Ontario Mining Association helps get teachers back to school for mining education

This article was provided by the Ontario Mining Association (OMA), an organization that was established in 1920 to represent the mining industry of the province.

The Ontario Mining Association will be one of the presenters at the second annual Teachers’ Mining Tour, which is being held at the Canadian Ecology Centre near Mattawa.  Thirty teachers from across the province will participate in the educational workshop being held August 15 to 19, 2011.   

The goal is to help educators learn more about the realities of modern, high tech, solution-providing, environmentally responsible mining in Ontario.  The Teachers’ Mining Tour is a professional development program for Ontario teachers and teachers in training. Teachers taking the course will be able to earn a component of their Environmental Science Additional Qualification through Nipissing University and the Ontario College of Teachers.

During the week, Lesley Hymers, OMA Environment and Education Specialist, will be making presentations on OMA education and outreach initiatives such as the So You Think You Know Mining high school video competition and the OMA’s collaboration with Skills Canada Ontario, which promotes trades and technologies as career options for students.

“The OMA supports the Teachers’ Mining Tour as another way to provide current information about mining, the skills needed by the industry and the opportunities it offers,” said Ms. Hymers.  “The OMA helps teachers and students gain a greater understanding and appreciation of mining and its role as a partner in society.”

While on the week-long course, the teachers will be going on site visits to Xstrata Nickel’s Nickel Rim South Mine for an underground mine tour in Sudbury, to Vale’s smelter in Copper Cliff and to mining equipment manufactures and suppliers such as Boart Longyear in North Bay. 

Participants will be introduced to contemporary mineral prospecting, mine development and reclamation practices as well as geology and the broad spectrum of direct and indirect manufacturers and suppliers to the mining industry.  There will also be a number of hands-on training workshops including those involving PDAC Mining Matters teaching resources.  

“Seeing is believing; this professional development opportunity presents informed choices for educators,” said Bill Steer, General Manager of the CEC.  “The Teacher’s Mining Tour is an opportunity to bring modern mining into the classroom curricula.”  

“The Canadian Institute of Mining Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) recognizes the value of the Teacher’s Mining Tour,” said George Flumerfelt, President of mine contractor Redpath, Chairman of the CIM Northern Gateway Branch and OMA Director.  “Canada is a country rich in natural resources and mining is part of our natural and cultural heritage and the minerals industries play an integral part of our socio-economic landscape.”

Supporters of the Teacher’s Mining Tour include the OMA, CIM Northern Gateway Branch, CIM Sudbury Branch, CIM Mining and Metals Society and EdGeo, an organization of the Canadian Federation of Earth Sciences that supports workshops for Canadian teachers.  The CEC, which is located within Samuel de Champlain Provincial Park, is an environmental education institution delivering high school credits and school programs for students and teachers.