«Assayers Foundation of British Columbia MINUTES of the Advisory Council Meeting of the British Columbia Certified Assayers Program held by conference ...»
Assayers Foundation of British Columbia
Advisory Council Meeting of the British Columbia Certified Assayers Program
held by conference call
October 29, 2010
Member Role Affiliation Address
Mac Chaudhry Examiners Board Chair BC Gov. (Ret.) Victoria, BC.
Scott Daniels Chair-Advisory Council Teck Metals Trail, BC.
Member, Advisory Council Anachemia Richmond BC.
Bill Clifford Ray Lett Member, Advisory Council BC Gov. (Ret.) Victoria, BC.
John Gravel Treasurer, Advisory Council Acme Analytical Vancouver, BC.
Keith Rogers Member, Advisory Council ALS N. Vancouver, BC.
David Lefebure Member, Advisory Council BC Government Victoria, BC.
Alice Pang Secretary, Advisory Council ALS N. Vancouver, BC.
Meeting was called to order at 11:03 a.m. by Scott Daniels. Due to the recent reorganization of the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR) there are some uncertainties in the upcoming meeting between this group and the assistant deputy minister. Dave Lefebure and Ray Lett were asked to provide some information on the reorganization.
Reorganization of BC Ministries – Dave Lefebure/Ray Lett Before the reorganization on October 25th, John Cavanagh was the ADM of the Mining & Minerals Division (MMD) in the Ministry of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources (MEMPR). MMD had several branches, including the BC Geological Survey Branch (BCGSB), Regional Operations, Health & Safety, and Policy. Ray & Dave were both with the BCGSB.
There is a significant reorganization of various provincial ministries towards an integrated approach for one process/review on the natural resources side. The new Ministry of Natural Resource Operations (MNRO), with 3,000 plus staff, will have all the operational staff from the various resource (except resource development, which remains with the Ministry of Environment) ministries. MNRO is now the agency responsible for permitting, approvals and regulations on natural resources (e.g. forestry and mining ), Page 1 of 7 Assayers Foundation of British Columbia lands and land-based sides – the purpose of the integration is to allow more efficient use of government resources and more efficient way of handling requests for permits approvals in order to proceed with more economic development, and at a faster pace.
About two thirds of the people (about 60 staff) in the former MMD of MEMPR ( i.e., in regional operations, health & safety, and the ADM John Cavanagh) will be going to the new MNRO. The people in the Minerals Resource Policy Branch (with only five staff and another 10 unstaffed positions) and all staff the BCGSB of the former MMD in MEMPR will move to the Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands (MFML). The staff in the MFML will be handling policy, tracking inventories, and providing information that will allow government to make intelligent decisions in the three resource areas (mines, forestry and lands).
MMD of MEMPR was responsible for the Mines Act (which is connected to the assayer certification program), and the Assayers Certification Board of Examiners. This responsibility will be moved to the MNRO and decisions regarding assayer certification issues will have to be addressed by senior management in MNRO. However, staff in the BCGSB have the historical connected & expertise and may still provide advice to the MNRO regarding assayer certification issues. How things will actually be handled has not been worked out yet – it may take three to four months for this to be determined. In the interim, there are two contacts to chase after: (i) John Cavanagh of MNRO as decision-maker; and (ii) BCGSB as liaison (during transition) and advisor to MNRO.
BCGSB is a fairly small organization but will do its best to stay connected and help out as much as possible.
The ministers and deputy ministers have been identified for the three ministries: Ministry of Energy, MFML, and MNRO. The ADMs for the three ministries and their responsibilities are expected to be identified by end of next week. By mid-November all staff in former MMD of MEMPR will know how they fit into the ministries. John Cavanagh is expected to become one of the new ADM of regional operations but his portfolio will likely be broader than mining; however, John Cavanagh will have an interest in staying connected with mining. John Cavanagh had said he’s willing to a Champion for the mining sector in the MNRO.
Scott Daniels: one potential advantage with the reorganization is that Dave may be able work more closely with the Advisory Committee because the funding will not come from MFML. He hopes Dave will be able to identify a MNRO champion, a level below John Cavanagh, for what we want to achieve our cause with the assayer program.
Dave Lefebure: The situation puts him in a position which he might be able to provide advice more freely, and participate in broader discussion with the Advisory Committee than before. He’s not too optimistic in being able to identify a champion/advocate in the MNRO because most of the operational staff (that moved to MNRO) that are familiar with the assayer program are extremely overworked and are mainly at the base (lower) levels; he/Ray will discuss this further.
Ray Lett: he’s willing to sit down with a potential advocate in MNRO and provide that person with the necessary background information.
To try and influence government decisions, we can work internally within a bureaucracy like we have been doing. However, some decisions that the government makes for supporting activities are political decisions. Some groups lobby politicians for support for good initiatives. But we still want to deal with the public service to create traction and make sure it’s not creating an obstacle for us. We might also want to find a way to work with the GeoScience BC Board (an industry-led non-profit society that receives government funding: http://www.geosciencebc.com/s/AboutUs.asp) to see if they can act as an advocate for assayer certification because of their political connections.
Proposed November 26th Meeting with John Cavanagh
Dave Lefebure: the probability for a November 26th meeting with John Cavanagh is lower than before because of his need to sort out his responsibilities in the new MNRO.
The Advisory Committee will still have to stay connected with John Cavanagh because he will provide clarification on who is the correct MNRO contact for us. It’s still worth pursuing to see if John Cavanagh is willing to meet with members of the Advisory Committee.
Scott Daniels: Leslie Symes. John Cavanagh’s Executive Coordinator, last replied to Scott on October 26th, indicating that she will contact Scott when there is more information on the MNRO responsibilities. Scott will follow-up with Leslie Symes during middle/late next week, if he hasn’t heard back from her by then; he will report back to us during the November 5th conference call. We need to still plan for a meeting with John Cavanagh on November 26th; we don’t want to be ill-prepared if a meeting does materialize [all agreed].
Attached below is a copy/version of the draft presentation that was discussed:
AssistDeputyMinister MeetingVer1.ppt Scott Daniels: Asked for feedback for the drafted presentation. Feedbacks can be also sent by email to Scott after the conference call today.
Scott Daniels: Details presented in the notes section. Handouts and name tags would be prepared. We’ll have to be careful about extending our invitation to the ADM for dinner.
We will make suggestion for the group to have dinner together instead as we do not want to make the perception that we are trying to make influence on the person. Scott will discuss with Elaine regarding the possibility of having a reception with a group of about
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20 students gathering to welcome the ADM’s arrival. The possibility of having the presence of the BCIT local newspaper is also being looked at. Scott reminded everyone that one of the suggestions from the last meeting regarding how some of the certified assayers had progress (the leading roles of Keith Rogers and Dean Toye in the mineral analyses industry) was not followed up or included in the drafted presentation.
Scott Daniels: The meeting agenda is presented in the second slide and in the note section the information needed on the name tags are assembled. Scott would also like to include pictures from other laboratories especially pictures of people at work. The picture of Mac handing over the check for scholarship to the recipient on our web page would also be included.
John Gravel: Being a Power Point presentation, links of proper pictures from a click on a person’s names are one of the options.
Scott Daniels: Asked John to put together an example using the template of the existing presentation.
John Gravel: Will prepare a sample of how the slide will look.
Bill Clifford: Maybe Keith can also look into including some pictures from ALS as well.
Keith Rogers: Will look into including some pictures from ALS.
Ray Lett: There is a picture of Mac in a practical examination which would also be nice to be included in the presentation to give an insight into the practical nature of the exam.
Mac Chaudhry: Agreed to follow up and provide Scott with the picture.
Scott Daniels: The third slide is an overview of the presentation.
No additional comment or suggestion from the group for this slide.
Scott Daniels: The next slide is the history of the program. The purpose is breaking up into three bullet points. The wording is taken from the BCIT website where the certified assayer program is maintained. The word “assayer” is bolded and we will define for the ADM of what an assayer is and does. Scott asked for Mac’s help to ensure that what we have in there is current, accurate and appropriately worded.
Scott Daniels: Moving onto the next slide is the chronology with respect of the program.
John Gravel: Suggested including the 1993 event of the backlash from the industries which resulted from the program being reinstituted.
Ray Lett: The issue should be included as it is a fact that the program was reinstated because of industry concerns. This could be included or rephrased in the draft and bring up for Dave’s input in the upcoming reviews (Dave had stepped out of the conference call earlier).
Scott Daniels: Asked if anyone remember the date of when the program was canceled and reinstated.
Page 4 of 7 Assayers Foundation of British Columbia Ray Lett: Will look up the date.
John Gravel: For the chronology slide, we can include 2011 with a big question mark and use it to lead to the next slide of the funding model (to note the uncertainty in 2011 due to the funding issues). John will use Scott’s template and modify the chronology and the funding model slides to bridge the gap between the two slides.
Scott Daniels: The member funded model was explored before but the system would break down once one realizes that there are estimated only 40 practicing certified assayers in BC today. It is estimated, with the projected budget, the annual dues will be about $1800 per certified assayer which will make it (the member funded model) not at all possible.
Dave Lefebure: (Returned to conference call) Brought up that maybe we should target for a more realistic budget of $50000.
Scott Daniels: In a previous conversation, it was mentioned that this group should have a goal of having a professional membership. Ray and Scott had already looked into the possibility with the ASTTBC group and the costs will probably double the $75000 projected budget. We do not have the mass for the program to be supported by membership. For industries, John will be working on directing that in the presentation from the point of view of it was the one last effort to save the program but recognizing that it was not sustainable. Returning to the issue of this being a government program, we need direction of our recommendations.
Scott Daniels: Moving onto acknowledging stakeholder and contribution to the program, student & assayers are listed but perhaps BCIT should also be listed as a stakeholder (agreed by Mac). Elaine could probably add more information to the slide and confirm the number of student estimated is accurate. The number of certified assayers provided is the estimated number of “working” certified assayer (clarification to Ray’s question).
Keith Rogers: We should probably mention the number of assayers being certified over the years instead especially in the last 10 to 20 years.
John Gravel: Raised the possibility of incorporating into the presentation the reason that some of the major laboratories in the world such as Chemex (ALS) and ACME were actually established in BC because of the BC certified assayers program.
Keith Rogers: The exploration industries and the stock market (raising funds for exploration) were probably the main reasons.
Scott Daniels: Asked if anyone knew of other labs had a connection to the BC certified assayers.
Mac Chaudhry: There were a couple of labs, such as Ecotech in Kamloops BC and Kamloops Research were both started by BC certified assayers.
Scott Daniels: Requested to Keith, John and Mac who have the details to send the information to Scott by email so that we can emphasize the magnitude of the impact of the certified assayers.
Mac Chaudhry: Suggested to make change from “Public & Securities Commissions” to “Securities Commissions and Public at Large” to put the emphasis on the Securities Commissions.
John Gravel: Added that the Government of BC was also a stakeholder.
Mac Chaudhry: Suggested to make change from “Students & Assayers” to “BCIT Students & Assayers” Scott Daniels: Commented that he will have a separate bullet point to include BCIT.
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