Ontario Mining Week provides a means to improve the public’s understanding and appreciation of the mining industry in the province and its local impact. The first Ontario Mining Week was held in 1990 and since then the event has evolved into an annual province-wide affair that promotes mineral education.
In a number of communities across Ontario, individual volunteers from mining companies step forward to help people gain a better understanding – and hopefully appreciation – of the mineral industry during Ontario Mining Week. The Ontario Mining Association salutes the initiative and effort of these volunteers. Following are some reminders to us all about what mining people are doing on the public education front under the Ontario Mining Week banner.
In Timmins, Patti Nakai of the Placer Dome Inc.’s Dome mine, who also serves as education representative on the Porcupine Prospectors & Developers Association, helped organize displays by local mine companies in Timmins Square. A number of Dome mine employees from different departments staffed exhibits that demonstrated how the mine operates. Other companies involved in Mining Week in Timmins included Falconbridge Kidd Creek, Agrium and Kinross along with the Ministry of Northern Development & Mines.
Linda Malcolm of The Redpath Group reports from North Bay that in collaboration with local high schools, tours of a number of mining-related facilities were arranged along with talks that emphasized the wide range of careers available within the mineral industry. For two days, a portion of downtown North Bay was blocked off to traffic in order to accommodate displays of mining equipment – large and small – and information booths. Also, The Men of the Deeps, a choir of working and retired Cape Breton coal miners, performed in North Bay.
A special event in North Bay was a tribute to Jim Redpath, who in 1962 established the engineering services and contract mine development firm J.S. Redpath Ltd. The company has grown into an international mine service company and is one of the largest employers in North Bay. A citation read: “In his typically modest and unassuming way, Jim has involved himself in vital and essential community projects, making our community a better place to live, demonstrated both through the employment opportunities he brought to North Bay and through his cultural commitments in the arts community.”
From Sudbury, Elaine Hull of Falconbridge reports a number of activities were organized throughout the region. The Great Canadian Mine Show, a travelling collection of interactive exhibits, paid a visit to Science North to complement the centre’s educational displays. In addition, there were set-ups of some high tech modern mining equipment. There was a popular lecture on asteroids and a conference at Laurentian University in which 400 Grade 8 and 9 girls learned about careers in mining and engineering.
The Ontario Mining Association salutes all industry volunteers who participated in Ontario Mining Week public education efforts.