Nunatsiaq Online
NEWS: Nunavut April 01, 2014 - 4:12 pm

Nunavut Mining Symposium set to showcase territory’s top industry

More than 400 delegates expected at 17th edition, April 7 to April 10

PETER VARGA
The Nunavut Mining Symposium opens April 7 in Iqaluit. The Frobisher Inn will host all conferences, networking activities and a trade show, pictured here in 2012, over the four-day event. (FILE PHOTO)
The Nunavut Mining Symposium opens April 7 in Iqaluit. The Frobisher Inn will host all conferences, networking activities and a trade show, pictured here in 2012, over the four-day event. (FILE PHOTO)

Mining in Nunavut poses challenges unlike anywhere else.

If you’re up to the task, the Nunavut Mining Symposium, April 7 to April 10, offers a chance to get involved and learn about the industry’s future promise

The theme for this year’s 17th edition, “Making the Grade,” reflects on the territory’s mining projects which, according to symposium organizers, are close to breaking through after years of drilling, sampling and planning to prove their worth.

“Of course, we’re at the mercy of worldwide commodity prices, and there’s a natural cycle to a lot of these things, so timing is important as well,” said Bernie MacIsaac, co-chair of the symposium’s steering committee.

The symposium is packed with presentations by industry, government agencies and organizations across the territory connected with mining.

More than 400 delegates are expected this year at Iqaluit’s Frobisher Inn, which will host presentations and networking activities. A gala banquet and awards night will close the symposium at the Iqaluit curling club.

Patricia Mohr, a commodities expert with Scotiabank, will open day one of the presentations April 8 with an overview of the current state of world commodity prices, and Nunavut’s prospects within the global outlook.

Mohr is vice president, economics and commodity market specialist for Scotiabank, which is highlighted by organizers as Canada’s top corporate mining bank.

A packed series of 20-minute presentations for delegates follows daily, through to April 10.

Each will give updates on major mining projects underway, exploration activities, and education, training and community projects related to the mining industry.

Topics are as varied as “The logistics of shipping to various mine sites in the North,” by Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc., to “Wind turbine operation” from Diavik Diamond Mines.

If you’re not a delegate, the trade show provides a chance to see presenters in person, April 9, from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

The trade show is also open to students earlier that day, from 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.

A new feature at this year’s symposium are “business to business speed meetings,” April 9, which offer delegates a chance for a fast seven-minute meeting with the directors of three key organizations involved with mining and northern economic development.

These include the president of the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, the executive director of the Nunavut Impact Review Board, and a vice president of AREVA Resources.

“You wouldn’t normally get a chance to sit down with these folks,” said MacIsaac. “If you’re a small business and you want to talk about your wares or a service you can provide, this might be an opportunity for you.”

The closing gala banquet at Iqaluit’s curling rink will host the presentation of Canadian North Mining Awards, which “recognize the contributions of companies, individuals, and organizations to the development of the mining industry in Nunavut,” the symposium’s website states.

Sponsored by Agnico Eagle Mines, the gala will feature performances by the Inuksuk Drum Dancers of Inuksuk High School, and Iqaluit-based blues-rock band The Tradeoffs.

See the 2014 Nunavut Mining Symposium website for a full schedule and more details.

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