Incorporated on Feb. 20, 1920, the Ontario Mining Association is celebrating its Centennial this year. The association’s mission at the time of formation was to promote mining and support its members, as well as pursue educational and charitable initiatives.
While the OMA’s purpose hasn’t changed, the mining industry has. Advances in technology, more stringent environmental regulations, and an enormous increase in safety, have and continue to transform mining.
Yet, the OMA is not focusing on the last 100 years of mining history in the province in its 100th Anniversary campaign. Rather than a conventional campaign designed for initiates of the mining industry who already understand the critical importance of mining to the economy and to modern life, the association has chosen to appeal to a younger demographic in its messaging.
Outreach to younger generations, who generally have very little knowledge of and exposure to mining, is a challenge. Still, communication with young Canadians is crucial to the industry as they represent the sector’s future personnel and leadership, as well as future regulators, and are key to maintaining our licence to operate.
The themes of the OMA’s #ThisIsMining campaign are based on the knowledge gaps younger Canadians have around mining and what they want to know about the sector, including: technology in mining; inclusiveness and diversity in the sector; its sustainability record and efforts; the opportunities for adventure that come with a career in mining; and mining’s legacy of community building in Ontario.
The OMA, which is airing its “adventure” video series during the Ontario Hockey League’s 2019-20 season, says the response to the campaign so far has been overwhelmingly positive.
“People really respond to the authenticity and personal nature of the stories we’ve been sharing,” says OMA president Chris Hodgson. “A lot of our mining ambassadors are millennials themselves, so they instinctively understand what will resonate with our audience.”
Key to the success of the campaign is the support of OMA members – both in promoting the campaign in their own communities, and in sharing their stories.
“We are very excited to continue to see the creativity, curiosity and feedback that this campaign is inspiring,” Hodgson says. “It has been especially rewarding to see people who are not directly involved in the industry, but who have been positively impacted by mining, get involved and share their stories with us. We’ve also received some really good questions from our social media followers and the constructive dialogue that flows out of that is really encouraging.”
Also in this Ontario-focused issue, we report on the nascent revival of the famous Red Lake gold camp. Not only do we have an Australian company making an acquisition – Evolution Mining buying Newmont’s Red Lake operation (see page 24), we also have the story of Great Bear Resources, a junior that’s developing a new understanding of Red Lake geology that may point to untapped potential in the camp (see page 18).