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The Government of Canada outlines next steps in clean-energy transition

February 16, 2018 – Ottawa, Ontario

Choosing cleaner electricity helps protect the health of Canadians, cut carbon pollution, and create opportunities for the middle class. The transition to clean energy is accelerating around the world, and Canada is part of a growing group of countries that are committed to phasing out traditional coal-fired electricity. Last fall, Canada and the U.K. founded the Powering Past Coal Alliance, which has already attracted over 30 governments and business members, whose combined wealth totals over $170 billion.

Today, the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Catherine McKenna, announced amendments to existing regulations to phase out traditional coal-fired electricity by 2030, along with new greenhouse gas regulations for natural-gas-fired electricity. These measures are part of Canada’s clean-growth and climate action plan, the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change.

Accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity will cut carbon pollution by 16 million tonnes in 2030, roughly equivalent to the emissions of four million cars in a year. By reducing our exposure to harmful air pollutants from coal plants, the phase-out will also improve the quality of the air we breathe. Air pollution from coal plants is linked to health risks, such as asthma and heart disease, which can lead to hospital admissions and contribute to premature deaths.

Canada’s proposed regulations for natural-gas-fired electricity complement the proposed amendments to coal-fired electricity regulations. These draft regulations have been designed to ensure that efficient technology is used with new natural-gas-fired electricity generation. They are expected to encourage some facilities to convert from running on coal to natural gas and to provide regulatory certainty for new investments in electricity generation.

Copies of both proposed regulations will be published in The Canada Gazette, Part I, on February 17, 2018. Provinces, industry stakeholders, and interested Canadians are invited to provide comments to Environment and Climate Change Canada, by April 18, 2018.

Minister McKenna also announced the creation of Canada’s Task Force on the Just Transition for Canadian Coal-Power Workers and Communities, which will provide the Minister with recommendations on how to make the transition away from coal a fair one for workers and communities.

The Task Force will include representatives from labour associations, unions, and municipalities, along with representatives with expertise in sustainable development, workforce development, and the electricity sector. Its work is expected to start in March and continue until the end of 2018.

Quotes

“Phasing out coal is good news for our climate, for our health, and for our kids. I’m thrilled to take the next steps in powering past coal in Canada, with regulations to end the use of traditional coal power, in 2030. We know the environment and the economy go hand in hand, so we’re committed to making that transition a fair one for coal workers and communities. The task force we’re launching today is a big step toward meeting that commitment.”

– Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change

Quick Facts

  • By accelerating the phase-out of traditional coal-fired electricity to 2030, Canada will reduce carbon pollution by 16 million tonnes that year.
  • Despite generating only about 11 percent of Canada’s electricity supply, coal-fired electricity is responsible for 72 percent of Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector.
  • The proposed amendments will result in 260 avoided premature deaths, 40 000 fewer asthma episodes, and 190 000 fewer days of breathing difficulty and reduced activity—resulting in health benefits of $1.2 billion, from 2019 to 2055.
  • Coal-fired electricity facilities are among the world’s largest sources of air pollution, including sulphur dioxides, nitrogen oxides, and mercury pollutants, which have significant health and environmental impacts.
  • In Canada, clean energy accounted for more than 56 000 jobs and contributed $25.4 billion (1.3 percent) to Canada’s gross domestic product in 2016.
  • Worldwide, the renewable-energy sector employs almost 10 million people. Jobs in solar and wind energy have doubled since 2012.
  • Employment and Social Development Canada is already working closely with the Province of Alberta to assist people impacted by changes in the coal-fired electricity and the mining sectors.
  • Budget 2017 announced the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, an ambitious effort to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, help create more well-paying jobs, and help strengthen and grow the middle class.
  • Through Budget 2017, Canada is investing $21.9 billion in green infrastructure, including $5 billion for green-infrastructure projects through the Canada Infrastructure Bank, which may include projects that promote renewable power.
  • Natural Resources Canada’s Emerging Renewable Power Program is providing up to $200 million to expand the portfolio of commercially viable renewable-energy sources available to provinces and territories and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their electricity sectors.
  • Canada’s electricity-generation mix is already one of the cleanest in the world, with 80 percent of our electricity coming from renewable or non-emitting sources in 2016.

Related Products

Associated Links

Contacts

Marie-Pascale Des Rosiers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Environment and Climate Change
613-462-5473
marie-pascale.desrosiers@canada.ca

Media Relations
Environment and Climate Change Canada
819-938-3338 or 1-844-836-7799 (toll-free)
ec.media.ec@canada.ca

NT5

Quebec changes course, will allow parent on air ambulance flights with kids – CP

Source: The Canadian Press
Feb 16, 2018 8:45

MONTREAL _ The Quebec government is changing course on a controversial policy and will now allow parents to accompany their sick children on emergency air evacuations.

Health Minister Gaetan Barrette says at least one parent will be permitted to join their children on air ambulance flights.

Barrette adds the pilot will have final say whether the parent or relative can be brought on board, taking any security questions into consideration.

The policy was being challenged by a trio of Montreal physicians who wrote to the Quebec government in December calling for a change.

They urged the Health Department to act, saying the policy disproportionately affected northern Inuit and First Nations communities.

The doctors say sending children from remote areas to hospitals alone was traumatic and could lead to issues in giving them treatment.

Both the Canadian and Quebec pediatric societies also lent their support to the call this month.

Barrette visited the air ambulance planes used by the province on Thursday and said following the visit it would be possible to harmonize Quebec’s policies with the rest of Canada.

Quebec was believed to be the only province that refused to allow parents or guardians to accompany their children on emergency flights.

He explained that two of the air ambulances have space for a parent while the third plane, an older model, would need to be retrofitted and would have to be removed from service for a year and requires federal government approval.

The province previously said it was due to a lack of space because of equipment on board the planes.

Instead the government footed the bill to have families flown to their children’s bedsides on commercial flights.

INDEX: HEALTH NATIONAL TRANSPORT

AFN National Chief Bellegarde Says New Approach for Rights Implementation Essential, First Nations Engagement Crucial

AFN National Chief Bellegarde Says New Approach for Rights Implementation Essential, First Nations Engagement Crucial

(Ottawa, ON) – Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today welcomed the announcement by Prime Minister Trudeau of a new approach to rights recognition and implementation to be developed “in full partnership” with First Nations, including new mechanisms to recognize First Nations systems of governance and ensure consistent, meaningful implementation of Treaties and other agreements.

“Today the Prime Minister of Canada signaled a government-wide shift and a new approach to the recognition and full implementation of First Nations rights that will be developed in full partnership with First Nations before the next election,” said AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde. “Our rights are a reality that has been denied for too long, resulting in conflict and court battles for enforcement of our inherent rights, Treaty rights, title and jurisdiction. This is an opportunity to move into a new era of recognition, with the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as our framework for reconciliation. Recognizing and implementing our rights is directly connected to closing the gap for our peoples. The key will be walking this road together.”

Prime Minister Trudeau announced today Canada will develop a new approach towards the full recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights. The Prime Minister noted new legislation and policy would make the recognition and implementation of rights the basis for all relations between First Nations and the federal government. He laid out a timeline beginning with engagement that will continue throughout the spring, introduction of the framework for rights recognition this year, and implementation to take place before the next election.

National Chief Bellegarde added: “It was important to hear the Prime Minister repeat his government’s support for Bill C-262. That legislation is supported by First Nations, human rights advocates and many organizations that have fought for decades to see Indigenous rights realized and we are looking forward to seeing it completed.

The National Chief also noted the Prime Minister’s commitment, in the wake of the Colten Boushie trial to reforms to the justice system, including how juries are selected.

The AFN is the national organization representing First Nations citizens in Canada.  Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Updates.

For more information, please contact:

Jamie Monastyrski
Press Secretary – National Chief’s Office
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext. 222
343-540-6179 (cell)
jamiem@afn.ca

Jenna Young Castro
Communications Officer
Assembly of First Nations
613-241-6789 ext 201
613-314-8157 (cell)
jyoung@afn.ca

NT5

Que Hospital Body – CP

Source: The Canadian Press – Broadcast wire
Feb 15, 2018

MONTREAL – Police near Montreal are investigating after an Indigenous man abruptly left a hospital with the body of his deceased father.

A spokeswoman for the Anna-Laberge Hospital says the father arrived by ambulance from the nearby Kahnawake Mohawk territory on Tuesday.

The family hoped to get a death certificate before repatriating the body for a quick burial by the end of the day.

But the hospital says it could not legally release the body to anyone but an accredited funeral facility.

Spokeswoman Jade St-Jean says the son took off with the corpse as all sides were trying to reach a solution that would fulfil the hospital’s legal requirements.

Police in Chateauguay confirmed they are investigating.

(The Canadian Press)

INDEX: HEALTH NATIONAL JUSTICE

Montreal police in spotlight at Indigenous hearing – CTV News

February 14, 2018

The Montreal police force was in the spotlight Wednesday as the Viens Commission continued its examination into the relationship between indigenous people and public services in Quebec.

Examples abounded about the strained relationship between indigenous communities and Montreal police.

“Those that are vulnerable are the ones that are getting targeted more by the police. So I don’t get targeted for standing in a metro, but I know my clients are getting ticketed,” said Nakuset, the executive director of the Native Women’s Shelter of Montreal.

She alleges that advocating on behalf of the shelter’s clients is also dangerous.

“There was actually one of our outreach workers that got assaulted by police just for speaking out about police behaviour against an indigenous person,” she claimed.

Read More: https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-police-in-spotlight-at-indigenous-hearing-1.3803906

Montrealers Host Vigil for Colten Boushie After Accused Murderer Acquitted – The Link

Speakers Call Out Systemic Racism, Injustices by Government

The sounds of passionate voices filled the air Tuesday evening in Norman Bethune Square in downtown Montreal. Approximately 100 people gathered with candles and signs in hand, some faces expressing confusion and despair.

The vigil was held in commemoration of the late Colten Boushie, a 22-year-old Cree man from the Red Pheasant First Nation in Saskatchewan who was killed in 2016. Boushie was shot in the head by Gerald Stanley, a farmer in Saskatchewan. On Feb. 9, Stanley was acquitted of manslaughter and second-degree murder charges by an all-white jury.

“I’m really blown away by this one,” said Vicky Boldo, co-chair of the Montreal Urban Aboriginal Community Strategy Network and an elder with the Aboriginal Student Resource Centre at Concordia, in response to the acquittal.

Read More: https://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/montrealers-host-vigil-for-colten-boushie-after-accused-murderer-acquitted

Explor Closes a First Tranche of a Private Placement in Common and Flow-through Shares

Rouyn-Noranda, Canada, February 14, 2018 – Explor Resources Inc. (TSX-V: EXS, OTCQB: (“Explor” or the “Corporation”) is pleased to announce that it has closed a first tranche of a non-brokered private placement of a maximum of 4,285,714 common shares and/or flow-through shares at a price of $0.07 each, for total gross proceeds of up to CDN $300,000. Each common and flow-through share is accompanied of one-half of a share purchase warrant, one whole warrant and $0.10 being required for the acquisition of one common share of the Corporation at the latest 24 months from each closing (the “Private Placement”).

The first tranche of the Private Placement closed today consists in the sale of 171,429 common shares, of 1,542,857 flow-through shares and the issuance of 857,143 warrants. This represents an aggregate subscription of $120,000, out of which $108,000 will have to be incurred by the Corporation in exploration expenditures on mining properties located in the province of Québec or in the Province of Ontario. There are no finder’s fees payable for the securities issued upon this first closing.

The securities issued pursuant to the first closing of the Private Placement are subject to a hold period of four months and a day ending June 15, 2018.

The Private Placement is subject to the final approval of the TSX Venture Exchange.

Explor Resources invites investors to visit our booth at the following conference:

Booth #2122 at the Investor Exchange of the PDAC 2018 located in the south building of the Metro Toronto Convention Center from March 4 to March 7, 2018.

The management team at Explor Resources Inc. looks forward to having you join us.

Explor Resources Inc. is a publicly listed company trading on the TSX Venture (EXS), on the OTCQB (EXSFF) and on the Frankfurt and Berlin Stock Exchanges (E1H1).

This press release was prepared by Explor. Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the Policies of the TSX Venture Exchange) has reviewed or accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this release.

About Explor Resources Inc.

Explor Resources Inc. is a Canadian- based natural resources company with mineral holdings in Ontario, Québec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick. Explor is currently focused on exploration in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt. The belt is found in both provinces of Ontario and Québec with approximately 33% in Ontario and 67% in Québec. The Belt has produced in excess of 180,000,000 ounces of gold and 450,000,000 tonnes of cu-zn ore over the last 100 years. The Corporation was continued under the laws of Alberta in 1986 and has had its main office in Québec since 2006.

Explor Resources Flagship project is the Timmins Porcupine West (TPW) Project located in the Porcupine mining camp, in the Province of Ontario. The TPW mineral resource (Press Release dated August 27, 2013) includes the following:

Open Pit Mineral Resources at a 0.30 g/t Au cut-off grade are as follows:

Indicated:   213,000 oz (4,283,000 tonnes at 1.55 g/t Au)
Inferred:   77,000 oz (1,140,000 tonnes at 2.09 g/t Au)

Underground Mineral Resources at a 1.70 g/t Au cut-off grade are as follows:

Indicated:  396,000 oz (4,420,000 tonnes at 2.79 g/t Au)
Inferred:   393,000 oz (5,185,000 tonnes at 2.36 g/t Au)

For further information please contact:

Christian Dupont, President
Tel: 888-997-4630 or 819-797-4630
Fax: 819-797-1870
Website: www.explorresources.com
Email: info@explorresources.com

NT4

Government of Canada to create Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework

Ottawa, Ontario
February 14, 2018

For too long, Indigenous Peoples in Canada have had to prove their rights exist and fight to have them recognized and fully implemented. To truly renew the relationship between Canada and Indigenous Peoples, the Government of Canada must make the recognition and implementation of rights the basis for all relations between Indigenous Peoples and the federal government.

The Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, today announced that the Government of Canada will develop – in full partnership with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples – a Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework.

The contents of the Framework will be determined through national engagement activities led by the Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. Engagement will continue throughout the spring, with the intention to have the Framework introduced in 2018 and implemented before October 2019.

While the results of this engagement will guide what the final Framework looks like, we believe that, as a starting point, it should include new legislation and policy that will make the recognition and implementation of rights the basis for all relations between Indigenous Peoples and the federal government going forward. The Framework can also include new measures to support the rebuilding of Indigenous nations and governments, and advance Indigenous self-determination, including the inherent right of self-government.

Through this Framework, we will lay the foundation for real and lasting change on issues that matter most to people, including eliminating long-term boil water advisories, improving primary and secondary education on reserve, and taking further steps toward reconciliation.

Quotes

“Reconciliation calls upon us all to confront our past and commit to charting a brighter, more inclusive future. We must acknowledge that centuries of colonial practices have denied the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples. The recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights will chart a new way forward for our Government to work with First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples and to undo decades of mistrust, poverty, broken promises, and injustices. We have listened and learned and we will work together to take concrete action to build a better future and a new relationship.”

—The Rt. Hon. Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada

“Today we begin the engagement that will finally address Canada’s uncomfortable truth – centuries of colonial practices have denied the inherent rights of Indigenous Peoples. As we enter the next 150 years of Canada, we will write our future together in partnership with First Nations, Inuit and Métis. The recognition and implementation of Indigenous rights is critical to reconciliation. We invite all Canadians to work to better understand the damage done by our colonial past and join us in the journey of reconciliation.”

—The Honourable Carolyn Bennett, Minister of Crown-Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs

“This is a historic moment, one for which Indigenous Peoples have been advocating for generations. Today, our Prime Minister announced that our Government will ensure that the recognition of Indigenous rights, including Indigenous self-determination and the inherent right of self-government, is the foundation of our relationship with Indigenous Peoples. We have heard loud and clear that true reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples requires federal legislation and policies to be changed to reflect the full promise of Section 35 of our Constitution. Through a Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework, we can continue along the path of decolonization, transform relations with Indigenous Peoples, achieve greater equality, address socio-economic gaps, and build a better Canada.”

—The Honourable Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

Quick Facts

  • In 1982, Aboriginal and treaty rights were recognized and affirmed through Section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982, but the work to define these rights was not undertaken.
  • In addition to Indigenous Peoples, provincial and territorial governments will be engaged, as well as individuals from civil society, the business community, and the public at large.
  • These engagement activities will also focus on the creation of the two new departments that will replace Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, as well as the mandates of each Minister. The feedback will help the Government of Canada better serve the distinct priorities of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.
  • This work builds on the Government of Canada’s ongoing reconciliation efforts, including:
    • The unqualified endorsement of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples;
    • A commitment to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s 94 Calls to Action;
    • The creation of the Working Group on the Review Laws and Policies Related to Indigenous Peoples;
    • The release of the Principles Respecting the Government of Canada’s Relationship with Indigenous Peoples; and
    • The ongoing work at Recognition of Indigenous Rights and Self-Determination tables where the government and Indigenous Peoples work in partnership on the priorities identified by Indigenous partners.
  • A clear Recognition and Implementation of Rights Framework across the federal government will provide clarity and certainty on Canada’s responsibilities toward engaging with Indigenous Peoples in a respectful, cooperative partnership–from coast to coast to coast.
  • Many studies, reports, and organizations have recommended in recent decades recognizing Indigenous rights in legislation, including the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and the First Ministers’ Conferences on the Rights of Aboriginal Peoples.

Associated Links

NT5

H2O Innovation’s 2018 Second Quarter Results – The Corporation is scaling up, showing growth in all business pillars

Key highlights

  • Revenues reached $25.8 M for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, representing a $5.9 M, or 29.4% growth, compared to the second quarter of the previous fiscal year;
  • Recurring revenues from Specialty Products and Services (“SP&S”) and Operation & Maintenance (“O&M”) business pillars represent 74.5% of total revenues;
  • Consolidated backlog, combining Water and Wastewater Treatment Projects (“Projects”) and O&M, stood at $116.1 M as of December 31, 2017, compared to $109.2 M for the period ended December 31, 2016, representing a 6.3% organic growth;
  • Adjusted EBITDA1 reached $1.4 M for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018, representing a $0.6 M, or 67.8% growth, compared to the second quarter of fiscal year 2017;
  • Adjusted EBITDA over revenues increased, from 4.1% for the three-month period ended December 31, 2016 to reach 5.3% for this quarter ended December 31, 2017;
  • Net loss of ($1.3 M), compared to ($1.1 M) in the second quarter of previous fiscal year, mostly impacted by the tax reform. Without the $1.1 M impact from the new U.S. tax reform, net loss would have been ($0.2 M).

Quebec City, February 14, 2018 – (TSXV: HEO) – H2O Innovation Inc. (“H2O Innovation” or the “Corporation”) announces its results for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 ended December 31, 2017. Revenues for the second quarter of fiscal year 2018 totaled $25.8 M, representing a $5.9 M or 29.4% increase, as compared with revenues of $19.9 M for the second quarter of the previous fiscal year. This increase is fueled by the organic growth of the Projects and SP&S business pillars. The Projects business pillar is currently regaining speed after a slowdown in specific projects, which impacted last fiscal year’s financial results. More projects are reaching the revenue recognition phase for this quarter compared to the same quarter of fiscal year 2017. SP&S results have been bolstered by the Maple business line, which is showing a faster growth with record results quarter after quarter. Our growing consolidated backlog, which stands at $116.1 M as of December 31, 2017, compared to $109.2 M last year, continues to provide excellent visibility on revenue recognition for the coming quarters.

Read More

NT4

Orbit Garant Drilling Reports Fiscal 2018 Second Quarter Financial Results

– Company reports 57% year-over-year increase in second quarter revenue –

Val-d’Or, Quebec, February 13, 2018 – Orbit Garant Drilling Inc. (TSX: OGD) (“Orbit Garant” or the “Company”) today announced its financial results for the three and six-month periods ended December 31, 2017. All dollar amounts are in Canadian dollars unless otherwise stated. Percentage calculations are based on numbers in the financial statements and may not correspond to rounded figures presented in this news release.

Financial Highlights

($ amounts in millions,

except per share amounts)

Three months ended
December 31, 2017
Three months ended
December 31, 2016
Six months ended December 31, 2017 Six months ended December 31, 2016
Revenue $43.0 $27.4 $85.5 $57.9
Gross Profit $5.1 $1.5 $11.8 $4.4
Gross Margin (%) 11.7 5.5 13.8 7.6
Adjusted Gross Margin (%)1 16.3 13.6 18.4 15.8
EBITDA2 $3.3 $0.0 8.3 2.4
Net earnings (loss) $0.8 $(1.9) 2.5 (2.1)
Net earnings (loss) per share
       – Basic and diluted $0.02 $(0.05) $0.07 $(0.06)
Total metres drilled 371,161 285,583 775,423 603,965

1Adjusted Gross Margin is a non-IFRS measure and is defined as Gross Profit excluding depreciation expenses. See “Reconciliation of Non-IFRS measures”.

2 EBITDA is a non-IFRS measure and is defined as earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization. See “Reconciliation of Non-IFRS measures”.

“We are pleased to report all-time highs in second quarter and first-half revenues, demonstrating the current strength of customer demand for our services both in Canada and our international markets. Notably, our second quarter revenue exceeded our first quarter revenue for the first time since fiscal 2009. This first half sequential growth is not typical for Orbit Garant due to seasonal factors and it indicates that our momentum is building. Further, our expanded international operations are making a major contribution to our growth, demonstrating the success of our international expansion strategy, including our acquisition of Captagua Ingeniería S.A. in Chile. With access to a broader range of growth opportunities, our market position is stronger today than ever before,” said Eric Alexandre, President & CEO of Orbit Garant. “We have now achieved 12 consecutive quarters of year-over-year revenue growth. With this sustained growth in demand for our services, we’ve had to invest in scaling up our operations, training new employees, and mobilizing equipment and crews for new projects. These factors continue to be reflected in our gross margins. We expect to achieve gradual improvements in productivity and benefit from improving contract pricing in calendar 2018, which will enhance our margins and profitability.”

Second Quarter Results

Revenue for the three-month period ended December 31, 2017 (“Q2 FY2018”) totalled $43.0 million, an increase of 57.0% from $27.4 million for the three-month period ended December 31, 2016 (“Q2 FY2017”). Drilling Canada revenue was $28.3 million in Q2 FY2018, an increase of $8.3 million, or 41.8%, from $20.0 million in Q2 FY2017. The increase was primarily attributable to a higher number of metres drilled and increased specialized drilling activity. International revenue was $14.7 million in Q2 FY2018, up from $7.4 million in Q2 FY2017, representing an increase of $7.3 million. International includes $11.9 million in revenue from operations in Chile, compared to $5.3 million in Q2 FY2017. The remaining increase in International revenue was primarily attributable to increased drilling activity in Burkina Faso.

Orbit Garant drilled a total of 371,161 metres in Q2 FY2018, an increase of 30.0% compared to 285,583 metres drilled in Q2 FY2017. The Company’s average revenue per metre drilled in Q2 FY2018 increased to $115.64, from $95.81 in Q2 FY2017. The increase in average revenue per metre drilled is primarily attributable to increased specialized drilling activity in Chile and Canada, as specialized drilling is priced at a higher rate than conventional drilling.  The Company also benefitted from improved pricing on certain drilling contracts in Canada.

Gross profit for Q2 FY2018 was $5.1 million, up from $1.5 million in Q2 FY2017. Gross margin increased to 11.7% from 5.5% in Q2 FY2017. Depreciation expenses totalling $2.0 million are included in cost of contract revenue for Q2 FY2018, compared to $2.2 million in Q2 FY2017. Adjusted gross margin, excluding depreciation expenses, was 16.3% in Q2 FY2018, up from 13.6% in Q2 FY2017. The increase in gross profit, gross margin and adjusted gross margin was primarily attributable to higher drilling volumes in Canada and increased, higher-margin specialized drilling activity in both Chile and Canada.

General and administrative (G&A) expenses were $4.3 million (representing 10.0% of revenue) in Q2 FY2018, compared to $4.0 million (representing 14.5% of revenue) in Q2 FY2017. Increased G&A expenses reflect the Company’s recent growth in Canada and internationally.

Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (“EBITDA”) totalled $3.3 million in Q2 FY2018, compared to a nominal amount in Q2 FY2017.

The Company’s net earnings for Q2 FY2018 were $0.8 million, or $0.02 per share, compared to a net loss of $1.9 million, or $0.05 per share, in Q2 FY2017. Higher gross profit and margins, as discussed above, contributed to the Company’s net earnings for Q2 FY2018.

During Q2 FY2018, the Company generated $5.5 million from financing activities, compared to $2.9 million in Q2 FY2017. The Company withdrew a net amount of $1.4 million during Q2 FY2018 on its secured, three-year revolving credit facility (the “Credit Facility”), compared to a repayment of $0.4 million in Q2 FY2017. The Company’s long-term debt, including the current portion, under the Credit Facility was $16.5 million as at December 31, 2017, compared to $13.6 million as at June 30, 2017. In addition to the above, the Company provided a letter of credit to a bank of one of its subsidiaries of US$1.0 million (or approximately CAN$1.3 million) from the Credit Facility. Orbit Garant’s Chilean subsidiary (OG Chile) enters into receivable purchase agreements (commonly referred to as “factoring agreements”) with different banks as part of its normal working capital financing. As at December 31, 2017, trade receivables included $5.0 million related to factored accounts, compared to $0.7 million as at June 30, 2017.

As at December 31, 2017, Orbit Garant had working capital of $50.9 million ($30.8 million as at June 30, 2017), and 36,142,119 common shares issued and outstanding. The increase in working capital resulted from the reclassification of the outstanding amount under the Credit Facility from current to non-current liabilities as a new Credit Facility was signed on November 2, 2017.

Orbit Garant’s unaudited interim condensed consolidated financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for the three and six-month periods ended December 31, 2017 are available via the Company’s website at www.orbitgarant.com or SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Conference call

Eric Alexandre, President and CEO, and Alain Laplante, Vice President and CFO, will host a conference call for analysts and investors on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. (ET). The dial-in numbers for the conference call are 647-427-7450 or 1-888-231-8191. A live webcast of the call will be available on Orbit Garant’s website at: http://www.orbitgarant.com/en/sites/fog/investors.aspx.

To access a replay of the conference call dial 416-849-0833 or 1-855-859-2056, passcode: 5495588. The replay will be available until February 21, 2018. The webcast will be archived following conclusion of the call.

About Orbit Garant

Headquartered in Val-d’Or, Quebec, Orbit Garant is one of the largest Canadian-based mineral drilling companies, providing both underground and surface drilling services in Canada and internationally through its 220 drill rigs and more than 1,300 employees. Orbit Garant provides services to major, intermediate and junior mining companies, through each stage of mining exploration, development and production. The Company also provides geotechnical drilling services to mining or mineral exploration companies, engineering and environmental consultant firms, and government agencies. For more information, please visit the Company’s website at www.orbitgarant.com.

RECONCILIATION OF NON – IFRS FINANCIAL MEASURES

Financial data has been prepared in conformity with IFRS. However, certain measures used in this discussion and analysis do not have any standardized meaning under IFRS and could be calculated differently by other companies. The Company believes that certain non-IFRS financial measures, when presented in conjunction with comparable IFRS financial measures, are useful to investors and other readers because the information is an appropriate measure to evaluate the Company’s operating performance. Internally, the Company uses this non-IFRS financial information as an indicator of business performance. These measures are provided for information purposes, in addition to, and not as a substitute for, measures of financial performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

EBITDA:  Net earnings (loss) before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

Adjusted gross profit and margin:   Contract revenue less operating costs. Operating expenses comprise material and service expenses, personnel expenses, other operating expenses, excluding depreciation.

EBITDA

Management believes that EBITDA is an important measure when analyzing its operating profitability, as it removes the impact of financing costs, certain non-cash items and income taxes. As a result, Management considers it a useful and comparable benchmark for evaluating the Company’s performance, as companies rarely have the same capital and financing structure.

Reconciliation of EBITDA

(unaudited)

(in millions of dollars)

Three months ended
December 31, 2017
Three months ended
December 31, 2016
Six months ended December 31, 2017 Six months ended December 31, 2016
Net earnings (loss) for the period 0.8 (1.9)

 

2.5

 

(2.1)

Add:

Finance costs

0.5 0.2

 

0.9

 

0.4

Income tax expense (recovery) (0.3) (0.7) 0.6 (1.0)
Depreciation and amortization 2.3 2.4 4.3 5.1
EBITDA 3.3 0.0 8.3 2.4

Adjusted Gross Profit and Margin

Although adjusted gross profit and margin are not recognized financial measures defined by IFRS, Management considers them to be important measures as they represent the Company’s core profitability, without the impact of depreciation expenses. As a result, Management believes they provide useful and comparable benchmarks for evaluating the Company’s performance.

(unaudited)

(in millions of dollars)

Three months ended
December 31, 2017
Three months ended
December 31, 2016
Six months ended December 31, 2017 Six months ended December 31, 2016
Contract revenue 43.0 27.4 85.5 57.9
Cost of contract revenue (including depreciation 38.0 25.9

 

73.7

 

53.5

Less depreciation (2.0) (2.2) (3.9) (4.8)
Direct costs 36.0 23.7 69.8 48.7
Adjusted gross profit 7.0 3.7 15.7 9.2
Adjusted gross margin (%) (1) 16.3 13.6 18.4 15.8

(1) Adjusted gross profit, divided by contract revenue X 100

For further information:

Alain Laplante                                                                                                  Bruce Wigle
Vice President and Chief Financial Officer                                                 Investor Relations
(819) 824-2707 ext. 122                                                                                  (647) 496-7856

NT4

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