SERVICE N.S./MUNICIPAL RELATIONS–New Safety Rules For DrivingSchools include a provision that a criminal record check be conducted as part of the initial licensing of a school or instructor; enhance the training programs for instructors; report course results to the department, ensure that instructors must be employed by either a public or private educational institution or have completed an instructors course approved by the department; increase in-car training to 10 hours; include instruction on cross walk safety, require that vehicles used for training are in good mechanical condition, and require driving schools to have all the necessary equipment and personnel to conduct both classroom and on-road training. New driver training school regulations will help make for a saferenvironment for students learning how to drive, Service NovaScotia and Municipal Relations Minister Barry Barnet announcedtoday, Oct. 1. “Driver training provides new drivers with a sound foundation andis an important part of making our roads safer,” said theminister. After reviewing the driving school and instructor regulations,representatives of the industry and members of the Road SafetyAdvisory Committee, the committee responsible for promoting roadsafety, agreed that changes were needed. The revisions are partof the initial renewal of licences for driving schools. The new regulations will: The minister added that the updated rules will enable theprovince to maintain an effective and safe driving schoolprogram. Driver training schools and instructors are licensed underprovisions of the Motor Vehicle Act. For more information see thewebsite at www.gov.ns.ca/snsmr/.
SNL MEG’s Pipeline Activity Index (PAI) has been struggling through 2013, slumping to the lowest level since the Industry Monitor began compiling the data in 2008. Gold is now at its lowest price since 2010, exacerbating the effects of the difficult financing conditions that have persisted since last year. There have been reductions in grassroots spending which has resulted in lower numbers of drill results and initial resource estimates, while slashing of budgets and weak metals prices are leading to cuts and delays in capital improvement plans at mines and more shelved development projects.The industry’s aggregate market cap declined in May before falling even further in June to finishat $1.24 trillion which is the lowest since June 2009 and has now declined 30% since January. The number of drill results announced in May-June is slightly up of the lackluster March-April period, but is down 30% from May-June 2012. The numbers of reported new finds noticeably declined in the first half of 2013, as the active companies continue to curtail grassroots and generative work in favor of expanding known ore bodies.The September quarter is typically the peak reporting season for drill results, but for 2013 this seems to be unlikely due to weakening metal prices, which was preceded by persistent financing difficulties suggests there are going to be further declines before showing signs of improvement.The 49 significant financings, worth $2 million minimum, completed in May-June is the lowest two-month total since at least the start of 2008, when the Industry Monitor began tracking this data. Junior and intermediate companies raised a total of $585 million in the period, 70% less than March-April and 66% less than the corresponding period in 2012. Weakened metals prices coupled with the financing volatility that has persisted since mid-2012 have left many junior explorers fighting for survival. Some have successfully negotiated JVs or found strategic investors that will hopefully see them through, while others are looking to partner or merge with peers. However, the number of companies able to secure funding based solely on the strength of their assets continues to dwindle.