Mining’s biggest networking event of the year goes virtual after ’embarrassingly good year’ – by Gabriel Friedman (Financial Post – March 9, 2021)

Tens of thousands from over 100 countries normally pack a Toronto Convention for PDAC — not this year

One year and a week ago, roughly 23,000 people from more than 100 countries packed into downtown Toronto’s convention centre for one of the world’s largest mining conferences — an action packed few days of schmoozing, shop talk and dealmaking that ended the day before COVID-19 was declared an epidemic.

“We were so naive back then!” Karen McNaught, a specialist in regional trade policy at Global Affairs Canada, who attended the event last year, tweeted on Feb. 28. “Lots of hand sanitizer, but no masks, and definitely no physical distancing!”

Of course, there was the hangover, including at least one confirmed case of COVID-19 contracted at the conference, plus reports of many more.

On Monday, the mining conference, hosted annually by the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, returns, except in virtual form for the first time ever. It’s a difficult proposition for an event that’s often best-remembered for its swag giveaways, and the cocktail events and late night dinners that take place outside the convention centre.

Laural Adams, a communications manager for PDAC, said her organization has “received tons of positive feedback.”

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