Aboriginal communities’ mining information kit is a gem for all mineral industry stakeholders

Aboriginal communities’ mining information kit is a gem for all mineral industry stakeholders

Thursday, August 31st 2006

The newly published Mining Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities should be required reading for any mining stakeholder, institutional or retail investor, NGO, regulator, journalist, hedge fund, student, academic, or any exploration or mining professional who has any interest in or dealings with the international mining industry.

While the goal of the kit is to increase the ability of aboriginal peoples to understand and participate in exploration and mining-related activities, it is a good introduction for anyone who currently is, or will eventually come, in contact with mining and exploration.

Released on Monday, this collaborative effort of the Canadian government, the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), the Mining Association of Canada, and the Canadian Aboriginal Minerals Association is a terrific guide for the new retail or institutional investor simply wanting to understand more about the mining industry. Mercifully free of the hype and promotion normally found in precious metals tomes, the document also avoids the hard science technical jargon that stymies folks who want to learn about mining and exploration.

The price of this 96-page gem is perfect: free for downloading at numerous sponsoring websites.

The report takes the reader through the entire life cycle of mining, including mineral exploration, mine development, mine operation, and mine closure. For each module of the cycle, the kit explains activities, defines potential major players, and explains how communities can get involved in that particular activity. Regulation and environmental and social impacts are defined and discussed for each cycle, as well as community employment and training, and other economic opportunities.

The kit also provides simple, good, common sense ideas for mining and geological professionals on best practices for community consultation, getting community support for mining operations, and partnering with an aboriginal, or any other, community.

Although aimed at indigenous peoples, much of the advice contained in the kit pertains to any community that finds itself impacted by mining or exploration. The premise is stated thusly: ”There are opportunities for communities to build capacity, opportunities for meaningful participation throughout the mining cycle, and the potential for significant economic and business growth.”

When is the last time anyone actually clearly spelled out the feasibility studies required for a mining project? Page 33 of the kit actually presents easy-to-understand definitions of pre-feasibility and feasibility studies, as well as providing a table detailing what types of feasibility studies are usually required by regulators. In fact, federal, state and local regulators might consider using the kit as a model for their own public participation documents pertaining to mining and exploration.

While the kit may be of Canadian origin, it is easily adaptable by state, regional and national mining industry groups in any nation to their specific nation or state. It would also serve as an excellent tool for education programs aimed at introducing youngsters to earth sciences and mining.

For those concerned about mining, communities, mining investment, and the future of the industry, the Information Kit for Aboriginal Communities is a quick, good read, and an excellent place to start learning about mining and exploration.

The kit is available on the internet at the following websites: www.nrcan.gc.ca/mms/abor-auto/mine-kit_e.htm


www.pdac.ca www.mining.ca/www/Public_Policy_Issues/Northern_Dev.php


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