MORE THAN 750 delegates have begun registering at the Terrace Sportsplex today, touching off the three-day Minerals North 2013 conference.
And with more than 500 of those delegates coming from out of town, the event has resulted in full hotels and motels, fishing lodges and other forms of accommodation.
By the numbers, it’s the best attended Minerals North convention in the 25 year history of the annual event, which promotes and celebrates northern British Columbia’s mineral development potential.
Evan van Dyk from the Terrace Economic Development Authority and one of the conference’s key coordinators, says the economic impact of the event can’t be understated. “It’s a great opportunity for businesses and people to showcase the city,” he said. “It’s very exciting.”
The influx of people has had such an impact that van Dyk’s heard stories of businesspeople unconnected with Minerals North having to change their travel plans because they could not get a seat on an airplane flying into Terrace this week or even if they could get in, they couldn’t find accommodation.
“The delegates will be very visible. Unlike Roundup where you put 8,000 people into a large city, here they will be noticeable,” said van Dyk of an annual mining conference held in Vancouver.
While a core group planned the event, which includes presentations from mining companies and others, van Dyk said nearly 75 volunteers are providing the ways and means to make the event happen.
“There are very good volunteers in this city. I had always heard this was a good city for volunteers. It wasn’t a struggle to find people, they’ve really stepped up,” he said.
The general public has a chance tomorrow afternoon between 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. to view the trade show portion of the conference at the Sportsplex. More than 100 booths occupied by mining companies and the companies that provide services to the industry can be visited.
“It’s a great opportunity to learn more about the industry and for those interested in employment, they can learn what’s involved,” said van Dyk.