Q & A with Kendra Johnston: AME’s new president and CEO

AME’s public engagement campaign emphasizes the need for minerals and metal in our everyday lives

Kendra Johnston smiles on a pier in Vancouver, B.C.

Kendra Johnston, President and CEO of AME, is excited about AME’s direction into 2020 and beyond. — Photo courtesy Kendra Johnston

For over a century, AME (Association for Mineral Exploration) has been representing, advocating, protecting and promoting the interests of those involved in mineral exploration and development in B.C. and throughout the world. Months ago, AME appointed Kendra Johnston as its president and CEO. With a new year and a new decade upon us, Johnston is excited about AME’s direction into the future. Whether it be the industry’s economic impact, job creation in B.C., focus on a clean green world or advancements in reconciliation with Indigenous communities, Johnston has many reasons to be optimistic.

What are you most looking forward to working on in your new role as president and CEO?

As a geologist who has been a member of AME for nearly 20 years, I am looking forward to working with and for all of our members, building relationships, finding common ground, advocating on their behalf, increasing mineral literacy in the general public and providing networking opportunities for our members to interact, discuss and learn from each other.

Does AME have any new initiatives planned in 2020?

AME has an annual work plan that always involves a few timely initiatives that go along with the core work that we do year in and year out. This year, AME is working on a public engagement campaign to introduce the need for minerals and metal in our everyday lives, and in our ever-changing green and clean-focused world. We’re also working with some of our members to track and learn about our carbon footprint with the goal of finding a way to offset our footprint at year end. There are many other initiatives planned for 2020, all of which can be found on AMEBC.ca.

The mineral exploration and mining industry is very cyclic. What are the prospects for Canada's mineral exploration sector in 2020?

If only we had a crystal ball. Traditionally, January is a positive month for commodity prices, junior stocks and the TSX. This always gives us hope for the coming year and this January was no different. Last year, we started to see some positive signs including more financings (some large, some small), some mergers and takeovers, and some new property acquisitions. We also saw some new discoveries in B.C. that got the market talking. All of these indicate that we might be on our way to a positive cycle for 2020.

A busy show floor at the Roundup Conference at the Vancouver Convention Centre.

Every January, AME hosts the annual Roundup Conference in Vancouver. — Photo courtesy Kendra Johnston

How will AME help to promote or facilitate agreements and partnerships with Indigenous peoples in Canada?

We have recently released our Early Engagement Planning Tool to help mineral explorers develop an effective plan for engagement with Indigenous peoples in British Columbia. The tool consists of 14 questions to answer that, when completed, will generate a report that provides a wide range of tips, guidance and tools for undertaking early engagement with Indigenous groups.

What activities and events are happening in 2020?

In January, we hosted our annual Roundup Conference. In April we host our MinEx Talks. Our Golf Tournament in May is always entertaining. In addition, we offer courses, workshops and general networking events throughout the year, as well as many volunteer opportunities. Getting involved is a great way to earn your professional development hours and meet the exceptional people that make this industry a place that we love to work.

Kyle Born

Kyle Born is a writer for Kootenay Business and his initials match that of the magazine—it must be fate that brought them together. View all of Kyle Born’s articles

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