What's a nice Toronto-based company like HudBay Minerals doing in a consortium to fund a school in Manitoba? The right thing it turns out.
HudBay is one of the largest miners in Manitoba. It has committed to build the new, $560-million Lalor gold-zinc mine near its Snow Lake mill and to expand the 777 copper-zinc mine near Flin Flon. There would be no Flin Flon without HudBay.
The proposed school is the Northern Manitoba Mining Academy (NNMA). It is a collaborative venture of HudBay, the University College of the North, Northern Manitoba Sector Council, the governments of Manitoba and Canada, the city of Flin Flon and the University of Manitoba.
The NMMA's mandate is to provide northern Manitoba residents access to mining-related training with the objective of creating a knowledgeable, skilled and sustainable workforce. It will provide much needed training for the next generation of mining professionals.
As part of its commitment to this initiative, HudBay is donating $200,000 and approximately 0.2 ha of land in a prime location. The consortium is working to ensure initial staffing and programming will be in place for the NMMA's official opening, which is expected on April 1, 2011.
The academy is to include geology and wet labs, video conferencing facilities, and a mining and geoscience library. The school will also provide the first underground mining equipment simulators in the province. Its graduates will undoubtedly be a boon to the region's mining sector.
We applaud HudBay's commitment to the training of skilled mine workers. Undoubtedly the management is planning ahead, knowing that it has a bright future in Manitoba.