Next week is Mining Week in Timmins, so mark your calendars for May 4-10. The events are supported by the PORCUPINE PROSPECTORS AND DEVELOPERS ASSOCIATION. Along with the PPDA, all the major mining and exploration companies within the Porcupine Mining Division will participate. Included are FALCONBRIDGE, PLACER DOME Porcupine Joint Venture, CABO MINING, St ANDREW GOLDFIELDS, and LUZENAC. The Ontario MINISTRY OF NORTHERN DEVELOPMENT AND MINES will be there, and the ABITIBI DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVE will be represented.
The Timmins Square Mall is the site of exhibits and activities all week long. The PPDA will sponsor its third education quiz for children. Kids who know the correct answers will have their names entered in a draw for Canadian gold and silver coins.
“The public, especially children, need to understand that if we are to maintain and improve our living standards,” said PPDA president Andrew Tims, “we need access to land for prospecting and mineral exploration to ensure that new mines will be found tomorrow.
“Northern Ontario, and Timmins in particular, has a heritage rooted in prospecting and mineral explorationWe all should be proud of our history and birthright,” he added.
We at CMJ applaud the success of Mining Week in Timmins. There is no doubt in our minds that this year’s initiative will be as informative and uplifting as possible.
Now, what about the rest of Canada? How do we impress upon another 30-million-or-so people that access to land, sophisticated exploration, dynamic mining, and environmentally sensitive reclamation underlies our lives every step of the way? The PPDA reminds us that: “If it cannot be grown, it must be mined.”
Here’s a suggestion: let’s send everyone on a trek throughout Canada to learn what the mineral industry is, and its importance to daily life in both the short and long terms.
First, we would send them to Vancouver to learn about plate tectonics, one of the basic processes that shape our physical earth. They might even get a chill down the spine when they learn that shifting plates can cause really, really big earthquakes, and that the West Coast is overdue for one.
Then they could hike over to Alberta to learn about fossilization and the formation of coal and oil sand deposits. Let’s suggest they walk over the Rocky Mountains in the dark to remind them why it’s important to be responsible about fossil fuel consumption.
The next stop would be the Northern Ontario gold camps. Here they would learn the fundamentals of prospecting, outcrop identification, and the importance of good insect repellent. The gold from these mines is found in more than jewelry; it is also used in many computers used to make mining safe and productive.
Then we could send them to Quebec to brush up on the important language of recycling. One of the great beauties of metals is that they can be used over and over, which in turn reduces waste and wasteful exploitation of deposits. And one of the world’s great recyclers, NORANDA, runs its copper recycling operation from that province. Maybe people have heard of Noranda as a miner, but they need to know about the positive contribution recycling is making to the company.
On to the Maritimes to learn a few more things about the mineral industry. A) Even a lead smelter can be operated in an environmentally responsible manner. B) Reclamation can return land to uses such as recreation and forestry. C) New mining development and mineral processing plants provide well-paid, long-term jobs both directly and in secondary industries.
Now, if our fictional mineral trekkers had any oomph left, we should send them to the diamond and emerald deposits in the North. Perhaps they might pick up a few free samples as a reward for acquiring a new awareness of the Canadian mineral industry and its sweeping influence on our lives.