License to operate overtakes digital effectiveness as top risk in mining & metals sector

License to operate rocketed from seventh to first position in the EY Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals in 2019-2020 report, with over half of survey respondents listing it as the number one risk.

“The stakeholder landscape is changing and miners need to adapt,” says Iain Thompson, EY Canada Mining & Metals Advisory Leader. “Rising societal expectations, the impact of new technologies and the desire for greater collaboration are all pushing mining and metals companies to rethink their approach to license to operate. It’s time to move beyond social and environmental issues, and address license to operate more holistically with a purposeful commitment to community, government, employee and environmental needs beyond the mine.”

License to operate climbed the ranking from seventh position in 2018, moving digital effectiveness, maximizing portfolio returns and cybersecurity back a notch.

  • Digital effectiveness is still challenging the mining and metals sector. While miners have begun making headway in using digital tools to improve productivity, they need to apply these solutions across the entire value chain to create a digital mine that can truly transform and emerge as a dominant player in the market
  • Maximizing portfolio returns is becoming more of a balancing act. Higher commodity prices and rising cash flows are pushing miners to assess their capital allocation to ensure highest future returns. Beyond building or acquiring new mines, companies need to consider boosting investments in innovation and transformative technologies
  • Cybersecurity is a growing concern in an increasingly connected world – and the attack surface is only getting larger across physical assets, digital infrastructure and business processes. Cyber spending has increased, but now the focus should be on how cybersecurity will support and enable enterprise growth

“Many of the top risks remain the same going into 2019, but digital disruption is adding new challenges into the mix. Disruption, future of workforce and fraud all entered the ranking for the first time this year,” says Thompson. “To get ahead, miners will need to use capital and collaboration to their advantage as they transform and protect themselves from steady and upcoming business risks.”

Access the full Top 10 business risks facing mining and metals in 2019-2020 report at ey.com/miningrisks.

About EY
EY is a global leader in assurance, tax, transaction and advisory services. The insights and quality services we deliver help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

For more information, please visit ey.com/ca. Follow us on Twitter @EYCanada.

EY refers to the global organization and may refer to one or more of the member firms of Ernst & Young Global Limited, each of which is a separate legal entity. Ernst & Young Global Limited, a UK company limited by guarantee, does not provide services to clients. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.

SOURCE EY (Ernst & Young)

Deloitte Expands Into Canada With Blockchain Insurance Consortium RiskBlock

By Leslie Ankney | Forbes

In an announcement on September 25, auditing and consulting firm Deloitte announced a plan to help The Institutes RiskBlock Alliance expand into Canada. In November, RiskBlock announced it would also chair blockchain standards for ACORD, the global standards-setting body for the insurance industry. These moves could signal significant steps toward product development and international growth for blockchain-based insurance applications.

RiskBlock is a blockchain consortium of more than 30 insurance companies looking to boost efficiency and reduce fraud via blockchain technology. RiskBlock’s vice president, Pat Schmid, explained that its role as a non-profit keeps self-interested parties out of development. He said, “Blockchain is a network-based technology that will only be harnessed with a strong network already in place. The Institutes already has a broad network and, as a well-respected not-for-profit, has no stake in the game.”

As one of the largest global accounting organizations and the largest professional services network in the world, Deloitte’s work with blockchain may be an early signal of industry reform. Over past few years, Deloitte has been ramping up blockchain strategy formation, prototyping, and production for its clients.

Ted Epps, a principal with Deloitte Consulting, said Deloitte and The Institutes have been collaborating with regulators since the start of their partnership. “RiskBlock is hosting a workshop with state regulators in November that we are helping to facilitate. In Canada, we involved regulators from the beginning to gain support for forming a consortium. We are taking similar approaches to other geographies as RiskBlock contemplates global expansion.”

Deloitte is currently working on two insurance-based blockchain applications that could help streamline some aspects of the rigmarole involved with filing a claim. The first is a proof of insurance application that shows customers have paid their premiums and are eligible for benefits. The other is a subrogation tool that helps collect member payments and improves claims processing and accounting. The subrogation tool could help those filing claims get paid faster through the use of smart contracts that automatically disburse funds after the insurance company gets the proof of loss needed to process a claim.

While Deloitte’s expansion may be promising, it still faces a bevy of domestic and international regulatory hurdles. In the US, regulations vary widely from state by state. These state-specific rules, especially around forms and documentation, mean a lot of hurdles not just for blockchain firms, but for any company wishing to provide national or international insurance.

“The hard part is going to be figuring out how you ring fence things at a state-by-state level to get regulatory approval that satisfies really old-fashioned but pro-consumer regulations,” says Stephen Palley, an insurance coverage lawyer.

Palley, who chairs the blockchain and virtual currency practice group at his firm, Anderson Kill, also expressed some concern over Deloitte’s subrogation application. When someone files a claim, he or she doesn’t always know which policy should handle it, and submits it to everyone. Palley said this can lead to the quandary of who should be paying out on the policy: “How does [Deloitte’s] tool solve that?”

Though Deloitte and The Institutes are launching a collaborative effort with regulators and are developing what are perhaps some of the first tools for their industry, the benefits for consumers and their future success with regulators remain to be seen. Will these new moves bring consumers faster resolution of their claims or fairer payouts thanks to blockchain?

I write about decentralization, regulation, and cryptocurrencies from Bitcoin to zk-snarks and stablecoins. It’s important to me to bridge finance, economics, and tech to address the “what ifs” and “so whats” about crypto. I have written for several cryptocurrency news site

A review of five family friendly video games for the holidays

By Curtis Withers

THE CANADIAN PRESS

Video games are sure to be at the top of the wish lists of many Canadian children once again this holiday season, but parents may be concerned that some of the most sought-after titles are too much of a time sink, too violent or both.

Here are five suggestions from The Canadian Press on games that children and young teens can enjoy, and for parents looking for an alternative to the “Fortnite” craze.

NINTENDO LABO

Platform: Nintendo Switch

ESRB rating: E (all ages)

Price range: $80 (robot kit) to $90 (vehicle kit, variety pack)

A solid entry-level gaming choice for younger children, Nintendo’s Labo kits are essentially cardboard toy construction sets and video games rolled into one. The Labo debuted in April with the variety pack, and robot kit, and a vehicle kit that came out in September added steering consoles for car, submarine and airplane games. The car steering wheel and pedal can also be used as a controller for the popular racing game “Mario Kart 8,” and it works pretty well.

While building the kits is certainly enjoyable, the real gem of the Labo system is the basic object oriented coding language that kids can access to learn the fundamentals of programming while adding more functionality to the toys. It’s packaged as an under-the-hood extra in the kits released so far, but has excellent potential as a learning tool if Nintendo features it more prominently in a future release.

SUPER MARIO PARTY

Platform: Nintendo Switch

ESRB rating: E

Price range: $80

Nintendo’s bread-and-butter has long been family-friendly games, and this year was no different. “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate” and the “Pokemon: Let’s Go” games could also have made this list. But for sheer family entertainment that appeals to gamers of all ages, “Super Mario Party” has the edge.

The casual mini-games that make up the heart of the game are fun, particularly with a full complement of four players. And playing the board game modes is a must for any family whose holiday get-together includes a heated round of “Monopoly.”

OVERCOOKED! 2

Platforms: PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Windows/Mac

ESRB rating: E

Price range: $25 (digital) – $50

Another chaotic family-friendly multiplayer game, “Overcooked! 2” is a game that stresses co-operation and teamwork as a group of chefs are tasked with cooking and serving an increasingly complicated array of dishes within a time limit. As the dishes get more complex, so too do the kitchen layouts the chefs must work in. Without some planning and co-ordination, you could be spending time putting out fires and searching in vain for clean dishes as the timer mercilessly ticks down.

The attractive price point and availability on a wide variety of platforms makes “Overcooked! 2” one of the more accessible holiday gaming recommendations.

FORZA HORIZON 4

Platforms: Xbox One, Windows

ESRB rating: E

Price range: $80

The latest entry in the “Forza Horizon” series takes place in an open-world rendition of Britain, where players vie for supremacy in high-speed races to earn enough money to add more vehicles to their ever-expanding garages.

It’s a game more suited to older kids, as the driving mechanics can get a little complicated, and of course the thought of recklessly driving through the streets of Edinburgh might be a turnoff for parents with smaller children. But with the amount of vehicles available and the variety of racetracks on offer, “Forza Horizon 4” will offer plenty to keep young, aspiring gearheads busy.

SPIDER-MAN

Platform: PlayStation 4

ESRB rating: Teen

Price range: $65 (used) to $80 (new)

Spidey’s latest foray into video games highlighted a big year for the wall-crawler: Peter Parker had a big role in the blockbuster  “Avengers: Infinity War” (we all know he’s coming back from “the snap,” right?) and multiple versions of the hero will appear in the anticipated animated film “Spider-Man: Into the Spiderverse.”

The latest “Spider-Man” game exists outside his film counterparts, with an excellent original story serving as the backbone of the title. It may not be suitable for younger children due to a few intense scenes and some mild language, but any kids who can handle the Marvel films won’t have any problems with the content here.

While there is some cartoonish violence in the game, Spider-Man’s moral compass stays true. His fisticuffs with the forces of evil are never lethal, and when he’s not facing off against The Kingpin or The Rhino he even has time to clean up some of New York City’s pollution.

IBC Issues Position Paper on Automated Vehicles

Source: IBC

During its annual Regulatory Affairs Symposium this month (November 2018), Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) released a position paper, Auto Insurance for Automated Vehicles: Preparing for the Future of Mobility.

The recommendations in the paper were developed over the past two years by auto insurance experts, who in turn, received input from a panel of legal advisors. IBC would like to thank the insurer representatives who worked on developing the recommendations in this paper, as well as the panel of legal experts who advised them.

The paper contains three recommendations that update both provincial insurance laws and federal vehicle safety standards:

  1. Establish a single insurance policy that covers driver negligence and automated technology malfunctions to facilitate liability claims;
  2. Establish a legislated data-sharing arrangement between vehicle manufacturers and vehicle owners and/or insurers to help determine the cause of a collision; and
  3. Update the federal vehicle safety standards to address new technology and cyber security standards.

“Automated vehicles are coming to Canada’s roads, and the laws that govern insurance and vehicle safety need to be updated to reflect this reality,” said Don Forgeron, President and CEO, IBC. “We need changes to the provincial insurance laws across the country to ensure that collision victims continue to be compensated in a timely manner.”

Each province has a prescribed auto insurance policy and supporting laws that are not yet designed for automated vehicles. Currently, they are built on the notion that human error is the primary cause of collisions. As humans cede control of driving to automated technology, the collisions that do occur will be caused increasingly by product malfunction. The current laws will create uncertainty and confusion for some people injured in collisions that involve automated vehicles, possibly delaying treatment for their injuries and claims payouts.

Several major auto manufacturers expect to have automated vehicles available for purchase in the early 2020s. IBC is asking governments across the country to update relevant laws, to ensure we are ready when automated vehicles hit the roads.

Facebook beyond Facebook? Instagram, Messenger step up

By Barbara Ortutay

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

NEW YORK _ When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion in 2012, it seemed like a big gamble for an unproven little app. Six years later, that little app _ along with Messenger and WhatsApp are serving as Facebook’s safety net for a future that could find its flagship service on the sidelines.

Sure, Facebook reigns in social media today, and this is not likely to change soon. Still, amid the company’s seemingly endless troubles over elections meddling, misinformation, privacy lapses, hacking and hate speech, the idea that Facebook may not always be on top has begun to take hold.

“Facebook could collapse,” said David Kirkpatrick, who wrote a 2010 book on Facebook’s early history.

In an interview, he said the elections manipulations issue “could get so terrifying that advertisers could start to back away. That’s nowhere near happening now, but it could happen.”

That is, as Facebook stops being a virtual watercooler for friendly conversation, but a lair for trolls and misinformation _ advertisers might find the service too dangerous to showcase laundry detergent and shoes.

For now, Facebook is a social and advertising powerhouse. It has 2.23 billion users, a number that’s still growing at a healthy pace outside of the U.S. Wall Street analysts project Facebook’s 2018 revenue will top $55 billion. While the company doesn’t break out revenue among its apps, eMarketer estimates that Instagram will bring in 16 per cent of Facebook’s advertising revenue this year and 25 per cent by 2020. (The research firm does not have estimates for Messenger ads, which are still new and nascent, and WhatsApp, which doesn’t have ads yet.)

“It really speaks to the fact that advertisers love Instagram,” eMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson said. “It has the appeal of being a generally positive environment.”

In fact, Instagram is becoming the top social media service for many brands to interact with consumers, said Yuval Ben-Itzhak, CEO of the social media marketing firm Socialbakers. So even though these companies are reaching a smaller audience than Facebook, these people are “engaging,” or interacting, a lot more with the advertisers, he said.

Facebook is working hard to ensure that Messenger and later, WhatsApp, become viable businesses as well. On Tuesday, Facebook announced plans to make its Messenger app simpler and easier to use. But the redesign also makes it clear that messages from businesses _ and ads _ are becoming increasingly important. Such messages are now front and centre alongside messages with friends and other individuals.

The new Messenger features a “dark mode” that lets people switch to white text on a black background. It has fewer “tabs” or words and icons to tap to get to different sections in the app. The previous version had nine, including “messages,” ”active” to show ongoing conversations, ”groups,“ ”games“ and a ”discover“ icon to find bots to chat with for everything from the weather to horoscopes to shopping. The new version has just three: ”chats,“ ”people“ and ”discover“ to connect with businesses, follow the news or play games.

Stan Chudnovsky, head of product for messaging at Facebook, said the primary intent wasn’t to elevate messaging with businesses. But he said that “when people spend more and more time communicating with each other on a platform, inevitably that is where businesses need to be. It’s almost like print happened and then businesses needed to be on print.”

Facebook, of course, is working hard to nudge people and businesses in this direction, convincing them that chatting on Messenger is more efficient than, say, emailing, calling or tweeting at  an airline, a clothing store or even your bank.

One thing Facebook has always understood is the importance of human connections and interaction. Chudnovsky considers one-on-one communications a “basic human need.” Considering that people use Messenger, and not the main Facebook service, for such interactions, does this mean Messenger is more important than Facebook?

“We don’t take a position on what is more important,” Chudnovsky said.

Still, considering that people no longer need a Facebook account to use Messenger, maybe some day it will be. After all, people (especially younger ones) are using Facebook less frequently, even as they flock to Instagram and its messaging services. A Pew Research Center study recently found that just over half of teens use Facebook, while 72 per cent use Instagram.

“The idea has always been not to replace Facebook, but to add to it,” said Nate Elliott, head of the market research firm Nineteen Insights. “But now that Facebook’s reputation has taken a beating, I’m sure that they see it as a very nice insurance policy.”

Tesla in Autopilot mode crashes into California police car

Authorities say a Tesla sedan in Autopilot mode has crashed into a parked police cruiser in Southern California.

Police Sgt. Jim Cota says the officer was not in the cruiser during the crash Tuesday, May 29, 2018 in Laguna Beach. He says the Tesla driver suffered minor injuries.

The police SUV ended up with its two passenger-side wheels on a sidewalk.

Tesla’s semi-autonomous Autopilot mode has come under scrutiny following other recent crashes. The carmaker says the function is not designed to avoid a collision and warns drivers not to rely on it entirely.

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