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PDAC’s new venue to host 650 mining companies

The venue for the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada’s (PDAC) International Convention, Trade Show and Investors Exchange has been moved this year to the Metro Toronto Convention Centre’s South Building to keep pace with the record number of exhibitors and attendees attracted by the current boom in commodity prices and the surge in exploration activity.

This year’s event, scheduled for March 2 to 5, will be preceded by the World Mines Ministries Forum, which attracts delegates from more than 50 countries.

Last year’s PDAC broke all previous attendance records, attracting some 17,500 delegates. This year, the PDAC is predicting 18,000 delegates. The move to the South Building will allow for the accommodation of 650 mining and exploration companies in the popular Investors Exchange, an increase of 221 companies over 2007.

The trade show will feature 351 exhibitors, an increase of 69 over 2007.

Show hours are 10 am to 5.30 pm on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and 9 am to noon on Wednesday.

The event kicks off with the traditional Commodities and Market Outlook featuring commentaries on gold, copper, nickel, zinc, uranium and other metals.

The Technical Program on Monday afternoon, March 3, features a panel discussion on Canada’s growing importance as a diamond producer. Among the speakers is Martin Doyle of De Beers Canada, who will provide an update on the commissioning of the company’s Victor Mine, Ontario’s first diamond mine.

A session on Aboriginal participation in the mining industry on Tuesday, from 9 am to noon, will feature Tres-Or’s Laura Lee Duffett, Conrad Polson, chief of the Timiskaming First Nation, the Attawapiskat First Nation’s Joe Gaboury and Albalina Metatawabin of De Beers Canada.

This year also marks the introduction of the Skookum Jim Award, which will be presented to honour Aboriginal achievement in the mining industry.

VR studio

A 3-D Virtual Reality studio, hosted by the Sudbury-based Mining Innovation, Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation (MIRARCO) in the Investors Exchange, will showcase eight junior mining company properties in Northern Ontario. A schedule of presentations and a registration form are available online at  http://seeit.mirarco.org.  Companies featured include Canadian Arrow Mines, FNX Mining, Liberty Mines, Victory Nickel, Tanaka Holdings and Detour Gold.

MIRARCO will also be hosting a workshop at 8:30 am, Wednesday, March 5, in Room 802 to assist mining and exploration companies leverage their investments though tax strategies, government programs, technology and access to human resource expertise. Visit  http://more.mirarco.org to register.

An open source 3-D visualization software platform called ParaviewGeo will be launched at the event. Developed by MIRARCO, the software integrates data from multiple sources and offers junior mining companies an alternative to expensive, proprietary software.

Ontario’s Ministry of Northern Development and Mines will host a reception Monday, March 3, from 5:30 to 8 pm at the Steam Whistle Brewery immediately opposite the entrance to the Convention Centre’s South Building.

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