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February 20, 2014

Disclosure of Oil and Gas & Aboriginal Payments Uncertain, Despite Release of Recommendations on Mandatory Disclosure of Payments from Canadian Mining Companies to Governments

Companies and Aboriginal communities negotiating resource agreements should note the Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group’s January 16, 2014 release of its Recommendations on Mandatory Disclosure of Payments from Canadian Mining Companies to Governments.  The Recommendations stem from Canada’s June 2013 commitment to enhance transparency in the extractive sector.  The Working Group is comprised of representatives from the Mining Association of Canada, the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC), Publish What You Pay Canada and the Revenue Watch Institute.  The Working Group’s transparency initiative is widely supported by Canadian mining companies.

Companies and Aboriginal communities want to know how the reporting would work and whether payments under resource agreements/IBAs will come under the purview of any Canadian requirements.  The recommendations do not currently include oil and gas or Aboriginal payments.  However, such payments could follow in a second phase of the project, dubbed “transparency 2.0” by Working Group member and PDAC Executive Director, Ross Gallinger, at an Ontario Bar Association address on February 19, 2014.  To take effect, the recommendations must next be adopted, following discussions with provincial securities commissions and the provincial finance ministries.  Presumably, Aboriginal communities would be consulted about making IBA payments subject to reporting.

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