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.
Mining brings a lot to the society and economy of Ontario. The Ontario Mining Association’s website www.oma.on.ca contains a number of studies which illustrate the industry’s contribution to direct and indirect employment, transportation networks and other vital infrastructure, high tech investment in Research & Development, taxes provided, balance of trade support, communications and community development.
To help remind us all about the vital role of mining and its importance, several communities across the province hold Mining Week, or Mining Day, activities to focus on those contributions. By way of example, a strictly non-exhaustive sample of some of these events follow.
In Timmins, members of the local mining community have declared May 24 to 30, 2014 as Mining Week. During that period Northern Mines Expo is being held May 28 and 29 at the McIntyre Community Centre. Also, on Saturday, May 24, Timmins Square will be the focal point for a number of mineral related activities and displays.
Northern Mines Expo promises to have more than 400 booths and admission is free. It includes an Aboriginal partnership conference and a jack leg drilling competition is also being held as part of the show.
Thunder Bay has designated Saturday, May 31 as its second annual Mining Day. Marina Park will be the location for exhibits, presentations and activities for adults and children. Mineral producers, exploration companies, prospectors, mine suppliers and colleges and universities will be providing displays and running a variety of sessions.
In his proclamation, Thunder Mayor Keith Hobbs says “Whereas the mining and exploration industry employees are working quietly in Thunder Bay and Northwestern Ontario, they should be recognized for their significant contribution to the local economy and the culture of their communities . . . this day should be a celebration where the mining community and the public meet and have fun at Prince Arthur’s Landing, a historic site in a city with a long history of mining.”
Sudbury is holding Modern Mining and Technology Week from April 26 to May 2. At Dynamic Earth, the eighth annual MineOpportunity challenge provides schools with the opportunity to participate in an educational game. High school students explore engineering, geology and mining and go on an underground tour.
Other events include a business luncheon, activities for elementary school students and the Modern Mining and Technology Showcase, which highlights careers offered by the industry. There is also a photo competition for both amateur and professional camera buffs.
Lori Martin, geology lead for Sudbury Integrated Nickel Operations, A Glencore Company, and chair of the Sudbury Modern Mining and Technology Week Committee, says there is also a mining film festival taking place. In addition, in cooperation with Dynamic Earth, there are Path of Discovery Tours by bus to see mining, geological and environmental highlights in the area. “Sudbury Modern Mining and Technology Week is forward looking, it is not a history project” added Ms Martin. “We have a great team and a tremendous number of volunteer hours are involved to make this a success.”
Ottawa gets into the action as well. National Mining Week fits into the middle of May. The Mining Association of Canada is involved in a special event with Natural Resources Canada featuring Greg Rickford (MP – Kenora), who is the new Minister of Natural Resources.
Thanks to all the volunteers in these communities and elsewhere who are lending their time and expertise to celebrate a vital industry. Mining works hard for everyone 365 days a year. Perhaps it is time to reflect on what it does for you!