Embassy of Canada hosted seminar on the role of responsible business conduct in Serbian mining industry’s future
The Embassy of Canada has organized the seminar “Trilateral dialogue on responsible business conduct in mining – experience from Canada” on January 21st, with the goal of strengthening a responsible approach in the development of mining projects. The seminar gathered representatives of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, City of Bor, Municipality of Raška, Canadian companies, the World Bank, as well as other sector key stakeholders.
The seminar represented an opportunity to introduce guests to the work of the international non-government organization “Intergovernmental Forum on Mining, Minerals, Metals and Sustainable Development”, with a Secretariat located in and supported by Canada. The organization which gathers more than 70 countries with active mining interests, was represented by Mr. Matthew Bliss, deputy director.
Presenting the importance of this industry for Canada, Ambassador Kati Csaba emphasized that its size and value also involves responsibility towards all direct and indirect mining stakeholders. “The Government of Canada, civil society and private sector, using domestic and international experience, constantly improve standards and legislation aiming for more responsible, transparent and sustainable mining”. Ambassador Csaba introduced guests to the most important principles and standards of responsible mining developed in or supported by Canada, including the recently established Ombudsman for Responsible Enterprises.
The State Secretary of the Ministry of Mining and Energy, Stevica Dedjanski, introduced participants to the future plans of the Ministry, adding that the number of exploration licenses issued grew significantly, and that investment in exploration projects surpassed EUR100 million in 2018. “The Ministry wants to cooperate with companies in responsible project development, and our doors are always open for communication and cooperation”, added Dedjanski, insisting this topic needs to be communicated in the future.
Canadian companies “Dundee Precious Metals”, “Mundoro Capital”, “Tethyan Resources” and “Medgold” introduced participants to their standards and projects developed in cities and municipalities around Serbia including Bor, Raška and Bosilegrad.
The mining industry in Canada contributes to GDP with CAD97 billion or 5%, directly and indirectly employing 626,000 people. The Toronto Stock Exchange lists 1,136 mining companies, out of which 80% are exploration companies. Since 1932, Toronto hosts the annual PDAC (Prospectors&Developers Association of Canada) Convention, which will take place from March 1-4 this year.