PDAC 2016 Ireland Presentation 7th March 2016 Outline Programme
The annual Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention and Trade Show is the largest international meeting of its type in the world, with attendance in recent years exceeding 25,000 delegates. PDAC has been an important platform for countries seeking to attract foreign direct investment (FDI) in mineral exploration and mining.
Ireland has had a presence at PDAC for 50 years since the founding of a modern mining sector led by the Northgate – Tara companies.
The Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources (DCENR) has been represented at the Trade Show since 1989. Ireland was one of the first non-Canadian jurisdictions to exhibit at PDAC. Others have followed, in what is an increasingly competitive international arena for exploration investment. Since 1999, Ireland has had a joint display with Northern Ireland, a combined 40 foot long booth promoting exploration and development across the island of Ireland. This initiative is led by the Exploration and Mining Division (EMD) of DCENR, in partnership with the Geological Survey of Ireland (GSI) , the Northern Ireland Department of Enterprise , Trade and Investment (DETI) and the Geological Survey of Northern Ireland (GSNI).
This stand has been a successful showcase for attracting inward investment to Ireland. It has also been a focus for companies with Irish links attending PDAC- many of whom have had stands and/or presented papers at the Convention. Examples include Conroy, Dalradian, Minco, Celtic Resources, Ennex, Aurum Exploration, CSA, SLR, Moydow, PW Mining, Intersocial, QME, ATS, as well as DCENR and DETI.
These strategic partnerships now includes Geoscience Ireland (GI) and Enterprise Ireland (EI) which support a network of companies offering services to the international minerals sector.
Ireland; a global player
For the last number of decades Ireland has been Europe’s largest zinc producer and has ranked in the world’s top ten producers. This year, with the closure of Lisheen mine, Ireland fell to second position in Europe, and 11th in the world for zinc production.
This strong exploration and mining history has developed a significant cadre of experts many of whom honed their skills in Ireland and are now involved internationally in the industry.
The recent Indecon International report on the “Assessment of economic contribution of mineral exploration and mining in Ireland” found the total economy wide impact of expenditures by the industry amounted to €810 million (CDN$ 1.2 Bn) per year. In addition, the sector provides over 3,000 regionally distributed jobs.
National and Regional Presentations
Several countries provide support by way of national pavilions for companies at PDAC and other Conventions e.g UK, Australia, RSA, India, Mexico Peru, Brazil.
PDAC also provide opportunities to host national or regional presentations, usually a half day seminar and networking. For example, Germany hosted a half day presentation in 2015, which comprised presentations by the German Ambassador, the Federal Institute for Geosciences (BGR), the German Mineral Resources Agency, all of whom outlined Germany’s prospectivity and attractions as a destination for FDI. In addition, German companies (e.g. Siemens, DMT) and financial institutions outlined services which are offered to international markets.
An Ireland Presentation
Ireland’s contribution to the minerals sector is three-fold;
1. An attractive location for FDI based on political stability, successful exploration, an established and significant mining sector, equitable fiscal regimes and user-friendly, streamlined licensing systems.
2. A range of professional and specialist skills providing services to Irish and international markets. While individual service providers have a presence at PDAC, an Ireland presentation would provide a unified platform for governments, consultants, contractors and professionals active in minerals and mining internationally.
3. A major national applied Research and Development project ( iCRAG) focussing on developing new technologies and methodologies in minerals and hydrocarbons exploration and development, including issues of public perception and understanding.
The skill sets outlined in point two above are exemplified by – but are not confined to- the members of Geoscience Ireland (GI), a network of companies supported by GSI and Enterprise Ireland (EI). GI has also benefitted from support from the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFA&T).
An Ireland Presentation at PDAC will reflect the three elements outlined above. A Ministerial presence together with Ambassador level support will provide an additional cachet to the event.
Enterprise Ireland (EI) will support the Ireland Presentation at PDAC 2016 by way of regional office assistance and/or a Market Study Visit. Similar EI and Ambassadorial support was provided at Mining INDABA in 2013 & 2014 – the African equivalent of PDAC -and resulted in significant business for participating companies.
An Ireland Presentation at PDAC aligns well with policy objectives in relation to job creation through export growth, fostering SMEs and delivery and development of skills. Enterprise 2025; Ireland’s National Enterprise Policy launched by An Taoiseach Enda Kenny in November 2015 envisages an additional 220,000 new jobs throughout the country by 2025 with unemployment targeted to fall below 6%.
DCENR’s Statement of Strategy 2015 – 2017 sets out to provide reliable geoscience information for environmental protection and effective spatial planning and support the sustainable development of Ireland’s natural resources. The Strategy includes a KPI for Geoscience Ireland companies to create 200 new jobs by 2017; this target has already been exceeded.
Outline Programme for Ireland Presentation – Room 201F Metro Centre North
Chair; Gerry Stanley, Head, Minerals Section ,GSI
1400-1420; Introduction by Ambassador Ray Bassett
1420-1440; Ireland; One of the Best Locations for Mineral Exploration and Development; Dr Eibhlin Doyle
1440-1500; Advances in Northern Ireland; Kieran Parker
1520-1540; Innovation; the iCRAG Project; [TBA]
1540-1600; Innovation; GSI Initiatives -TELLUS; Koen Verbruggen
1600-1620; Internationalising Irish Expertise; Sean Finlay
1620-1650; Recent Successes;
Gold in Ireland; Dalradian‘s Tyrone Gold Project; [TBA]
Gold in Ireland; Conroy’s Project; Kevin McNulty
The Pallas Green Zinc Lead Project; [TBA]
1650-1700; Summary; Niall Cooney Enterprise Ireland
1700-1800; Networking Reception