The biggest mineral exploration and mining convention in the world hits Toronto March 4th
The mineral exploration and mining industry in Canada has taken a few knocks since the global recession a few years ago. The Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) was at the front lines then as they are now. Glenn Mullan, President of PDAC remembers, “The mining industry was really hiding under the table or in a kind of rabbit hole. Things were not pretty, there was a dearth of financing and it was very hard for public companies and prospectors. We didn’t hear much about exploration and all of that really related to a crisis of confidence.”
Since 2016, the industry has shown welcome signs of recovery. PDAC is the leading voice of the mineral exploration and development community, and with over 7,500 members around the world, its mission is to promote a globally responsible, vibrant and sustainable minerals industry. As the trusted representative of the sector, PDAC encourages best practices in technical, operational, environmental, safety, and social performance.
“The mining industry in Canada is huge and accounts for nearly 600,000 jobs,” Mullan says. “The GDP impact is around 4% which sounds modest — but in dollars, that’s over 60 billion dollars last year alone.” Huge numbers but equally important is Canada’s impact on the international stage. Canadian exploration and mining companies work in over 100 countries including Africa, Asia, Australia, Russia, Central, and South America. These countries are now Canada’s partners and neighbors. It is a credit to Canada’s international reputation for fairness, openness, and innovation.
Five Year Strategic Plan: Including Aboriginal affairs, gender diversity, and innovation
To support a competitive and responsible industry, PDAC had undertaken a five year strategic plan that includes a focus on access to capital, access to land, advocacy, international affairs, responsible exploration, and Aboriginal affairs.
“For example, a lot of people might not be aware that the exploration and mining industry is the largest employer of Aboriginal people in Canada,” notes Mullan. “Sure, the companies are largely based in cities such as Toronto or Vancouver, but the mines and projects are based in remote regions. And who lives in remote regions — well, many Aboriginal people do — not just in Canada, but throughout the world. We have a very large engagement with the Aboriginal people in Canada. It is critical for our success in the North.”
Other themes identified are gender diversity and innovation — areas not usually synonymous with the mining industry. “The industry has worked hard to close the gender gap, as there were not many women occupying senior positions — and if you are looking for innovation, just take a walk through the PDAC Convention and you will be enthralled by the technology and opportunities,” Mullan observes. “Even the search for other metals and commodities like lithium, cobalt, and nickel speak to the new brand of prospector and miner who are committed to the ideals of bringing clean energy to the world.”
The Convention: Toronto welcomes 24,000 delegates
Every year, the PDAC hosts their International Convention, Trade Show & Investors Exchange. It is the industry’s largest convention in the world, hosting over 1,000 exhibitors, 3,800 investors, and 24,000 attendees from 130 countries. The four-day annual convention held in Toronto, Canada, has grown in size, stature, and influence since it began in 1932, and today is the event of choice for the world’s mineral exploration and mining industry.
“No other convention even comes close,” laughs Mullan, “and it’s not just companies pitching their wares. Prospectors attend, bankers attend, and governments attend from the federal, provincial, territorial, and municipal levels. There are huge delegations from China, Australia, Chile, Peru, Mexico and Ecuador. It’s the face to face connections you can make. At the convention, you have 24,000 people in a small space for a period of 4 days. It’s the direct eye contact and networking that drives it. We have many stories of lucrative transactions, deals, mergers, and acquisitions that come out of our convention. It has become a platform for many opportunities, especially for young people coming for the first time who catch the spirit and are just blown away.”
Industry experts agree that joining the PDAC Convention festivities could be a big advantage, whether you are a student, prospector, miner, working in the financial domain or the legal or accounting professions. Networking begins it, and drives it, and pushes the industry forward. It is astounding how many people come to the mining convention in Toronto in March — it’s not because of the weather — but for the opportunities to catch up on new developments, new discoveries, new exploration, and cutting-edge technologies just waiting to unfold.
This story was provided by Market One Media Group for commercial purposes.
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