May 2010

Record turnout at PDAC Convention

Risk management a hot topic at Toronto event

By J. Borsato

Delegates flooded the aisles of this year's PDAC Convention.

With a record-setting 21,000 attendees, the 2010 Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC)  International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange closed on a high note in early March as commodities continued to attract interest from around the globe.  PDAC Convention chairman Joe Hinzer was upbeat in his assessment of this year’s Toronto event:  “It was a resounding success and it highlighted the diverse nature of the mining industry.”

The over 120 nations and 49 delegations in attendence confirmed the global scale of the mining industry, as participants discussed ideas, exchanged information and built relationships across the spectrum of mining and mineral exploration interests.  This year’s convention was “not just about finding resources but about how to raise exploration funds and properly asses risk,” said Hinzer.

Hinzer’s upbeat assessment of African mining prospects was the result of a host of presentations detailing how, in a particular region, some exploration projects succeed and others fail.

“It really comes down to how well you can asses risk in a given environment,” he explained. Risk analysis was a critical theme in the wake of the recent earthquakes in copper-rich Chile. These quakes highlighted the need to focus on not just the commodity, but also on the risks inherent to any project.

With Bill C-300 (the Corporate Accountability of Mining, Oil and Gas Corporations in Developing Countries Act) in front of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development for the next two months, its implications were a hot topic of discussion at a series of events and meetings during the four-day event.  Many attendees sported anti-Bill C-300 badges as part of an effort to ensure members of Parliament know that this bill, if passed, could affect the livelihoods of the very people it means to help.

Much more than a technical conference covering the nuts and bolts of the mining industry, the PDAC Convention addresses issues surrounding mineral exploration, extraction, development and infrastructure. Of course, the four-day event was not strictly business. The Olympic medals photo booth and silent auction during the gala raised almost $18,000 for PDAC’s Mining Matters program.    

To close the convention, long-time market strategist Don Coxe took the stage to explain why the business of mining and geology will be “the place to be for the next 25 years.” There was strong support for his argument from the more than 900 student delegates in attendance.

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