City strikes gold with event

MINERALS NORTH 2013, which wrapped up after three days April 26, is being described as one of the largest and most successful conferences.

  • Apr. 28, 2013 5:00 a.m.

MINERALS NORTH 2013, which wrapped up after three days April 26, is being described as one of the largest and most successful conferences ever held in the city.

More than 900 delegates registered, a number that surpassed expectations for the event held at the Terrace Sportsplex that featured presentations by mining companies, geologists and a trade show consisting of more than 100 booths.

The size of the event, which was the 25th annual Minerals North conference and the largest one ever, filled hotel and motel rooms and restaurants.

For a number of the delegates, it was either their first visit to Terrace or the first time they’ve spent any amount of time in the city.

Delegates at various times were entertained, informed and challenged.

Former Vancouver Canuck Trevor Linden spoke of motivation in an address to delegates April 26.

During remarks to open the conference April 25, Steve Robertson from Imperial Metals, a major sponsor of the conference and the company now constructing the Red Chris copper and gold mine due to open next year up Hwy37 North, spoke of the mineral potential reaching north of Terrace to the Yukon border.

“We’re in a real frontier here,” said Robertson.

“The amount of development that is going to go on up there is tremendous,” said Robertson in labelling the region as one of the “most richly endowed mineral areas in the entire world.”

Mayor Dave Pernarowski noted that the first-ever gathering of miners and others was held here in 1989.

Kitsumkalum chief councillor Don Roberts and Kitselas chief councillor Judy Gerow spoke of economic development.

“The Kitsumkalum quarry is our own mine,” said Roberts of the recently-opened venture located near the Kitsumkalum village.

Gerow welcomed development, but “not at a pace that will result in an inevitable boom or bust.”

Evan van Dyk from the Terrace Economic Development Authority, a member of the core organizing group, estimated the conference’s economic impact at a conservative $750,000.

“I know we spent $300,000 alone as an organizing committee,” he said.

Details such as providing breakfast coupons to delegates for use in restaurants  helped spread the dollar value the

conference brought to the city, van Dyk said.

He paid tribute to the scores of volunteers, saying they helped make the conference more enjoyable for delegates.

And he was happy with the turnout of local residents when the trade show portion of the conference was opened up the afternoon of April 25.

“I had no idea that the response would be so great. It was standing room only in there,” said van Dyk.

Conference chair Rob Dykman noted that there were only six empty chairs of 800 put out for the main banquet held the evening of April 25 at the Sportsplex.

And as many as 100 people unexpectedly arrived to register, he said.

The organizing committee will meet soon to decide how excess revenues will be used.

“The requirement is that the legacy be used to support a mining-related cause,” said Dykman.

One of the highlights of the conference was a morning motivational talk on April 26 by former Vancouver Canuck Trevor Linden.

Minerals North 2014 is being held in Vanderhoof.