Second annual general meeting to be held on Saturday
The Newfoundland and Labrador Prospectors Association was created in 2012 and it’s coming up on one year since the naming of its first executive.
Kevin Ryan (left), secretary-treasurer of the Newfoundland and Labrador Prospectors Association, and president Norm Mercer are set to celebrate the organization’s first birthday during its general annual meeting on Saturday in Clarenville.
— Telegram file photo
That executive included secretary-treasurer Kevin Ryan and president Norm Mercer, who stopped into The Telegram’s offices Tuesday to provide an update on their activities. They said a detailed update will be provided for members at the annual meeting at the Clarenville Inn on Saturday, Sept. 28.
“One of the big challenges was of course carrying through with some mandates, guidelines, that we had set down at the last AGM. And that was to talk to government ... to try and advance some of our ideas that came out from our meetings,” Ryan said, referring to regional meetings the association held throughout the year.
In addition to correspondence with government, representatives from the association met with Environment and Conservation Minister Tom Hedderson for discussion of land use and access for prospectors.
“Between 20 to 25 per cent of the land mass of the province is now removed from prospecting or exploration,” Mercer said, explaining the goal of the association is to negotiate increased access for individual prospectors, allowing for the hunt for signs of the ore bodies that will make up the mines of the future.
“Most early stage prospecting and exploration activities are non-intrusive on the environment,” he added.
What follows — after its own regulatory approval process — is the trenching and diamond drilling of junior exploration companies. Few early exploration ventures make it to this stage and even fewer to a full-blown development, Mercer said.
One of the big challenges was of course carrying through with some mandates, guidelines, that we had set down at the last AGM. And that was to talk to government ... to try and advance some of our ideas that came out from our meetings. Kevin Ryan, secretary/treasurer
Ryan said the meeting with Hedderson was “very positive.”
“He was very receptive and at least I went away with the understanding, the feeling, that he is quite willing to look at both sides and come up with some kind of positive results based upon our concerns,” he said.
The association has simultaneously been tackling issues of taxation and communication with the Mines branch of the Department of Natural Resources on the genuine prospector designation, the prospector grants program and the submissions required after work is completed under government grants.
A meeting has been scheduled for representatives from the executive and Natural Resources Minister Tom Marshall in October, Mercer said.
The association has also been looking at possibilities for education and training options. A further update on that will be provided before the AGM finishes, with a presentation by Denise Brushett, with the provincial Geological Survey, entitled: “Prospecting in Areas of Glaciated Terrain.”