TORONTO, June 30 /CNW/ - The president of the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Scott Jobin-Bevans, welcomes the communiqué of the G-8's annual summit that expressed concern about the illicit exploitation of and trade in natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which contributes to the instability and violence "causing undue suffering among the people."
The communiqué called for an end to the conflict and extension of the rule of law.
The PDAC appreciates the leadership Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government provided to include this topic on the G-8 agenda, Mr. Jobin-Bevans said.
"Our experience in so many countries convinces us that resource development can have a positive impact, especially in the alleviation of poverty," said Dennis Jones, chair of the PDAC's corporate social responsibility (CSR) committee. "Resource extraction can give poor countries an economic boost that, if implemented properly, can begin to improve the people's standard of living. But that requires good governance on the part of the host government. If it's lacking, there's a risk that some of the benefits can be diverted for dubious purposes."
The communiqué urged candidate countries to adopt the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) and also expressed support for the Kimberley Process, created to manage trade in rough diamonds.
The EITI sets a global transparency standard for oil, gas and mining industries to disclose information to help citizens monitor revenue and payments by resource companies in order to reduce corruption and improve governance.
"The EITI is an important initiative that can help local communities get the information they need to monitor resource development and ensure that it benefits many people, not just a country's elites," Mr. Jones said.
Approximately 50 of the world's largest mining and oil and gas companies now support EITI and about 17 developed countries, including Canada, support the initiative. Among developing countries, two, Azerbaijan and Liberia, are already considered compliant and another 29, including the DRC, are candidates for EITI validation. Transparency requires that governments, companies and civil society work together to create reporting systems that encourage stability and predictability.
The PDAC appreciates the G-8's efforts to initiate debate about governance in the extractive sector and encourages all exploration companies to register at the PDAC's website to use, free of charge, e3 Plus: A framework for responsible exploration.
e3 Plus, the world's first comprehensive CSR guidelines for mineral exploration, was introduced by the PDAC last year under the leadership of Mr. Jones. It provides guidance that can help exploration companies manage the complex issues involved in social responsibility, environmental stewardship and health and safety. It will be regularly updated and improved as best practice standards evolve.
More information available at: www.pdac.ca/e3plus
About the PDAC:
The Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) is a national association representing the mineral exploration and development industry. Its 7,000 individual and corporate members are involved in the exploration, discovery and development of new mines and new wealth. The PDAC's annual convention is the world's largest annual gathering of the mineral industry. PDAC Convention 2011 will be held March 6-9 in Toronto.
SOURCE Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada
For further information: For further information: Dennis Jones, Chair, CSR Committee, Prospectors and Developers Association, email@example.com, 416.763.1912; Tony Andrews, Executive Director, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, firstname.lastname@example.org, 416.362.1969; Saley Lawton, Director, Communications, Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, email@example.com, 416.362.1969 ext. 225