Thousands attend Big [Timmins Mining] Event – by Ron Grech (Timmins Daily Press – May 30, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Surrounded by haul trucks, wheel loaders and other mining machines, a group of elementary students wander around the parking lot at the McIntyre Arena in awe as if they’re in the Land of the Giants.

While the Big Event mining expo is essentially a massive trade show for the industry, Doug McPhail, who teaches Schumacher Public School, said the event offers great educational value for his class of Grade 4 and 5 students

“It’s a wonderful show, it’s right here in our backyard,” said McPhail, who has brought students to the annual event over the past four years. “The kids always have a great day and they write a little report on their trip and what they learned.”

This year’s Big Event has about 450 exhibitors from across Canada and the United States. In addition to companies displaying and demonstrating products, there is a lot of information sharing and networking going on at the expo. This year features a large delegation of First Nation representatives.

Brian Davey is the executive director of the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund which is the main sponsor and organizer of the Aboriginal Pavilion at the expo.

Davey said having this strong component of Aboriginal representatives at the mining show is “very timely if you look at all the opportunities being developed as a result of the new mines coming into play, and as a result of the impact and benefit agreements that are being signed with these companies.

New businesses, new partnerships, new wealth creation is going on, which is good for Northern Ontario and good for all of Canada.

“Our role is to make sure that we continue this facilitation of First Nation company/supplier type of business relationships so everybody can benefit.”

Gary Martin, president of Lynxx Technologies in North Bay, used the event to unveil a new prototype vehicle that disassembles so that it can be transported by air.

“This is the first time the world has seen this unit,” said Martin, whose product was drawing a lot of attention from visitors and fellow exhibitors alike. “It’s truly an all-terrain vehicle with the ability to traverse muskeg, some of the nastiest stuff you encounter in a mining site. We’ve designed it to be able to carry 2,200 pounds on the back, pull 4,400 pounds and climb a 30 degree slope. So it’s a very rugged piece of equipment.”

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