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PDAC 2024: Here’s What You Need to Know

The annual Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention is returning this year from March 3 to 6, and it comes as countries around the world take steps to secure supply of key commodities.

This year’s event will cover more than 600,000 square feet across the North and South Buildings of the Metro Toronto Convention Center, making it one of the organization’s largest showcases in nearly a century.

What to do at PDAC?

Now in its 92nd year, PDAC is a major chance to make new connections and refresh old ones.

‘Most of the people attending our annual convention have enjoyed some of the past 91 conventions, and they are looking forward to the things they have come to know and love: the convention’s events, presentations, displays and accidentally bumping into other people — people such as executives, government officials, politicians, investors, students, scientists, old friends … anyone passionate about mineral exploration and development,’ Goldie said.

The Investors Exchange will be a good stop for those who want to engage with companies of all sizes. If you’d like to delve deeper into geology, you’ll want to check out the Core Shack and the Prospectors Tent, while the Trade Show and Trade Show North will provide a look at the latest advancements in mining services and technology.

PDAC’s Keynote Program will focus on four themes: discovery of the year, commodity outlook, mining industry outlook and technology and innovation. Topics like sustainability and Indigenous inclusion will also be front and center at PDAC, as will corporate presentations and programming for students and people early in their careers.

Commenting on PDAC’s long commitment to ESG in mining, Goldie said that the organization introduced e3 two decades ago, setting a global benchmark for responsible exploration practices. It later evolved into e3Plus, and this year PDAC is launching the new brand, Driving Responsible Exploration (DRE). ‘As DRE rolls out this year, it will expand the program to encompass a wider range of guidelines and tools that align with contemporary ESG standards,’ Goldie said.

Those looking to hear commentary on specific metals will want to carve out time on March 5 for the convention’s Technical Program — notably, critical metals will be covered at 2:05 p.m. EST, and the World Gold Council’s John Reade will give a talk about the outlook for precious metals at 3:45 p.m. EST. The Investment Leaders Forum will also take place on March 5, with favorites like Rick Rule, Brent Cook, Brien Lundin and Adrian Day taking the stage.

Finally, it would be remiss not to mention PDAC’s networking events. While many companies will be hosting invite-only parties and events, plenty are promoted by PDAC itself. Take a look here for a taste of what’s going on — Goldie pointed to the convention’s brand-new coffee connection and happy hour events as new places to network.

Canada’s role in the resource industry today

Speaking about overarching trends in the resource market right now, Goldie noted that while demand for critical minerals is increasing as the green transition gains steam, there hasn’t yet been a widespread increase in commodities prices. That has made it challenging for Canadian companies to access the capital they need.

With that in mind, PDAC believes federal tax incentives like the Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (METC) and the Critical Mineral Exploration Tax Credit (CMETC) are key. ‘PDAC urges the federal government to extend the METC for at least five years beyond its March 2024 expiration and to align the CMETC’s eligibility period with that of the METC,’ Goldie said.

He added that PDAC would also like the capital gains treatment for flow-through shares to be adjusted to attract more Canadian investors. To that end, the organization has proposed the creation of a new expense category that would allow companies to use flow-through funds to assess the economic and social viability of new mines, including feasibility studies, thus bridging the funding gap from discovery to development.

While there’s work to be done in Canada, Goldie emphasized the country’s vast mineral wealth, which he said extends to ‘nearly every type of geology, harboring untapped areas ripe for groundbreaking mineral discoveries.’ He also highlighted its sophisticated mineral finance system and transparent and robust regulatory framework.

Goldie said he believes it’s important for the country to continue developing new mines as well as processing capacity.

‘It’s possible to rely on offshore mineral exploration and mining, but emissions from those activities are not constrained by borders,’ he said. ‘We can make a conscious choice to develop new mines and processing capacity at home, closer to Canadian end users, and guided by regulations that ensure sustainability. By choosing to develop domestic mining and processing facilities, Canada can ensure responsible production, directly benefiting Canadian consumers and contributing to the nation’s economic growth.’ Part of that will involve gaining public support.

‘Canadians must recognize the vital role that minerals play not only in our daily lives, but also in enabling the technologies that will shape a sustainable, low-carbon future,’ he continued. ‘By emphasizing domestic production grounded in sustainability, Canada can avoid the pitfalls of dependency on foreign sources of minerals and metals, and embrace the long-term benefits of self-reliance as we journey toward a green future.’

Register for PDAC now

PDAC is widely regarded as a can’t-miss event for investors, executives and companies in the resource sector, and Goldie said that, with over 1,000 exhibitors, this year’s convention is sure to be a dynamic experience.

If you’d like to attend PDAC, click here for detailed information on how to register. You can also click here to sign up to receive the latest news and announcements from PDAC, or follow PDAC on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Facebook and Instagram. We look forward to seeing you there!

Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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