on scene to take their place since the mid-’90s.

Not that the province’s many miners aren’t trying. But the hurdles standing in the way of digging a new hole in B.C. are enormous, be they economic, social, environmental, logistic or simply bureaucratic. It’s enough to make miners wonder if they’re really welcome here at all.

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Debt Reduction Begins at Teck – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. She is one of Canada’s most senior mining commentators.

Teck Cominco of Vancouver has announced the first steps of its debt reduction plans by suspending the 2009 dividend on its Class A common shares and Class B subordinate voting shares. The move is expected to result in annual savings of $486 million.

“Current global economic and financial market conditions dictate that we take all prudent steps available to us to significantly reduce spending,” said Don Lindsay, president and CEO. “The measures announced today, combined with previously announced tax savings, amount to $2.4 billion and should significantly enhance our ability to address our near-term debt obligations and better position Teck to refinance the bridge loan when conditions improve.”

The large number of cuts Teck is making is a measure of just how deep current global economic woes are. But management has a plan to conserve cash and prepare for better conditions in the future. From its news release dated Nov. 20, 2008, here are the details of its plan.

Sustaining Capital: Company-wide spending will be reduced to approximately $250 million for 2009, down from a forecast of $580 million for 2008. Teck’s operations have been well capitalized in recent years, creating an opportunity to defer sustaining capital costs while ensuring operations are maintained to a high standard.

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British Columbia Continues to Attract Gold Hunters – by Marilyn Scales

Marilyn Scales is a field editor for the Canadian Mining Journal, Canada’s first mining publication. Gold has been prized throughout history and remains one of the most sought-after metals today. In British Columbia gold was found along the Fraser River (1858), along the Peace River (1861) and in the interior (1865). Dawson Creek became the …

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Speech by Norman B. Keevil, Chairman, Teck Cominco Limited at the Mineral Exploration Roundup 2008 in Vancouver, January 29, 2008

It’s an honour to be asked to address Roundup on its 25th anniversary. Roundup has evolved a lot in those 25 years, from a relatively small conference with 350 attendees to its current status as one of the most important mining exploration conferences in the world, with over 6,000 participants this year.

And the world industry has changed a lot too. In fact, it has changed a lot in just the last 5 years.

It was just five years ago when I was asked to address Roundup on the subject of “Mining In The Next 20 Years”, — an attempt at predicting the future which I had to admit is a mug’s game at the best of times. Even the best professional economists can’t always get it right. They say economists have successfully predicted ten of the last five recessions.

I think we geologists balance them out. As natural optimists, we’ve less successfully predicted ten of the last five recoveries.

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Honourable Kevin Kruger – British Columbia Minister of State for Mining – The Canadian Institute Keynote Address in Vancouver

MINE SAFETY

Thank you Tim, it’s a pleasure to be here.

Ladies and gentlemen . . .

I am happy to report that the mining industry is alive and well in British Columbia, and in for the long run.

I am very happy to report that the industry is pretty much thriving here in British Columbia.  Recently during Mining Week, we celebrated 150 years of mining in B.C. since we showed up but First Nations have made it very clear to me that they were mining a number of quantities for thousands of years before European contact. So I try to make sure to mention that each time I am talking about our century-and-a-half of experience in the industry. 

B.C. MINING SUCCES STORY

We call it the B.C. Mining Success Story, and it’s a story that I am certain that everyone here this morning is familiar with.
In conjunction with Mining Week . . .  the Mining Association of British Columbia released the 40th annual PricewaterhouseCoopers report card on the state of the industry and it tabulated the results of forty mining companies that responded.

The report found that mining in B.C. is a $6.9 billion industry . . .

that 2007 was another excellent year for the B.C. mining industry . . .

gross revenues remain very strong, even though they were reduced somewhat by coal prices which bumped along around $80 dollars a tonne average. They have been better in 2006 and volumes were slightly down as well but present day companies are signing contracts for $300 dollars a tonne and it is looking like 2008 will be a banner year.

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Honourable Kevin Krueger – British Columbia Minister of State for Mining – An Introduction

Kevin Krueger was appointed Minister of State for Mining on February 7, 2007. Kevin was re-elected as MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson in 2005 after being elected in 1996 and re-elected in 2001. He was named as Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier responsible for Rural Development in the fall of 2006. Kevin is also a member …

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